Retina vs. Legacy...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by baldrick_nz, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. baldrick_nz macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2015
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    Whakatane, NZ
    #1
    For photography, how important is a retina screen??

    I'm looking to buy a Mac, and though I understand the fanfare around Retina screens, I'm not sure how having photos edited on a Retina will appear any different to others who don't have Retina displays?

    It looks as if the deciding factor for me taking the plunge to OSX is going to be Retina vs. Legacy, and the trade off for that is going to be onboard storage (128mb ssd vs. 1Tb Hdd)

    Any help would be much appreciated!
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Retina looks ridiculously sharp, like the images are painted on the screen. Colours are incredibly vibrant. I wouldn't consider anything else were I doing photography.
     
  3. baldrick_nz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks for your reply, keysof anxiety,

    If I edited an image via a Retina screen, how would this appear to someone who doesn't have a Retina screen?

    Also, How would the image print out? The richness that a Retina produces wouldn't necessarily translate on a print, would it?
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #4
    With your monitor.....you can not control how exported jpg file is seen on another computer's monitor. All you can do is use a calibrated high res monitor, ideally that is AdobeRGB, to get the most out of your raw files. If other's people have poor monitors that make things look bad......nothing you can do about that.
     
  5. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #5
    MCAsan is correct. Retina or non retina is not as important as a wide colour gamut, calibrated screen.
    Both of the MacBook screens you mention are SRGB, so only 75% of the Adobe Colour space.
     
  6. sananda macrumors 68020

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    May 24, 2007
    #6
    When the Retina iMac came out, I went to have a look at it at an Apple Store. And they put a non Retina 27" iMac next to it for me to compare. I opened the same photo from my M9 on both computers. I can't see that there would have been any advantage for me in editing on the retina one.
     
  7. bgd macrumors regular

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    Aug 30, 2005
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    SG
    #7
    I have both. Retina is very good but you get used to what you have, very quickly. If you compare them directly then you'll choose Retina. If you don't have Retina you won't miss it.
     
  8. swordio777 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 3, 2013
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    Scotland, UK
    #8
    Not important in the slightest. Having a retina screen sitting at home won't help you take better photos when you're out in the field with your camera, and it won't make a bad photo look good.

    It's a luxury rather than a necessity. Look at the same photo on your computer screen and then on your ipad/iphone - while the difference in resolution is noticeable, it's hardly a game-changer. Personally, I have the non-retina 27" iMac and I see no reason to upgrade (although when I do finally upgrade in a couple of years, it'll likely be to a retina model).

    A good print will be sharper than a retina display (assuming it's properly sharped to be printed), however the fact that a screen is backlit means the print can never look as contrasty. I certainly wouldn't worry about this though - after all, this is already the case and the retina screen doesn't change the situation.

    As bgd said above, you'll get used to what you have very quickly, whichever route you choose. If you've got the money to spare, by all means go for the retina - I'm positive you would not regret doing so, however think seriously about your long term usage of the computer and your storage needs. Regarding your drive choices, I personally believe 128GB ssd is too small, especially if you intend to keep your photos on it. Perhaps the 1TB fusion drive would be a better option, whichever mac you buy.

    All the best!
    Iain
     
  9. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #9
    I wouldn't say "not important in the slightest" if you intend to view stuff on a retina-type display, and they are rapidly becoming the standard. It does depend on the quality of your images, and how they will be viewed. It's always easier to edit in WYSIWYG mode; editing for retina on a non-retina screen isn't quite as easy. I have two monitors, and to edit in 1:1, or pixel for pixel, on one screen the image is twice as big as on the other, meaning I have to be about twice as far away, and scroll around tons to edit. In grid views I have to use much bigger thumbnails on the lower res screen.

    Remember that retina is PPI, and it depends on distance from the viewing screen. At given dimensions your photo could look the same to someone viewing it on a jumotron as on your current monitor, depending on how far they are from it. And it depends on whether the photo has to have fixed dimensions, like an illustration fixed in a web article. Sites now use two versions, a low res and a high res, and they can and do look different, even by quite a bit. In galleries you may not notice, since you can view the image at different sizes.

    And BTW, do NOT even consider getting a regular HDD; at least get a Fusion or SSD. Really. Running a Mac off a regular HDD is like using a rotary phone.
     
  10. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 3, 2014
    #10
    There's a few things i've noticed since having a retina iMac for 8 months.


