New 20" iMac w/23" Cinema HD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by LeRyman, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. LeRyman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    #1
    First of, I am a professional photographer (at least that is what other people say).

    I got my new iMac last week and hooked it up with my 23" ACD (1 year old).

    Initially, I thought it would be nice to have the additional work space. But, after having them side by side, I knew it wouldn't work.

    The whites are much whiter on the iMac ... making the ACD look yellowish. The iMac seems to put more strain on my eyes (I am looking at a computer all day).

    The resolution wasn't even close, the ACD was much clearer when looking at image details. I was really surprised at how bad the iMac looked side by side. Or, I guess the ACD is just that much better ... it does cost $900 for just the display.

    On photos of people, the skin tones are way off and washed out on the iMac ... I couldn't even get them close to the ACD.

    As far as the viewing angle on the iMac ... there is none. If you are not head on, something starts to go. Yellowing or darkness on the edges ... it just looks bad.

    The glass is a non-issue in my case ... but it could be causing the viewing angle problems.

    Out of the box the iMac display is really (REALLY) washed out. You MUST calibrate and adjust the fine details, this will make it look 100% better.

    For the price it is a steal and is a great computer for what it is... but if you are a photographer (or want natural looking skin tones), i would not recommend it.

    I do have one question for everybody ... At what resolution do you have your displays?

    For some reason, I never had mine set at the max resolution ... because it made everything (text) smaller ... but I think I was loosing quality.

    What do you guys have it set at?
     
  2. mzd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    i guess i'd be interested in hearing this comparison with a 24" iMac, since it has a much better panel.
    also, running an LCD at anything other than the native resolution is generally a bad idea. at least as far as image quality goes. LCDs really can't scale the way CRTs could.
     
  3. RafMac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    #3
    Set your monitor at higher resolution as it improves picture and clarity (huge difference from lower settings), I know that the type is smaller, but you can adjust type/icon sizes in preferences and other things to your liking.
     
  4. paetrick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    #4
    For the first time today I saw the new iMac 20" in person, bad veiwingangle?
    For all the negative speaking about the 20" iMac I thought I would totally reject the screen when I saw it.

    But ... haha I havn't used any 900 dollar screen tbh, and I've never seen one, but this is WAY better than any 300 dollar TN screen I've seen I was really choocked that anyone have said so much negative things about it, people have said "veiwing-angle is like on the macbook" hahah let me laugh, the difference is HUUUUUGE.

    I can understand that some "pro's" which are used to 900 dollars screen's arn't satisfied but who am i to care? lol, I love it. My 20" imac can't get to me sooooner !!!
     
  5. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #5
    I agree 100%. I went and looked at one a couple weeks ago, and then went back today to check them out one last time before I committed to actually ordering one (shipment due on the 19-24th woo woo!) and I was able to look at the new 20", the new 24", the old 17", the old 20" and the old 24" all in a row. The counter ended with a 30" ACD that wasn't turned on unfortunately.

    The new 20" is fantastic looking in my side by side comparison. The new 24" is great, maybe a hair better because the viewing angle is nearly 180deg, where I was able to darken the 20" to a point where it looked bad at about 160degrees or so (an angle I'll never see it at in real usage).

    The old 17" was go awful. I liked the new 20" over the old 20", even in the harsh, harsh CompUSA 1000w halogen lighting. The old 24" and the new 24" looked about the same, sans the glossy of course. I can see, as you say, where a pro trying to do color matching might have a problem, but on the other hand if the ACD has yellowish whites, I'm not sure how that makes for good color accuracy either. The whole thing is blown way out of proportion by people who either don't know what they are talking about and are just regurgitating what other people tell them or people who are really, really picky.

    For the OP, set the any LCD you use at native resolution or it will look crappy. Shouldn't effect the color much, but who knows.
     
  6. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #6



    Well, I'd expect a 900 dollar monitor to be quite a bit better than a 1200 dollar computer.

    I am glad you help point out that the iMac is geared towards the average, non professional. I know I don't use an iMac at the office, but when I am home, it's a dream come true.
     
  7. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #7
    This color shifting concern over the 20" iMac and the yellowing on the 24" needs to end. Any REAL graphics pro or photo editor will not use consumer displays. Eizo makes fantastic LCD panels, in fact probably the closest you will get to perfection. There should be no reason for this thing about, "I'm a graphics pro and these displays are unacceptable" is ridiculous because they can't possibly expect a perfect LCD panel delivered from an AIO computer for around $2000.
    Top computer LCD's run around that much alone. Any consumer looking for anything cheap isn't and shouldn't be a graphics pro or photo editor.
     
