My 5k iMac does not support 5k?

5kIMAC

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2014
10
1
I just got my first Mac, the new 5k iMac.

I have been trying to view images using the full 5k resolution, and so far I cannot do it.

I have images from my camera (greater than 5k resolution) and from my iPhone. I have tried viewing these in the email app, iPhoto, and in Preview. In all of these, the image is only shown at the default 2560x1400 resolution, so I only see a fraction of the image at actual pixel zoom.

In the settings, the maximal resolution I can chose is 3200x1800.

Based on all of the advertising and reviews, I thought only the text and icons were going to be doubled and that movies and photos would actually use the 5k resolution. Do I have some setting wrong? Is my system defective? I expected it to "just work" and feel a little duped.
 

tillsbury

macrumors 65816
Dec 24, 2007
1,406
306
The images are being shown at 5k, even if your resolution is set lower. Look more carefully at them...
 

markyr17

macrumors 65816
Apr 8, 2010
1,170
71
You don't have to do anything. Pictures and videos are shown in 5k regardless.
 

5kIMAC

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2014
10
1
The images are being shown at 5k, even if your resolution is set lower. Look more carefully at them...
I am used to windows, where it quickly shows the percentage of zoom, but I found that with "command 0" it goes to actual pixels, and even my iPhone pictures (only 3k) are larger than my screen. iPhone photos are require scrolling to view actual pixels in emails and in safari.

----------

Go into settings -->display-->hold option and choose 'Scaled'.
I tried this and it worked, confirming that I was not viewing the images at 5k at the default settings.

But now the menus are painfully small...

So what settings are people using to actually view content using the 5k?
 

sammich

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2006
4,281
212
Sarcasmville.
Actually, I had a post, but I'm not entirely sure what your confusion is. By default, everything is displayed at the same physical size as the non-retina, just in twice the spatial detail.

That's all. Side by side, at some distance away, you couldn't tell the difference between a non-retina and a retina.

On Windows, you'd have to go to 200% for the same effect?
 
Last edited:

DempaX

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2014
106
106
Sweden
I checked a 5K iMac in store

And the highest res you could choose was 3200x1800 or so (Retina enabled "More Space" of course). To enable full 5K res I guess you'd need to use a program like "Display Menu" which I recommend. I use it on a rMBP to enable "all" possible resolutions, not just the default five which max out on retina 1920x1200 "More Space". Sometimes I want to use the native "non retina" 2880x1800. https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/display-menu/id549083868?mt=12
 
Last edited:

UncleGuido

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2013
24
2
What application are you using to view your images? Not all programs are "Retina aware", meaning that they will use pixel-doubling (each image pixel is mapped to 4 Retina pixels). Recent versions of GraphicConverter, Photoshop CS6 and CC are Retina-aware. There are others, too. At 100% zoom, they will map each image pixel to one Retina screen pixel, and you will see a very sharp and detailed photo.

Are you viewing your images on web pages? Web pages must use special code to display one-to-one on high res screens. Very few web sites are currently coded to do this.

I created a demo page that should show you the difference between Retina and non-Retina image rendering. It's here. On a Retina screen, the top image should look sharper than the lower one. On a non-Retina screen, the bottom one will actually look a bit sharper - but not as good as the top image on a Retina.

You can also look at Lloyd Chambers blog, which often has Retina-optimized images. His site automatically detects if you are browsing with a high res screen. There is a text item at the top of the page which shows the imagery mode being used: Standard or Retina. Click on that text item and you will get a page that explains more, plus some demo images.
 
Last edited:

5kIMAC

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2014
10
1
What application are you using to view your images? Not all programs are "Retina aware", meaning that they will use pixel-doubling (each image pixel is mapped to 4 Retina pixels). Recent versions of GraphicConverter, Photoshop CS6 and CC are Retina-aware. There are others, too. At 100% zoom, they will map each image pixel to one Retina screen pixel, and you will see a very sharp and detailed photo.

Are you viewing your images on web pages? Web pages must use special code to display one-to-one on high res screens. Very few web sites are currently coded to do this.
I have not bought any software yet. I am using the default software that came with the iMac - "Preview". Also Safari and the email App.

