Is retina really a good idea, Pro Photog Concern.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by garstudios, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. garstudios macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012

    I have been through several macbook pros in the years, and i want/need a new one. Besides the concern of not having dual drives like i have always been able to do, my main concern now is the retina display, and its marketing towards pro photographers, and the use of it by pro photographers.

    Don't get me wrong, it is an amazing thing and what it can do for photographers, is probably insane. The problem i see and my worries about using a retina display for editing photos is this:

    Would i be over-editing everything so that it looks good on my new retina display. As in, would i be wasting time and losing money stressing out over the details i can see on my retina display when in fact those details that i wasted time on, stressed out about, and lost money on will never be viewed on anything with such high resolution unless their viewed on another retina macbook pro. how long is it really going to be before this tech is used on everything.

    Most importantly, no printer can print even close to that, so it would be practically a waste of your time editing photos for print using the retina display. even then, large prints, aren't meant to be viewed closely to even see that detail.

    also, isn't it possible to think a photo is perfect on the retina display because its so crisp, but in fact it looks pretty bad on a non retina display? wouldn't that be really dissapointing.

    i have an iPhone4s, pictures that looked crappyish on my non retina macbook pro, looked amazing and stunning on the iPhone 4s.

    this all seems very confusing to me.

    what makes it good for editing. i know its good for viewing. is it just being able to have more editing space? cause if thats it, i always use an external display to edit anyways.

    also, i could see the use for landscape photography on wall size prints, but weddings or journalism, doesn't seem needed or even a good idea. wouldn't it even be like double the uselessness for video since they are moving images, and are always lower quality than stills anyways. seems like artists are going to be losing money and wasting time on their new retinas....its not like we are going to get paid more because we are using a retina display.

    this is just confusing me.

    i have been a pro photographer since 2005, and i have a degree in photography (not that it matters to much).

    so basically is it really good for editing, or is it just mainly for badarse media viewing pleasure.

    sorry if this all sounds dumb. I'm confused now more than every after typing this.
  2. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I don't think I understand. You argument sounds like, "Would seeing more of my image cause me to work too hard to make my photos look better?"

    That's like saying you wish your eyes were worse because the world is "too pretty."

    Go for it!
  3. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Diglloyd has some interesting viewpoints regarding the new Retina MBP:

    Frankly, I'd get a 13" or 15" MBP and put the money that you save toward a quality external display for serious image editing; I prefer NEC displays for their excellent quality/reliability/warranty/price. I use a 24" NEC with a 13" MBP/8GB RAM and it serves me well.

    There are some good deals on previous-generation MBPs both new and refurb.

    FWIW, pro photographer for 30+ years.
  4. fs454 macrumors 68000

    Dec 7, 2007
    Los Angeles / Boston
    This is absolutely not true. Computer displays have historically not had enough resolution to display a full image off of a camera. My 22MP 5D Mark II's photos are something like 5888x2592. The retina display is 2880x1800. What you're getting is the ability to see more like what it will look like on paper, and more, but not even the full amount of detail in your pictures. Printers are far, far, far more capable than printing the resolution of a low-dpi computer display running at like 1920x1200 or less.

    You'll be able to to work on your photos with the ability to see much more fine detail without having to zoom around the image or use the loupe as much because it will seem like you're editing a printed page with the fine detail you'd expect from something that isn't a computer monitor.
  5. MacBird macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    I ordered a Retina MBP but will most likely cancel it. I don't know what images in PS are going to look like since it was not installed but the difference in sharpness in web browsers is quite significant. Due to upscaling, images posted online look very soft (even if not scaled) and if that were the case in PS, too, one would probably oversharpen all images without noticing, unless you use an external monitor. I had a 15'' MBP with regular 1440x900 resolution right next to it to compare the same image and was quite disappointed with the lack of sharpness of the retina display. Contrast and blacks look great on the retina display, though.
  6. jimmyz80 macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    Apex, NC
    I also don't agree that no printer can come close to printing the quality of what's seen on the display. I sure hope you don't submit your prints at 72-100dpi with your old machines. You're probably already submitting them at 300dpi+ which is still slightly higher than what the retina screen can display.
  7. garstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    haha, no man, but i see your point. if thats what it seems, thats not what i meant, or is it. I'm very confused. ill see if i can explain different.

    first, a lot of photos i see by others, and even myself, that look straight up like poop on my non-retina macbook pro or any non-retina display/device end up looking like insane master pieces on the retina iPhone 4s.

    does this mean editing photos on a retina display is going to make the crap photos I'm talking about look like master pieces on the non retina crap displays?

    my answer to that would be no.

    i have been coming across a lot of issues with this type of stuff.

