• #2582
    David Farkas

    The new Macbook Pros look pretty amazing. Apple has finally gone USB 3, put in a standard HDMI connector, is now completely solid state and upped the RAM to 16GB. Of course, being only 3/4 of an inch thick, weighing 4.5 lbs and having 7 hours of battery life are very impressive as well.

    The possible game changer, though, is the new retina display. The 15″ has a 2880×1800 resolution(!), but what will this actually mean in terms of screen real estate? Anandtech had a good breakdown of the pixel scaling on the retina display. “Native” resolution is still 1440×900, but every pixel is represented by four pixels, making the display very smooth and crisp.

    My concern, as it always has been with MBP displays, is that is still fairly low resolution in terms of screen real estate. In the display settings you can change the screen setting to 1440×900, 1680×1060 or 1920×1200. That's all fine and good, but it is no linger whole pixel scaling. I would want to run at 1920×1200 for maximum screen real estate (as I do now), but each pixel isn't representing a whole number.

    When we currently view images on screen for evaluation, 100% crop or 1:1 means just that – one pixel on screen is equal to one pixel from the image file. What will this mean for image editing in Photoshop or Lightroom when we no longer can see pixels 1:1?

    My hope is that the full resolution of the retina display is available to programs like LR and CS6. I'd also hope that control elements like icons and menus are scalable independent of screen resolution. So, even if LR was running at full 2880×1800, you'd still have icons that we scaled as if they were displayed at 1920×1200. I don't care if an icon has scaling artifacts. I do on photos.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love for this to work. The idea of a not-as-glossy IPS screen with such high resoltuion makes me giddy. What I don't want is to find out that this is a repeat of what Apple did in the iPad 3, which is have a lot of pixels and still display content at 1024×768 (and discard any extra screen real estate).

    Thoughts?

  • #2590
    woodyspedden

    David

    In addition to your comments I recently read an article that was from a company (I believe it was called I Fixit but I may be wrong about that) who took the entire MacBook Pro apart to determine its “fixability.”

    They discovered that much of the unit is glued in place and that the display is integral to the unit and if damaged the only recourse may be to replace the entire computer. The previous MacBook Pro was rated at a 7 out of 10 for repairability and the new machine at a 1!

    I will try to find a link to this report so all can read the details but I would advise at least talking about repairability issues with an authorized Apple retailer (even better an Apple Store) before buying

    Woody Spedden

  • #2798
    Roger

    Not sure how they do this but if you down load the NYT iPad application and view the Olympics shots of the day …you will see the potential of the retina display . The photographs display more detail and have more depth than anything I ve ever seen on screen.

  • #3133
    David Farkas

    As a follow-up to this thread, I recently found myself in need of a new laptop. Mine had a little fall while traveling to Photokina and the lower left hand corner of my screen now has a very strong red cast. 🙁

    So, I visited the Apple store upon my return home and played with a rMBP for a good hour plus. Unfortunately, my concerns over pixel scaling that I had when the new screen was announced proved to be deal breakers for me. Every review of the rMBP I've read usually starts out gushing about how awesome the Retina display is. No one (except Anand, who've I've referenced above) seems to even discuss the impact on photo rendering. Ironically, my main reason for not getting the rMBP was the screen. When I brought up Red Dot Forum in Safari (which is Retina-aware), all the graphics looked fuzzy and pixelated. The text looked sharp, sure, but I care about photos and images. Even the logo at the top of the screen looked terrible. I clicked on some 100% crops I'd done for the Monochrom article. Terrible. I mean, really terrible. And, these same images look crisp and beautiful on a 27″ NEC Spectraview.

    I struggled to make it work. The best option I found was setting the scaling to 1920×1200, which worked fairly well if you didn't sit too close to the screen. Upon close inspection, the scaling artifacts were still there.

    Other concerns were related to the lack of upgradability. You can't up the RAM or the SSD after the fact and if you want 16GB, Apple makes you pay for the 768GB SSD whether you want it or not. The last nail in the coffin (for me) was that the LCD, as beautiful as it is, only shows 72% Adobe RGB.

    To get back to the screen for a second, there is a broader issue. As a content creator and webmaster, I have serious concerns with Apple's strategy. In order for graphics and images to look nice on the new Retina display, Apple recommends increasing the resolution of the files by 4x then using HTML code to display at 1x. Here's an example: Let's say I want to display an image that is 600×400 pixels on a web page. Apple is recommending that I upload a 1200×800 pixel image then use an HTML tag to display it at 600×400. Not such a big deal, right? Wrong. First, I use database-driven content management software, which doesn't support this kind of functionality site-wide. I'd have to hand code everything, which isn't ideal and users who upload images in the forum wouldn't be able to access this functionality. Secondly, load times, storage requirements and bandwidth usage will all quadruple. Some of my articles have 50 images in them. The load time would be measured in minutes even on the fastest connections. This is unacceptable.

