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Glossy Vs. Matt Monitors
Old 07-26-2011   #1
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Question Glossy Vs. Matt Monitors

I have a large Mac Cinema monitor with a matt screen... I noticed the last time I was in an Apple store that they are now making only glossy monitors. The exact reason I stopped using the iMac!

How do you get accurate color and skin tones on a glossy screen? Am I way off here? A friend of mine has a daughter about to head off to school for photography and I am trying to help her choose the right computer set up.

It seems now that the only apple product you can get without a glossy screen is a mac book pro but it is now being offered as a "non glare" not a "matt screen"... which was what they called it when I ordered my MBP a little over a year ago. I don't know if that is the same thing?

Are glossies just going to be the norm and we will just have to adapt? Do any of you edit on a glossy? Have you seen how these images translate to print? As in a magazine publication... this is my concern... It may look great on the screen but how will it look on the page?

Any good monitors you can recommend would also be appreciated.
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Old 07-26-2011   #2
Martin N. Hinze
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Your friend's daughter wouldn't be going to SCAD would she? Or is it A(tlanta)CAD now?

In any case, glossy screens are terrible for proofing. It's perfect for consumers, because, as Double Negative says, everything just pops. But that's not what you want when doing post processing.

I got a new iMac a month or so ago. It got calibrated. It will never be used for accurate color, only for general retouching. Final touches are done on a Mac Pro connected to 2 EIZOs.

If you like the iMac, and really do want to do accurate color on it, buy an external (EIZO being the best for the job) as a secondary monitor. One for the image (calibrated), one for the tools. Perfect workspace.

If we're talking college, and if we're talking SCAD, there will be no shortages of computers for her to work on. Usually state of the art. In any case the school should be providing a good workspace, so maybe there's no reason to be too concerned about a perfect setup.

p.s.: matte and non-glare is the same thing.

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Old 07-26-2011   #3
Tim Gray
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I only have a glossy screen on my Macbook. It has problems other than just the glossy nature that prevent me from trusting it too much when editing. I bought new external monitor at the end of last year. I looked at the Apple monitors - they look great and I use video chat a lot, so the built in camera appealed to me.

I ended up getting an NEC PA241W. Great monitor. Perfect for photo editing. It's lacking the camera and doesn't look as nice as the Apple monitor, but oh well.
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Old 07-26-2011   #4
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Nearly all modern monitors have very high contrast ratio because they are designed for on screen viewing. Top of the line monitors designed for colour accuracy and print production cost an arm and a leg and have contrast ratio limited to less than 500:1 because that is all print surfaces can do in normal lighting. Your matt screen limits contrast ratio but not as much as the specialised monitors such as some EIZOs.
Fact is you really don't need to worry about it because even the high contrast monitors can achieve great colour output if you calibrate your workflow properly. Even a dirt cheap monitor can do it.
The difference is that you will nearly always be disappointed with the print because it won't have nearly as much pop as a high contrast monitor. But that doesn't mean its not as good as it can be, it means you prefer the additional contrast you can get on a computer monitor.
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Old 07-26-2011   #5
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Thanks for all the responses..! @ Morback: I believe she is going to SVU in NY but she has been told they also have plenty of workspaces ava as well.

I have encouraged her main priority is a mac book pro and the non glare screen, so she always has a computer at the ready when she is working on location.
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