Is there a list of which programs are "Retina aware"? Safari? iPhoto? Mail? I am pretty sure that "Preview" is not.
 

Chuck Rodent

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2014
109
44
I can confirm that Preview is not Retina aware and will not correctly scale images displayed when viewing a 5k image.
 

GatorGhost

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2014
113
19
Do this :
Good call here! This does a much better job with videos than the auto detect properties that others here have said the iMac 5k is supposed to do. For still images it seems to make no difference.
 

GatorGhost

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2014
113
19
So Apple has not made their own app "retina aware"?!?
Not sure about my assessment, but as for videos my system was spectacular when I manually scaled the screen. Now, I am basing this on pulling down a video from You Tube and others sites. Not sure if the host site or Safari is the issue. However, I saw a serious improvement in videos when I changed the screen settings before viewing the content. Prior to that all videos of higher resolution were very slow and were buffering and not fluid. If my look at this is correct, it may be a software fix up that may be needed. The still images were great and quite quick to load. Maybe a dumb user here, but still happy with the system. Also, the dedicated and higher tech programs that are native to scaling the images are not on my computer...just the regular user stuff.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,393
6,961
So Apple has not made their own app "retina aware"?!?
Yup, like I posted in a previous thread Preview in Mountain Lion was "retina aware" ("Actual Size" equaled the HiDPI display size) but no longer so in Mavericks or later ("Actual Size" equals 72 PPI, even if the image is set to 144 PPI). The only exception I can find to this rule in Mavericks or later is retina screenshots. Quite annoying.
 

UncleGuido

macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2013
24
2
Is there a list of which programs are "Retina aware"?
A quick Google search brought up this page. I can't vouch for its accuracy. You can download a trial version of GraphicConverter here. I'm pretty sure that it is Retina-aware. It's also a very useful Mac app to have. It does many of the things that Photoshop does, and quite a few that the more expensive product does not. I think you can even get a trial version of Photoshop, although I am not a fan of their current rental/subscription business model.
 

5kIMAC

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2014
10
1
Yup, like I posted in a previous thread Preview in Mountain Lion was "retina aware" ("Actual Size" equaled the HiDPI display size) but no longer so in Mavericks or later ("Actual Size" equals 72 PPI, even if the image is set to 144 PPI). The only exception I can find to this rule in Mavericks or later is retina screenshots. Quite annoying.
Any suggestions for alternatives to Preview?

I tried Lightroom, but it is not a comparable program in terms of simplicity and speed of use. I want to just view my images in full screen without moving them from their current file location.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,284
229
Any suggestions for alternatives to Preview?

I tried Lightroom, but it is not a comparable program in terms of simplicity and speed of use. I want to just view my images in full screen without moving them from their current file location.
First, you can easily show everything on your screen in non-retina form at a sort of tradition "native" resolution by holding down the option key when clicking "scaled" in the Display System Preferance pane. You can then select 5120x2880 and all your user interface stuff will be dinky.

Second, Graphic Converter is retina-aware. I.e. it knows enough to display images at pixel for pixel rates. I have a 2560x1440 monitor too; so if I move the retina-aware window from riMac to 2560x1440 it doubles in size, but the menus, buttons, etc all stay the same size. So frakking cool. GC has a very decent browser as well, does image editing, has lots of functions for metadata, and all-around is one of the best Mac programs going since what, the late 80's?

It is scandulous that Preview is so lame. And that the new Photos for Yosemite isn't out, and Aperture/iPhoto were axed, when Apple had the best photo viewing desktop in the world coming out. Seriously? Can't afford some programmers?

Meanwhile, demo Graphic Converter. It's available on their website; see if it works for you. Also it's in the Mac App Store (but no demo). They have the best tech support, and are really fast with upgrades. Not only are they ahead of Apple with retina support, but they beat Apple with support for the RAWs on my camera by about six months.
 

dyn

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2009
2,708
383
.nl
I can confirm that Preview is not Retina aware and will not correctly scale images displayed when viewing a 5k image.
I can't confirm. Preview is displaying the pictures exactly as they should and as they are. Aren't you confused with the way Preview is automatically sizing the window so it'll fit on screen? Do you have the option "1 image pixel equals 1 screen pixel" selected?
 
