How good is MBPs' color accuracy? (Is external monitor recommended?)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Canuckistan, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Canuckistan macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2007
    Guelph, nr Toronto, Canada

    I'm about to buy a 15" or 17" HR AG MBP.

    In my retirement (just starting) I want to become a "serious amateur" photographer.

    I understand that all displays need to be calibrated in order to achieve the best (most accrurate) colors.

    Even when calibrated, how good/accurate are MBP displays? (This forum contains many criticisms of the latest displays.)

    Is it better to opt for an external display? (I've read that LaCie, NEC, and expensive Eizo displays are good, better than ACDs.

    What say you? Is the 15" or 17" MBP screen up to snuff?

    Re: Calibration... This is a process I have never done and frankly I'm intimidated by the thought of doing it. I'll probably try to find someone to do it for a fee.

    Is display calibration a procedure that only needs to be done ONCE or is tweaking continually required?

    Any suggestions re external monitors are welcome... What's the biggest/best bang for the buck?

    I hope you can lessen my confusion.

    Many thanks.
  2. = bluntman = macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    The LCD in the MBP isn't that bad, although for more critical work I prefer using my 24" LED ACD (more real estate and a better LCD panel - IPS vs. TN); it is also calibrated.

    As far as external monitors, check out the monitors from Dell and HP that also use an IPS panel, they are qutie good without having to pay the EIZO price.
  3. Readover macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2010
    It's H-IPS you want for best colour and white balance. The Apple 24" LED Cinema Display got it and is supposed to be really good. There are good ones from HP and Dell too. I haven't seen it myself but they've all gotten really great reviews. The apple 24" LED works great with MBPs since it has the magsafe-connector and mini-displayport. I'll be going for one of those later this year. But for photoediting a external real H-IPS screen is the way to go if you really want the best. Of course there are even better ones from like EIZO that costs twice what the apple does.
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I'd recommend a Dell U2410 or similar; these are matte displays, so you don't suffer from overly "vivid" colors which just means it's inaccurate.

    And be sure to get a hardware calibrator.
  5. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    The MBPs have some of the better TN panels I've seen, but they are still limited in the color range they can produce so a good external monitor is highly recommended.
  6. austinjulia macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2010
    @ alphaod: You said, "so you don't suffer from overly "vivid" colors which just means it's inaccurate"

    I recently got a glossy mbp and I'm hating how overly saturated everything looks ... I wanted a matte screen but that's another story. Anyway, any idea if there are ways to lower the saturation in the display? This info may help the original questioner, too ...

    And I'll do a search, but is there a hardware calibrator you personally prefer?
  7. lollorenzo macrumors member


    Apr 26, 2010
    Udine, Italy
  8. ljx718 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2008
    drop me an email if youre interested in a Apple cinema display matte.
  9. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009
    I'm a complete amateur but:

    1. Apple laptops tend to have 'good' displays - but they're still TN panels with limited viewing angles - so I would definitely invest in an external MVA/PVA or IPS screen (I use a NEC 2690WUXi)

    2. Buy a hardware calibration tool (Spyder3Pro or Colormunki or somesuch). They're fairly straightforward to use. Recalibrate once every month or so.

    I'm loathe to spend money (Dutch genes, you see :p). But imagine using hundreds of hours editting your photo collection only to find out that your screen profile is out of whack and you need to redo the White Balance on *all* your photos...

    It's quite nice to have an external screen and use your laptop as a 'sanity check' - once they're both profiled, then you should be able to show the same picture on both and the colors should match very closely.

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