glossy or matte screen for photos

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by deep diver, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. deep diver macrumors 65816

    deep diver

    Jan 17, 2008
    Solon, OH

    I will be getting a 17" mbp (waiting for the new mbp). I will get the high-res screen. Question: Do you like the glossy or matte screen better for serious photography? I know color matching is better w/ matte, and I know I have to look at both of them in the store. I am interested in other's overall opinions and experiences.
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Matte for me. But the MBP has a TN panel in it. If you're planning to use the computer principally for photo work, you might consider a MB instead, then apply the savings to a nice external display (e.g., S-IPS or S-PVA panel).
  3. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    May 15, 2007
    I'm where I need to be
    Its really going to have to be a personal preference for you. They both look great. I personally like the matte. The colors just look a little to saturated on the glossy displays
  4. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I also prefer matte, I don't like how everything looks more saturated on the glossy screen. And the reflections will be distracting when you're editing photos.
  5. maestrokev macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2007
    This is one of those questions where there's no final answer but lots of heated discussion.

    I prefer glossy because it punches up the contrast and vibrance of my photos. If I were doing food photography for high paying clients or photographing clothing for The Gap or anything like that where color accuracy meant losing a deal then I'd be more concerned. Choosing a laptop screen always compromises color reproduction.

    At the end of the day how will your photos be displayed? Do you tend to correct in software like Photoshop? Most people when correcting RAW photos tend to increase the blacks, contrast and vibrancy, heck, might as well get a glossy screen then.
  6. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    I prefer glossy, although if you're dealing with direct sunlight often it may be a bad option. I'm a stickler for solid near-zero blacks and glossy screen wins for contrast. Glossy is theoretically also sharper as light rays are not being diffused (scattered) by the rough antiglare surface.
  7. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I prefer matte. However when I recently looked at photos on the glossy screen of a coworker's Macbook, the reflections didn't seem to be as big an issue as I thought they'd be.
  8. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Go for what you want. Real color toning and editing relies on the numbers and not what you see on the screen. The differences in picture colors and tones between the glossy and matte screens are negligible at best.

    I have a glossy right now and my color is amazingly accurate. My next machine will be a 17" MBP as well and I will be trying out the matte to see if there is a difference. If the colors looks as dull as the previous matte screens then I will be returning the matte Book and getting a glossy Book.
  9. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    its a matter of personal preference really. I myself prefer matt: I always find that the glossy ones make my eyes tired very quickly.
  10. soms macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2007
    matte all the way. whenever i've tried using a glossy coated monitor i always find myself seconding guessing the true colors and having to come back to a matte screen to compare.
  11. three macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2008
    Washington State
    I prefer to use a matte display. It's much easier to manage colours on one of these displays.
  12. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    I have a MB with a glossy screen, and a 20" Dell with a Matte, and I prefer the colors on the Dell (it's obviously just a higher quality panel too).

    I think the final say is ultimately what's your end medium? Glossy screens seem to be the new consumer style, so if you're images will mostly be displayed on the web, or sent around via email then go glossy as print color accuracy isn't as big of an issue; however if you're going for more spot on color reproduction in print, then I'd choose Matte.

    The print shop my family works out is VERY high quality and they more than pride themselves on absolute color accuracy (Dreamworks trusts them when it comes to printing Shrek's Green the actual Shrek Green), and their final monitor before hitting the presses is a Matte (Cinema Display) monitor, so to me Matte = Color Accuracy.
  13. mashny macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2006
    Matte for me. I do a lot of Photoshop both professionally and as a hobby and prefer matte for my work. I have a Macbook, which has a glossy screen, which is great for watching movies and looking at photos, but for image work, I use matte because I find the colors to be truer.

    This is a contentious topic, and there are many graphics professionals who use glossy screens. I'm just telling you what works for me.
  14. SonicChronicler macrumors member


    Aug 19, 2007
    In the Wilds....Northumberland, UK
    Matte for me, and a CRT to compare to - yeah, call me old fashioned.

  15. the Helix macrumors regular

    the Helix

    Sep 16, 2003
    actual experience

    My cousin has a glossy display and I have a matte one. I placed them side by side to make the comparison. Here are some of the things that I noticed:

    Watching DVD's is a much better experience on the glossy. Even photographs seem to look better on the glossy. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed that in order to achieve the bright colors and black blacks, a good deal of detail and color nuance is lost on the glossy. If I had not had the matte screen next to it, I probably would have never noticed it. But having the two side-by-side, the glossy screen definitely loses on sharpness, detail, and clarity.

    Personally, I think that the glare factor against the glossy screen is really a non-issue. But the loss of clarity, detail, and sharpness is.

    My 2¢ says that if you are going to use your Mac primarily for TV and Films and you are really just an amateur photographer with no pretensions, then glossy is the way to go.

    If, however, you are a perfectionist and seriously into photography, graphic design, and film making, then it's definitely the matte screen.
  16. thinkband macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2007
    Personally, I have pretty good eyes and I can see the little details in images. I was very unimpressed with my dad's new glossy dell laptop. Everyone recomended the glossy for him and he seems to like it, so its fine, but its definitely unattractive.

    When I was sitting on the couch in the living room with the laptop, just the little bit of light coming through the window created an unbelievable glare.

    When I went to the Macstore, I tend to think the matte screen looks very very crisp and nice, and that is all that matters to me. Glossy looks fine too, but I just don't want the reflection. My two cents.
  17. tobywuk macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2008
    im a glossy screen person. I think things look much nicer on a glossy display.

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