Pro Display XDR vs Sony Reference Display

leman

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I’ve just seen this (in my opinion extremely well made) review and thought it might be of interest to folks here:


A quick note: I am not an editor and I don’t know anything about these things, I’m just a tech enthusiast that likes to learn about them. So I don’t feel qualified to sum up the results here.
 
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blackadde

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Dec 11, 2019
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The TL;DW I got from his review is that the XDR is a consumer IPS / FALD display with a uniquely high resolution and nice construction. You should not be relying on this monitor as a reference panel for either SDR or HDR owing to uniformity issues, FALD blooming, and inability to calibrate (for now).

It does not meaningfully compete with the Sony/Flanders dual-cell LCD panels - more like the Asus PA32UC / PA32UCX.

Because there's so much marketing-speak around the term 'reference display', I think it's worth clarifying: a reference display is something you can completely trust to show you the truth for a given delivery standard (eg. Rec. 709). It's a pretty binary issue - either you're seeing what's there and ONLY what's there, or you aren't. That's why things like luminance / temperature uniformity or FALD blooming become such concerns for that segment of the market.
 
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EugW

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Yeah, he tested another Sony reference display before and it was essentially perfect... but cost US$30000. It was the display of choice for Hollywood types. His point is that despite Apple's marketing, the Apple Pro Display XDR does not compete in the same space as the Sony reference monitor.

The Apple Pro Display XDR is a top notch IPS display, with near-perfect calibration out of the box, but it's more appropriate for a more downscale market. High end by consumer standards, but low end compared to true top-of-the line reference monitors. This makes sense from the pricing, considering this monitor costs 10X as much el-cheapo consumer monitors, but is 1/9th the price of the Sony reference monitor.

To be more specific, he thinks the Apple Pro Display XDR is an appropriate display for those editing videos for their YouTube channels, but it is inappropriate for those editing $200 million Hollywood blockbusters.
 
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blackadde

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I think that’s about right.

The thing is, ‘real’ reference monitors for SDR content are available in the XDR’s price bracket - for instance, the Eizo CG319X or the new NEC PA311D, not to mention various Flanders panels.

IMO the XDR really only makes sense if you either have a need to view HDR content (and don’t need to master it to a commercial standard), you need the extra resolution (4k v 6k) or you just want something made of machined aluminum on your desk.

I think Apple was pretty sneaky with their marketing claims, but the market for HDR reference panels is microscopic. The market for people who want to just see HDR on their desktop or slap together some ‘good enough’ footage is several orders of magnitude larger.
 

nutmac

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This review and others are perfect examples of Apple's hubris by not making cheaper monitor.

Apple going all-in on creative (while ignoring developers and engineering) means their Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR will be and should be scrutinized by creative professionals.

And before someone chimes in with "but you can buy LG and other third party monitor" comment, no I really don't want to stare at LG logo several hours several days a week. And iMac isn't going to cut it for me as I have been bitten by iMac dust build up issue 3 times. I want a desktop that can be opened up easily.
 

TheRealAlex

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Thing is Vincent exposes the Apple XDR Display as not suitable for Professional work. Period. Also Hollywood studios doing HDR Blu-ray Mastering already Own Hundreds of Sony Referees Monitors AND their staff and engineers are trained to use them.
And Since a XDR Display is useless without a MacPro who exactly is the XDR Display and Mac Pro Customer ?
 

EugW

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Thing is Vincent exposes the Apple XDR Display as not suitable for Professional work. Period. Also Hollywood studios doing HDR Blu-ray Mastering already Own Hundreds of Sony Referees Monitors AND their staff and engineers are trained to use them.
And Since a XDR Display is useless without a MacPro who exactly is the XDR Display and Mac Pro Customer ?
Vincent actually said it right in the video. It's good for YouTube streamers for example.

I would consider some of them professionals, even if they don't edit Hollywood blockbusters.
 

blackadde

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And before someone chimes in with "but you can buy LG and other third party monitor" comment, no I really don't want to stare at LG logo several hours several days a week.
Um ... put a piece of tape over the logo? Paint it over? Glue on the back of a discarded iPhone housing? Is this a real comment?
 

TheRealAlex

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Vincent actually said it right in the video. It's good for YouTube streamers for example.

I would consider some of them professionals, even if they don't edit Hollywood blockbusters.
Yeah but YouTube streamers don’t start off affording a $12,000 Mac Pro Computer and a $5,000 Display. The biggest Most successful Youtubers started off with next to nothing.

Sure $5,000 sounds better than $40,000 for a Display For Professionals but as a Professional display calibration expert like Vincent proves the XDR Display is not suitable for Industry Level Professional work.

