Question about display colors in OS X vs Windows

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by burningrave101, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. burningrave101 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    The first thing that I noticed on my first MBP is that the colors are quite a bit different at times than they are on my PC's. Most notably certain personal photos that I've taken look a little more saturated and off compared to how the same image looks under Windows on a PC. I realize that the gamma is a little different for a MAC vs PC but I've even adjusted the gamma to set to PC gamma in the color calibration. Some images look fine and others look better when viewed on a PC. My question here is if i dual boot on my MBP with like OSX and XP or Vista will I then get the same colors as on my PC when under Windows or is it just going to be the same as OS X due to the hardware and drivers?
     
  2. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #2
    Supposedly Apple used cheap 6-bit color displays with dithering to simulate 8-bit and I'm sure your PC uses real 8-bit color displays.
     
  3. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

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  4. burningrave101 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I'm noticing the same kind of effect under OS X with my Dell 2007wfp hooked up as an external display. And it has an S-IPS 8-bit panel. I'm wondering if this is an Apple OS thing or if it's a hardware/driver thing. Do colors look differently when you boot into Windows on your MBP?
     
  5. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Make sure you set the OS X profile to srgb. Thats the standard and looks WAY better than the weird ass profile OS X uses by default. Most PC's should have srgb or something really similair.
     
  6. burningrave101 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    No it's Matte. Like wallpaper photos and other photos off the net look fine but the problem is mainly just with personal photos I've taken myself. I'm sure it's the lighting and everything in the photo and I don't know if it's just being displayed as more "true" or what but like the skin tone in the photo is more saturated looking and sometimes kinda orangish and washed out compared to how that same photo looks on any PC I look at it on. I dunno, I just don't like the way some look when viewed on my MBP vs my PC. I'm wondering if that will change if I install Windows though. Anyone know?
     
  7. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Umm... No.

    You want your color profile in OS X set to "LCD Monitor" or whatever calibrated profile you have made for your particular screen. These are "hardware/device profiles". sRGB is nothing more than a defined colorspace that is hardware agnostic.

    In regards to the OP - if you want accurate color between your MBP and your PC, then profile your displays with a hardware calibrator. It's the only way you'll get consistent color on both.
     
  8. Arkbargle macrumors member

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    #8
    And are you comparing to a desktop LCD? They tend to have a higher gamut than laptop displays. You might also want to look to calibrating both monitors.
     
  9. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Absolutely not. Especially if you are using an Apple LCD, which is ridiculously bright and nothing at all like Windows. You are totally leaving it up to the manufacturer's opinion of how it should look, and that could vary wildy.

    srgb 2.1 is as close to the average PC as youre going to get. Its a universal standard. If he wants his images to look the same in Windows and OS X then he should set his OS X profile to srgb 2.1 since Windows is most likely using srgb or one of the many profiles that are pretty much exactly like srgb. Pretty much everything today uses srgb as the default.
     
  10. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

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    #10
    It has nothing to do with Windows vs Mac, and everything to do with the fact that neither screen is color-accurate out of the box. Not even close. That's why he needs to profile his screens.

    Yes, and sRGB has absolutely nothing to do with the display profile being used on either computer. The display profile is what lets the operating system compensate for the particular characteristics of the connected screen.

    Nope. What he needs to do is calibrate his PC screen and use the profile from the hardware calibrator in Display Settings on his PC. Then he'll calibrate his Mac screen, and choose the profile the calibrator made in the Color tab of Displays on his Mac. Those 2 profiles will be very different because the screens are very different.

    Where a color space like sRGB (or Adobe RGB, or Pro Photo RGB, or whatever) comes into play is with his actual image files. Those images should have an embedded profile that approximates the gamut of what his camera can capture. As long as those images are all tagged as, say, sRGB, then those images will look the same in any color-managed program (like Photoshop) and on any machine assuming that machine has had its display calibrated and is using that calibrated profile in the display settings of the OS.

