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iMac 27" for photo-editing Vs Dell u2410

Sankar S , Jul 22, 2011; 12:02 a.m.

Hi,
I am in the market for a new laptop/desktop, and I in a dilemma in choosing the right option. I am looking forward to your expert suggestions. First of all I don't have a budget to go for Eizo/NEC monitors.
I was thinking of either going for an iMac 27" and a low-end macbook pro (MBP) OR an advanced configuration of macbook pro, with a Dell U2410. In the first option, I will use my iMac for most photo-editing, and use the macbook pro while on the move.
Reason for leaning towards iMac 27: 1. 27" screeen 2. Screen resolution 3. A powerful computing machine and monitor combined for a good price
Reasons for thinking of alternatives: 1. Glossy screen of iMac 2. Not sure of the color gamut and color accuracy of iMac. I see a lot of recommendations for U2410 for medium end monitors, and not too many recommendations for iMac including this one: http://photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00YDx8
What are your thoughts ?

Responses

JDM von Weinberg , Jul 22, 2011; 12:43 a.m.

Well, I am expecting delivery of my 27" iMac by Monday, so you can see what conclusion I came to.

It's the first iMac I've bought for myself, but the monitor/power equation made it seem the best solution. The towers just cost a lot more after you get a decent monitor, and the Macbook Pro is great, but less power and smaller maximum HD size for almost exactly the same price as the iMac.
The monitor is a classic, and I can't imagine where you'd get more without spending a lot more.

It's certainly possible to do serious work on a laptop, but if you don't need portability, the iMac is the most cost effective solution and gives you a lot more oomph. Get plenty of RAM and large HD, the largest HD available on whatever you decide on.

I've worked on the glossy screen and find it nice for the increased saturation and sharpness. I don't think that gamut and color accuracy are any more of a problem on the iMac than on any other lcd monitor.

Bob Lazzarini , Jul 22, 2011; 12:53 a.m.

I've just acquired a 27" 3.4 GHz iMac i7 and this puppy is FAST! I was very leery of the glossy monitor, but it doesn't present any problems at all and is sharp as a tack.
And it handles Photoshop 5.5 and large files with ease. :)
So far it's the best Mac I've ever had the pleasure to own.
Just make sure you can get it installed with Mac OSX 10.6.8 or else get an installation disc with that version software because there are problems with OSX 7.0. It will not run any PPC software, including plug-ins.
Cheers!

Monika Epsefass , Jul 22, 2011; 02:32 a.m.

I've recently read test results which stated that the 27" Mac screen is not considered a high-end screen for photo editing, as the illumination is not even all across the screen.
I'd probably go for an Eizo or NEC - do you need a 27" or is it a nice-to-have? There's an Eizo out with 24" and a great reputation (CG245W)

Patrick Lavoie , Jul 22, 2011; 08:30 a.m.

the 27inch monitor is a excellent monitor for many user, including serious amateur and pro BUT you could have something better with a NEC for the same price or so (999$)... something better dont mean night and day..

you are asking for 2 different setup... portable and not portable. The Imac27inch is a excellent choice for the price, i have one crancked up to is max and i am doing photo retouching for a living.. the monitor is perfect BUT i also have a NEC 2690 connect to it as my primary monitor because i need this extra color defination, subtility with this 2-3% color that i can see on the NEC and can't see on the mac.. whe are talking more power than a regular user need.. when theres no $$$ involve with a client here.

The laptop + dell monitor is also a excellent choice for other reason.. but it is not a power station for demanding need... and it is probably more expensive as a solution?

I have a imac27inch at my studio + NEC for retouching, i bring this Imac on location when assisting photographer... but i also have a newer (yesterday) macbook air 11inch that i bring with me when traveling and give my workshop.. powerfull enough for photoshop and lightroom.. at least to give presentation and workshop ; )

let say its my ipad upgrade.. instead of getting the ipad2.. i got the macbook air 11inch ; )

Dave Perkes , Jul 25, 2011; 01:17 p.m.

I have a Dell U2410 which I use with a Windows 7 64 bit workstation. I am very happy with the monitor which gives excelent results with the lab I use (they have Eizo Monitors) I tried the pre-set Adobe RGB colour space. I was amazed how good the priint result was; but had to set the Dell brightness down to 1 and contrast around 40%.
I have hooked up my Macbook Pro with the Dell using DVI port and it works well; but as it is a non reflective screen it looks less contrasty than the Mac and a touch green by comparison. I find the Mac screens a a bit over saturated for editing and need to turn the brightness down to 50%.
The Macbook Pros have performance approaching desktops now and by using the external monitor you will have a versatile system for office and on the road.
I just have a few observations which may help you
Using a 15" Macbook with 1GB Video is works well with the Dell; but I had problems when I tried a 13' Mac Pro; which did not work well with external monitors. it would not work on my 42" LG TV using VGA (the TV does not have a DVI port and Mac do not make a compatible HDMI cable. I ended up with the 15" Macbook Pro with i7 2.2Ghz and 1Gb video output. Its running 4 Gb RAM OK; but if you are using it as your main Imaging computer 8gb RAM would be better.
I do suggest very strongly that you get your Mac supplier to test your monitor with the Mac before purchase.

Patrick Lavoie , Jul 26, 2011; 10:10 a.m.

I have a Dell U2410 which I use with a Windows 7 64 bit workstation. I am very happy with the monitor which gives excelent results with the lab I use (they have Eizo Monitors) I tried the pre-set Adobe RGB colour space. I was amazed how good the priint result was; but had to set the Dell brightness down to 1 and contrast around 40%.

that sound like you didtn use a calibration system?

I have hooked up my Macbook Pro with the Dell using DVI port and it works well; but as it is a non reflective screen it looks less contrasty than the Mac and a touch green by comparison. I find the Mac screens a a bit over saturated for editing and need to turn the brightness down to 50%.

again, that sound like you didtn use a calibration system?

I tried a 13' Mac Pro; which did not work well with external monitors. it would not work on my 42" LG TV using VGA (the TV does not have a DVI port and Mac do not make a compatible HDMI cable.

the MacBook Pro work well with any kind of monitor.. you just need 1 adaptor from Apple that cost 35$ its call mini dv to vga, or the other one call mini dv to dvi.. Apple dont make the HDMI version, but Toschi does, and Belkin or Griffin also (dont recall witch one correctly). So basically you end up buying a close to 2000$ laptop because you didtn know that you could connect all you want on your 1300$ one.. with a 35$ adaptor?

Dave Perkes , Jul 26, 2011; 11:07 a.m.

Patrick, you are correct, I do not have or am able to buy a calibrator where I live in Cambodia. Specialist equipment is just not available; so I will have to wait till I get to a country where I can buy one.
I did not expect to get a decent monitor here. I was just lucky to find a Dell U2410 in Phnom Penh a couple of months ago. I tried the Pre-set for Adobe RGB and I got good prints from the lab on the first test. I dont print myself as I cannot buy a decent inkjet printer and more importantly specialist photo inks here. I have to rely on print labs.
I like to keep things as simple as possible so if the setup works for me then I'll be happy.
I bought a 15" Macbook because it was better all round for me than the 13' version; not because of monitor compatibility
I have both VGA and DVI adapters. Thanks for the suggestion for the 3rd party HDMI adaptors (not obtainable here) I'll try and get one In UK in when I go in Sept. The LG TV is very fussy about inputs and unable to play video formats on PC or Mac. I still cant get full screen output with the mac; so will be using an old PC Laptop with the LG TV until I can get the HDMI cable.

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