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Author Topic: IMAC 27" for Photo Editing  (Read 43041 times)
PatrickRayDunn
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« on: February 01, 2010, 03:56:53 PM »
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How does this machine do for color correcting & photo editing? I understand the 27" monitor is IPS like the NEC 3090. Is the Imac monitor comparable to NEC IPS? I do know of the glossy screen limitations, and do wish Mac would offer it as matte. Also, what is a good color calibration system for the monitor?

Patrick Ray Dunn
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terrywyse
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2010, 05:34:03 PM »
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Personally, I think the new iMacs would make great photo editing systems. They've certainly got the horsepower, storage and memory expansion and the display sounds like it's decent enough for all by the most high-end photo editing needs. As a workstation, probably only major hindrance would be expansion of storage...you'd have to resort to external storage via the FW800/400 and USB interfaces. While FW800 has very good performance, nothing beats adding hard drives to the internal bus in my opinion.

Back to the display...probably only major limitation here would be the lack of "high-bit" internal LUTs such external displays like EIZO, et al. Everything else about it sounds good though.

Calibration for the display? My default recommendation is always the EyeOne Pro spectro and either ColorEyes Display Pro or basICColor Display. While the EyeOne Pro is a bit pricey compared to your standard colorimeters, unlike a colorimeter it has the advantage of not requiring special tuning for the display's chromaticities. Only drawback of a spectro is a tendency to introduce slight shadow banding/posterization when used with 8-bit video LUts compared to high-bit internal LUTs. I suppose you could accidentally come across a colorimeter that may work fine with the iMac display but it's a bit of a crap shoot.

Regards,
Terry Wyse
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Terry Wyse, WyseConsul
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Czornyj
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2010, 05:42:26 PM »
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Quote from: PatrickRayDunn
How does this machine do for color correcting & photo editing? I understand the 27" monitor is IPS like the NEC 3090. Is the Imac monitor comparable to NEC IPS? I do know of the glossy screen limitations, and do wish Mac would offer it as matte. Also, what is a good color calibration system for the monitor?

Patrick Ray Dunn

27" iMac is 8-bit LUT H-IPS panel with pseudo-white LED backlight. 3090WQXi is 12bit programmable LUT H-IPS panel, with wide gamut CCFL backlight and electronic uniformity compensation. You can calibrate NEC with inexpansive custom colorimeter and automatic hardware calibration and profiling software. The only calibrator for iMac I'd really trust is ColorMunki or i1pro spectrophotometer.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 05:43:06 PM by Czornyj » Logged

tokengirl
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2010, 07:30:28 PM »
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I have a 24" iMac (with the glossy screen) that works just fine for photo editing once profiled.  Colormunki works great, very easy to use.  The Colormunki will get rid of the blinding brightness the iMac comes with out of the box.
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k bennett
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2010, 07:41:20 PM »
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I am writing this post on my new 27-inch iMac. It's just the base model with the dual core 3.06 gHz processor, 1TB drive, and 4 GB RAM. I chose this model because it was a refurb that cost $1450 ($250 less than list price.) I added 4 GB more RAM from Other World Computing for about $100. Of course there are issues with expandability, etc., but it's a very nice machine and much faster than either my 2-year old Macbook Pro or my five year old G-5 Dual. The glossy screen takes a little getting used to -- it's different from the 30-inch Apple Cinema Display that I use at work, but a little attention paid to the room lighting makes it very usable.

As for profiling, well so far I have just turned the brightness down to 50% and made some prints on my 3800 that matched as well as any print can match a monitor. Very happy overall.

Like a lot of staff photographers, I don't have much in the way of cameras or computer gear of my own. (Well, not anything recent, anyway. Lots of old stuff in the garage.) Given the current state of the industry, that's probably not a good position to be in. For me, the 27-inch iMac is an inexpensive way of starting to change that.
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PatrickRayDunn
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2010, 01:50:05 PM »
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Hi Ken,

    Good to hear from you. I pulled the trigger this morning by buying a refurb 21.5", 500gB and 4 ram for $999. That was $150 less than brand new, and it's the current incarnation. You must make more at your university than I do at this one since you can buy a 27"....yeah right! I have a CRT monitor that I will add as a second  monitor, and possibly buy the NEC 3090 sometime in the near future.