    I don't think that the Retina display is going away anytime soon. I just hope that Apple comes up with a better way to scale graphics, or to expose the full pixel resolution for images.

    If the MBP had a high-res 1920×1200 anti-glare IPS screen, I probably would have bought one. The design is gorgeous, it's fast, light and has great battery life. But…..

    Sorry for the long rant. Just been on the brain for a while and I was curious if anyone else has noticed the pixel scaling issue.

  • #3136
    Roger

    David

    While I understand the issue ….the results I have seen on any retina aware application are nothing short of amazing and frankly blow away the NEC display . (for rendering of fine detail ..but I get the RGB issue ).

    I have the NEC display you speak of ,the new MBP retina and the iPad retina . Each requires a different file specification to be optimized . I have always been surprised by the lack of attention to output for the web . We capture using the best equipment ,process with great attention to detail and then push out 600×400 files for display ? The NYT application for the iPad is optimized and if you go back to the Olympics ..you can find images that exceed anything I ve seen on a screen .

    Go to diglloyd s website and see his display of test images . You make a selection of what type of screen you are using . If nothing else you can see the difference in the result. He also has several articles on using the retina display and speaks to the issues you raise .

    Some of the software is already Retina enabled ..Aperture ,DxO and Adobe is in process. But clearly most display software is not there yet and may never get there .

    I think it will be a while before we will see Retina screens used for critical color managed work flows (I looked for this at the PhotoPlus Show ) ..so the NEC is here to stay . But for viewing web content I look at the iPad and the MBP retina as both the standard and the future .

  • #3138
    David Farkas

    Roger;3705 wrote: David

    While I understand the issue ….the results I have seen on any retina aware application are nothing short of amazing and frankly blow away the NEC display . (for rendering of fine detail ..but I get the RGB issue ).

    I have the NEC display you speak of ,the new MBP retina and the iPad retina . Each requires a different file specification to be optimized . I have always been surprised by the lack of attention to output for the web . We capture using the best equipment ,process with great attention to detail and then push out 600×400 files for display ? The NYT application for the iPad is optimized and if you go back to the Olympics ..you can find images that exceed anything I ve seen on a screen .

    Go to diglloyd s website and see his display of test images . You make a selection of what type of screen you are using . If nothing else you can see the difference in the result. He also has several articles on using the retina display and speaks to the issues you raise .

    Some of the software is already Retina enabled ..Aperture ,DxO and Adobe is in process. But clearly most display software is not there yet and may never get there .

    I think it will be a while before we will see Retina screens used for critical color managed work flows (I looked for this at the PhotoPlus Show ) ..so the NEC is here to stay . But for viewing web content I look at the iPad and the MBP retina as both the standard and the future .

    Roger,

    I was in NYC for PhotoPlus as well, and had a chance to go to the Microsoft Store in Times Square to check out the new Surface and some other Windows 8 devices on display. While the Surface RT has a 1366×768 display (more usable screen real estate than an iPad), the upcoming Surface Pro will have a 10.6″ 1920×1080 display, which will be a 1:1 pixel display. I'll be able to run Lightroom (hopefully) on it and have decent screen real estate. For me, this is far more useful than the Retina technology. I'm all for pixel density. I just want to actually use it for more productivity and be able to work on my images at 1:1, uninterpolated

    At the store, they also had an Acer ultrabook. I'm not the biggest Acer fan, but this 2.9 lb laptop had a 13″ 1920×1080 IPS touchscreen, 6 hr battery life and a dual core i5 with 128GB SSD… for only $1200. The display looked gorgeous. For comparison, the new 13″ Retina MBP native usable screen real estate is just 1280×800. The 13″ MBA even has more display area at 1440×900. Personally, I'm just not sold on sacrificing pixel real estate for smoother text, or using non-integer interpolation to gain more screen area.

    I think with the advent of third generation Intel chips and the big Windows 8 push, Apple is going to see some serious competition, both in the tablet and laptop space, as PC vendors roll out their offerings over the next few month, especially as hardware manufacturers standardize on 1080 IPS displays.

  • #3140
    Roger

    David

    I separate the work flow issues from the display . My focus is on the display as my work flow can be adjusted to a desktop environment with a large screen that displays near 100% RGB etc .

