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Author Topic: Using a laptop for editing?  (Read 2298 times)
Stuarte
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« on: January 09, 2008, 09:07:31 AM »
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Having seen a load of debate about the right sorts of screen for editing photos, which always seem to be big stand-alone panels, it suddenly registered with me that in the LL instruction videos with MR and Jeff Schewe, they use MacBook laptops.  

I can understand that it makes sense to use a laptop in the field for initial review of images etc., but does a laptop pass muster in a serious studio?  I've been using my 17" MacBook Pro with Lightroom for the past couple of years but assuming that sooner or later I'll need to splash out on a proper screen.  Maybe I don't need to after all.
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HickersonJasonC
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2008, 05:58:15 PM »
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I'm using the newest version of the Macbook Pro 15" display running dual monitors with a Samsung 204B. Both calibrated, they look nearly identical but the 204B. However, I've noticed that the 204B holds the calibration for much longer than the laptop display. Most displays also allow contrast and RGB tweaks, which the Macbook Pro displays lack.

My biggest comlaint about the Macbook Pro display is how easy it is to accidentally change the brightness using the F1 and F2 keys. Once the brightness is changed using these buttons, it is necessary to recalibrate the screen (reversing the change in brightness doesn't ever seem to get it back to where it was before).

Generally, though, I would say that the new LED screens from Apple are very good and I wouldn't hesitate to use mine (recently calibrated of course) in the field for editing. Make sure you disable "Automatically adjust brightness to ambient light levels" under System Preferences or calibration is useless.
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2008, 07:17:39 PM »
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I don't think any current laptop displays pass muster for editing in the studio.

Laptop displays are too bright, too contrasty and offer not nearly enough manual adjustments to do a precise calibration.

I'm hoping that in the not-too-distant future that someone (Apple?) will come out with a laptop with  pro-level color controls.

Until then, any editing done on a laptop should be reviewed/adjusted later on a better (desktop) display.

For this I'll cast my vote for LaCie. I think they offer the best price-to-performance and have for many years. If money is no object, the Eizo displays are currently the best available. Samsungs are great, too, somewhere in between the others in price with excellent quality.

Whatever display you use for any photo editing, training your eyes is always necessary to understand how the colors in your photo will reproduce on different devices.

After all, if you're having prints made or sharing your work online, it's more important that it looks good in other conditions besides just your own screen.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 07:18:30 PM by Nat Coalson » Logged

Hank
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2008, 07:36:16 PM »
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Once in a while the exigencies of a location shoot require us to edit on a laptop (MacBook Pro), but we limit the type and extent of editing.  If we know that beforehand, we're especially careful about lighting and color balance in the shooting.  Neither of those areas meet our editing expectations on the laptop, compared to what we can achieve on our calibrated desktops.  On a couple of occasions we've submitted files edited on a laptop to our print lab, and the rep has called us both times.  Her opening words are "I bet you used a laptop!"
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 07:37:20 PM by Hank » Logged
The View
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2008, 10:54:57 PM »
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Quote
I don't think any current laptop displays pass muster for editing in the studio.

Laptop displays are too bright, too contrasty and offer not nearly enough manual adjustments to do a precise calibration.

I'm hoping that in the not-too-distant future that someone (Apple?) will come out with a laptop with  pro-level color controls.

Until then, any editing done on a laptop should be reviewed/adjusted later on a better (desktop) display.

For this I'll cast my vote for LaCie. I think they offer the best price-to-performance and have for many years. If money is no object, the Eizo displays are currently the best available. Samsungs are great, too, somewhere in between the others in price with excellent quality.

Whatever display you use for any photo editing, training your eyes is always necessary to understand how the colors in your photo will reproduce on different devices.

After all, if you're having prints made or sharing your work online, it's more important that it looks good in other conditions besides just your own screen.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=166617\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What's your take on the Apple cinema displays?

(And there should be a new line coming out rather soon with LED backlighting)
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Deserts, Cities, Woods, Faces - View of the World.
Hank
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2008, 11:39:39 PM »
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I'll pipe in before Nat.  They're our choice of displays both for image processing and for client portfolio reviews.  And the bigger the better for the portfolio reviews.  We have two in the studio and two in our home office.
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neil snape
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2008, 12:23:18 PM »
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I had to leave for a month outside of my studio. I took my small Wacom with me, and  my new MBP 15". While it was easy to make the selections and process in LR, retouching was very difficult compared to my desktop Macs.
I had to send off some retouched images, which I did but I was not at all sure about the colour. I did calibrate the MBP with Color Eyes, beforehand but it is just a bit too funky with the LED monitors changing colour with viewing angle.

So no for serious retouching on the built in screen. If you plug in  external monitors then there should be no differences in colour on the studio monitor vs the same with a desktop Mac.
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