Just got my new Macbook Pro 15″ Retina laptop up and running. Needed a new capture laptop for studio and field use, older 2010 Macbook Pro 17 had only 8GB of RAM and no USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt. Not so fun when dealing with large amounts of 60-80MP digital files.

Macbook Retina and Thunderbolt Display in studio

And since the new Retina display laptops do not have a firewire 800 port we have been tethering through the Apple thunderbolt to firewire 800 adapter. The good news is that it seems to work just fine. Have had some problems in the past with various laptops and towers, different versions of Capture One and the camera bodies.

So for other similar Phase One Digital Back users, here is our setup for success (at least for the time being):

  • New Macbook Pro Retina 15″, 16gb RAM, 512gb SSD, OS X 10.8.2

 

 

  • Phase One P65+ Digital Back (Mamiya mount) ***Must use the batteries in the back and tell the back to force it to use the battery, it will not self power from the firewire ports.
  • Phase One 645AF Body
  • Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter

  • Phase One firewire 800 cables and firewire repeater (about 30′ long all together)

 

Other Observations:

Have fired 300+ frames tethered and have not noticed anything wrong (for now). Seems to work plugged into the back of the Thunderbolt Display or directly into one of the laptop Thunderbolt ports…but not very well plugged into the firewire 800 port on the back of the Thunderbolt Display. Which is odd I think, if you asked me ahead of time which port had the best shot of working I would figure the FW800 port on the back of the display.  I guess they are all going through Thunderbolt.

Overall pretty happy with the setup, USB 3.0 addition was long overdue and greatly appreciated. Not thrilled with the Thunderbolt Display color calibration, we have multiple NEC displays with Spectraview in the studio and I really dig those.

But the display is kind of a docking station since in the studio we use an external display, gigabit ethernet, and Firewire 800 simultaneously. The laptop only has 2 Thunderbolt ports and two USB 3.0 ports…so would be short one item. Thunderbolt Display has a 2560-by-1440 LED-backlit display, FaceTime HD camera, audio, three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a Thunderbolt port for daisy-chaining other Thunderbolt devices.

I guess we can always plug another NEC monitor in next to the Thunderbolt Display.