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24" glossy iMac screen suitable for pro imaging work?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
As a full-time professional photographer, I use 20" iMac Intel 2GHz Core Duo machines (the original Intel iMacs), with the matte screens and maxed out with 2 gb of ram for Photoshop editing daily (CS3). I have found that the matte screens are awesome for imaging work... very accurate colors, no perceptible undesireable variation in color or brightness at different viewing angles. I've been verrry happy with these iMacs for production in my portrait photography studio.

NOW... recently I've considered upgrading one of my original 20" Intel iMacs to a current production 24" iMac for the larger screen area, 4 GB ram capability, and faster processor (filter processing!!!), but have been hesitant because of all the bad press I've read about using the glossy screens for professional color work. Complaints I've seen refer to distracting reflections of room/ambient lighting, a false, over-exagerated color saturation, un-even color/brightness across the full area of the display, light leaks, and dead pixels. What has happened to our beloved iMac?

If these criticisms are valid, I think Apple made a big mistake going from matte to glossy screens with the iMacs. I understand that Apple targets iMacs as just consumer machines... but the fact remains that a LOT of professional imaging people have chosen matte screen iMacs for professional work and the older matte screens were perfect for that...

SO, I'm asking pro users of the glossy screen 24" iMac now, what about using the machine for professional image editing??? Is the 24" glossy screen iMac truly up to the job of displaying color images evenly, consistently, and accurately... as the older matte screens were? Is the over saturation a problem in judging color accuracy? Is your screen consistent from edge to edge? Any light leaks?
post #2 of 21
imac 24" screen construction is not pro quality. Too much backlight bleed and lighting uniformity variation, even if the glossy glass is not considered.

I think Apple could have done the glossy glass exactly to discourage pros from using an 2.8Ghz dual core iMac, which w/ 4GB of RAM is more than plenty for most static image processing.

If you want a pro screen, you either buy the iMac and hook up and external monitor (it does come with mini-dvi port after all) or buy the Mac Pro and a real pro screen w/ from Eizo or NEC.

My 2 cents. YMMV.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
halcyon... I'm very happy with the screen in my 20" original (white) iMac Core Duo...

How does my current screen differ from the following in light leaks & image uniformity:

the screen in the 24" white iMac (I believe this has a matte finish)

the screen in the 24" aluminum iMac (glossy finish)
post #4 of 21
I'm not too sure what a pro user is really, but the iMac has good contrast and color I feel. I don't see you regretting a purchase of the 24" iMac, even if you are an image editor. Lots of people would lead you to believe it's not a "Pro" machine, but that line is blurry to say the least. The glossy screen has never got in my way once when using this machine if that's anything you care hearing.
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post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart View Post

halcyon... I'm very happy with the screen in my 20" original (white) iMac Core Duo...

How does my current screen differ from the following in light leaks & image uniformity:

the screen in the 24" white iMac (I believe this has a matte finish)

the screen in the 24" aluminum iMac (glossy finish)

The new aluminium 20" model has a display inferior to the one it replaces. This is to avoid. The 24" is more or less the same if not better. The reflections though are a real concern for many professionals. If you can adjust the ambient light it should not be a problem.

Another point to consider is color saturation. The new 24" has really great colors, certainly more pleasant for general work and for watching films, but I am not sure if it is appropriate for professional work where color accuracy is critical. I would suggest a visit to the nearest dealer or Apple Store to check for your own.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
The first 24" iMac had a white case. Did that particular screen have oversaturated color as the aluminum 24" model has? Also, did the white 24" iMac have a matte or glossy screen.

I'm considering buying a white 24" iMac if it has a matte screen and does not have the oversaturated colors that the aluminum 24" has.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart View Post

I'm considering buying a white 24" iMac if it has a matte screen and does not have the oversaturated colors that the aluminum 24" has.

The white 24" model is more or less what you are accustomed to, I think. If you like the white 20" model, then you will love even more the 24" because it has better viewing angles than the 20" one, but not the color saturation of the latest iMacs.
post #8 of 21
Stick with matte displays, glossy screens are just terrible. The reflections are very distracting. The white iMacs are easier to open up too. The new ones have to be opened up by taking out the display.

I like the move to aluminium on the new iMac but the display makes the machine worthless. The graphics cards are faster in the older models too.

