I'm thinking about replacing my older laptop with a newer one. Would you like to read about what I think I need and then argue about what you think I should get until we're both blue in the face?

coffee painting. Kirk Tuck

So, I have an early 2011 Apple MacBook Pro with a 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5 processor, a 512 Gb, 5400 rpm hard drive and eight Gb of memory. It's USB connections are both USB 2.0. It does have a nifty SD card reader on one side. It's processed tens of thousands of files, responded to tens of thousands of e-mails and has its own frequent flier accounts with most major airlines. But relatively speaking it's getting slower and slower. Slow to start up and slow to process bigger files.

It's a 13 inch model and I like that because it fits into nearly every camera bag I have and is easier to travel with than the 15 inch model I had previously. I take it out in the field to use for on site back up of files and to process images for some projects that need near immediate image delivery. It fits into an eco system where everything is Apple. From my desktop to my iPhone to my family's computers and communications gear; everything is Apple. In the seven years I've owned this laptop it has never crashed, stopped working, required repair, demanded anything of me other than regular access to electrical power and reasonable upgrades to system software; all of which have been trouble free and easy.

Unless the brain trust here at VSL has some emphatic reasons to choose another course I am planning on buying a refurbished late 2017 version of pretty much the same machine. The processor in the new machine is supposedly much improved, the new machine has four USB 3 ports, a 512 SSD drive, a retina screen, faster memory and will cost me less than the purchase price of the original machine. I plan to buy it from Apple's refurbished stock.

The impetus for yet another hardware purchase is two fold. Recently I did a job that could have been better done by tethering my GH5 to a computer. Sadly, the tethering software in the camera only works with USB 3 connections. Secondly, I'm booked again this year to cover a high tech conference in downtown Austin. The client loves having fast turn around on materials. Their desire is to be able to upload images of speakers to their social media within minutes of finishing the speech and to have movie files delivered almost as quickly.

I was planning to push the big ole transaction button tomorrow around 2 pm so if you have secret (or not so secret) information about why I shouldn't do this or how you could handle this better please let me know via comments and I'll try to learn from your experiences. Don't waste time through convincing me to jump systems because I'm not going to embrace the use of Windows unless someone stands next to me and threatens my life. A seven year equipment use cycle with NO downtime is worth a lot more than saving a tiny amount of cash at the initial purchase....

Chime on in. I'm sure everyone is on the same page......(ha. ha.). KT

Edit: I ordered online and picked up my new 2018 MacBook Pro 13" on Friday. The combination of faster memory, SSD drive and a much faster processor was exactly what I was looking for. The initial set-up took minutes and then I migrated all my settings, etc. from the old computer to the new one, which took a couple hours, via wi-fi. Later that evening I edited and post processed 500+ raw files from a shoot at Zach Theatre and uploaded them, with nary a glitch, to a private gallery on Smugmug.com. Comfortable. Reliable. And pretty to look at (both my files and the new computer).

Someone suggested that I just buy any old PC and that everything would be great. They misunderstand the decades of trust I've gained with my Apple products, my years and years of self-training and my comfort with the Apple approach to software and GUI. I also find that every ad agency and professional client whose offices I walk into today are totally Apple. The client I'm working for this year (and the reason I needed to update) is a case in point; last year at their event I walked into their media and marketing room at the event site and the long conference table was covered with various recent vintages of Apple laptop computers. No PC's anywhere in sight. There's a lot to be said for fitting in with your clients and being able to work fluidly in the same environment. I have one client that doesn't use Apple computers. Only one. (And I have a fair number of good clients...) and that is Dell, Inc. Their resistance to switching is understandable.

Photographing the dress rehearsal of a new play at Austin's premier regional theater. Using the GH5 and GH5S interchangeably. Some with Image Stabilization and some without.

I shot the tech rehearsal of the show, "Once," with a Nikon D800e and a very versatile Nikon 24-120 f4.0 VR lens. But I went back again to do a shoot in a completely different style, two days later  at the dress rehearsal (with an audience in attendance). At the dress rehearsal I shot with a GH5 and a GH5S along with the two really cool Olympus Pro lenses I've been writing about. One is the 40-150mm f2.8 and the other is the 12-100mm f4.0.  I shot the GH5S (with its whopping ten megapixels...) in raw format and the GH5 in Jpeg (large fine). I also went back and forth with the lenses because I was testing my premise about image stabilization being an interesting side issue in the fervor surrounding cameras in actual use. 

I used the Panasonics for fun. I also used them for their silent operation (although you can see some banding from LEDs in some continuous tone areas in some photos....) their night mode and to be try comparing the files from the two cameras side-by-side. No big winners or losers here. Both do a great job. It was interesting to see how the images looked to me when viewing them next to similar images (under the same lighting, etc.) as the Nikon images from two days earlier. Again, they each have their aesthetic merits. 

The new fiber internet service is working well. A gallery that would have taken multiple hours two and a half weeks ago now uploads in about 15 minutes. Remarkable. A much bigger improvement to my workflow than any lens or camera I've purchased in years. Now I need to replace my current laptop...

Enjoy the show....