Make Video On MacBook Pro 15 With TouchBar
In this review there is almost no benchmark. We will neither chew the sheets of technical characteristics nor evaluate the choice of chips. Instead, a person, whose life is the production of video, will tell about the new MacBook Pro 15.
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Apple is launching the MacBook Pro with a 15-inch screen as a laptop for those who work with the image. Editors, photographers, graphic artists, designers, art directors are the focused customers. And you can buy with a quiet heart because it’s an inexpensive model.
I tested the flagship 15-inch MacBook Pro from the perspective of producing this content. With the maximum configuration, this model now costs more than 200 thousand rubles. Yes, as a spoiler, I believe that it makes sense to pay such money. But the price isn’t reasonable for all.
Some technical characteristics
The flagship model has a 4-core Intel Core i7 processor with a clock speed of 2.7 GHz, separate graphics Radeon Pro 455, 16 gigabytes of RAM, up to 3.1 GB/s SSD read speed, plus you can install a storage capacity of 2 TB. The Retina diagonal display is 15.4 inches, with the resolution 2880 X 1800 pixels. Apple also says that the black color has become deeper and the white brighter. The green and red spectrum is available in 25% more colors by supporting the P3 color space.
The speakers have been updated doubling the dynamic range. So, they sound louder and the bass is made more powerful by a factor of two and a half. In short, the speakers are loud enough to watch a movie without headphones and speakers.
Regarding the trackpad, I never had any complaint. MacBook has always been famous for the convenient management that makes you stop using the mouse.
“Butterfly” mechanisms are used on the keyboard. Apple first showed this feature in the MacBook 2015 release. Its distinctive feature is wide concave keys that you can evenly press over the entire surface. Plus, it sounds very nice, feels pleasantly tactile and reduces the number of typos. The difference between the second generation of “butterfly” in the MacBook Pro 15 and the first is –the keys are even more drowned in the body. Above the surface they stick out just a couple of millimeters. Usually people who are accustomed to an island type keyboard are at first scared and spit. But after a week, they get accustomed, everything seems normal. Since the keyboard reads even easy pressing letting you type quietly, the days of hammering on the keys with terrible force have gone.
Absence of some important ports are its biggest drawback. Yes, there is only an audio input and four USB Type-C. No “usual” USB, HDMI and other accesses. You can charge the laptop using any of ports. Including an external battery is also possible. Connecting adapters, turning the usual connectors into DisplayPort, HDMI, Thunderbolt, Ethernet, USB and so on is the most appreciable quality of this device.
A lyrical digression about USB Type-C in Apple’s defense
When 2 years ago Apple started releasing laptops only with USB Type-C ports, like many other people, I thought that the company has found another way to earn on adapters under the slogan “ the future already today “. The most annoying thing I experienced was that without an adapter from USB-C to Lightning, I cannot charge the iPhone from the MacBook. For me, it’s insane! Because half of Android-smartphones are already with USB-C. Why not Apple smartphones go with the flow? So, it’s evident that, it’s part of Apple’s business plan to earn huge amount though the adapters. This is disagreeable, but you can understand.
Requirements of quality products was growing with some hellish speed. Recently, HD was considered an excellent resolution for video. Then Full HD. Now it’s already 4K – and the damn progress is not going to stop. Manufacturers of displays increase the resolution and diagonal and they’re providing opportunities to download files of a larger size. Smartphones are removing 4K so that in a year or two, they will start offering 8K-video.
The funny thing is that, though such volumes and speeds are made available, neither iron nor cloud storage comes in time. In reality, compression technologies, as in the Silicon Valley (HBO series “Silicon Valley” – ed.) does not exist yet. And you’ve to be satisfied with the same Yandex. Besides, the disk isn’t efficient enough to download files larger than 10 GB.
To cope with this shortcoming, the famous media professionals used to store the source materials on external disks and work with them. What’s the speed of data transfer? USB Type-C ports are really very fast, they can work according to your need. For me – I connect two hard disks and merge materials from one to another. Then, connect an external monitor, manage all the wires carefully to avoid confusion. And the work is done. But keep in mind – if there is no adapter, there is nothing. Because with the USB-C , the so-called connector of the future, we’re living in the present.
Final Cut Pro X and Editing
Time for recollection – I’ve been shooting video for 17 years, first as a TV journalist, now as a production manager, and sometimes as a director. I have basic editing skills, I can work lightly in Avid, Adobe Premiere and other editing programs. When I last met with Final Cut Pro, it was the number 7, and not 10. Definitely, a long time has passed. In the meantime, the interface has been changed, along with some other features. So, I define it as my firsthand experience.
The experiment I did was, if I could mount something decent from a video shot on iPhone 7, without turning to the help of real editing directors. Is it really possible for a person, who has only basic knowledge of editing, to understand this program and can he operate it conveniently?