Thanks everyone!

Patrick Ray Dunn
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 01:50:44 PM by PatrickRayDunn » Logged
Dansk
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2010, 03:05:04 PM »
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 I almost bought one the other day but.... there have been massive issues with the 27" models and screen flickering. So much so they halted production until sorting it out so I too am waiting until they sort it out

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/02...lt_surface.html

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k bennett
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2010, 04:47:50 PM »
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Well, that's nice to see two weeks after I bought the thing. Thanks, Dansk. I'll keep an eye on it.

Patrick, you know we make the big bucks here at Wake Forest <snicker>. Nah, I waited and watched the refurb list until I found what I wanted. Hope you enjoy your new computer.
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John S C
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2010, 06:46:17 AM »
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I've had an 27' iMac now for about 6 weeks. I didn't know about the yellow banding until I read a post about it a couple of weeks ago . Do I have it? Not sure, sometimes I see sometimes I don't. If it is there it's only a small area on the bottom area of the screen. I suspect it's worse on some screens than others.

Calibrate using ColourEyes Display Pro using a GM eye-one display 2, without any problems.
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hsmeets
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 07:31:58 AM »
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Hi,

one thing that was not mentioned in previous posts about the 27"panel:

The gamut of the panel itself is sRGB only.

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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2010, 07:59:35 AM »
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Quote from: hsmeets
The gamut of the panel itself is sRGB only.
Are you sure?  I would find that hard to believe given the hardware specs.
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Czornyj
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2010, 08:48:34 AM »
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Quote
Are you sure?  I would find that hard to believe given the hardware specs.

The iMac has pseudo-white LED backlight, so it is normal gamut panel. The wider gamut may only be achived with RGB LED or WGCCFL backlight.

here's an iMac profile taken with i1pro spectro:

« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 08:59:56 AM by Czornyj » Logged

hsmeets
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2010, 08:59:47 AM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Are you sure?  I would find that hard to believe given the hardware specs.

Yup, compared sRGB and the monitor profile I created in colorsync. Similar result as previous poster.

Apple did upgrade from TN to IPS, but it seems they choose to not go flat out for widest gamut. I suspect a calculated product management descision: only a small base of the customer would value this.

See this:

Anandtech review of Dell screen, with reference to Apple screen:
http://www.anandtech.com/displays/showdoc.aspx?i=3725

The latest offering in the U-series is the U2711, a 27" beauty sporting extremely impressive features. For starters, it has an IPS panel, but this isn't your granddad's IPS panel. The U2711 has an extremely high resolution 2560x1440 panel - similar to the panel that's used in the Apple 27" iMac. Notice that we highlighted the word similar? That's because the two panels aren't identical; the glass might be the same, but there are definitely differences.

For one, Apple uses LED backlighting whereas the U2711 sticks with CCFL technology. But isn't CCFL worse? That depends on what you're after; the iMac 27 offers a 72% color gamut while the U2711 has a 102% color gamut (based on the CIE 1931 standard). Using RGB LEDs, it would be possible to get a similarly high color gamut, but our experience with RGB LEDs to date is that they cost more and consume more power than regular LEDs, so we can understand Dell's interest in sticking with the "older" technology. (We've only seen RGB LEDs in a few laptops so far, and as one example it's a $175 upgrade on the Dell Studio XPS 16 compared to a regular white LED display.)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 09:11:40 AM by hsmeets » Logged

Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2010, 09:03:34 AM »
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Quote from: Czornyj
The iMac has pseudo-white LED backlight, so it is normal gamut panel. The wider gamut may only be achived with RGB LED or WGCCFL backlight.

Interesting ... I had thought it could still achieve the "low-end" of the "wide" range ... ie like 92% of NTSC ...

Thanks!  I don't want one as much anymore ...  
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hsmeets
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2010, 09:20:01 AM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Interesting ... I had thought it could still achieve the "low-end" of the "wide" range ... ie like 92% of NTSC ...

Thanks!  I don't want one as much anymore ...  

I haven't yet encountered any real world problems with the 'limited' gamut for my use: photography (landscape, outdoors).

