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Thread: High-end iMac/Apple LCD display for photography

  1. #1
    Hansm's Avatar
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    High-end iMac/Apple LCD display for photography

    Hi,

    For image processing I'm using the iMac intel type.
    This monitor has a glossy surface.
    I use the Spyder 2 for calibration and if you look straight to the monitor the colours are very predictable. Looking at an angle will give colour changes in view. I know this and can live with it.
    However this glossy surface starts the be more and more irritating.
    So I decided to look for an good monitor with matte surface.
    Ofcource I can go for the top of the bill Eizo monitor that costs about 4500 but for sure my M.o.F. will not aprove this.
    The max I can invest is between 600 and 800 but if less is possible that would be great.

    The new Apple Cinema screens are also glossy so not an alternative.
    I was pointed by someone to the HP LP2475w with S-IPC screen costing around 550.
    Has anyone experience with this monitor?
    The review I find about it are more concentrating on game behaviour.

    Thanks in advance for the replies.

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    re: Monitor advice required

    Sorry I don't have experience of it but I usually find HP monitors are decent enough for the price bracket. My feelings although maybe not valid is if it's recommended for gaming then can't go too far wrong with photo work since a lot of what you look for (from clarity to general tonal considerations etc etc) will be looked for from a gaming pov also with a few extras like fast response times which you wont need for photo work (although it's useful to prevent ghosting on fast action scenes in movies should you watch anythin on that screen) but wont be downside for photography. Again just my opinion but if the review you find seem favourable and it has the coating you are looking for then I'd say go for it. It's always best to see it in action in person though so I'd do that first if possible, failing that there is always returns policies but that's a pain I'd rather avoid myself.

    I think it is probably hard to find a screen aimed exclusively (or primarily) at photography application except for high end niche stuff since in most areas all the developments in comp tend to be gaming driven with a few things being adopted from the tail end of comp industry too. Mainly because the main use of comps for average user is as work station or for entertainment like games.

    For average user using as a work station needs as far as visuals go is very basic so I guess most reviews side more with the pickier side of common applications ie gaming applications and to a lesser extent movie performance even though there are lcd/plasma that are not dedicated monitors that cover that area really (most graphics cards are hdmi out capable). When it comes to photography I guess most people settle with average screens or pay silly money for a niche high end screen that performs very specialised function if they need that feature.

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    Hansm's Avatar
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    re: Monitor advice required

    Thank you for your reply Davey.
    You give some good points to consider.

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    re: Monitor advice required

    Hi Hans,

    I'd love to help - but unfortunately - I'm a PC person.

    Personally, I use a Dell 24" wide-screen LCD monitor. Viewing angle isn't particularly critical and a nice feature is the ability to rotate the screen for working on portrait oriented images (a major plus).

    Sorry - I have no idea if/how these would work on a Mac system

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    re: Monitor advice required

    Thanks Colin.

    I think I asked my question to narrowed down by asking feedback about this specific monitor.
    You are using a Dell, may Im ask what type you are using?
    I was also pointed by someone to this Dell: 2209WA.

    I also don't think that there will be big performance difference between using PC or Mac in relation to colour view.

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    re: Monitor advice required

    Hans,

    I checked out the refurbished section of Apple's online store and they had a 30" display for $1299 (I think?). This one had a matte finish to the screen. Have you checked that out?

    I initially replied to your post asking you to check out Eizo..but deleted my message since you seem to have checked them out already.

    They do have stuff which is priced between US$400-US$800 I thought, especially in their refurbished section. Take a look at this if you haven't already done so.

    Cheers!
    Sai
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    Re: Monitor advice required

    Quote Originally Posted by hansm View Post
    You are using a Dell, may Im ask what type you are using?
    Hi Hans,

    Mine is a Dell 2407WFPb - a few years old now, so I doubt you'll get this exact model anymore.

    In a nutshell, I wouldn't get too worried - at the end of the day calibration and profiling will standardise the colours, and the output should be strong enough to run at any level you like (mine is currently set to 200cd/m2).

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    Re: Monitor advice required

    If you're using the display for photo editing, I would ignore any refresh rate stats used to market to gamers. In fact, there's often an inverse correlation between having a good gaming display and having a good photo editing display (for a given generation of monitors). They often achieve higher refresh rates by sacrificing bit depth or some other critical property. Besides, refresh rates in LCD's aren't as big of an issue as they used to be -- most modern LCD's are more than adequate for any range of uses.

