ACR Editing on a Display which Far Exceeds that of the Client (and Public)

Better than the venerable “Retina” display? This is a tale of tech specs vs. your eyes.

A few days ago we set out to do some speed testing of the 2015 15" MacBook Pro Retina vs. the November 2016 15" MacBook Pro Retina. Admittedly, we were distracted. It was one thing to monitor the speeds, but the two screens were so dramatically different that we had to refocus what we needed to learn.

As seen below, the display of Apple’s new MacBook Pro has a much bigger color model, known as P3. There are also 500 more units of brightness and a 67% higher difference in the contrast ratio. All that’s good, right? Well… in many ways, yes.

How about if you just meticulously adjusted a great photo in Adobe Camera Raw, using the new MacBook Pro and sent it to your client? It’s not going to be all that great is it, if the client doesn’t have a display as terrific as yours?

This is not a new issue for us. We have had one of the first January 2015 Wacom Cintiq 27QHD devices ever shipped. That was the first display to disappoint us in our otherwise dazzling May 2015 MacBook Pro Retina. So how have we been dealing with the challenge for two years?

First, technology moves forward. Today’s over-the-top extraordinary displays, that everyone in the know wishes that they had, is tomorrow’s norm. So, edit for the best, now.

Next, test for the present. We have a 17” MacBook Pro June 2009, which used to be one of those “must haves.” It’s still quite good. If the image looks great on that almost 8 year old Mac, it’s good to go, literally.

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ACR Editing on a Display which Far Exceeds that of the Client (and Public)

Better than the venerable “Retina” display? This is a tale of tech specs vs. your eyes.

A few days ago we set out to do some speed testing of the 2015 15" MacBook Pro Retina vs. the November 2016 15" MacBook Pro Retina. Admittedly, we were distracted. It was one thing to monitor the speeds, but the two screens were so dramatically different that we had to refocus what we needed to learn.

As seen below, the display of Apple’s new MacBook Pro has a much bigger color model, known as P3. There are also 500 more units of brightness and a 67% higher difference in the contrast ratio. All that’s good, right? Well… in many ways, yes.

How about if you just meticulously adjusted a great photo in Adobe Camera Raw, using the new MacBook Pro and sent it to your client? It’s not going to be all that great is it, if the client doesn’t have a display as terrific as yours?

This is not a new issue for us. We have had one of the first January 2015 Wacom Cintiq 27QHD devices ever shipped. That was the first display to disappoint us in our otherwise dazzling May 2015 MacBook Pro Retina. So how have we been dealing with the challenge for two years?

First, technology moves forward. Today’s over-the-top extraordinary displays, that everyone in the know wishes that they had, is tomorrow’s norm. So, edit for the best, now.

Next, test for the present. We have a 17” MacBook Pro June 2009, which used to be one of those “must haves.” It’s still quite good. If the image looks great on that almost 8 year old Mac, it’s good to go, literally.

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Re: ACR Editing on a Display which Far Exceeds that of the Client (and Public)

Adobe Community Professional, Mar 02, 2017

https://forums.adobe.com/people/Brian+Stoppee  wrote

the display of Apple’s new MacBook Pro has a much bigger color model, known as P3. There are also 500 more units of brightness and a 67% higher difference in the contrast ratio. All that’s good, right?

No, but not because of what your clients might have.

First of all, the extended gamut is a variety of traditional wide gamut displays, which many of us have been working on for years. The main benefit is reliable soft proofing for print, since many printable colors fall outside the sRGB-ish gamut of standard displays. P3 is no better or worse for that purpose.

As for the higher contrast - again, do you want a reliable preview of what the file will look like in actual production, or do you just want to look at a pretty picture?

Displays have always had way too high contrast and brightness for any real-world use. Even the very best glossy photo papers have a contrast range of at most 300:1. And yet monitor makers regularly boast contrast ranges above 1000:1. What are you going to use that for? It looks impressive on screen, but it doesn't relate to anything in the real world.

The display white point can't move very far away from your perception of paper white, not if you want to stay on the same page as everyone else. Most pros (myself included) go to great lengths to match monitor white to paper white, precisely in order to get a reliable preview. "What you see is what you get" is the ultimate goal.

This applies even if you work exclusively for web/screen. Our whole perception of how a photograph should look is based on a piece of colored paper. It's the only reference we all have in common.

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Re: ACR Editing on a Display which Far Exceeds that of the Client (and Public)

Adobe Community Professional, Mar 02, 2017

I should say that I'm a photographer and that's my perspective (but you are in the ACR forum... )

I can imagine the rules being different if you do video work, mainly because video is viewed in a completely different environment. It's also noteworthy that the DCI-P3 color space is a cinema standard for digital cinema projectors. It wasn't specified with photography or print production in mind.

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Re: ACR Editing on a Display which Far Exceeds that of the Client (and Public)

https://forums.adobe.com/people/D+Fosse  wrote

I can imagine the rules being different if you do video work, mainly because video is viewed in a completely different environment. It's also noteworthy that the DCI-P3 color space is a cinema standard for digital cinema projectors. It wasn't specified with photography or print production in mind.

Janet & I did ponder if this topic was more appropriate in the Premiere Pro, Bridge, or Lightroom forums. It's a somewhat broad theme.

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