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Calibrating the new Macbook LED screens

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Old 05-22-2009, 02:33 PM
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W.Smith W.Smith is offline
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Re: Calibrating the new Macbook LED screens

Originally Posted by jtd131 View Post
Thanks a lot guys, so when you say mac screens are good, you mean the external displays right?
Yes. That, and that screen's (quality) management system, which is built into OSX.
So should I get another monitor other than my new macbook? I mean, I know it would help, but is it essential to getting an accurate image?
Depends on a mix of the level of your standards, the quality of your eyesight, the ambient lighting, the quality of the source material, the size of that MacBook's screen, and the contents of your billfold. For starters.

So what MacBook screen are we talking about here? And what kind/size of photo files will you generally be using on it? And what kind of work will you be doing on it? Is it for amateur snapshots, amateur enthusiast, hobbyist, advanced hobbyist, starter pro, or seasoned pro level work? What will the resultant files eventually be used for? Pro (mass media) print? Glossy mags? Grandma's 80th Birthday Photo Album? What?
You've gotta give us some more to play with here.

Very generally, the commonly accepted wisdom for screens, strangely, seems to be: bigger is better.
Well, put a small MacBook screen next to any 30" screen, with the same image on it, and the same drivers drivin' it, obviously, and a toddler can tell you which is the 'better', 'prettier', finer image.
Bigger is, well, bigger! And that's got its own advantages of course. Especially if your eyesight is not getting any better, like mine. But image quality is not automatically one of them.

In the vast majority of situations you get what you pay for. Want a quality big screen? Go for a Cinema Display. If it's for a personal workstation, 24" is probably more than you're likely to need. If it's for presentations to prospective paying customer audiences, go for the best of the really big ones: the 30" Cinema Display. If your MacBook can drive it! Better check that before you go on.
And if your bank account can stand some haemorrhaging...

Last edited by W.Smith; 05-22-2009 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:19 PM
grahamdunn grahamdunn is offline
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Re: Calibrating the new Macbook LED screens

I'm 99% sure the new Macbooks and Macbook Pro models support dual-link DVI, meaning you can run a 30" monitor if you wanted to.

My 24" iMac calibrates nicely, but my new Macbook pro with the LED screen seems cooler in color temp than the iMac does—they don't match exactly which is a little worrisome. I am interested to find out more about calibrating the Macbook monitors themselves. I know that you DO need to use an external calibration device for the best accuracy. I have a relatively inexpensive Spyder 2, but instead of the default software, I run Color Eyes Display Pro which lets you set your luminance low (110-120) and customize many settings. On my iMac, there's a brightness control in the system prefs for bright and not-so-bright. Color Eyes just handles brightness automatically for you and sets the proper brightness. On the Macbook, it doesn't, because the brightness can go from bright to totally dark, not just dim. Depending on where you have your brightness settings when you calibrate, you will get different results, which is confusing. I'm not sure where to set the monitor brightness and it seems like a lot of people are lost too. Get a calibration device if you can afford it (they use an "electric eye," your built in Mac calibration uses your eyes which aren't all that accurate all the time), and Color Eyes has a 10 day demo to get you started. Hope that helps a little, but I'd love to see if anyone knows about the Macbooks more specifically.
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