    Although I'm a PC user, I've always been a big fan of the NEC MultiSync 90 series (S-IPS technology). This range includes the 2090UXi, 2190UXi, 2490WUXi and 2690WUXi, amongst others. They have 12-bit internal look-up tables (LUT), which can make a noticeable difference in how well they calibrate. This is especially true for grayscale viewing in the shadows. The top models also encompass 98% of the Adobe RGB gamut, which is a real plus.

    Based on US prices these would be at the mid to upper range of your budget, depending on which one you go for. I went for the 26" a couple of years ago, when it was first released, but in retrospect that might have been overkill. You'll get a lot more bang for the buck (or pound or euro) if you go for the equally high-res 24", or smaller. Something with 1200px vertical resolution is ideal (1600x1200 or 1920x1200 overall). Just my experience though.
    Last edited by McQ; 14th July 2009 at 07:04 AM.

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    Re: High-end iMac/Apple LCD display for photography

    The NEC also crossed my searching path.
    They are however a bit more expensive.
    The price the 24" type is around 850 euro's and the 24" HP around 550 euro's meaning about 2/3 of the NEC price.
    Is it worth to spend that extra amount for it?
    You don't see these monitors in the shops. The only way to get them is to order by internet.
    So a direct camparision between both is alsmost impossible.

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    Re: High-end iMac/Apple LCD display for photography

    There is always older models maybe, they tend to be cheaper and if you can live without the current improvements you'd be paying out a lot less if you find a place selling 1 or 2 models back. I didn't realise that they dropped range to increase speed as Sean mentioned so guess it would pay to steer clear of screens marketed as very fast. Hmm I want to change my screen now, I keep considering it and it is something I could do with upgrading (just an average tn) but it does the job so talked myself out of it, dilema time again hehehe .

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    Re: Monitor advice required

    Quote Originally Posted by McQ View Post
    If you're using the display for photo editing, I would ignore any refresh rate stats used to market to gamers. In fact, there's often an inverse correlation between having a good gaming display and having a good photo editing display (for a given generation of monitors). They often achieve higher refresh rates by sacrificing bit depth or some other critical property. Besides, refresh rates in LCD's aren't as big of an issue as they used to be -- most modern LCD's are more than adequate for any range of uses.
    Sean,

    Thanks for sharing this! I was totally unaware that the companies sacrifice on bit depth to achieve better refresh rates. That's very interesting!

    Cheers!
    Sai

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    Re: High-end iMac/Apple LCD display for photography

    Well Sean

    After deeper investigation I found that the HP does not have 12 bits LUT while Eizo and NEC both do have. This will make monitor calibration more stable and reliable if I understand the theory behind this correctly.

    I think this will justify the extra amount to invest.

    Thanks for this information

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    Re: High-end iMac/Apple LCD display for photography

    Just to let you know that I received the NEC 2490WUXi2 last week.
    Really a big improvement compared to the imac screen.
    I'm still waiting for the spectraview calibration software. It was not in stock.

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    Re: High-end iMac/Apple LCD display for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by hansm View Post
    Well Sean

    After deeper investigation I found that the HP does not have 12 bits LUT while Eizo and NEC both do have. ...
    Point of clarification: What does LUT stand for? Lumen-something?

    And Hans, I'm glad your screen is doing its job. Have you been able to calibrate it yet?

    Jay Warner
    (about to purchase some serious computer & monitors)

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    Re: High-end iMac/Apple LCD display for photography

    Hi Jay,

    LUT = Look Up Table - this much I am fairly certain of.

    I believe this is a set of figures that converts between the digital values and what you see on screen, the more bits the better, or quantisation levels will be seen on screen (i.e. like contour coloured steps on a map instead of smooth transitions between shades).

    However, that just sounds like the description of the number of bits in a digital to analogue converter being important, so maybe I got it wrong.

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    Re: High-end iMac/Apple LCD display for photography

    Sorry for the delayed response.
    I calibrated it with the spyder software. This however does not use the LUT functionality of the monitor.
    For this I ordered Spectraview Profiler. Unfortunatly till now I'm not able to get the software working. It keeps asking for a license that, according to spectraview support, I don't need.
    Still waitng for an answer.

    But even with the spyder software the colours are much more predictable and also when looking in an angle very minor colour changes. It's a big improvement compared to the build in mac display.

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