And when I compared the iMac screen profile/gamut (or AdobeRGB or sRGB for that matter) with the profile/gamut of my printer (canon ipf5100).......one scratches his head.......how disjunct the gamut's are
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Czornyj
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2010, 09:57:12 AM »
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Quote from: hsmeets
I haven't yet encountered any real world problems with the 'limited' gamut for my use: photography (landscape, outdoors).

And when I compared the iMac screen profile/gamut (or AdobeRGB or sRGB for that matter) with the profile/gamut of my printer (canon ipf5100).......one scratches his head.......how disjunct the gamut's are

It's not a big deal, but on normal gamut panel you may encounter some problems with simulation of saturated greens and cyans, that are within printers color space, and out of iMac gamut. There's an example here:
http://www.colormanagement.org/de/monitortest.html#Gamut
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 09:57:30 AM by Czornyj » Logged

Dansk
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2010, 10:44:24 AM »
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I wonder if Apple will go full tilt for the seemingly never to arrive new cinema displays?

All that said about the new Imac display while there certainly are better options available there certainly is no perfect solution as of yet. All displays have their set backs but in this case you get a damn fine performing computer thrown in for FREE when you look at other displays that have similar performance vs price. Also when I look at what we used to edit on in comparison say 6 years ago or so these new versions are light years ahead so keep that in mind as well.

As mentioned above I would already own one but the flickering and other QC issues are not acceptable to me. Once they sort it out I'm in for a couple at least
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 10:45:23 AM by Dansk » Logged
Czornyj
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2010, 11:13:45 AM »
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Quote from: Dansk
I wonder if Apple will go full tilt for the seemingly never to arrive new cinema displays?

All that said about the new Imac display while there certainly are better options available there certainly is no perfect solution as of yet. All displays have their set backs but in this case you get a damn fine performing computer thrown in for FREE when you look at other displays that have similar performance vs price. Also when I look at what we used to edit on in comparison say 6 years ago or so these new versions are light years ahead so keep that in mind as well.

As mentioned above I would already own one but the flickering and other QC issues are not acceptable to me. Once they sort it out I'm in for a couple at least

There's a new 24" ACD, and it's also nothing spectacular. High-bit LUT displays with uniformity compensation from NEC, Eizo, Quato or LaCie are better suited for photographic applications.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2010, 01:16:55 PM »
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Quote from: tokengirl
I have a 24" iMac (with the glossy screen) that works just fine for photo editing once profiled.  Colormunki works great, very easy to use.  The Colormunki will get rid of the blinding brightness the iMac comes with out of the box.


You don't need the colurmunki to get an appropriate brightness with the newer iMacs. You can dim the display as far as you want, which is the preferable approach.  this was an issue with some previous generation iMacs, but the 27" one I worked with for a while calibrated and profiled very nicely.  Brightness level was about 45%.
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mrazster
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2010, 05:15:43 PM »
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Iīve had mine for a couple of weeks now..itīs the basic one with C2D, 4gb, ati 4650 e.t.c
Iīve calibrated it with i1 Display2 hardware and ColorEyes DisplayPro software.
My work is mostly done i B&W.

I have had oppurtunity to compare it to some midrange and highmidrange Eizo and NEC monitors....even thou itīs 8bit and not full adobergb my guess is youīll find it absolutely more than enough to work with. Iīve had problems with "banding" when I was working with my images earlier, with monitors from other brands that was supposed to be "very good monitors"...they are gone now!!! The color it reproduces is wonderful once cailbrated. The sizie of that 27" monitor and with that crazy resolution makes it absolutely lovely to to do photographic work when int comes to details and sharpening.

About the bugs recently reported...mine has no problem with the "intermittent flickering"..there is an firmware update avalibale wich is suposed to fix it, even thou it goes away for most, some users still has it, having that said it is just a small amount of all iMac sold, having that problem. The slight yelleowis tint that some users report is present in mine but itīs very weak and itīs almost not noticeable....down in the right corner area... I feel it got even harder to detect after calibrating the monitor.

Wich ever way you want to spin it...itīs a damn good platform to work with. Donīt hesitate...go treat your self with one.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 05:16:46 PM by mrazster » Logged

http://www.monochromatic.nu - Blackīn White Photography
iMac 27" - Canon EOS 1Ds MK III - Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8 L - Canon EF 24-105mm F/4 L IS USM
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