    You are utterly confused about the difference between a device/display profile and a color space, and should educate yourself on that difference before giving really, really bad advice.
     
  11. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

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    #11
  12. burningrave101 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I'm comparing against all the PC's I've owned, desktop LCD's and laptops. I have a Sony VAIO SZ 780 hooked up to my Dell 2007wfp 20.1" sitting right next to my MBP to compare. I've owned several PC laptops over the past couple of years so I know how these types of images normally look. I guess I'm going to have to try and calibrate the MAC to match normal PC colors somehow. Is there an easier way to do it than the advanced options under gamma? Some software that will do it well and create a profile?
     
  13. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

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    #13
    There's no such thing as "normal" PC colors or "normal" Mac colors. And these days both PCs and Macs use a Gamma of 2.2, so it's not a gamma difference.

    Is your PC calibrated? If not, how do you know your Mac isn't actually more accurate? I'm not saying it is (in fact, it probably isn't because I find Apple's default screen profiles to be pretty off).

    The point is, you have two uncalibrated displays. Neither is correct, so trying to get one to look like the other is like the blind leading the blind. It sounds like color accuracy is important to you, so there's no reason you shouldn't have a hardware calibrator. They're cheap, and you'll have perfect color from here on out, on every display you ever own for the rest of your life. Problem solved. :D
     
  14. burningrave101 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    The traditional setting for a MAC OS computer is 1.8 gamma. That's what my MBP shipped as the default setting and it even says that as the description under 1.8 gamma. It says to set it to 2.2 gamma if your working with images to be displayed on a PC. I'm probably just going to need to properly calibrate it to get it the same as what I'm used to on a PC. I don't need to calibrate my PC monitor because I'm not going off just one display. I've had a half a dozen different brand laptops in just the past 6 months with all different displays. The "effect" I'm getting on the MAC is that the image is slightly more saturated. It's mostly just noticeable in certain photos with the skin color. The complexion is just a little more redish/orangish in saturation whereas on any PC monitor I've looked at them on (laptop, desktop LCD, CRT) the complexion is more neutral/natural in color. I've gotten it close now though so it seems better.
     
  15. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #15
    OS X uses 1.8 gamma by default, Windows uses 2.2. That is a very big difference. You told him to use the LCD monitor profile, since when has that ever been a good profile to use? I have never seen a OS X monitor profile that wasnt 1.8 gamma.

    So the "sRGB IEC1966-2.1" option in display profile must be a figment of my imagination.

    And you are utterly confused about what hes trying to accomplish. Im trying to explain it here as simple as possible since its clear he does not care that much about having a professionally calibrated display, he just wants his pictures to look like they do in windows. In which case he should pick the srgb color profile in display options and be done with it. That will get him about as close as hes going to get without significant work. If hes using the same monitor then the photos will appear almost identical, its impossible to get all monitors to look the same regardless of how much they are calibrated since the hardware is different, the point is to try and find some kind of "average"

    He doesnt need to go out and buy a calibrator just to get his photos to look more like they do in Windows, thats pointless.
     
  16. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Shows you how often I use the display profile included with OS X. Yeah, I don't know of any graphics person that still uses gamma 1.8. When you calibrate be sure to tell your calibration software that you want to target gamma 2.2.
     
  17. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Are you sure you arent confusing the color temperature of the LCD? A yellow tint when compared to a higher quality desktop display like the Dell is natural. Its impossible to get rid of that. Some LCD's will have white whites, blue whites, or yellow whites depending on the temperature of the backlight, it is really only noticeable when comparing them side by side. If it is the color temperature then you can try to mess with the white point when calibrating to make it more blueish, but dont expect miracles. You will never be able to get your macbook LCD to be just like the Dell, its impossible, you just need to aim for an acceptable range between the 2.
     
  18. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

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    #18
    All of those other color spaces are there for different graphics programs to pick up and use as a working profile, they are NOT display profiles. Again, learn the difference.