A step further, I’d argue that XDR Display owners have grounds for a Class Action Lawsuit Apple lied in it Ads and it does not meet Specs.
 

rkuo

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The value proposition for this monitor just looks worse and worse. It's basically a consumer grade display with HDR tacked on ... and the connectivity makes it incompatible with virtually everything non Mac to boot.

Still happy with 5K displays and have virtually no desire for the Pro Display XDR after all these facts coming to light. Why the hell can't Apple just turn the 5K iMac into a monitor and call it a day?
 

nutmac

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Um ... put a piece of tape over the logo? Paint it over? Glue on the back of a discarded iPhone housing? Is this a real comment?
For someone wants an Apple display, your solution is putting a tape over it?

What is so wrong for wanting an Apple display?
 

blackadde

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Dec 11, 2019
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Why do you want an Apple display? Why do you care what logo is on the front? I am genuinely confused. Is it just the metal housing and Apple branding you want?

There aren't that many LCD manufacturers in the first place - LG actually makes the panel in the XDR, Apple just supplies the housing and potentially some of the driving electronics.
 

EugW

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Yeah but YouTube streamers don’t start off affording a $12,000 Mac Pro Computer and a $5,000 Display. The biggest Most successful Youtubers started off with next to nothing.

Sure $5,000 sounds better than $40,000 for a Display For Professionals but as a Professional display calibration expert like Vincent proves the XDR Display is not suitable for Industry Level Professional work.

A step further, I’d argue that XDR Display owners have grounds for a Class Action Lawsuit Apple lied in it Ads and it does not meet Specs.
You don’t need a Mac Pro to run an XDR display.

Who said only broke beginner YouTubers are allowed to buy new equipment?

Your arguments make no sense.
 

HDFan

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Yeah, he tested another Sony reference display before and it was essentially perfect... but cost US$30000. It was the display of choice for Hollywood types. His point is that despite Apple's marketing, the Apple Pro Display XDR does not compete in the same space as the Sony reference monitor.
Didn't watch the video, but I have seen a lot of reviews saying just the opposite. That the Apple Display is a direct competitor for those $30k displays.
 

leman

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When Apple announced the XDR Display, I was rather exited. Not because I am the target customer (I am not a editing professional and I see no point in buying a display that's more expensive than my already very expensive laptop), but because of the revolutionary promise to deliver outstanding image quality for a very reasonable price. This would mean lowering the barrier of entry to serious work for many professionals hat cannot afford the usual top-end equipment. This was a sign like Apple is finally back in the game, disrupting the tech scene, delivering true innovation.

But instead, it seems that we good "just" an excellent IPS monitor+HDR on for $5k (sans stand). Yes, it is sleek and sexy and it integrates well with macOS... but is it a good value proposition? You can get a display with comparable image quality for well under $2k... and sure, if won't have 1600 nits brightness, but what do you need that for?

In the end, it is a product that is stuck in limbo. High-end professionals won't buy it because it lacks in the black department and produces artifacts due to local dimming. For a regular consumer it is way too expensive. A freelancer editor who needs good image quality but is budget aware will go for one of the more reasonably priced pro monitors. In the end, who buys it? People will entirely too much money or editors who want to make HDR content and don't really care about low-light high-contrast scenes. It is simply not what Apple has promised.
- - Post merged: - -

Didn't watch the video, but I have seen a lot of reviews saying just the opposite. That the Apple Display is a direct competitor for those $30k displays.
I have linked this particular video because it was the first review that I know where one actually does side-to-side comparison to a Sony reference display. I have seen the PCMag review, which is a bit of a joke — they compare the XDR to a bunch of gaming and office monitors and conclude that it can "provide reference-quality production capabilities" based on that — a rather far fetched conclusion to make.

If you know another review where XDR compares well to a reference display, or where it is tested along other pro-level displays, I would be very interested in a link. I just can't find anything, I really tried.
 
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HDFan

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If you know another review where XDR compares well to a reference display, or where it is tested along other pro-level displays, I would be very interested in a link. I just can't find anything, I really tried.
Excellent point. All of those reviews have not been side by side. Will keep looking.
 

henrymyf

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Dec 2, 2015
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You don’t need a Mac Pro to run an XDR display.

Who said only broke beginner YouTubers are allowed to buy new equipment?

Your arguments make no sense.
Agree. I just successfully got native 6K resolution support from Razer Blade Pro laptop with the ability to tune the brightness and to select presets, see my post. This laptop (with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q) is already very expensive ($ 3K), but compared with Mac Pro, it's cheap.

The total cost of XDR and laptop to get 6K resolution is less than $ 10K. I think this combination is affordable to most youtubers (if he or she really wants them).