Here’s what I got.
Let’s take a look at the outcome. Loading on MacBook Pro was perfectly: it didn’t hang during the process. I tried to mount the video shot not only from the iPhone, but also from the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera without facing any problem.
A couple of times when I was loading the laptop, a miscalculation happened with several effects on the video. The sound and colors got affected. Not that this occurs only in the background and the installation never got hampered. Then it hung up and asked to wait. This incident happened twice in 2 weeks.
True, the MacBook Pro was pretty cool but the base on which the laptop was standing sometimes seems unpleasant. But since the normal people work on the table, I do not see it as a big problem.
Logically, Final Cut Pro X is closest to another Apple program – iMovie which is designed for amateur editing. In this device too, cutting plans isn’t the easiest way. It drags them over the edges, adjusting the piece that enters in the final installation. Personally, this algorithm of operation is inconvenient for me. So, using the hot keys, I cut it the old way. I find the projects, events and libraries little bit difficult to understand. The basic unit is the library. In one library there can be several projects with different timelines. A really worth considering feature.
Of course, I did not have time to study Final Cut Pro X thoroughly. But logically, it’s quite “user friendly.” After a couple of days of use, it becomes easier to guess a place for hiding the tool. You can also assume what is needed, what’s the best way to organize video storage and how you can mount it. Final Cut Pro X is a professional editing program. Apart from this, we became surprised witnessing the sound system, color correction, built-in effects for video, audio and transitions. Quite enough for projects related with only video, and not graphics.
Weighing less than two kilograms, MacBook Pro is highly portable and you can take it with you in order to shoot. Merge the video instantly on your work place to find out the possible outcome. See what and how it happened, understand whether something is necessary to re-do before it is too late. Best of all, you can make rough editing on the site if needed.
Actually, this MacBook Pro suits basic work. But if you’re aiming to do something serious, it’s logical to work on a full-fledged stationary computer, the same iMac. For freelancers who don’t need to work sitting in the office and can start working wherever they go, this is a perfect option.
The MacBook Pro has a Touch Bar and an adjustable touch screen (screen with keys). If you run the Final Cut Pro X, you can change the order of frames and mark the audio tracks with color depending on their purpose.
The keys are plain, familiar, still more convenient. In terms of installation, the Touch Bar is very handy. If the video, you are working on, is in full screen, the touch panel still displays the entire timeline. This helps you navigate through it without leaving the full-screen mode.
Switch to the browser and the Touch Bar displays completely different icons: “Go back to the previous page”, “Go to the next page”, “Address bar”, “Open new tab” and all the running tabs. Click on any of them and you’ll immediately get into it. On the right, there are standard function keys – Esc, the screen-brightness and the keyboard backlighting controllers, the volume adjuster, and the Siri call button.
When you click on any of these icons, it unfolds in the center of the Touch Bar. Without lifting your finger, just drive back and forth in the same place and the MacBook Pro will understand your requirement.
To check the mail, you’ll get a panel that shows “Archive”, “Reply”, “Forward”, “Mark important”, “Write a new letter” buttons. I know they’re really convenient. But my experience says that while creating content they’re less useful. However, for dealing with clients, these simple functionalities of email save a lot of time. Rewinding and fast forwarding the series are also very straightforward with the Touch Bar.
Apple, of course, is a very tricky campaign. The Touch ID, that completes the Touch Bar, is the only reason for which I would have paid without thinking. Unlocking the laptop by fingerprint is fine. Some laptops on Windows also have this feature. And as expected, the difference between Apple and other brands is that in Apple, this trait works quite perfect.
MacBook Pro takes a moment to recognized its owner. It does not confuse the owner’s finger with the fingers of all strangers and does not ask to put a finger again. Touch it for a split second and it’ll unlock. Well, with the help of Touch ID and Apple Pay, you can now safely pay on the Internet. No need to register or send SMS. Trend of shining your card has become old.
MacBook Pro 15 is suitable for those who need to work with video, graphics or photos and doesn’t sit in the office. It may seem a narrow audience, but a lot of bloggers working with videos are enjoying its benefit out there.
Apple claims its 10 hours workability. Besides, if the owner approaches the laptop wearing an Apple Watch on the hand, the laptop unlocks itself, even without applying a finger. Between the iPhone and the MacBook, you can transfer files through AirDrop. Another miraculous feature you can enjoy is – copying the text on the laptop and then pasting it on the iPad.
Aesthetically, this powerful laptop is second to none. Its pleasant look gives you the convenience to carry around for working on the way. Don’t need to think twice before you render the project. Just install updates, and without asking you if you really want to perform the action, it’ll quietly and steadily do the work.