Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Macbook Pro retina display - perfect portable production?

Apples new Macbook Pro with retina display



On Monday in San Francisco Apple revealed their latest flagship laptop, the Macbook Pro with retina display. It's a beautiful, slim and powerful machine, with an Intel i7 processor and SSD drive, but of course the most striking thing about it is the screen. 2880 x 1800 pixels of retina display goodness.

Although it's a laptop, it's fast enough and powerful enough to be a serious portable production machine. It features two Thunderbolt ports allowing connection to external storage like the Promise Pegasus RAID arrays or Lacie's Little big disk or video i/o devices like the forthcoming Blackmagic Design Ultrastudio express or the AJA iO XT

Even the USB ports are USB3 so you can also use USB3 based storage which is easier to find than Thunderbolt storage and would also be compatible with PC based systems.

The thing I would really like to see paired with the Macbook though is this, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera
When Blackmagic announced this at NAB they surprised everybody. A compact large format digital camera that produces 12bit RAW images at 2432 x 1366 pixels.

It records on to SSD disks which are mounted in the camera and it connects via Thunderbolt for media download. Pair this with the retina display Macbook and you've got a portable shooting, grading and editing system, as it comes complete with a copy of DaVinci Resolve software.

The Macbook has integrated graphics courtesy of the i7 processor but also comes with the Nvidia 650M discrete graphics chip which has 384 CUDA cores. That means it should be able to run Resolve at a very respectable speed, and should be equally at home with Avid Media Composer 6, Adobe CS6 or even Autodesk smoke.

Get back from location and plug it into a bigger screen, mouse and keyboard and you've got a full blown edit suite with reasonable performance.

I've got one on order so as soon as I get a chance I'll post some thoughts on the performance.


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