Glossy screen vs. Regular Screen on MBP?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dshootist, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. dshootist macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2005
    I have heard here and there that the glossy screen on the MBP's isn't all that Apple would like you to think it would be. Currently, I do all my PP work on a 15" 1GHz PB G4 AI and only have issues in broad daylight for clarity/legibility. It gets calibrated often, and I've learned to anticipate color shifts from my lab on most of the images I capture. What with the PB being long in the tooth, I'd like to upgrade to an MBP, but need to know about the screen differences. There's not really a nearby Apple Store, and I don't really trust the floor models anyway, so is there someone out there who does photography professionally/semi-professionally with a solid opinion on screens?
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Glossy makes images look more contrasty and saturated than they really are (like a glossy print does). I would stick with the matte. I've been doing digital photography for a long time now (semi-pro), and shutter (pardon the pun) to think of trying to cal a glossy screen to my output (Epson 2200).

    Check out other threads on this subject - there are a lot.
  3. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    And that is an understatement. :)

    I agree with gr8tfly, and prefer matte; but you'll find it's a bone of great contention when you read those old "glossy vs. matte" threads. Some people became absolutely vitriolic when expressing their opinions.
  4. dshootist thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2005
    Did the search...

    I checked out quite a few of the previous threads on this and wanted to get a professional photographer's opinion on what would work best (hence the post in the Digital Photography forum. Most casual/work users aren't going to be as picky about color as photographers are, so I wanted to get a feel from those who do. From what it sounds like, most would prefer the matte screen for color/saturation accuracy but do like the glossy for brightness/contrast.
  5. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2005
    Go glossy. I'm so glad I did. The colors are so much more crisp and lifelike. It makes you happy to use your Mac. There is NO glare what-so-ever.
  6. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Matte screen here on my MBP; I prefer to have the image come out looking the way I intended; the glossy is nice for viewing but not for serious post-processing/editing work. I actually don't do a lot of pp on my MBP but when I'm on a trip somewhere I do need to occasionally use it for that and so I want the images to come out accurately.
  7. mashinhead macrumors 68030

    Oct 7, 2003
    I realize as a photographer color is super important to you. But no matter how calibrated a monitor is i really only goes so far. I can tell you that from my experience I wanted glossy when i got a MBP. I rarely have a glare problem and you CAN use it outside, if you take your computer with you to shoot that helps alot. Matte you can almost never see outside.
  8. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
  9. Dave the Great macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2004
    It seems like the reason people that prefer matte give is that matte is more color accurate, but is that really true?

    I am not sure about the glossy screens, but the MBP matte screens are actually only 6bit displays and can not truly display millions of colors. Also, the gamut is pretty poor, too - especially the NTSC gamut, I don't have the number handy, but I think the MBP matte screen can only display ~ 45% of the gamut.

    I personally own a matte, but a family member has a glossy. The more I get a chance to use the glossy the more I dig it.

    Anyway, I am not telling you to go one way or the other, but I do question the reason a lot of people give for picking matte.
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Glossy screens are just like "lite beer" Some guy figured out how to make cheap beer and market it as some how being better. Lite beer is just beer with more water added. The guy who thought up lite beer, I hope got a good bonus that year. Same with "glossy" screens. It turns out the anti-reflection coatings are not cheap. It's an expensive process. Some guy at the LCD plant figured out how to save money while telling consumers it is some how better. I hope he got a good bonus too. Actually the contrast can be higher on the glossy screen if the room lighting is controlled but that is not what you want for soft proofing
  11. antonwalker macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2007
    I dont get what you said. Glossy is like lite beer because lite beer is cheap and somebody found a way to market it, but then you say glossy coatings aren't cheap...:confused:
  12. 2pac macrumors member

    Mar 25, 2007
    I dont understand the problem... maybe i could solve it :rolleyes:
  13. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Nov 20, 2002
    Matte. I wouldn't even consider a glossy screen for photo work.

