How is the brightness on the new iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pigoz, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. pigoz macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Milan, Italy
    So, did they fix the brightness problem on the new iMac? I'm referring to the fact that you can't use older iMac without "Shades" because the display is too bright.

    The gradient problem should be no more (yay led+ips!), but I'm really interested about the brightness, since I use the iMac mostly at night in a dark room.
  2. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    Dunno, maybe they are even brighter with the LED backlight.
  3. Leon575 macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2009
    Are you sure you mean "brightness"? The backlight-level (strength) is not the same as brightness.
  4. dcx macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2008

    Also curious if they fixed the overly bright screen and the gradients issues.
  5. littlelarry33 macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2007
    The new screen is really nice, no strain on the eyes yet after about an hour of use. But I am coming from a 17inch white imac so I can't compare to previous models
  6. uuaschbaer macrumors regular


    Aug 31, 2009
    He doesn't mean brightness as that is a software (Adjective wanted. Softwarian?) issue. Brightness, or gamma actually, changed since Snow Leopard.
  7. wodeh macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2007
    "gradients issues"?

    Are you talking about colour banding?

    I had the occasion to quickly run some monitor test patterns on the 27" iMac today, along with some HD Video from the quicktime showcase site. Overall I'm extremely impressed with the display, but can't really get a good feel for its backlight brightness in a strongly lit Apple store.

    There was barely a hint of colour banding, nothing even approaching the intolerably bad picture I get out of my supposively high end Dell 2407WFP anyway.

    More importantly, HD video looks STUNNING. I can forgive glossy for what it does to the picture, and have little trouble ignoring the reflections even in said brightly lit store. They never bothered me and I'm tall, so I always tilt the display upwards (more glare from lights potentially) and still have no trouble.

    Full-sized 1080P HD video running 1:1 on the screen in a window, whilst still being able to chat and browse the web is pretty impressive... now if only it actually had a source of HD content.

    What I DID notice with the test patterns was the really poor out-of-the-box calibration, on a scale of 20 greys ( designed to demonstrate accurate black levels and black detail, the display failed miserably, showing only the bottom 5 distinctly. This should be fixable, or could have been the stores lightning drowning out the picture.

    The gradient banding test ( which, as I said, looks AWFUL on my monitor looked absolutely beautiful on the 27" iMac. There was no evidence of the pinks/greens/oranges/blues that mysteriously find their way into gradients on my Dell display.

    I think you should be expecting performance very close to the 24" Apple LED Cinema display, if not better.
  8. dcx macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2008
    Maybe gradient is the wrong word. I have the previous 24 inch Imac and I mean the left side of the screen is brigter than the right side. Maybe I should have said uneven backlighting. In either case, does screen brightness look uniform?

    Also, using the keyboard to control the "brightness", is there now a larger range of control? Can it be turned down darker than before?

  9. pigoz thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Milan, Italy
    I'll express myself a bit better, my 2007 iMac has two problems:

    1) Uneven backlighting: this should be fixed since the new screens use leds and ips

    2) Even if you turn the brightness down to the minimum (with the F1 key on your keyboard), it doesn't become dark enough and it is still too bright to use in a dark room to the point that I will burn my eyes if I watch a movie without shades or any other similar programs. And yes by brightness I probably mean luminance or backlight strength.

    I'd like some clarification on point 2 please, guess I will go and take a look at an Apple store.
  10. oilfighter macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    I would also like to know if Apple has "fixed" the issue of iMac screen being too bright.

    The current 24 inch iMac's screen feels like it could burn my retina off even at the lowest brightness setting, and I could get a tan with the brightness turned on.
  11. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    Me three. I purchased the 'Early 2009' iMac 24" and returned it because of the inability to turn the backlight down combined with the uneven lighting from left to right.

  12. 1appleAday macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2008
  13. eelpout macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2007
    Silicon Valley
    Interesting article. So the reviewer is equating higher pixel density to increased sharpness?? Um, never thought of it like that myself. 109 pixels per inch is pretty tight and all that means to me is it was designed by (and for) someone under 30 years of age who still has good eyesight. ;)
  14. awbazar macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2008
    Scottsville, NY
    iMac 24 Brightness...

    I encountered the issue of excessive brightness on the iMac 24 and found that the brightness reset to max every time that I did a restart if I set brightness to minimum the prior day.

    I saw somewhere that if you set the brightness level just one tiny bit above min that it will return there after the next restart. For some reason it will not "remember" zero. That turned out to be true but even at that setting the display is still "bright".

    The brightness can be further reduced if one goes to the "system preferences", selects "displays", selects "color", selects "calibrate", and then proceeds to experiment with such things as "gamma", etc and creates a less intense color. I found that I could produce a new profile which was far less inclined to giving me a sun burn while using the display. There are a number of ways you can lower the brightness and you can still return to the original profile if you want simply by selecting it in the future. Make sure to write down what you did since it is impossible to remember least for me.

    I wish somebody could tell me how to change the parameters which sets the lowest brightness level for the display. It would be nice to be able to set a minimum value which makes the screen barely visible rather than just a reduced level of sun tanning.

    Don't any really top gun MacWizards know the inner workings of this beast sufficiently to give me some code to drop the min brightness level?
  15. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    My 27" i7 seems LESS bright than my 24" 2.16ghz 3 year old. I am surprised it doesn't go brighter. I keep hitting the button despite already being on max.
    I'm not seeing any LED benefit here visually.
  16. awbazar macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2008
    Scottsville, NY
    iMac 24 blinds the user...

    I have seen a lot of "non-answer/high tech/useless" commentary posted here to the simple question: "Is there any way to change the parameters which affect one from getting a sun tan in front of their iMac display?"

    Whatever the "correct" technical term may be...back light level, brightness, about an answer to the basic question!

    Do I have to take my iMac back and trade it for a new one or is there something practical that can be done to avoid " display sun tanning"? I'm still not hearing anything useful here tech folks!

    My only findings to date to reduce sun tanning were to set the brightness control one tiny bit above zero which is stored by the computer and resets it there after a restart/shutdown. Setting the control to zero will result in it being reset to full tilt since it apparently does not remember zero.

    The other thing which I have found was to use a D50 "target white point" in the display calibration procedure. This knocks off the intense whiteness of the display and shifts it to a more palatable yellowish tone which is a target white preferred by graphics artists according to the calibration commentary.

    Even after having dropped to the nearly lowest brightness setting and a target white of D50 I would still prefer that the "sun tanning" be reduced some more.

    Here's the question one more time: "Is there some technical thing which can be done to make whatever the code writers did to create the lowest possible brightness setting to get it even a dark display versus one which is still somewhat blinding to those of us "geezers" who don't want to wear a welders face shield at the iMac?
  17. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    I'd love to find a hack for this.

    1/2 way on my 27" is lowest on my 24" white.

    My 27" i7 is less bright than my 3 year old 24".
    My 1st gen LED AIR can go blinding and light up a room.

    I have my 27" set on max and have never decreased it nor will I. I want more when needed.
  18. dbmnk macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2009
    While I cannot answer your question, I would like to pick up on the shades of darks, if you don't mind.

    Went to Apple store and tested out the 21.5" and 27", and using above posted lcd-test, I couldn't differentiate between 10 most dark greys or the most dark colour shades. According to the test that corresponds to a bad display. On my old Macbook, I have no problems differentiating between any of the tests shades.

    Might it be possible to adjust the screen out of this bad performance?

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