    I edit all my photos on my macbook pro using a high quailty external display. most clients/customers view those photos on their craptastic displays which makes my photos that look perfect on my display look like crap on theirs. not to mention most clients/customers don't know jack from jill about this stuff and haven't experienced that high of quality display, because it makes no sense for non-pros/customers to use such high quality equipment, because thats not what they do for a profession. this is the same with printers, prints and so forth. and has always been an issue with the industry forever.

    what I'm getting at is, unless everyone or the majority of people are going to be viewing the images solely on a retina display isn't this just simply a waste of editing time. because i am going to be editing things i wouldn't otherwise even see and my customers/clients will never see the difference especially on prints unless they are viewing a retina display. customers and clients have never been remotely close to using the same high quality ways of viewing the images, and they are probably never going to, why would i want to jump even more lightyears ahead of them if its useless.

    my confusion is based purely on profit and time spent on editing rather than the perfect image and that master piece thats going to be a wall size print in a gallery.

    of course, if I'm working on my personal art work, i would want the retina, and i would want to stress and have that ability to edit at such detail. der, thats a given.
  8. garstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    yeah, sorry, i understand, I'm saying the wrong things. i know they actually can print at a higher res/dpi. i understand that technical aspect of it, but it has always been confusing because the thing is, images never look as good on print as they do on a high quality display. printers may be able to print at higher res/dpi, but the screen can show much more fine detail, sharper, and more vibrant. i have printed on most of epsons pro line printers and canons as well, from the small ones to the largest ones. they never have as much detail as the screens. they always usually look like they have lost lots of detail in my mind. this isn't just my photos, this is any other photographers images i have ever worked with or have seen on both print and screen.

    i dont understand how seeing more of my image can help. your saying i can see more of my image and be zoomed in at like 200-400 percent in photoshop at the same time. unless i can see the whole image when zoomed in at 200-400 percent, i don't see how its going to help so much more.

    i need to see some photo editing in action on a retina screen, but that doesn't really cover my main point.
  9. revelated macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
    Your concern is a valid one. Some here misunderstand the issue because they've never done it.

    For print photography, you're editing for the benefit of print. It's not pixel centric, it's dpi, which means you're probably ok. Retina has zero to do with print dpi. But editing for print will mean that what you see on screen will commonly not correlate to what you see on paper, because if you go into Aperture or Photoshop or whatever app you use and set your canvas to a given dpi, the image may or may not scale the same as it will when printed. I suggest this is just a matter of getting used to it over time.

    For web photography, you're editing for the benefit of the most common monitor resolutions (for now, that's 1024x768). Your concern is a valid one, because your preview will not show the web as others see it. Someone's suggestion about an external monitor is a good one; you use that to render the page on something that is more "common" to replicate what others would see on a standard LCD. That can be some el-cheapo $120 ViewSonic, it doesn't matter, long as it's not Retina.

    Your other concern is with your color space profiles. I haven't seen how Retina deals with this but if your color spaces don't look the same on Retina as they do on non-Retina it's going to throw things off a bit, and you'll have to depend on the external monitor.

    All these are soft suggestions based on what little I know about Retina. Take them as only such.
  10. Greg M macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    Doesn't matter how much resolution you have, it's still only a tiny 15" screen!

    Detail that you see onscreen at 100% will never show in prints. For example, high ISO pics might look bad on the screen because of the grain but look fine in prints.

    Much better to spend the extra money on a high quality monitor than on the retina. Use the MBP screen for your tools and a larger calibrated monitor for your editing.
  11. garstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    well yeah, thats what i have always done.
  12. fiveainone, Jun 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012

    fiveainone macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2011
    This thread has just made me rethink about my RMBP order.. I too was sucked into the hype. But as a photographer myself, it's probably a better idea to go with a slower dual core i5 13" pro + a cinema display for the same price.. thanks for the thread! I see where you're coming from too.

    edit - although I just realized the 13" pros doesn't have a dedicated graphics card.. doesn't that make a large multi-layered photoshop file refresh slow every time you zoom? (talking about the "square-tiling" that PS does when it's trying to load an image after zooming..)
  13. garstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    i believe the core gpu is probably good enough.
  14. eron, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012

    eron macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    If you are editing ONLY on your laptop then the Retina MBP is probably the best laptop screen you can get atm. Same if you are showcasing your work through the macbook. The newest iPad will work as well.

    If you plug a good IPS screen in, then it doesn't matter that much.

    Resolution is secondary, it's the COLOR you are after as a photographer. Anyway, I'm not a photographer, but that's my experience from using various screens and panels.
    Some other laptops with IPS screens, but lower reso.
  15. garstudios thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Well yeah I'm worried about color issues too. I just haven't been as worried.
  16. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
  17. robertzp macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2014
    I am using retina display mac for photography for a while. I got it from my company so I was able to test it for free:) my conclusions are not really great with 15'' retina display...

    - great colour and dynamics (but after calibration, the display is cutting blacks by default...)

    - photo sharpness - as pixel density is high - the image appears as much smaller. This makes it more difficult to determine if photo is really in focus or not. It happened to me that I was comparing 2 photos of the same scene made in a series. On retina I couldn't really see witch one is sharper. On fullHD LCD - the sharpness difference was obvious.
    - image noise - the noise on retina is less noticeable then on fullHD monitor - it makes it hard to determine the real noise levels and and up with noisy photos after editing.
    - colours on retina are great but they seams to be a bit enhanced from natural version - therefore what you see nicely saturated on retina may end up bit undersaturated on different devices.

    it's what I've noticed for now

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