The new iMac & PRO photo editing

KSB

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 9, 2005
24
5
Hello users

If anyone gets one of the new iMac's with glossy screen, could you try to make color calibration of the screen and inform us the results?

I know glossy screens is a major drawback when doing designs and photo, but the new screen has a glass front as CRT monitors so maybe it's not as bad as everyone belives it is. I hope so, or apple is too lame killing the Matte option from Photo/designers
 

OreoCookie

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2001
2,680
69
Sendai, Japan
I know glossy screens is a major drawback when doing designs and photo, but the new screen has a glass front as CRT monitors so maybe it's not as bad as everyone belives it is. I hope so, or apple is too lame killing the Matte option from Photo/designers
I don't subscribe to that point of view, really. My ProBook has a matte screen, but my sister and my best friend both have glossy screens. The colors are definitely more vibrant on their screens than on mine; plus, their screens are brighter (the compensation layer absorbs light). I don't think it's a drawback, you get used to it rather quickly I heard. My best friend, by the way, had a brand-new ProBook and gave it to his father in exchange for a MacBook and his dad's 23" HD ACD …*
 

MacAnkka

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2006
200
0
Finland
I don't have much experience with Glossy vs. Black in pro photography, but there is something else that makes the 20" iMac sound like a bad idea for pro photography work:
Apparently the LCD panel used is a 6-bit TN panel that uses frame rate controlling to show 8-bt colors. TN panels are notrious for bad viewing angels and bad color reproduction.

(info from a post in the "Aluminum iMac Disassembled and First Impressions" topic)
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
I wouldn't want to try photo editing on the new iMac or anything else with a glossy display. I'm at the point where I can edit a few hundred photos at one sitting on a PowerBook and get them right but I can't imagine trying to get the display angle just right to avoid problems with an iMac.

Apple must be trying to separate professionals from their money by pushing them upward to a Mac Pro or MacBook Pro and targeting iMac fully at consumers.

Then again, an external monitor would work just fine, if you can find the right one.
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,750
354
In my imagination
People who take calibration to heart don't use their eyes or the monitors. The lighting in the room will never be constant, the light around the display will never be constant, and your eye will always be changing given the environment you are in. If some big fat guy wearing a bright yellow shirt entered the room and you glanced at him your eyes would change, therefore the color wouldn't be accurate.

USE THE NUMBERS ON THE INFO PALETTE/LOUPE, the numbers will never lie to you, the screen, light in the room, your eye, will always lie to you.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Polarised filters used to be popular on CRTs because it minimised the glare from office lighting. Then, CRTs were coated to minimise reflections and hoods are also available to shield you from external distractions.

I've learned to use my PowerBook's LCD and get consistently good camera to printer colour. I suppose I could adapt to the glossy display of the latest iMac, but I'd rather not. I'd probably buy a Mac mini and a Cinema Display instead.
 

maestrokev

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2007
874
8
Canada
I used to use matte screens but now I love my glossy. It's true that critical pro work requires a ACD or something better than the iMac or MBP but the question you need to ask yourself is who's viewing the final output and under what conditions.

If you're a professional photographer/graphics designer will your image be displayed on the web? If so, how many people out there have calibrated ACD's? If you're printing the photo for people to see, are they looking at the image under an OTT light in a light controlled room?

The glossy screens with higher color saturation and contrast are perfect for the majority of the market, especially for people who can only afford an all-in-one solution.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,601
384
Redondo Beach, California
...My ProBook has a matte screen, but my sister and my best friend both have glossy screens. The colors are definitely more vibrant on their screens than on mine; plus, their screens are brighter (the compensation layer absorbs light). I don't think it's a drawback, you get used to it rather quickly...
Yes the colors do look brighter and more saturated. That is what's wrong.