  8. LeRyman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    #8
    The reason for my post was to help anybody who wanted a straight up comparison of the new 20"iMac display and an ACD. And, to help any pro photographer who was thinking about getting one ... as I am sure many are.

    It was a side by side dual-monitor comparison with the exact same hi-res images in a real world controlled environment ... not a store.

    The main reason I got the iMac is to run one Windows program that I need to process orders, which it does fine. I thought MAYBE the monitor would be good enough to go with my ACD, but it's not. I am not complaining about that, that's just the way it is.

    I am not a pro complaining about the iMac ... I am a pro giving an observation for other pro's in my situation.
     
  9. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #9
    The main reason you bought the iMac is to run one Windows program? Huh? Is that all you are using it for? Are you not using it as a Mac?
     
  10. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    #10
    So you have a problem with your photos on the 20" iMacs screen. Where is the problem? You still have your acd!

    Nobody says you have to use the 20" screen for photo editing, do that on your 23 incher, put the palettes or mail client or itunes or whatever on the second screen. This is incredibly useful. For example if a client sends a mail with a briefing or changes you can put that on the second screen and don't have to print it.

    And for me having 2 screens side by side that DO NOT look the same is a bonus. If you are doing web design for example (or if you are preparing photos that will be used on websites) nothing beats the ability to watch them on different screens.

    In fact a 20" iMac + another quality lcd is a great setup for a designer/photographer on a budget. You can get a fast computer + dual big screen setup for around 2000 bucks.
     
  11. LeRyman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    #11
    Actually, this is a (Windows) program that I had to use and it was way to slow on my iBook using Virtual PC. The monitor quality is not an issue since all I am doing is processing orders ... but speed is. I tried to convince myself to buy a cheap PC but I just couldn't do it.

    I use it heavily in the fall and in the spring for youth sports.

    The other reason was to give Aperture a shot, but I am not sure that will work with the type of workflow that I have.

    The plan is to give it to the kids when (or IF) I get a MacPro next spring.
     
  12. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #12
    The 20" white panel was excellent for colour reproduction. I should know since I use one for 8 hours a day.

    The new 20" has a poor unit in comparison, and I should know that since I use one at home.

    I'm happy with my situation - the new Mac for games and the web at home, and the old one for working on at home.

    I just feel sorry for those who now have no choice but to use the less powerful Mini and a decent screen, or the overpowered and expensive Pro and display.

    The iMac is a consumer product that used to be good for professional use too. It's commercial suicide to order a bunch of Pros and displays, when there's no discernable advantage over the old white iMacs.
     
  13. LeRyman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    #13


    For me, the fact that the whites/quality are different really annoys me. Not that one is right or wrong ... just the fact that they are different.

    If I could have my ACD as my main monitor (dock/menu), it might work. But that is not possible (as per Apple).

    Plus, the monitor to the side seems to bother my eyes when I am really trying to focus on something on one monitor.

    So, the only way this would work to my liking would be to have the ACD as the main monitor and be able to put the iMac display to sleep while I am working on the ACD. All of which is not possible.

    Right now I just have them both hooked up with 2 keyboard and 2 mice. It might seem weird, but it works really nice ... kind of a mini network via Airport Extreme. I can move files back and forth as I need and have Mac and Windows running side by side.
     
  14. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #14

    You're in luck, because it IS possible!!!

    system prefs > displays - see the arrangement tab? click it. now see the white bar on top of the displays? drag it to the display you want and BAM, the menu and dock and "main-ness" will be on that screen.

    I just rocked your face off. Pics ENCLOSED
     

    Attached Files:

  15. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #15
    Always remember that people have a choice. Why feel sorry? Nothing's forced upon us. The Mac Pro is quite a bit more in cost and I agree that Apple should have some mid range tower with the power of the iMac with the convenience upgrade options of the Mac Pro but who knows when and if that will ever happen. Anyways how can say the Mac Pro is "underpowered"? It's one of the fastest machines on the market.
     
  16. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #16
    He didn't say the Mac Pro was underpowered. He said the mini was underpowered and the Mac Pro was overpriced.
     