    1. Missed Focus shots

    I now notice how out of focus shots are compared to before using one. It's almost crazy how many photos I see that don't have the focus nailed down perfectly(not just my own shots but other photographers). Especially evident in say glamour shots where a lot of guys tend to shoot close to wide open. Once you are viewing these things on a retina iMac you can see the focus isn't correct. Very rarely do i actually see it on the eyes, it might end up hitting their ear, or shirt. These are things I couldn't really tell that well prior to owning one do to viewing a high MP photo on a small resolution monitor


    2. Camera IQ

    Camera IQ became much more apparent to me viewing files on a retina iMac. The difference between a high end micro four thirds and high end full frame camera became much more noticeable on the retina screen. I really started to appreciate and see the differences especially with ultra high end files coming from a medium format back with a 80 MP 53.7 x 40.3mm sensor. Some files from top of the line cameras look mind blowing.​
     
  11. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #11
    Interesting. I'd not considered the focus thing. I'll check a few of my images on our 4K NEC screens at work.
    Btw, Glamour shots always wide open?
    That made me chuckle!
     
  12. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #12
    Behave young man! :)
     
  13. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #13
    Young? Only mentally!
     
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #14
    Nowadays the discussion is over: get a Retina screen. The UIs are optimized for these, everything is easier on the eyes and for editing photos Apple's Retina screens are amazingly good. In my experience once you own a Retina device you immediately notice once you go back. Ditto for the SSD, just don't get a regular spinning hard drive.
     
  15. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

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    Australia
    #15
    Pffft...please. The text on your UI is going to look crisper and easier to read, but there are no real gains to image editing on a retina screen.

    Your SSD comment is quite valid however. I'll agree with that.
     
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #16
    Actually, since you have more pixels, pixel peeping and editing details is a lot easier. You can gauge sharpness much better as well since in most cases you can view photos from many cameras at about 100 %. I found editing photos on my new Retina MacBook Pro much more convenient. That's all in addition to the much better IQ you get from Retina screens compared to most other screens — especially on mobile Macs (although part of that is due to just the choice of panel type and quality).
     
  17. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I do concur with OreoCookie that gauging sharpness has been much easier on the 27" Retina screen but I haven't compared this to a good 4k screen.
     
  18. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #18
    That's just not true for many of us that actually use them. Photos are also "crisper and easier" to view, as fathergll noted. I would think that is a benefit for editing, no?

    My workflow is sped up just because I don't have to either zoom or scroll as often. I can compare many more photos at once in grid views. It makes a big difference in the way I work. I suppose you could edit in a 640x480 and say that a post 1990 monitor doesn't make any difference, which could be true if you're editing a 400x400 icon or something. But as the many testimonials here show, retina is better. In video as well, since on a retina iMac you can see the whole 4k and the interface elements.

    And in any case, with Apple products, non-retina macs are now the bargain-bin items, kinda like the eMacs. If you're buying any new Apple product get retina (and in many lines, you don't have a choice anyway).
     
  19. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #19
    How is the IQ better on a Retina Apple Screen?
    That's the same argument as my photo is better than yours because it's got more megapixels!
    Apple screens are rubbish for colour critical work. People just don't realise because it has an :apple: symbol on it they think it's better.
    I'd rather see a NEC or Eizo badge for the screen and :apple: for everything else.
     
  20. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #20
    Get what is easier on your eyes and then be prepared to get a real graphics monitor if you are serious about your photo work. None of the Apple screens are "ideal" for serious photo work other than perhaps b/w and scanned images.

    I don't say this as being anti-Apple as I absolutely appreciate the retina display but I am also honest with myself about its limitations (as some have mentioned above). In my case, I have an NEC P series Spectraview 24" that has served me extremely well for several years now. My next monitor for photo work will also most likely be an NEC. There are makers like Eizo that also are ideal and some lesser cost graphic oriented screens that do quite well from Dell and HP (as examples). Sometimes having two screens is a great way to work with image on one screen and many of the tool palettes on the other screen along with any other app you may have open.
     
  21. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

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    SF Bay area
    #21
    I love the way my photos look on the retina display of my 15" MBP. Just recently I looked at some pictures from about five years ago and was impressed that they were better than I had thought because the monitor I had at the time wasn't that good.

    BTW, I have this connected to an NEC P241W and I like the images on the MBP much better.

    I think you have to separate the retina aspect from the overall ability of the display to reproduce color, light and contrast.
     
  22. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #22
    I thought my reference to panel types made that one clear: similar non-retina screens use TN panels (which are used in the Airs, for instance) whereas retina screens use high-quality IPS panels. Retina screens are certainly not the end-all-be-all, but they are pretty damn good as an out-of-the-box screen.
    As someone who has owned an Eizo screen (bought because I wanted color accuracy), I know first-hand that if you require absolute color accuracy, an external hardware calibrated screen will be an improvement. However Retina screens are not as poor as you make them out to be, even factory-calibrated they are pretty damn good — especially for the price. I also haven't had any issues using hardware calibration tools. Given that the iMac has become a staple in the video editing world, it's really safe to say that Apple's Retina screens are more than good enough for most use cases. Besides the OP has not mentioned high-end color accuracy in his post, I don't think any advantages a $$$$ display brings are relevant to him.
     

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