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Author Topic: 27inch iMac, or PC with smaller Eizo/NEC  (Read 5335 times)
adam z
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« on: February 05, 2010, 11:31:47 PM »
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I have been thinking hard about what to do when I get a new computer in the next few months. My two primary concerns are colour accuracy, and price.
I am only going to be using the system for image editing using Lightroom (or some other RAW converter) and Photoshop. Files I am working with are currently from a Canon 7D, however in the future, perhaps a 1Ds MkIV will be added if when it is released it suits my needs.

Initially I was going to go with the 27inch iMac, 8GB RAM, and i7 quad core etc. It is virtually the exact specs that I want and the price is good. My only concern is the monitor. I have heard it is better than on older iMac screens. What I want to know is how many bit colour it does, how wide is the colour gamut (% of Adobe RGB), and how well does it calibrate. I don't like the glossy screen either, but I would live with it if the accuracy was good.

My other option is a similarly specced PC with a smaller screen from either NEC or Eizo (between 19 and 24 inches, preferably on the lagre end of that range). I know both of these brands produce great monitors, but prices are similar to the iMac for some of these screens, and some models considerably more. This means I would be looking at a higher price for the PC system.

I cannot afford a Mac Pro, I have also looked into it. The PC allows for upgrading which is a benefit over the iMac, but the iMac wins on affordability. I am stuck on what to do.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2010, 02:06:21 PM »
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I'm not sure about the bits or the accuracy but my imac 27 calibrated well (imatch), the gamut appears to be as good or better than my HP laptop with the wide gamut screen.  I ordered mine with 8gb ram in 2 sticks then added 2 more aftermarket sticks of memory for a total of 16gb. I installed bootcamp (3.1) and I am using it as a windows 7 machine, I'm very very happy with it. Widows 7 rocks and CS4 DxO C1 all work well .
Marc
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 02:13:51 PM by marcmccalmont » Logged

Marc McCalmont
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 02:52:02 PM »
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Hi,

It really depends on weather your are PC or Mac!

A high end Eizp will probably give you better color than an iMac. On the other hand Mac's are well thought out, mostly well made and simply work. You may of course consider buying a Canon 5DIII or Canon 3D instead of the expected 1Ds IV and invest the difference in a better monitor.

What's probably most important is that you can adjust brightness optimally. My old iMac had problem with that, but I think the new ones are OK.

I use Mac and prefer it to the old PCs using Windows XP, but I gather that some people on this forum I thrust have experience of both PC and Mac and find both OK.

Whatever you buy, 64 bits are needed and get as much memory you can afford!


By the way. Photoshop CS4 is 64 bit on PC but 32 on the Mac. If PS is your main application that would point in the direction of the PC. Lightroom is 64 bit on the Mac.

Best regards
Erik
Best regards
Erik





Quote from: adam z
I have been thinking hard about what to do when I get a new computer in the next few months. My two primary concerns are colour accuracy, and price.
I am only going to be using the system for image editing using Lightroom (or some other RAW converter) and Photoshop. Files I am working with are currently from a Canon 7D, however in the future, perhaps a 1Ds MkIV will be added if when it is released it suits my needs.

Initially I was going to go with the 27inch iMac, 8GB RAM, and i7 quad core etc. It is virtually the exact specs that I want and the price is good. My only concern is the monitor. I have heard it is better than on older iMac screens. What I want to know is how many bit colour it does, how wide is the colour gamut (% of Adobe RGB), and how well does it calibrate. I don't like the glossy screen either, but I would live with it if the accuracy was good.

My other option is a similarly specced PC with a smaller screen from either NEC or Eizo (between 19 and 24 inches, preferably on the lagre end of that range). I know both of these brands produce great monitors, but prices are similar to the iMac for some of these screens, and some models considerably more. This means I would be looking at a higher price for the PC system.

I cannot afford a Mac Pro, I have also looked into it. The PC allows for upgrading which is a benefit over the iMac, but the iMac wins on affordability. I am stuck on what to do.
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adam z
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 05:44:19 AM »
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Thanks guys. I seem to have found the info I was looking for elsewhere though. The iMac screen is apparrently 8 bit, and 72%Adobe RGB, which isn't really what I wanted to hear! I have been researching others monitors, and I am leaning towards a PC with a NEC 2690WUXi2. It has a wide Gamut, around 100% Adobe RGB, 12 bit LUT, and with spectraview 2 it is capable of hardware calibration. Sounds like good value, and would not be giving up too much in screen size over the iMac. Admittedly the resolution is lower, but this seems to be the case even with more expensive Eizo models unless you go even bigger. There Eizo CG222W sounds good too but is considerably smaller, however despite it being slightly more expensive, I have not ruled it out at this point.
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Theresa
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2010, 01:11:56 PM »
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The mac doesn't simply work, that is just an advertising slogan.  I say this from experience.  Also, Apple is now paying people in England to return their 27" iMacs for a refund.  The screen is messed up and they are still trying to find a solution.  Apart from the "great deal" of the 27" screen, the iMac is no bargain unless it is just for style, which is ok by me if thats what you can pay for.  I think if you do decide on the iMac, wait a few months, maybe less, and they will have the problems ironed out.
 
