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imac for photography

GrahamGraham Member
edited February 2011 in post-processing
I am in the market for a new computer and I'm thinking of making the switch from pc to mac. I am a mac user from way back but my last one was a G3 laptop, obviously quite a few years ago. I am leaning heavily toward the imac, my only concern is the monitor. Some people say the reflective surface is a problem and I have heard people mention you can't calibrate it properly or turn down the brightness enough or something like that.

Can anyone who actually uses one for photography tell me if this is true please. The monitor looks nice to me and I am putting it in a room where I should be able to minimize reflections. Also does anyone know how the imac screen differs from the apple cinema displays, if at all as far as using it for photography. Thanks.


  • I have had a 27" iMac for about a year and it is great for photography. You can easily calibrate it and there is no monitor glare. I would highly recommend it. The Apple monitors are great.

  • Steve_VSteve_V Member
    edited February 2011
    Recently I purchased an Imac for hobby photography. I would never photo edit again on a notebook computer after using the Imac for several weeks. Reflection is not a issue at any angle under indoor lighting conditions.

    I rewired the room on two light switches so I could try editing in the dark and in the light. Editing in the dark or by the light of a small night light seems to be the best. Perhaps 20% better than working under bright T8 tubes in relation to colors in the picture.

    When I calibrated for the first time my screen brightness dimmed. I almost felt like I must have been getting a sun tan off the Imac pre-calibration.

    My first prints back where not as vivid as the monitors image. The colors where close but leave me wondering about my brightness.

    Hope that offers at least half an answer.

  • Thanks guys that makes me feel a bit more confident getting the imac, I've ordered the color munki so hopefully I can get my prints to match the monitor.

    BTW nice blog gm.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I have an iMac next to me which Jess B works on, and I work on a Cinema Display (24") which is hooked up to my MacBook Pro.

    I had to have proper blinds put in my home office though, to cut down on the glare from the window behind me.

    But the two screens look pretty close. I'm quite happy working with these.

    HOWEVER ...
    The latest issue of Shutterbug magazine (March 2011) has David B Brooks and his regular Digital Help column, and he doesn't have much good to say about using an iMac for serious photography and a properly calibrated workflow.

    He's the expert on this.
  • It real depends on what level of 'color critical' you need to be at. If I were a catalog photographer or someone who absolutely had to match colors every day I would step up to an Eizo. For the rest of us in the real world with real budgets, the Apple monitors are nice. I work on several Eizo monitors and I to say that I prefer the look of the Apple. I am not saying that it is better, but it has a more pleasing look to me.
  • I am 100% agreed with gmphotos.
    Last month I have bought 27" i5 imac and I am very happy with it. As the forums are complaining, there will be machines with fan noise.

    *** 1. Buy from shop only not on online. 2. Ask them to open and work bit hard(giving more load to the processor). 3. Please confirm your piece is away from the fan noise.
    4. Finally, if you are not getting a chance like that, take a day off and experiment with your new imac and arrange to get a new piece immediately if it is faulted. ****
  • Yeah I want an Eizo but they are a bit pricey, I have heard the NEC 60 series use the same panel for a price mortals can afford, I might add one of those at some stage. I'm doing wedding and a bit of architecture type stuff so absolute colour accuracy isn't critical, getting something that looks nice, is consistent and matches my prints is the main thing for me.

    I bought it from my local mac dealer, its a 27" i5 wth 12GB RAM, but its sitting in the box at home still because I had my wisdom teeth extracted in hospital today :P
    I will check out the fan noise etc. tommorrow if I'm feeling better.

    Thanks guys.
  • Just thought I would update this in case anyone is thinking about an iMac. I have been using the iMac for a few weeks now and wow I'm impressed. The monitor calibrated no problem using the color munki and the prints are very close to what I see on the screen.

    Lightroom and CS5 run nice and fast and the images look great on screen. The shiny screen isn't a problem where I have it set up either. It's very quiet, the only sound it makes is a slight noise from the internal hard drive. It is a weird sound but I don't even notice it anymore, if I have music playing I cant hear it at all. BTW the built in speakers sound surprisingly good. I really like the time machine backup software built into the OS, I use that to backup the entire system, including my working files on the internal drive to an external drive. Then manually backup my images every couple of days to another external drive. I might eventually move to a drobo but this seems to work quite well for the moment.

    Anyway, so far I am well impressed and so glad I decided to go with this machine. I have missed the Mac OS and it's good to be back. I'm waiting for the new iPad to go on sale here because I need one of those too now ;)

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