Which screen for photo editing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by slo-climber, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. slo-climber macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2013
    I'd like to ask which screen do you prefer for photo editing. Is it 15'' Retina, because of better resolution or is it 27'' screen on iMac because it's larger. But has smaller resolution.

  2. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Both being IPS displays, it really just comes down to prettiness of retina display or real world 2560x1440 screen real estate on the 27". Even though the retina technically has more pixels, you can only scale to 1920x1200 and even that looks really small on a 15" screen.
  3. slo-climber thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Thanks for your reply, but I don't understand something.

    What do you mean with "I can only scale to 1920x1200"? Did you mean that even if retina display is 2880x1800 you can not use this resolution because everything would be too small.

    Actually, I don't understand those pixels very much. I now only that when I compared iPad Retina vs. non Retina, the first one was amazing. On the non Retina the dots were visible.

    I had no chance to see MBP Retina and 27'' iMac, yet. That's why I am asking.
  4. kathyricks macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    The dots are visible on all iMac screens. The dots are invisible on all apple retina notebooks. Both the iMac and retina notebooks are good for photo editing (the color accuracy of the displays of both are reasonably accurate). So it's a matter of personal taste as to whether you prefer a huge 27" screen with visible dots or a 15" inch screen with invisible dots.

    If you really like the fine detail resolution of the retina iPad then you'll like the 15" retina notebook even more.
  5. Dg8r macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2009
    I think the big difference would be the number of pixels per square inch on the two screen. If you want to do changes to really small areas you zoom into the pixel (on the picture). On the retina screen that pixel will be broken down into more pixels than on the big screen. Understand your camera does not have the resolution of the retina screen.

    The print made from changes to a single pixel of the picture would only be visible to the most trained of eyes. Changes made to a part of that pixel using the retina screen resolution wouldn't be visible on a print of the picture.

    I guess what I am saying is it really doesn't matter which screen you use to photoshop (verb, not noun) your picture if you are going to display it as a print. Or, for that matter on a high def. TV. So I would pick which ever left my eyes feeling less tired when I was finished.

    All this is out the window if you have a 1 gig sensor camera that lets you zoom down to the microscopic level.
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Both would work great, It boils down imo, to whether you want a 27" display or a 15" display. You'll also need to factor in if you have mobility needs.
  7. slo-climber thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Thanks for comments. I will probably go with rMBP and then after some time I can buy seperate display which could be 4K. If I buy now an iMac I will definitely have to buy onather laptop in the future. Thus, the first combination seems more reasonable I think.
  8. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    For purely digital photo editing the Retina is amazing. It's possible to see if an image is in focus just by looking at the thumbnails, thumbnail size dependent of course.

    If you're referring to colours between the two screens, I believe you're still better off with the Retina. It's still a good idea to calibrate if you're planning on printing but in my experience so far, the rMBP really isn't that bad, some colours are a little less intense but it might also be the printer I used, it's hard to say.

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