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 04:03:06 PM »
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Hi,

I'm on my third Mac, had an iMac for three years and bought a MacBook for travel last sommer, I need to replace the iMac for "fiscal reasons" and have bought a MacPro. They all worked for me. That said, I had problems with "Firefox" causing a lot of hangups on the MacPro, which is running "Snow Leopard". Now I use "Safari" and have no more hangups. That said I'm not really sure "Snow Leopard" is ready for prime time.

Quite possible that some models are broken but I had little issue with the Apple hardware I had, this far.

I have been using Linux and Windows since 1995 and Unix before than, so I have some experience with other OS-es.

I have no experience MS Vista or Windows 7.

Regarding LUT the Video card is almost always 8-bits. Some Macs with display port may have 10 bits but OS and Utilities will probably only support 8 bits for a while. Many screens have internal 12 or 14 bit LUTs but that's nothing an application can utilize. The best screens (NEC Spectraviews and Eizo CGs) have hardware calibration where you manipulate the LUT in the screen using calibration software. That is probably optimal.

According to some writings of Karl Lang the Apple solutions are quite good, essentially smart choices. Karl Lang also seems to have some reservations about using Adobe RGB on screens because in some cases small changes of tonality cannot be accurately represented in Adobe RGB with 8-bits.

Check this (Karl Lang is a leading authority in this field):
http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....ost&p=54301

Best regards
Erik

Quote from: Theresa
The mac doesn't simply work, that is just an advertising slogan.  I say this from experience.  Also, Apple is now paying people in England to return their 27" iMacs for a refund.  The screen is messed up and they are still trying to find a solution.  Apart from the "great deal" of the 27" screen, the iMac is no bargain unless it is just for style, which is ok by me if thats what you can pay for.  I think if you do decide on the iMac, wait a few months, maybe less, and they will have the problems ironed out.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 04:14:42 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

mmurph
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2010, 11:19:02 AM »
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Quote from: adam z
The iMac screen is apparrently 8 bit, and 72%Adobe RGB, which isn't really what I wanted to hear! I have been researching others monitors, and I am leaning towards a PC with a NEC 2690WUXi2. It has a wide Gamut, around 100% Adobe RGB, 12 bit LUT, and with spectraview 2 it is capable of hardware calibration.

I would always choose dual monitors, so two 24" (or the NEC + a 24") monitors may resolve some of your hesitation over a smaller monitor? The second monitor doesn't have to be world class - it is for Photoshop Layers, Palettes, etc. In Lightroom it is used more directly to edit images for masks, etc though.

For cost comparison purposes, you may also want to start with a more basic - but still decent - monitor as a lower level price comparsion. You are comparing a lower end monitor, equivalent in specs to a $350 27" monitor, to a higher end monitor (which is probably a decent choice, just want to get you closer on $$.)  There are also mid-point Dell, HP, and other 24" monitors that have near 100% RGB, etc. in the $500 range.  I haven't checked the larger ones more recently, I need to avoid temptation for a while!   (I bought 5 boxes last summer.)  

 
A Win 7, 64 bit, 6GB DDR3 RAM, quad i7 920 with a 640GB or 1 TB HDD should run around $600 or less.  I bought two good quality machines with a lot of expansion space for less than that 8 months ago.  Get 6 slots for RAM so that you can go to 12GB using cheaper 2GB chips.

I have PCs and Macs, I use an iPhone many hours a day. Honestly I don't find much difference, especially with 64 bit Win 7, which I really like.  Mostly comes down to quibbles for me, a pro here, a con there.  And cost, which you said you are sensitive to.

Cheers! Have fun!

Michael
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 11:23:20 AM by mmurph » Logged
adam z
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2010, 05:34:40 AM »
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Michael, when I said price matters I made the decision that I wanted to spend no more than $2000 Australian on a monitor. The iMac with the specs I wanted came to around A$2800. I think the machine that you mentioned for around $600 (US$ I am assuming) would be almost double that in Aussie dollars, despite the exchange rates saying it should be much closer in price. Still, I would be looking at around A$2700 for iMac, or A$3200 for a Win&pc with a nice monitor. I am used to editing on a small single screen (never bigger than 19 inch), and since the widescreen allows a bit of room on the side for palletts, I think I will be fine at least for now with the single 26inch screen. I am hoping to get away with around A$3000 for the setup after shopping around, so I think this is a reasonable price for a good machine/monitor for editing.

I am not a Mac or PC man any more than I am Canon or Nikon. I shoot Canon, but the camera I really want is a D3X, however Canon has some lenses that I want that Nikon doesn't have, plus I already have some great Canon L glass. I like having the tool that give the best results, regardless of brand, unless of course user friendliness is absolutely horrible (DPP).
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adam z
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 05:49:42 AM »
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Also, since the NEC has 12bit LUT, what graphics card would best support getting the highest amount of colour information to the monitor to best utilise such a wide gamut display. I assume there is no point in a 8 bit card, however I don't have a good understanding of the technical side of things when it comes to computers. I just like them to work efficiently!
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