Are glossy screen iMacs good enough for professional color work???

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DHart, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. DHart macrumors 6502

    DHart

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #1
    As a full-time professional photographer producing high-end, high-quality work, I use 20" iMac Intel 2GHz Core Duo machines (the original Intel iMacs), with the matte screens and maxed out with 2 gb of ram for Photoshop editing daily (CS3). I have found that the matte screens are awesome for imaging work... very accurate colors, no perceptible undesireable variation in color or brightness at different viewing angles. I've been verrry happy with these iMacs for production in my portrait photography studio.

    Now... recently I've considered upgrading one of my original 20" Intel iMacs to a current production 24" iMac for the larger screen area, 4 GB ram capability, and faster processor (filter processing!!!), but have been hesitant because of all the bad press I've read about using the glossy screens for professional color work. Complaints I've seen refer to distracting reflections of room/ambient lighting, a false oversaturated presentation, un-even color/brightness across the full area of the display, and dead pixels. WTF???

    If these criticisms are valid, I think Apple made a big mistake going from matte to glossy screens with the iMacs, even if their justification was that iMacs are just consumer machines... a LOT of professional imaging people have used matte screen iMacs for professional work and the older matte screens were perfect for that... BUT, what about using a new 24" iMac with a glossy screen for professional image editing??? Is the 24" glossy screen iMac truly up to the job of displaying color images evenly, consistently, and accurately... as the older matte screens were?
     
  2. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502

    DHart

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #2
    Are there no imaging pros here who have experience with using the glossy 24" iMacs for professional work? Is the 24" glossy screen truly suitable only for consumer use?
     
  3. djejrejk macrumors 6502a

    djejrejk

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Location:
    Uhh...
    #3
    I am no pro,.. however I can say from experience that the viewing angle on the 20in iMac is not that great and I am hesitant to purchase until they switch monitor suppliers.

    I have not used a 24 extensively, however from my limited tests, the 24 monitor seems to be much more even. The best advice is to test them out yourself. It helps to have a friend or coworker's to test on as the Apple Store is not the best place to test these monitors.
     
  4. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502

    DHart

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
  5. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    #6
    Have you considered saving money and getting the 20" version and then getting a matte external LCD? The 20" iMac can still power a 24" external screen. Granted a good quality 24" monitor costs more than the $300 difference between the 20" and 24" iMacs, but if you're using this for professional use, you might not have an option. And besides, it's a good investment that keeps you from having to worry about these kind of issues in the future.
     
  6. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502

    DHart

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #7
    vtprinz... excellent idea... especially if I can position my Photoshop pallets on the internal (glossy) monitor and my image on the external monitor. That's possible, isn't it? Great suggestion, thank you! I would still choose the better 24" version - I have no need for a low-grade monitor for anything.
     
  7. YuriVoorhak macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #8
    I'm not sure if freelance design* makes me an imaging pro :p, but my take is that they aren't THAT bad. It does seem a little off, but calibration helps a ton. It certainly isn't the end of the world dealbreaker some people have made it out to be, imo anyway.

    and yeah, 4gb of ram feels pretty nice for an iMac. :cool:

    *granted, I have to use pantone colors anyway
     
  8. SheriffParker macrumors 6502a

    SheriffParker

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    The land of love
    #9
    As long as you can calibrate your printer or somehow get used to what kind of difference there is between your printer and your monitor, you should be okay. I mean, the end product is still a print, right? So you can always control the final product. I would think the colors on the monitor would be a little more saturated than a matte screen, but you could sort of compensate for that.

    I don't think the difference would be that much, and the reflections aren't really a problem. Its mainly the oversaturation.
     
  9. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502

    DHart

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #10
    SheriffParker... yes, print is the ultimate for everything I do except my website. As a portrait photographer I use a portrait lab to print a ton of images for my clients and I send a number of offset print orders to a printer for my brochures. I'm accustomed to editing my images to look as I want them to look on my monitor and get the same when I receive my printed work back from labs and printers. With a new monitor that exaggerated saturation, I would have to find a way to compensate for the screen's extra saturation while still giving my WYSIWYG. Seems like I just really need to bite the bullet and go with a Mac Pro and a matte screen monitor.
     
  10. dimme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #11
    I work in a imaging lab and one of my jobs is calibration. We have 20 workstations, mostly older CRT's with always had a glossy finish. IMO there are a few things to consider, 1 calibration, every monitor need a hardware calibrator. 2- Viewing conditions you must control your surroundings. 3- You need a decent quality screen to start with. The 24' iMac screen should be fine in the right environment.
     

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