Serious photographers and video editors want accurate color. The term is "color fidelity". It's like the difference between a "boom box" or car stereo and a studio monitor. One class of audio gear is designed to make the load bass sounds many consumers like but the recording engineer or audiophile wants to hear _exactly_ what is on the recording with zero added "color". What Apple has done here is made a system that appeals to the 99% of their users who want brighter and higher contrast images on their screens. I guess they figure the other 1% will be using an ACD.

What Apple has also done is saved a pile of money because the anti-glare coating is not cheap.

I'm lucky. I found a 24" imac on sale for $999 two days after the new iMacs were released. This older iMac has a very good screen.

...
If you're a professional photographer/graphics designer will your image be displayed on the web? If so, how many people out there have calibrated ACD's? If you're printing the photo for people to see, are they looking at the image under an OTT light in a light controlled room?....
"Calibrated" means more than just "white balance". It means that the difference between a "step" in gray at the dark end is the same size as a step in the light end (not really equal but "perceptually equal"). An analogy is a staircase. Are all the steps the same size. On an un-calibrated LCD likely they are not. Calibration makes it better, but never perfect. So why care? The classic example is the white wedding dress. You want is to both look white and also show details. This means it is represented in the file as a set of very light grays. You'll never get that right if you can't see what's in the file on the monitor. Yes some one may view the final image on a crappy cheap monitor

We are not talking about casual snapshots here. We are talking about the type of person who at least thinks about highlight details and exposed the shot accordingly. He will likely be making custom prints on a calibrated printer.
 

maestrokev

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2007
874
8
Canada
Yes the colors do look brighter and more saturated. That is what's wrong.

"Calibrated" means more than just "white balance". It means that the difference between a "step" in gray at the dark end is the same size as a step in the light end (not really equal but "perceptually equal"). An analogy is a staircase. Are all the steps the same size. On an un-calibrated LCD likely they are not. Calibration makes it better, but never perfect. So why care? The classic example is the white wedding dress. You want is to both look white and also show details. This means it is represented in the file as a set of very light grays. You'll never get that right if you can't see what's in the file on the monitor. Yes some one may view the final image on a crappy cheap monitor

We are not talking about casual snapshots here. We are talking about the type of person who at least thinks about highlight details and exposed the shot accordingly. He will likely be making custom prints on a calibrated printer.
I agree with you, I should have stated more than calibrated. However, I don't think that's the iMac's target audience. Anyone who knows how to expose for highlights, shoots weddings for money and make custom prints needs something more than an iMac can provide. Something had to give when they lowered the price on the iMacs but I don't think Apple misled customers, they never put the word PRO in iMac.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,366
119
Los Angeles
Yes the colors do look brighter and more saturated. That is what's wrong.

Serious photographers and video editors want accurate color. The term is "color fidelity".
Exactly. I don't want a monitor that makes my image look pretty. I want a monitor that makes my image look how it really looks (warts and all).


Lethal
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,750
354
In my imagination
Exactly. I don't want a monitor that makes my image look pretty. I want a monitor that makes my image look how it really looks (warts and all).


Lethal
No monitor will ever make it look that way. That's why you can never get accurate color by just using your eye (which sees colors differently given different circumstances) you have to use the numbers on the info palette in photoshop and other creative suite apps, or the loupe in Aperture.

If you trust your eye and your color shifting monitor you are bound to get inaccurate color. It doesn't matter what kind of monitor you use, since the numbers will never change.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,366
119
Los Angeles
No monitor will ever make it look that way. That's why you can never get accurate color by just using your eye (which sees colors differently given different circumstances) you have to use the numbers on the info palette in photoshop and other creative suite apps, or the loupe in Aperture.

If you trust your eye and your color shifting monitor you are bound to get inaccurate color. It doesn't matter what kind of monitor you use, since the numbers will never change.
Agreed. I don't work w/still photography, but coloring correcting and grading video is in the same family and using a monitor that has a "flat response" (to use an an audio term) is only one piece of the puzzle. For video working in a completely light controlled, neutral gray room w/the proper hardware monitoring scopes are the other two main pieces.


Lethal