Last edited:

Chuck Rodent

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2014
109
44
When you set Preview to actual size, the photo will overflow the screen when it should fit within.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,284
229
What is the exact image size (HxW)?
That, of course, depends on the image.

Here's an example of how retina awareness is supposed to work. The idea is that the system will display icons, menus, etc in a special way, i.e. at a bigger size than if the "normal" non-retina icons were used. So retina icons are twice as big pixel wise, but on screen look the SAME size because the screen has twice as many pixels per axis. So a 100x100 icon on a regular iMac looks the same size as a 200x200 icon on an riMac, but of course the riMac shows more detail, because there is more info. Just like when you used finer grained film when you wanted to make a bigger enlargement print.

But in showing images we've only got the original, and we wanna show that at actual size, i.e. pixel for pixel, not scaled. Pixel for pixel on an riMac is twice as small as pixel for pixel on an iMac.

The problem with Preview is that it doesn't do this. If I move a picture in Preview from my riMac to my 2560x1440 it doesn't resize to become twice as big, as it should if I am viewing it pixel for pixel.

I have a second monitor; here's how a picture looked at 1:1 in Lightroom while displayed on both. Preview should do this; it doesn't.

 

dyn

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2009
2,708
383
.nl
That, of course, depends on the image.
In case of the iMac that 5k resolution means 5120x2880 (WxH). If the picture has the same resolution it will show 1:1 on the display. If it uses a higher resolution, like the default desktops in OS X (they are at 5418×3048), it will obviously be larger than the display. Since we are talking about 5k images there might be some slight deviations; the aforementioned 5418 could also be seen as 5k as well as 5120. In that regard it may depend a little on the image but 5k still is 5k. Obviously showing a 6k image should make it larger when displayed 1:1 on a 5k display. A 4k image should be smaller. Do note: I'm not including the height here.

The idea is that the system will display icons, menus, etc in a special way, i.e. at a bigger size than if the "normal" non-retina icons were used.
Retina in this case only means that the pixels are too tiny to be noticeable by us humans. It doesn't say anything about the scaling part. Since we have a pixel-based userinterface for ages this also means that we can run into problems. That's why we have scaling. In OS X that means everything but pictures and videos will be scaled. Pictures and videos are showed 1:1.

So retina icons are twice as big pixel wise, but on screen look the SAME size because the screen has twice as many pixels per axis.
In general yes, although some are 3x as big.

The problem with Preview is that it doesn't do this. If I move a picture in Preview from my riMac to my 2560x1440 it doesn't resize to become twice as big, as it should if I am viewing it pixel for pixel.
Again, my iMac 5k is showing them as it should. I've tested it with some of my pictures and compared it to what Aperture is doing. Both Preview and Aperture are doing the same and showing the pictures as it should (1:1). Since my camera is 15.1MP at 3:2 it means that it has a different width and height: 4752 × 3168. What I did notice in Preview was that the inspector is showing a different pixel size. It halved them so I was seeing 2376 x 1584. What I got was a picture that wasn't as wide as my display but only higher (as the numbers show).

That's why I was asking about the pixel size of the image and why it matters.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,284
229
Again, my iMac 5k is showing them as it should. I've tested it with some of my pictures and compared it to what Aperture is doing. Both Preview and Aperture are doing the same and showing the pictures as it should (1:1). Since my camera is 15.1MP at 3:2 it means that it has a different width and height: 4752 × 3168. What I did notice in Preview was that the inspector is showing a different pixel size. It halved them so I was seeing 2376 x 1584. What I got was a picture that wasn't as wide as my display but only higher (as the numbers show).

That's why I was asking about the pixel size of the image and why it matters.
That picture I showed is approx 14MP, don't recall the exact pixel dimensions, but it's showing it on a 2560x1440 and riMac at the same time, in correct "actual size" or "1:1" as Lightroom refers to it. My version of Preview does NOT do that. Here's an example, both on the riMac: Preview on the left, Aperture on the right. Both at "actual size" per the View menu. For some reason "actual size" in Preview means 200%. And BTW Preview is set in prefs to view images at 1:1.