iMac 5K + Lightroom

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Alchemist, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. Alchemist macrumors regular

    Alchemist

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    #1
    My iMac with 5K Retina display arrived the other day. I've had a chance to put it through some initial tests as far as Lightroom is concerned and thought it might be of some interest to people here. If you've got any questions or anything you'd like me try (preferably from a photographers perspective) do let me know.

    http://www.tony-hart.com/blog/essays/2014/10/imac-with-retina-5k/
     
  2. Frozentoast macrumors 6502

    Frozentoast

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  3. elliotn macrumors regular

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    Sep 5, 2011
    #3
    Do you see any lag when piling on the adjustments (e.g. lens correction, noise reduction, large adjustment brushes etc)?
     
  4. AppleDroid macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Looking forward to your future findings. It seems this machine rivals the 6c nMP which is what I was planning on buying. If I can get the same speed plus an amazing screen this really may sway my decision. Really hoping people's fears of overheating gpus will not be a real issue.
     
  5. Alchemist thread starter macrumors regular

    Alchemist

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    #5
    Hi Elliot, can't say I have, no. That said, I've been largely doing tests rather than 'working as usual'. I've got plenty of editing to work through though so will be doing plenty of normal usage in the coming days/weeks. Will report back if I find anything of that nature.
     
  6. Alchemist thread starter macrumors regular

    Alchemist

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    #6
    Certainly a rival for the MacPro. In terms of bang for buck it's pretty outstanding. You could wait for the nMP v2, but I wouldn't spring for a MacPro over this machine (the tricked out model) I don't think.
     
  7. Col Vandal macrumors member

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    #7
    Finally a review from someone actually using it as a computer and not bashing it for being an average gaming computer, at best.
     
  8. tillsbury macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I was waiting for exactly the same thing, but the hoo-hah over compatibility of good 4k screens (and the difficulty in finding one that works well with the nMP) combined with the average single-core speeds and furious pricing meant that it took me approximately 2 seconds to commit to the 5k iMac when it was released. And, of course, more resolution is always better. The nMP with a 4k display is always going to be second-best to this machine.
     
  9. FredT2 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #9
    Fantastic, Tony! It's great to see you back.

    Are you running Yosemite on your old iMac, and if so, have you rerun your tests on it? I ask because I dusted off your Test Mule files a few days ago and reran the tests on my 2012 Mac Mini (that's my Mini in your spreadsheet), and they ran about 9 percent slower than they did under 10.9.1 back in January.
     
  10. Alchemist thread starter macrumors regular

    Alchemist

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    #10
    Hi Fred!

    I am running Yosemite on the old iMac. Will try and find the time to go give it a whirl. Interesting thing that you note there because I see from the test mule spreadsheet that 10.8.5 was quicker on the old iMac than 10.9. Hopefully it's not going to continue like this!

    Thankfully the new iMac makes up for the deficiency with moarr powerrrr!
     
  11. dandrewk macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Alchemist: Have you/are you going to calibrate the display?
     
  12. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

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    Sep 27, 2008
    #12
    Tony,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to type up your observations and sharing them with us! As a fellow photographer, I great appreciate it!

    Cheers,
    Bryan
     
  13. enroh macrumors member

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    Oct 30, 2012
    #14
    I thought I read somewhere you cannot calibrate this display and it comes "pre-calibrated" from Apple.
     
  14. Talarspeed macrumors member

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    Dec 12, 2009
    #15
    Thank you so much for this review! This is truly reflective of my needs on this computer! My ordered Retina shows up in 2 days.
     
  15. misho73, Oct 29, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014

    misho73 macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #16
    very informative. thank you for the review.
    i am a photographer and I spend most of the time on lightroom too. I just replaced my late 2013 machine with the new retina one (just received it yesterday). Based on your benchmarking I can see that lihtroom on retina is a little bit responsive than the late 2013 model. do you have any explanation why I cannot sense this? i don't have numbers like yours but based on my experience here I feel the lightroom is not responsive as when it was on the older machine. when I jump between pictures it takes couple or more secs to render correctly (was instant on 2013 model). rotation on crop tool is kind of stuttering.
    Am I imagining things? have i read to much negativity on this forum? or is the GPU really not as responsive with this monster screen?