The thing about glossy screens is that they are eye-catching on a display stand - good for Apple as it means they'll attract customers. I remember seeing glossy laptops when they first came into PC stores and in store, I thought they were great and I thought that Apple should make them.

Then I got to use a Macbook for real world tasks like watching movies, photos etc and now I wouldn't go near them. The iMacs are actually worse than the Macbooks. The glass seems to reflect more than the plastic.

I like the idea of using glass because it's easy to clean but if you can't use the display properly then it's little consolation.
post #9 of 21
Is it possible for them to use anti-glare glass?
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post #10 of 21
I am full time Photographer, and I really got disappointed when I started using the new iMac.
The gloss is not as bad as the angle of view, if you don't have a strong ambient light situation in the room you are working in, but the angle of view to see the right colors and contrast, when you need color calibrated images to be printed in CMYK or anything in paper, is just a nightmare.
I have two iMacs standing next to each other, one older Power PC white, matte screen, and the new iMac 20 inches, glossy-oversaturated-overexposed led light screen.
The same exact image on both computers looks completely different, and the worst of it, a calibrated 11x14" print coming from the matte screen looks very close to the matte screen image, but is faaaaar too overexposed when seen on the glossy screen. It is a shame to see this, because now I will need to get my older iMac to repair, as it has been powering off every 15 minutes or so when working with big images, in order to be able to use it again as the main screen to work everyday on calibrated images.
Has anyone got any experience in removing the glossy surface and working without it? Is there a way to prevent the different angle of view variations in the new iMacs?
It is a shame...
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
rodorod.... apparently you were not aware that the 20" iMac has a TN panel whereas the 24" iMac has the IPS panel. No way can you properly judge professional images with a TN panel, no matter what the brand. Either go with a 24" iMac and calibrate it or go with separates. As for separates, you want an IPS panel, or at the very least a good PVA panel... never buy another TN panel if you want to do pro work with it. Suggestions: NEC LCD2490WUXi (24" IPS and sweeeet!)
post #12 of 21
The whining you'll hear regarding the iMac's glossy screen is the sound of busybodies without enough to complain about. Remember when people were shockedshocked! I saythat Apple would even think of replacing all their CRT displays with LCDs? How serious designers would stop using Macs because of it?

It's garbage. I am a graphic designera good oneand I happily use a 24" iMac for production work. Yes, I calibrate it regularly. Anyone doing professional print work who doesn't is a fool no matter what display they use. But no, the screen is not overly reflective. No, the colors are not oversaturated. No, there are no "light leaks" or problems with the uniformity of the backlighting.

If you convince yourself that a $3000 display is something you need to be happy in life, more power to you. The rest of us can get our work done with the reasonable tools for the jobthis includes the 24" iMac.
post #13 of 21
"A poor craftsman blames his tools"

If you have talent it matters not if your monitor is matte or glossy. Check the screen out
yourself and realize that you can get an LCD hood and block out most relections just like the
Pros do
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post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
I agree that the 24" iMac can be an excellent display for professional work. I've been a pro photographer for well over a decade and used nothing but Macs to edit high end portrait photography work... my white iMacs with IPS screens are luscious and accurate. Right now my primary editing machine is a MacPro with an NEC 2490WUXi, which is a fantastic monitor for around $1k. But I would be very happy working with a new 24" iMac as well... providing my work environment was designed to minimize light sources behind me which a glossy 24" iMac would be likely to reflect. There is no way I would use a TN display, however. If you get a good panel in a new 24" iMac, you can work with your environment to minimize reflections from the glossy screen. Of course, proper calibration goes without saying no matter what the set-up.

My advice to you, rodorod, is ditch the 20" TN panel iMac and step up to a 24" iMac (with IPS display). There may be a little financial pain initially, but in the end , you will be thrilled with the difference in display quality. It's a pity you bought the 20" iMac without knowing the difference between a TN panel and an IPS panel, but now you know.
post #15 of 21
The IPS panel in the 24" version is a good screen, as good as you'll get without spending a lot of money. Whether the glass glare bothers you or not depends totally on personal preference and your setup (where the light sources in the room are).
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart View Post

My advice to you, rodorod, is ditch the 20" TN panel iMac and step up to a 24" iMac (with IPS display). There may be a little financial pain initially, but in the end , you will be thrilled with the difference in display quality. It's a pity you bought the 20" iMac without knowing the difference between a TN panel and an IPS panel, but now you know.