    No, I understand 100% what he is trying to do. But neither he nor you understand color management, and your solution is completely wrong. OK, so burningrave101, have you tried setting your display profile to one of the sRGB flavors listed there? I bet it looks horrible. I just tried it on my MBP, and there is a very severe blue tint everywhere now.

    What? He's NOT using the same monitor. His MBP screen is very different from his Dell flat panel.

    This statement is absolutely laughable. Anybody that does professional graphics work (which I do) knows that it absolutely IS possible for different screens to display the same colors. Just because you have not achieved it does not mean it is impossible, or even difficult at all. It's quite easy if you have a piece of hardware that can objectively read colors. Calibrating a screen takes all of 10 minutes with my Spyder2.

    Read the link I posted and do some more research, and perhaps you'll start to see why using a color space definition as a display profile is completely and utterly wrong.
     
  19. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Yes, completely impossible. :rolleyes:

    Unless, of course, you have $90 to spend on getting perfect, consistent color for the rest of your life.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_calibration#Colorimeters

    EDIT: You might also want to look through http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&goto=lastpost&threadid=383357
    Particularly post #7.
     
  20. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Youre still assuming he is looking for some professional calibration solution. Not everyone cares about things like that. Youre also still assuming that Im trying to tell him how to properly calibrate his monitor, Im trying to help him get OS X looking like Windows which is what he wants.

    read the first post
     
  21. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

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    #21
    No, I'm assuming he wants his pictures to look the same on all his displays and under all OS's. While he might be able to spend many hours eyeballing it (the human eye is terrible at objective color measurements), he might as well get the right tool for the job.
     
  22. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

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    #22
    My understanding is that you never use sRGB for a display profile - the sRGB workspace is for attaching to files so systems know what gamut range to interpret the colours that are recorded in the file.

    For displays, since each display by manufacturer, and even by individual monitors, can differ, requires a profile assigned to it to display the colours as intended.

    So if a image is recorded using sRGB colourspace, then that profile should be attached with the image. Any colour aware software (pretty much all of Mac OSX) will then know that image uses sRGB. But to display that to any particular monitor, the OS needs to know the calibration of the montior, which is where the display profile comes in - you don't use the sRGB profile for this purpose.

    I kind of think of it as sRGB profile as a kind of 'input' colour file (normally determined by the recording device - but not necessarily embedded into the file by that device), and the display profile as an 'output' colour file - the input is typically know by this stage, or assumed, and the display profile is used to translate the sRGB into colours appropriate for that display.

    But that's my understanding.
     
  23. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #23
    That's kind of hard to tell since I boot XP on my MBP and Vista on my desktop.

    But my S-IPS always looks better.
     
  24. burningrave101 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
    The point that I'm trying to get across here is that I'm getting the same slightly more saturated look on both my MBP LCD and the Dell 2007wfp 20.1" S-IPS when it's hooked up to the MBP. I really only notice it in the skin tone of a person in certain photos. Some photos look fine though. It's kinda like the saturation level is just far more apparent on the MAC vs any PC I look at the photo on. So if I increase the saturation of the skin in a photo it's more of a predominant change viewed on the MAC vs on the PC. When I switch the 2007wfp back over to one of my PC laptops I don't have that added saturation in certain photos. It's not an LCD thing. It's either in the software calibration, the graphics drivers, or just the OS X operating system. I can't believe noone else has ever noticed this when switching from a PC to a MAC for the first time. I must be special lol.
     
  25. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Try doing the Calibrate option from the Color tab in Displays. There's a slider on one of the steps that will let you target 2.2 gamma instead of 1.8 - i'm thinking even if you don't change anything in any of the other steps, you'll hopefully end up with a new profile that is basically the same as Color LCD but with 2.2 gamma.

    That might look better, but it might just reveal even more differences between the screens... again the default Color LCD profile is generally pretty bad, but it's the best you have out of the box.
     

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