    Also i noticed the cooling fan kicks in more with it (while exporting) compared to the previous one.
    Any thoughts?

    the 2013 model I used to have:
    3.5 i7
    4GB GPU
    16 MB ram
    3TB fusion drive

    the retina:
    4.0 i7
    4GB GPU
    16 MB Ram
    3TB fusion drive
     
  16. dandrewk macrumors 6502

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    San Rafael, California
    #17
    You aren't imagining things re: negativity on this forum. There are many here who should have the term "hardcore whiners" tagged to their names. And it's basic human nature to loudly complain when something goes wrong, drowning out the VAST, VAST majority of users with little or no issues.

    To answer your question about LR: Lightroom manages memory, and does a great job. There is only X amount that it can work with, so if you are displaying full resolution images, that memory will fill, especially when viewing at full screen.

    Lightroom tries to "plan ahead", and begin fully rendering the images in the folder you are viewing -before- you get to them. But if you do it quickly, you will see that delay before the image "sharpens up".

    I have a late 2012 iMac, full bells/whistles along with SSD. It renders a tad slower than the iMac Retina. Which is amazing, considering on the Retina I'm viewing has four times the pixels when compared to earlier iMacs.

    Buyer's remorse is a natural occurrence. If it hits you, and you should happen to still have access to your older iMac, try this: After a day or two with the Retina, go back to the old machine. Look at some of those same images on the older machine. It's pretty shocking how flat they look, oft times boring looking. It will cure any doubts you had about this amazing machine.



    ----------

    Not true.

    Apple claims they do a laser calibration of every iMac that comes off the line. But you can still use your own.

    That said... I just got the Retina, and (at least mine) is by far the most accurate iMac I've had, color profile wise, straight out of the box. I haven't had time yet to do a Spyder 4 calibration, but I don't imaging I'll see much difference.
     
  17. enroh macrumors member

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    Oct 30, 2012
    #18
    I read that it was 99%? (still looking for that link) but see below on this article. Whether you consider this or not is up to you. not to mention I don't have my mac here yet so I cannot vouch for this.

    Taken from MPG
    http://macperformanceguide.com/blog/2014/20141016_1116-iMac-5K.html

    All iMacs including the new iMac 5K can be profiled, but cannot be calibrated. So the iMac will still have faux calibration along with a shiny screen which is not good for print matching. Beautiful to behold, but not a professional-grade tool, especially over time and temperature changes. For professionals doing work where color accuracy matters (and consistency over time matters), the NEC PA322UHD is a far superior choice.
     
  18. dandrewk macrumors 6502

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    #19
    This is a semantic nuance. You can't do a hardware -calibration-, but you can do a software profile. In theory and practice, a properly profiled monitor (done with a quality colorimeter) should bring it close "professional grade" color accuracy.

    Yes, it's true, it might not match the $3k NEC (which doesn't match Retina resolution), but I can't imagine calling it "fall superior". Of course, if you are one of the finite few where 100% color accuracy is critical, then it's probably worth it.

    As it stands now, the camera-to-iMac-to-print consistency has been quite good, at least according to my finicky requirements. Just make sure you use a current -printer-profile with Lightroom's soft proofing.
     
  19. qap macrumors 6502

    qap

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  20. FredT2 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #21
    Dan, why do you say the iMac is so accurate? I'm not disputing you at all, just wondering on what you base that statement. I've been using an NEC Multisync monitor for several years, which I calibrate using their software and an Eye-one puck. The new iMac is very different in character to that monitor, being much whiter and less saturated. That's not to say that the NEC is more or less accurate, but that's what the calibration gives me. Having used it for so long, the difference side by side is really apparent. I'll have to recalibrate the NEC and see if I can't find a program that would let me calibrate the iMac with the Eye-one. Color aside, I can't believe how amazing it is to look at my photos on this screen!
     