Or you can do what I did to future proof my imac setup. (I am a print designer/photographer) buy the 20in imac and buy a second LCD and use it in extended mode. That way when you put your imac out to pasture in a few years you still have a wonderful monitor to move to the next machine.
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post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DdubRes79 View Post

Or you can do what I did to future proof my imac setup. (I am a print designer/photographer) buy the 20in imac and buy a second LCD and use it in extended mode. That way when you put your imac out to pasture in a few years you still have a wonderful monitor to move to the next machine.

I agree, Ddub, this is a good alternative approach if you are happy with the performance of the "brains" of the computer.

On the other hand, I think we'll be seeing a quad core iMac before too long, so you might just hang in there for awhile and then upgrade to a new 24" quad core iMac in a couple of few months.
post #18 of 21
24" iMac probably not for you, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart View Post

As a full-time professional photographer, I use 20" iMac Intel 2GHz Core Duo machines (the original Intel iMacs), with the matte screens and maxed out with 2 gb of ram for Photoshop editing daily (CS3). I have found that the matte screens are awesome for imaging work... very accurate colors, no perceptible undesireable variation in color or brightness at different viewing angles. I've been verrry happy with these iMacs for production in my portrait photography studio.

NOW... recently I've considered upgrading one of my original 20" Intel iMacs to a current production 24" iMac for the larger screen area, 4 GB ram capability, and faster processor (filter processing!!!), but have been hesitant because of all the bad press I've read about using the glossy screens for professional color work. Complaints I've seen refer to distracting reflections of room/ambient lighting, a false, over-exagerated color saturation, un-even color/brightness across the full area of the display, light leaks, and dead pixels. What has happened to our beloved iMac?

If these criticisms are valid, I think Apple made a big mistake going from matte to glossy screens with the iMacs. I understand that Apple targets iMacs as just consumer machines... but the fact remains that a LOT of professional imaging people have chosen matte screen iMacs for professional work and the older matte screens were perfect for that...

SO, I'm asking pro users of the glossy screen 24" iMac now, what about using the machine for professional image editing??? Is the 24" glossy screen iMac truly up to the job of displaying color images evenly, consistently, and accurately... as the older matte screens were? Is the over saturation a problem in judging color accuracy? Is your screen consistent from edge to edge? Any light leaks?
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
nvidia... you could be right to a degree. After starting this thread I decided to buy a MacPro and an NEC 24" IPS monitor. Awesome set-up. The NEC 24" IPS is perfect. And I can drive it with the MP, or perhaps one of the upcoming MacMinis.

As a professional photographer, having a screen which over-exaggerates the color saturation will tend to result in getting prints from the lab being under saturated and bland. One can go a long ways in bringing the what you see on the screen matching what you get from the lab close, however. And if the work environment can be controlled so there aren't bright lights/windows behind the user which a glossy screen will reflect back into the users eyes, then a glossy screen *can* be workable. So, yes and no, the glossy screen 24" iMac can be workable for an imaging pro, but it isn't necessarily ideal.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

Is it possible for them to use anti-glare glass?

I suspect they could.
I experimented by placing a 4"X10" piece of thin, matte glass (the kind used to frame prints and photos for your wall) right up against the glossy screen of a recent model, white, 15" MacBook. The specular reflections disappeared as expected.

However, there was a slightly unacceptable shimmer. I think this is due to the matte glass being frosted on both sides: the microscopic, irregular facets on one face of the glass act as magnifiers of those on the other side of the glass when their relative orientations are unfavorable. This produces point glints on the image. I suspect that a sufficiently fine-grained frosting on the face closest to the user only would produce a perfect, matte screen.

ON THE PARANOID SIDE : I really suspect that the reason Apple is being such pig-headed, arrogant bastards about the glossy "REAR-VIEW" iMac is that they plan to go with the (google this) hideously violative "VISI-SCREEN" display that has a phased array of photo sensors interlaced with the pixels. This array acts as a camera that can be zoomed and panned and tilted purely via digital processing, with no mechanical parts.
Such a two-way screen must look through clear glass, since frosted glass blurs out objects more than a few millimeters away.

This will mean that it can peep-in on the user's room without being noticed and with the user having no choice to turn it off :

Look into the screen and the screen looks back at you.

Very Nietzsche, don't you think ?

The user can always trust an idiot light that says it's off --- right ?
Sure.

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post #21 of 21
Please review this sometimes contentious thread:

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