    Which is unfortunate, because I love my little Macbook so much - but editing photos on it is completely out of the question.
  14. SWC macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2004
    I look at it this way if you are really serious about color accuracy you are going to calibrate the screen. Whether glossy or matte the calibration should make it the same.
  15. faustus67 macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    Of course, if you are really serious about photography and design, you'd have an external monitor as well. So I have glossy on my MBP and my Eizo monitor is matte. Best of both worlds!
  16. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Nov 20, 2002
    Colors have a tendency to look more saturated on a glossy screen. I push the color pretty far in my photos, and I couldn't be quite sure where my color was for prints with glossy.

    Both of my 23" Apple displays are calibrated though.
  17. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I am of the opinion that doing this is much more important than the "glossy vs. matte" decision, in terms of getting accurate color rendition. It's too bad people aren't willing to spend 100-200 bucks to help get more out of their $2000+ investments in photo hardware...
  18. GoGoSamGo macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2007
    I'm not currently doing photography, hopefully will have my camera by next, but I do work with film. Seriously if a person is planning on doing anything with post production, no matter if it's film or photographer, streer clear from glossy (unless such as a few people said they have an external monitor). What you see on a glossy monitor is not how the actual image looks, color wise that is. What you see on your glossy screen will look different from what someone sees with a matte screen.
  19. Dave the Great macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2004
    It doesn't look like the actual image on a matte either. The MBP Matte LCD displays are only 6 bit, so they can not truly display millions of colors.
    They also can only display approximately 45% of the NTSC gamut. So, color wise it will look different on a matte screen, too.
  20. Jebaloo macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2006
    I didn't have a choice, as I could only afford a macBook, but I CONSTANTLY curse the shiny screen.. SO many reflections, impossible to use in daylight, or on a train with constantly canging reflections etc.

    GO MATTE. ; )
  21. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    O RLY?

    Thumbs up... :rolleyes:


    I would give ANYTHING to have a matte screen on my MacBook. :mad:
  22. GoGoSamGo macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Technically no it doesn't make it look like the actual image, but nor does it in a way to make the images look enhanced the way that glossy does. If you want a more accurate display of your images of your video or pictuers then matte is the way to go. In the end if you want to look at your images completely accurately you'll need a external display on side of your MacBook Pro, but until the day I can afford the 30' Apple Displays, my Matte MacBook has served me the best way to making my videos look very darn close to what they look on TVs, projectors, and etc.
  23. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    I went from a 12" Powerbook to a glossy screen MB. Next month I'm buying a MBP and it will be glossy as well. I'm a digital artist and could never consider doing my work on a laptop screen. I have a matte external monitor for that work. I like the glossy screen because when I'm out and about I get clear, sharp vision and for me that's the point of a laptop. There's a reason why laptops have glossy screens and desktops don't I guess.
  24. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    Not all laptops have glossy screens. And why are there glossy screens in laptops? Well, they are usually low'ish-end consumer-laptops. When consumers see those glossy screens, they think "ooooh, shiny", and they buy it. But that doesn't mean that it's actually better.

    There's a reason why MacBook has a glossy screen, whereas MacBook Pro only offers it as a BTO-option.
  25. maestrokev macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2007
    IMHO, I think glossy screens are here to stay. It wasn't too long ago that people thought widescreen TV's and monitors etc were just a novelty. Glossy screens make your images pop. True, that might not be as realistic but remember the old slide film projector days? You can't get a glossy print to look anything as good as the slides shown on your projector in a dark room. Sure, maybe a Cibachrome print viewed under museum lighting ...

    My point is, who's your audience? I can understand that if you do your own digital printing (ie, at your desk and not sending off to lab) then you want the print to look most like your display - matte is probably better. But, even with my hardware color-calibrated display, I can't control how it prints at the various consumer to pro labs I use - even after soft-proofing with profiles in PS CS2. You never know who the operator is at the other end and whether their machine was calibrated that day before printing.

    If you're selling prints, what's the chance the buyer will be inspecting your print under a 6500K calibrated OTT light rather than incandescent or fluorescent lighting conditions.

    If you're putting photos on the web, how many viewers have profile aware web browsers and hardware calibrated monitors?

    I own a matte external monitor but prefer my glossy laptop for the simple reason that I enjoy the images more on my glossy screen ... the same way I used to enjoy a slide projector show ... but now I'm dating myself :)

    Oh, and as for glare, I can usually tilt my screen enough to avoid overhead lights and after a while your eyes tune it out as you adjust.

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