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Thread: Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

    I did this more out of curiosity than anything else, but it might be useful at some point.

    Since the MacBook Air has no firewire port and the Phase One IQ180 doe not have usb support (as yet) I thought I would cobble together the bits and pieces needed to tether via the ThunderBolt port. Recently Sonnet started shipping its ThunderBolt to ExpressCard/34 adapter so that became the basis of the solution.

    Parts necessary:
    $49.00 apple Thunderbolt cable http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC...ode=MTY1NDA3Ng
    $150.00 Sonnet echo expresscard/34 thunderbolt adapter http://store1.sonnettech.com/product...roducts_id=392
    $100.00 Sonnet Firewire 800 pro expresscard/34 http://store1.sonnettech.com/product...roducts_id=223

    And it worked and worked very well, capturing a full resolution IQ180 image in just under three seconds to Capture One running on a 2011 MacBook Air.
    I have only transferred about 100 images in a single session so I have no idea about long term stability.
    My biggest gripe is that it is an ugly bunch of junk and cables but on the plus side, no drivers of any sort were required for OSX 10.7.2

    As of this date I am not aware of any other reasonably portable solution but in the future I hope there is a more compact alternative.
    -bob

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

    Happy New Year, Bob.

    I would like to see an image of this setup (very interesting for me; I went back to a 13" MBP having tried both of the latest MBAs) for just this reason (no simple way of connecting to my network of FW drives).

    Cheers and thanks, KL

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    Re: Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

    Bob,
    With the new release of Airs, I'm seriously thinking of getting one for travel use. Mainly backing up files when I travel and shooting tethered with a P30+. Did you try processing files at all. Is it do-able for that? I'm not going to try to process 800 files to 16 bit Tiffs from several shoots, etc. But would makes selects and probably process around 50 images per shoot into jpgs for quick viewing by clients. Then do the full sized files on my mac pro when I got back to NY.

    Thanks

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    Re: Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshMerwin View Post
    Bob,
    With the new release of Airs, I'm seriously thinking of getting one for travel use. Mainly backing up files when I travel and shooting tethered with a P30+. Did you try processing files at all. Is it do-able for that? I'm not going to try to process 800 files to 16 bit Tiffs from several shoots, etc. But would makes selects and probably process around 50 images per shoot into jpgs for quick viewing by clients. Then do the full sized files on my mac pro when I got back to NY.

    Thanks
    With last year's air it was possible but not that fast.
    For some that might be an issue, but for me, it is not since I usually process one at a time.
    Even photoshop was not too terrible, although it could have benefitted from more memory. I import images into a C1 session, view and rate them, possibly process a few, but then when back home copy the whole session to the mac pro which is their permanent home.

    Making jpegs for client use is entirely possible although a bit slower than that same task on a bigger machine. I am using IQ180 files and admit that when I am using this configuration might actually process to 8 bit tiff then photoshop.
    If you avoid the photoshop step, it is much smoother.

    I recently bought the new macbookpro with retina display, which I am now dragging around asia. I appreciate the speed and memory, but I am not ure it was the right decision due to the weight. I guess it comes down to computer vs lens weight and how much you are willing to haul.
    Next trip I possibly might be packing my air.
    Just a word of caution: the air display does not profile as well ad some, so absolute color-matching from display to print is a bit off. For preview jpegs on the other hand, there is no issue at all.
    Sometimes I wonder if all the details I worry about are even noticed by clients. I just did a few files on the road for a magazine, and although they seem very happy with them I wonder what they look like on the wide-gamut monitor at home. LOL
    -bob

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    Re: Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I recently bought the new macbookpro with retina display, which I am now dragging around asia. I appreciate the speed and memory, but I am not ure it was the right decision due to the weight. I guess it comes down to computer vs lens weight and how much you are willing to haul.
    Next trip I possibly might be packing my air.
    Just a word of caution: the air display does not profile as well ad some, so absolute color-matching from display to print is a bit off. For preview jpegs on the other hand, there is no issue at all.
    Sometimes I wonder if all the details I worry about are even noticed by clients. I just did a few files on the road for a magazine, and although they seem very happy with them I wonder what they look like on the wide-gamut monitor at home. LOL
    -bob
    I'm thinking the 15" goes on driving trips and Air on flying trips. Dilemmas

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    Re: Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

    I have been dragging around a 4 year old 15" MBP, that worked but was pretty slow and felt like a bag of bricks. So I'm really thinking this would be a great option for me. I ran a geekbench on it and it scored around 3000, the new airs are getting 6000-7000. I'll probably get an 11" maxed out with either 128 or 256GB ssd.

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    Re: Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

    Thanks for the info!

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    Re: Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

    MBP 15 for car travel, MBA 11 for air travel. Lugging the MBP 15 on planes, buses, trains, and then toss in a bag to go hang out at some wifi-enabled coffee shop is doable, but not the most pleasant. The MBA 11 by comparison is hardly noticeable!

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    Re: Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

    Ok,
    I got a macbook Air 11" for a week to test out. 2.0 ghz, 8GB ram, 256Gb HD...Just did a test, processing 10 P30+ files in capture 1 to Adobe RGB 1998 Tiffs, with that and my 6 core 3.33 mac pro, 16gb ram, boot drive is ssd, and main HD is 2 raid striped 7200 drives. I'm pretty surprised with how close they are to each other. I think it's time to add RAM to my PRO! One weird thing is that the Air didn't give me the option to process into Pro Photo color space. I've ordered Bob's setup to test tethering. It should come on Tuesday. If anyone has any specific test requests, let me know and I'll try to accommodate. I also couldn't get my lexar usb 3.0 reader to work with it. It was working with my mac pro. Now it won't work at all...

    Air-took 84 seconds for jpgs at 30% and 8 quality it took 60 seconds
    Mac Pro- took 59 seconds for jpgs at 30% and 8 quality it took 38 seconds

    Other thoughts. It's really small and light. I'd probably lean towards getting the 13" because of the screen size. BUT the 11" is very tempting, I should get to compare the two side by side on Monday at my friend's place. I did command + to zoom text just a little bit, when browsing websites. It's a little small at the standard settings.

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    Re: Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

    ok,
    USB 3 reader works on mac pro (I put in a pce card adapter with two USB 3.0 ports), but NOT on MB Air...hmm. Yes, I downloaded drivers for it...Any suggestions?

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    Re: Tethering to a MacBook Air via firewire

    I did a quick test for battery life. When I have Capture one open the battery indicator goes down to 1 hour 20 minutes on the 11" Air. With it closed it jumps up to 3 hours and with only safari open if showed 6 hours left. This was all from a full charge after 5 minutes of use. I didn't have time to sit there and wait to see if the battery actually drained in an hour and 20 minutes. I had to give it back today. I'm thinking about getting the 13" air in about a month due to the extra battery life or just waiting until the 13" retina is released.

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