  21. Alchemist thread starter macrumors regular

    Alchemist

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    UK
    #22
    Hi Dan,

    Nope, not in terms of hardware calibration. Not for the forseable future at least. I don't own a hardware calibrator and I've been very happy with my prints that result from edits performed on my old iMac. My work is chiefly weddings so absolute colour accuracy isn't called for (such as in repro work) but if I notice any issues it's something I'd certainly consider. A few generations back I used to make my own software calibrations (by eye) using the profiling tools built into OS X, but these days I find Apple displays to be so excellent that I can't actually improve on the stock models without using a hardware calibrator.

    I've not done sufficient work/printing on the 5K iMac to have a fully formed view, but I see the current display as being as colour accurate as the old display. I do turn the brightness to around half, or just under half or maximum, but other than that not much is needed I find.
     
  22. Alchemist thread starter macrumors regular

    Alchemist

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    Dec 22, 2004
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    UK
    #23
    Hi Misho,

    My first question would be which GPU do you have? I can only speak to the upgraded M295X. The numbers relate to exports largely, and these don't actually show anything tangible on the screen when they are occurring.

    In terms of day to day editing use, here are my so far half-baked findings. Compared to my Mid 2011 iMac, I can't tell any difference in terms of how long it takes to render a file for working on in the develop module. Adjustments seem to be made extremely quickly, pretty much immediately and in such a way that I can easily make (and see) fine adjustments. If I was pushed, I might say that I *think* I perceive an ever so slight wait between commanding the adjustment and seeing the result. It's utterly marginal however and I might be imagining it. In practice it doesn't pose any issue as far as I can see.

    What I have noticed is that when you preview an image in full screen mode (using the 'F' key) the full screen image does take a second or two to load. Again, this doesn't pose any real world issue for me because I only use this mode occasionally and then to simply show a single image. Hit fullscreen mode, wait a max of 1.5 seconds. Blammo. Enjoy ridiculously hi-def image presentation!

    I've also noticed an occasional and hardly perceivable stutter when using Mission Control with lots of windows open. I'll be honest, although it can be spotted, again, it's of no consequence. If that's the trade off of such a high res screen, I'll take it as the resolution is just breathtaking.
     
  23. FredT2 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #24
    Hi Tony,

    I'm trying deal with the image on the new iMac versus what I'm used to on my old NEC monitor, which I've assumed was correct. The NEC is calibrated, but is warmer. At first I thought it was also more saturated, but the more I examine your Test Mule images side by side, I think not. The one indisputable fact is, however, that I don't like looking at my old monitor now.

    I ran your Test Mule benchmarks on the new iMac and also reran them on my Mini. I got similar results to your, slightly faster on each test except for the duplicate folder test, which was 10 seconds. The Mini still ran significantly slower than it did under Mavericks. It is 38% slower than the new iMac. Using the January times, that would have been only 30%.

    I did discover one area where the new iMac doesn't do so well, and that's when it's placed under heavy CPU load. I ran Handbrake, which uses all cores and threads at maximum. The Mini (2.6 i7) runs at a steady 3.4 GHz, while the iMac throttles back to 3.8 GHz. Because of that the iMac was only 24% faster. It stayed up around 4.2 GHz for your Test Mule tasks.
     
  24. Alchemist thread starter macrumors regular

    Alchemist

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    UK
    #25
    Interesting insights Fred. Some thought. The calibration comments are made in the following light:

    - Firstly when I say that the colour accuracy of the 5K iMac is similar to the 2011 iMac, what I mean is they both have very similar colour response. Similar saturation and similar white points.

    - Second, my printing experience involves printing my wedding work (and some personal stuff) on my Epson 3880 using Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308. Although the prints don't represent exactly what I see on screen - never possible comparing transmissive vs reflective media and anyway matt fine art papers have a relatively limited D-Max - overall I feel like they match up pretty well.

    As for the Handbrake test, extremely interesting. What are you using to keep an eye on processor speed etc? I will try and find time to run the test under yosemite on the old machine but it's being sold on Saturday so may not have time. Feel free to send me your own Test Mule scores if you like!
     

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