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iMac M3 color profile

New Here ,
Jan 18, 2024 Jan 18, 2024

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Hi!

 

Could somebody please help - I switched from Lenovo Yoga 920 to iMac M3, and I was wondering, what is the best color profile for editing photography?

The Lenovo had to be calibrated all the time and the colors would still look sometimes off, would have to check from different devices etc.

Since Mac is known for the best colors for photography, I would assume there is a profile majority of professional photographers use (meaning over 50%).

I have read somewhere P3, but again the info is somewhat difficult to find/confirm. And should the truetone be on or off?

The goal is that the end results look the same on majority of devices.

 

Thank you very much in advance!

 

Best regards,

 

Aleksei

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Jan 18, 2024 Jan 18, 2024

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Which profile are you referring to? The display profile or the document profile?

 

For the first, there is only one: the profile that correctly describes the display's actual and current behavior. This is why you use a calibrator to measure the display and build a profile on that. The default system profile Display P3 is probably close, but not as accurate as one made with a calibrator. Displays vary individually, and they drift.

 

For document profile, there is no "best", only what is most appropriate for the purpose. That's a long story that depends on what you do.

 

In the Mac community, I've noticed the tendency now is to use Image P3/Display P3 (they're identical) for everything. That is actually quite problematic, because using the same profile for document and display disables and nulls out all display color management. That's all fine within the closed Mac community, but will quickly get you in trouble outside in the real world. It lets bad habits and poor color management practice proliferate.

 

Oh, BTW, the working space in color settings isn't important. The embedded document profile in the file will always override it.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 18, 2024 Jan 18, 2024

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For the display profile, the factory-supplied iMac profile is usually pretty close. A hardware calibrator might get you a little closer but you may or may not see much of a difference. For document profile, you'll find people who recommend sRGB, Adobe RGB, and ProPhotoRGB.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 18, 2024 Jan 18, 2024

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quote

Since Mac is known for the best colors for photography


By @Aleksei3488816933ml

 

I don't know where you heard that, but Mac displays are quite average. If you want a really good display you want an Eizo Coloredge or NEC Spectraview. The platform itself has no bearing on this.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 19, 2024 Jan 19, 2024

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I suspect that an iMac display will be better than most generic PC displays at the same price point. Most people, even good photographers, will be ok using cheaper hardware and not have to spend $3000 on a display.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 18, 2024 Jan 18, 2024

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quote

Could somebody please help - I switched from Lenovo Yoga 920 to iMac M3, and I was wondering, what is the best color profile for editing photography?

By @Aleksei3488816933ml

 

For the display profile selected in the OS (not a document profile), the answer is the same regardless of the computer: The best display profile is custom-generated from measurements taken from that specific display. This usually means a profile generated by a USB profiling/calibrating device you used on your display. If you don’t have one, some pro displays claim to have good factory calibration.

 

If you are instead asking about the profile to use as a working space, a document profile, or an export profile (three different color profiles), we can only answer that if we know more about the kind of work you do. (Graphics for web sites and mobile apps? Printing press? Desktop inkjet printer? Video editing?)

 

quote

Since Mac is known for the best colors for photography, I would assume there is a profile majority of professional photographers use (meaning over 50%).

By @Aleksei3488816933ml

 

Many years ago Apple had a head start with color management, but today, both macOS and Windows support system-level color management, and many manufacturers make excellent displays. There is no one correct profile most photographers use, because that points back to the earlier paragraph: The best color profile for working space, document profile, and export always depends on the kind of work you are doing. I like Macs, but I know that with a PC properly configured for pro color, I could do the work just as well.

 

quote

I have read somewhere P3, but again the info is somewhat difficult to find/confirm. And should the truetone be on or off?

By @Aleksei3488816933ml

 

For the display profile, Display P3 might work fine if you are using a Mac that really has a P3 gamut display. It would be a wrong choice for an older or lower end Mac with an sRGB display, or with a Mac connected to a non-Apple display. For many Macs, the correct choice is a profile named Color LCD, but it might not be as accurate as a custom profile.

 

Note that on the most advanced current Apple displays (Pro Display XDR, 14"/16" MacBook Pro Liquid Retina XDR), you do not choose a color profile, you choose a Reference Mode preset, and the gamut is one of the specs included in that preset.

 

All settings that can automatically alter the display at any time should be disabled for pro color work. On macOS/iOS these include automatic brightness adjustment, TrueTone, and NightShift.

 

If the Lenovo had an older LCD with a CCFL backlight, it could have drifted. Current Mac and PC displays should be less prone to color drift because they use very stable LED backlights.

 

quote

The goal is that the end results look the same on majority of devices.

By @Aleksei3488816933ml

 

Looking “the same” is not possible because there is such a wide variety of quality across displays. The more realistic goal often stated is “as consistent as possible” under those limitations. Consistency is most easily reached when all devices support color management and profiles, because then you just embed a profile on export, and the receiving device knows how to do its best within its limitations. When some devices or apps don’t support profiles, you have no control…you can’t do anything except export to a common gamut such a sRGB, hope for the best, and let it go.

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