Question re Monitors for photography

snerkler

Distinguished Member
I currently have a 15" Macbook pro (MBP) but am finding the small screen a real hinderance when editing photos so would like something larger. I have been contemplating buying an iMac, and whilst I haven't ruled this out completely there's a slight sticking point. Ideally, if I went down this route I'd like to be able to seamlessly sync it with my MBP, so if I've been working on a photo on the iMac but then go out and want to carry on working on it on my MBP I can do. I know there's some software that can do this such as chronosync, but it starts getting a bit complicated and expensive. So I though it might just be better to get a monitor for my MBP. The only thing that's been putting me off this route to date is how hot my MBP gets when photo editing and the fans get very noisy, and I've heard they get even hotter when using an external monitor. But I think this would be my best option. it'd be cheaper than buying a new Mac (although it'd be a work purchase anyway), and it would always be synced as it's the same computer ;)

So which monitor to buy? The obvious choice would be the 27" thunderbolt display (TBD) from Apple as it would work absolutely seamlessly with my MBP, and I like the fact that it has ports so I can daisy chain things like external drives so I don't have to clog up my MBP's drive, and just leave the files I'm currently working on on the MBP. However, it's probably not the best value for money (£899 plus £25 thunderbolt cable) and resolution might not be as good as other alternatives (27" TBD has 2560 x 1440)?

So can anyone recommend an alternative Monitor that's either better, cheaper or both, would work seamlessly, and preferably have ports so I could daisy chain external drives etc from it? I'd use the display as an alternative to the laptop screen rather than having my laptop open and running 2 screens. I know with the TBD I can close the MBP and put it to one side which is what I'd be looking at doing. I already have a apple bluetooth keyboard and trackpad I would use with it, and would also buy a magic mouse. So in essence I'd be using it like a desktop computer.

Any info appreciated

Cheers, Toby
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Don't know much about Macs but one solution may be to buy a 2 or 3Tb Time Capsule and put that on your router, that solves having files all over the place and IIRC can be access by the web and any computer on the network. Then add a Dell U series monitor (u2414 / 2713 / 3014?) as these are pretty well calibrated out of the box. Some good reviews of monitors on here - TFT Central - LCD Monitor Information, Reviews, Guides and News
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Don't know much about Macs but one solution may be to buy a 2 or 3Tb Time Capsule and put that on your router, that solves having files all over the place and IIRC can be access by the web and any computer on the network. Then add a Dell U series monitor (u2414 / 2713 / 3014?) as these are pretty well calibrated out of the box. Some good reviews of monitors on here - TFT Central - LCD Monitor Information, Reviews, Guides and News
Thanks. Time capsule may be an option, but there are times when I can't access the t'internet which may be an issue.
How do the Dell U series compare to the thunderbolt display, and is it just plug and play?
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Just looked into it and there appears to be one or two compatibility issues with the Dell and MBP :(

Looking into it a bit more it appears there's no other monitor that offers the docking capabilities of the TBD so I may have to pay the price for the Apple display :eek:
 

wongataa

Well-known Member
Apple monitors, whether separate or in iMacs, are nothing special and they only come with a glossy finish which isn't great if you don't like it. Glossy monitors are not the best for accurate colour reproduction either. You can get equivalent quality monitors for less than Apple ones if you can live without Thunderbolt.

The Dell monitors with IPS panels are usually regarded as being good value. If you want the best monitor that you can get for photo editing then you will need a NEC Spectraview screen or the equivalent EIZO ColorEdge screen but these are expensive.

Any monitor should work with your Macbook as long as you use the correct connector.

Remember to budget for calibration hardware if you don't already have any.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Apple monitors, whether separate or in iMacs, are nothing special and they only come with a glossy finish which isn't great if you don't like it. Glossy monitors are not the best for accurate colour reproduction either. You can get equivalent quality monitors for less than Apple ones if you can live without Thunderbolt.

The Dell monitors with IPS panels are usually regarded as being good value. If you want the best monitor that you can get for photo editing then you will need a NEC Spectraview screen or the equivalent EIZO ColorEdge screen but these are expensive.

Any monitor should work with your Macbook as long as you use the correct connector.

Remember to budget for calibration hardware if you don't already have any.
Thanks. The glare of the Thunderbolt screen does concern me slightly. Also, as you may see above the Dell screen can have compatibility issues with the MBP (although strangely not other macs), and also I have read extensive reports that they are hit and miss with light leak. The NEC and EIZO are too expensive for me.

I am leaning towards the Thunderbolt tbh and considering rearranging my man cave to reduce glare.
 

twist

Distinguished Member
Thanks. The glare of the Thunderbolt screen does concern me slightly. Also, as you may see above the Dell screen can have compatibility issues with the MBP (although strangely not other macs), and also I have read extensive reports that they are hit and miss with light leak. The NEC and EIZO are too expensive for me.

I am leaning towards the Thunderbolt tbh and considering rearranging my man cave to reduce glare.
TBH Id rather spend the money where it will make a difference to my images. Buying a new camera or new lenses. Monitor meh. They're all pretty decent these days.

You don't have cash for FF (which will make a much bigger difference to your output) but you have cash for a new monitor :confused:
 
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snerkler

Distinguished Member
TBH Id rather spend the money where it will make a difference to my images. Buying a new camera or new lenses. Monitor meh. They're all pretty decent these days.

You don't have cash for FF (which will make a much bigger difference to your output) but you have cash for a new monitor :confused:
I can get a monitor through work, but not a camera ;)
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Sounds like you have your heart set on a shiny TBD Snerks... there's one in the Classifieds just now if you want to save some pennies...

For Sale - Apple Thunderbolt 27" Display | AVForums
Not really, but the docking system is swaying me. Would be good to have an external hard drive permanently connected for all the old files so I'm not lugging these around everywhere, another hard drive permanently connected as a back up for the Mac and other hard drive, plus has ports for wifi usb for the mouse rather than clogging 'all two' of my USB ports on the MBP :rolleyes:

The glare's putting me off though, and might get a different monitor and USB hub for the MBP.
 

boltlock

Distinguished Member
Overclockers are doing the Dell 32" 4K monitor for £1500 at the mo. A saving of 500 quid on the normal price. :)
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
So its a tax thing.
Nope. Not going to get into it too much and the why's and wherefores so it won't make sense but my business can afford it, I can't. But to buy things through the business I also have to use it for the business.
 

boltlock

Distinguished Member
Only reason I mentioned it mate is after you get the tax back, the price would then be comparable to the 30" Dells which only have a res of 2560x1600. The real estate with a 4K monitor is unreal. :))
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Only reason I mentioned it mate is after you get the tax back, the price would then be comparable to the 30" Dells which only have a res of 2560x1600. The real estate with a 4K monitor is unreal. :))
Good point, but I'd get the tax back on the cheaper ones too making the 4k one more expensive again. It's also a matter of justifying it to myself, I can't justify £1.5k on just monitor.

Does anyone know the difference between the H and HM Dell Ultrasharp models? I notice they have several USB ports, does that mean I can daisy chain so that I can attach an external hard drive to the monitor and it will show on my MBP's desktop?
 

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