iMac 27" 5K or MBP with NEC spectraview?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by alex_jaimes|1, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. I've done things "backwards"- bought a PA272W-BK-SV LED Backlit Wide Gamut LCD Desktop Monitor with Spectraview ($1,099 at B&H) first, and now I'm debating whether to buy a MacBook pro OR an iMac with Retina display or even a mac mini.
    I've read that most people seem to go with the MBP and a monitor like the one I got? But I'm also wondering if some of you use both (iMac with an additional display like the one above), and how? The reason I got the NEC is what I read about color accuracy. I don't print often, but I figured it was a good investment that would last a few years. I'm assuming that having the iMac with the NEC would be really useful during editing, in selecting shots, for example (although I assume colors wont' quite look the same in both), when there are near duplicates. So in terms of computational power and extra screen real estate, the NEC with the iMac would seem like an ideal combination, but I loose mobility? (i also do some "light" video editing).
    Thanks!
    Alex
     
  2. I recently purchased a new macbook pro that I use with my PA272W and have no problems. Before that I used a mac mini, but now I don't see the point of keeping the mini. However, I have read very good reports about the new i Macs. Considering that you already have a very nice monitor I'd go with the laptop. I don't think speed will be a problem.
     
  3. I'm clueless and just reading up on the entire issue. But iMacs supporting 10 Bit screens under ElCapitan made the news last month. According to these software devs aren't equipped to implement 10Bit color yet, so your screen is really waiting for Apple to start or reach the future.
     
  4. I use a 10 bit per channel Eizo CG colorEdge display with a late 2014 27" Retina iMac. The Eizo works just fine. Like the
    equally high end NEC displaysithas its own GPU. It works great.

    Do you need a portable computer? Get the MBP. If you don't, get the new 27" Retina iMac as you'll appreciate the real
    estate of the display and the horsepower of the machine. Make sure you get the higher end GPU in the iMac.

    Also before you buy, check the refurb store at Apple.com you can find some very good deals there.
     
  5. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    You didn't do anything in the wrong order <g>. Got a great display system.
    IF you need something mobile, don't feel you can't go MacBook Pro fully maxed out! I'm running a nearly 2 year old MPB with the SpectraView, at least with 5DMII files, it's plenty fast. You can go faster true. But the Retina display is great on location albeit not a color critical system and the MBP run's everything (Lightroom, Photoshop) quite well.
    The SpectraView is a high bit panel, while I can see a tiny bit of banding with totally synthetic images designed for testing a full 10-bit path, over sold, not a reason not to get the MPB.
     
  6. Thanks everyone. I know that a MBP will work- on the other hand, it ends up costing pretty much the same as the 27" 5K Retina iMac and I'll get less power, so unless I absolutely need mobility, the iMac seems like a better deal. But for those of you who use an iMac + an additional monitor, how do you use them? I mean, do you use the external monitor only for color correction when you are ready to print? i spend a lot of my time going over many photos, selecting, organizing, so I'm debating if a 2 screen setup is overkill.
     
  7. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    If you go iMac, you'll find the display compared to the NEC is only useful for palettes and such (and the size might drive you crazy). The NEC is a wide gamut display, a reference display system, the iMac display isn't (not even close). At least with the MacBook Pro, you can shut the lid and just work on the NEC, yet it's useful on the road of course.
    But for those of you who use an iMac + an additional monitor, how do you use them? I mean, do you use the external monitor only for color correction when you are ready to print?​
    Use it for all color critical work. Or in the case of those of us using a MPB and NEC, use it for everything expect when traveling.
     
  8. Unless you need dual monitors why not go with a standard desktop tower Mac and save money by not getting the monitor? That way you get the most processing power and upgrade-ability without buying hardware you don't need since you already have a great monitor.
     
  9. Two large monitors is a lot of screen real estate, do you have room to put them side by side? The Mac Pro is a powerful machine but really overkill for photography to my way of thinking. Why would you need two video cards etc and it has a 3000 base price. The MBP Retina 15" is very nice, will drive the monitor and run any photo program you can throw at it and gives you portability. The iMac 27" is a beautiful machine, and its display is stunning though not nearly as accurate as the NEC color wise, but you will see things on it you won"t see on other monitors because the detail is so crazy sharp. Its down to what best suits you. You already have the NEC so the rest is easy.
     
  10. Thanks everyone. Indeed, a 27" iMac + the NEC together give a *lot* of screen real estate. And take up a lot of space (that I don't particularly have!).
    So I've looked at all configurations: 21.5" iMac + NEC, 27" iMac + NEC, MPB + NEC. And what I'm finding is that while the MBP+NEC combination seems most convenient, in the end, it is several hundred $ more expensive and I loose computational power, but gain mobility. So getting an iMac+NEC would give me the "best" home system for the lower price. And I agree that the Mac Pro is overkill and even more expensive. I'm leaning towards the 27" iMac + NEC, and if I find that I really need mobility, then buying either an older MB Air/MBP or the lower end MPB assuming I won't do any intensive work on it. With this setup, I run the risk of not using the NEC that much (only for color accurate tasks, once in a while), but it seems like that would be worth it..
     
  11. Brad, which Mac do you consider to be a "standard desktop tower Mac"? Apple no longer makes "towers", and with the current Mac Pro being in what I would term a one of a kind category (not tower, not standard), I'm not sure that your terminology is applicable.

    If you mean standard iMac, there is a large difference between models, so I don't know if "standard model" works there either. You have to go for the 27" iMac models just to get a 7200 rpm drive, and/or user accessible ram.

    IMO. the current Mac Pro is overkill for still photography. Fine for video, heavy graphics work, or scientific use. But, Apple has abandoned the tower, not to mention the photographers that would love to have one with current industry specs to use in their work. Now, if you want a new desktop model Mac, it's the iMac or nothing. And yes, I have purposely left the Mac Mini out of this discussion.

    I can see Andrew's point about closing the lid on a MBP to eliminate any distraction from the smaller display when using the NEC, but, I haven't figured out how he accesses the keyboard when he does that. ;o)
     
  12. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    I can see Andrew's point about closing the lid on a MBP to eliminate any distraction from the smaller display when using the NEC, but, I haven't figured out how he accesses the keyboard when he does that. ;o)​
    External USB keyboard, mouse, a slew of drives and a USB 3 hub.
     
  13. Excellent, I hate laptop keyboards anyway, right up there with their little trackpads, yuk!
     

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