    The retina display is how photographers will view my work . As I understand it the retina displays use 4 individual sites for every pixel displayed (I may be off in my understanding of the technology ) . The quality and depth in the images has nothing to do with the maximum pixels displayed . The NEC display has far more pixels than the MacBook retina and doesn t hold a candle to the amount of detail or the impression of a quality image .

    Please read diglloyds description and view the NYT on a iPad thru the iPad application …this is far more effective than my rambling . If you are viewing something on a retina that wasn t designed for it ..you aren t seeing the retina display potential . Diglloyd has before and afters on his free blog . Toggle back and forth .

  • #3147
    David Farkas

    Roger;3709 wrote: David

    I separate the work flow issues from the display . My focus is on the display as my work flow can be adjusted to a desktop environment with a large screen that displays near 100% RGB etc .

    The retina display is how photographers will view my work . As I understand it the retina displays use 4 individual sites for every pixel displayed (I may be off in my understanding of the technology ) . The quality and depth in the images has nothing to do with the maximum pixels displayed . The NEC display has far more pixels than the MacBook retina and doesn t hold a candle to the amount of detail or the impression of a quality image .

    Please read diglloyds description and view the NYT on a iPad thru the iPad application …this is far more effective than my rambling . If you are viewing something on a retina that wasn t designed for it ..you aren t seeing the retina display potential . Diglloyd has before and afters on his free blog . Toggle back and forth .

    Roger,

    I don't disagree with you that images optimized for a Retina display look fantastic on a Retina display. No argument there.

    But….. again, as a content creator, I have some reservations:

    1) What do you do with all the backlog of content that is optimized to 1:1 pixel screens? Redo all of it? Some online magazines, blogs, etc. go back ten years or more.

    2) What do you do when the content management system doesn't support such 4x downscaling in HTML? Perhaps the software designers could add an option for Retina scaling automatically, but it would require major upgrades (which are an enormous pain with custom CSS and templates which are very common).

    3) Should you quadruple the bandwidth requirements and load times for everyone, even those not using a Retina display? Again, in my own articles I use A LOT of images. If I were to optimize them for Retina display, even users on DSL would have load times measured in minutes per article. This is a fundamental Internet no-no.

    4) Retina-optimized images don't always look great on non-Retina displays. With most users in the non-Retina category, why make most of your users suffer?

    All of these issues are specific to Retina technology. With the new push to full 1080 screen resolution in 10″ tablets and 13″ ultrabooks in the Windows 8 universe, which represents 90% of all laptop users, is it pragmatic to cater to a relatively small sub-segment of users? The increased screen resolution of these 1:1 non-scaling (non-Retina) displays sort of makes the sharper images a moot point, does it not? I viewed some images from Red Dot Forum on one of the new 13″ 1080 IPS displays and it looks phenomenal with the increased pixel density and no scaling.

    Please don't interpret my arguments here as anti-Apple. I own several Apple devices – 3 iPads, a 27″ iMac, a 15″ MBP (pre-Retina) – and probably would have gotten the rMBP if it had a regular hi-res anti-glare screen.

    I checked out Digilloyd's comments on Retina-optimized images (http://diglloyd.com/retinapref.html) and his concerns echo my own.

  • #3149
    Roger

    David

    I can t argue with the challenges to producing retina enabled images for general consumption . Both you and diglloyd have outlined many issues . These are from the perspective of providing content . My view is of course primarily from a consumer of content ..but I want to be able to show my work as well.

    My POV is that the results can be better . Since we are spending significant $$$$ to produce the very best image quality , I can t follow any logic that limits the quality of my output . The tools are getting better and soon we will be working with retina enabled Adobe products .

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the market .

  • #4620
    Jack MacD

    David or Roger,
    Any update on this retina issue? We are now over a year since the last post.

    I am about to update my computer ( 3 years old ) and was
    leaning toward a rMBP to drive a 4K display.
    Seems smarter than a Mac Pro which for photos seems like overkill.

    Thoughts from others are welcome.

  • #4648
    RVB

    Jack MacD;6180 wrote: David or Roger,
    Any update on this retina issue? We are now over a year since the last post.

    I am about to update my computer ( 3 years old ) and was
    leaning toward a rMBP to drive a 4K display.
    Seems smarter than a Mac Pro which for photos seems like overkill.

    Thoughts from others are welcome.

    Jack,I think the MacPro is better because ram is upgradeable and GPU power is extremely good,if you are going to buy a retina I think waiting for the next model is a good idea unless you need it asap.

    If you do buy a rMBP you will need a top monitor anyway,although right now there isn't a 4k monitor worth buying.. the Sharp/Asus has faux colour calibration and narrow Adobe RGB gamut,I would wait for an Eizo or NEC

    Rob

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