  17. xyian macrumors 6502

    xyian

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    PDX
    #17
    Have you ever thought about getting a color calibrator? Most pros use them and are a necessity. I was having issues getting colors correct between me and the printer's orders and so I got one. It's made all the difference in the world and is well worth the $300.
     
  18. Paul S macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #18
    Sounds like a tower is what you really need. I love my iMac, but would never have bought it if I were a pro photographer. Although this is an informative thread, it really is redundant, since we all know a $900 SCREEN will far out perform a $1300 computer set. It's like if I were to tell you a Canon 40D is better than a SD750. Informative, but did I really need to tell you to begin with? ;)
     
  19. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #19
    Er, the choice is affected by what's available to buy.
     
  20. LeRyman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    #20
    Man, what a no-brainer. I have thought about it but for some reason just never got one.

    B&H has Spyder2PRO for only $189 ... I will have it next week for sure.

    Thanks for the wake up call.
     
  21. LeRyman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    #21
    Ok ... with the help of a fellow member (Thanks Sean!) and an hour or two wasted trying to find a program I deleted just last week (and also forgot the name) ... I have finally got this to do exactly what I wanted it to do. Plus, the iMac is looking nearly as good as the ACD.

    I can make the ACD my main monitor (menu/dock) in the preferences ... AND I can darken or dim (to my desire) the entire background on both monitors using a program called Think 1.0 (I re-found it on the Apple site under downloads) ... showing only the window/app I am using at the time. Also, with Expose I can rapidly move to any open window or app.

    Also, setting both monitors to the max resolution (I am such a idiot for not doing this in the first place) and doing some more fine tuning in the calibration and contrast ... I can hardly notice a difference in the quality of the images.

    On the iMac, the whites are still a little hot. But in some cases, the detail is actually better on the iMac than the ACD. The colors are just a touch more vibrant on the ACD.

    I will keep you posted after I get the color calibrator later in the week.
     
  22. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #22
    Oops, still on my iMac high that I am not reading things right.:eek:
     
  23. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #23
    Great, glad its working out for you and that the iMac is living up to your standards.
     
  24. paetrick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    #24
    So you as a "pro" even think it's worth buying? :) the 20" imac that is !
     
  25. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #25
    lowest quality Apple screen ever?

    I am a bit concerned with the way everyone is jumping on the OP here and making out like he is being foolish or has too high expectations or something. Since I have the exact same 23" ACD at home, and since I just got a 20" iMac at work yesterday, I think I am more than qualified to comment that that the screen (on the iMac) actually is a fairly "crappy" part.

    As background, I am a Mac computer techie at a major University where I live and have years of experience with Apple monitors, screens, laptops etc. The new screen on the 20" iMac *is* most definitely the worst I have seen.

    In addition, the computer that I replaced with the new 20" iMac was the previous generation 20" PPC G5 iMac. So for those of you thinking he is wrong to compare the new iMac to the 23" ACD, I can confirm that the new iMac 20" screen is fairly awful even compared to the older iMac screen. I have a suspicion however that it's not so much the part itself, but the glass in front of it and the way it's lit as people are noting similar experiences on the new iPod Touch.

    With the older type of (non glass-covered) screens, you can move around in your chair or look at it from many different angles and the colours and lighting remain essentially the same. You can rely on the fact that what you see is actually the colours that are there. Whereas with the new screens, you need some kind of vise to keep your head straight. If you sit directly in front of the new iMac, and tilt the thing exactly so, and adjust the profiles "just so" (about 10 extra points of gamma does it for me), then yes, you will see the correct colours and shades (at least in the very centre of the screen). Any other angle of view, and you will see a variety of darker/lighter saturated/less saturated colours. Even then, if you look up at the top of the screen everything is darker and over-saturated, if you look at the dock, the icons are washed out and under-saturated.

    You have to bob your head around all over the place jsut to see the screen properly. I actually got a neck ache yesterday twisting myself around in front of the new iMac trying to see the screen. :eek:

    This is far from a huge tragedy and considering the price of the computer, nothing to really complain about for the average user, but to me there is no argument that this is most definitely the lowest quality Apple screen ever. This screen is (effectively) hardly any better than what we give to our lowest end users which is a Mac mini attached to some bulk Ben-Q VGA crap. If this was a product I bought with my own money from the store I would be taking it back already.
     

Share This Page