iMac to Eizo Comparison

New Kid in on the Block – a 27″ iMac (Podcast 395)

Last week I took delivery of a shiny new 27" iMac, and having just about got it set up how I want it, I wanted to relay my thinking behind the purchase, and a few important things that I've learned from a Photographer's perspective, especially with regards to the quality...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
21 Comments
  • Alistair Knock
    Posted at 20:41h, 12 November Reply

    Comprehensive post Martin, thanks. For the second screen, would you use it for thumbnails? I have 2x 24″, one perched on top of the other, and the lesser screen is my grid view in Lightroom leaving the main screen always with a full size loupe or develop image.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 22:27h, 12 November Reply

      Hi Alistair,

      Thanks for listening.

      I used to use my MacBook Pro for the thumbnails and show the full sized image on the 24″ display, but so far I’ve found it better to just switch between thumbs and full sized on the iMac screen. I will continue to try different ways of working though, and may end up doing the thumbnails on the 24″ and full screen on the iMac. I’ll see how it goes, but it’s nice to have options now. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Martin.

  • Löwenchen
    Posted at 21:50h, 12 November Reply

    Hello Martin,
    Great podcast, as usual! I have been listening to your podcast since a while now and went back to hear all the old ones, inspirational. Really good job, thanks for the work you did it’s always a great time listening to the podcasts.
    Since you mentionned Eizo monitors and as I have been lurking for a new monitor as well, would you be able to suggest one of their models at a reasonnable price? (I’m a studen :D)

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 22:32h, 12 November Reply

      Thanks for listening Löwenchen, to this and the other episodes!

      That’s a tough question, because Eizo are really industry standard, and don’t make cheap displays. If I was to buy one, I’d go for the CX270 (27″) or CX240 (24″). The CS range is their budget offering, but I wouldn’t go lower than the CX range. The CG range is the top of the line, but that’s overkill in my opinion.

      I hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Martin.

      • Löwenchen
        Posted at 22:56h, 12 November Reply

        It does! Thanks for the quick reply 🙂

  • Brett Ginsberg
    Posted at 13:22h, 08 December Reply

    Thanks for this excellent post Martin. About 2 days after listening to your podcast, my 27″ iMac’s (about 3 yrs old) harddrive failed. I have just purchased the same config as above based on your recommendation – now I have to wait an agonising 2-3 weeks for delivery. Cheers, Brett.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 08:40h, 09 December Reply

      I’m pleased this helped Brett, but sorry about your old iMac. I know what you mean about the wait. It always seems like an eternity! 🙂

  • Attila
    Posted at 02:22h, 21 January Reply

    Hi Martin,
    I have been listening to your podcast from October 2013 and already learned plenty of useful techniques, the most valuable the theory of exposing to the right. Thanks for the invaluable work you are providing.

    Would you please explain your experience with the calibration of the 27″ iMac display. I am using NEC PA monitors http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/996585-REG/nec_pa242w_bk_24_pro_wide_gamut.html particularly, with an older Intel i7 core and Windows 7 based system and considering to switch to Apple for my photography work. I do use the X-Rite i1Photo Pro 2 for calibration.

    Please advise.

    Thanks,
    Regards,
    Attila

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:19h, 21 January Reply

      Hi Attila,

      Thanks for listening. I’m pleased this is useful.

      I already said above that I am really happy with the new antiglare 27″ iMac display, and talked about the colors compared to industry leading Eizo monitors. I was pleasantly surprised. I can’t comment on a comparison to your display, as I don’t have one, but if there is anything in addition to my comments above that you’d like to know, please be specific.

      Cheers,
      Martin.

  • Attila
    Posted at 11:48h, 21 January Reply

    Hi Martin,

    Sorry not to be clear enough. I asked about your experience with the calibration process using your X-Rite Pro2 tool. I do have the Photo version of the bundle.

    Regards,
    Attila

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 12:08h, 21 January Reply

      Aah, I see Attila.

      I had no problems calibrating the iMac display and my external Eizo display with the i1 Pro 2. The profiles are created and managed correctly.

      Cheers,
      Martin.

  • Glenn Guy
    Posted at 22:43h, 10 February Reply

    Hey Martin,

    I just ordered a new 27″ iMac today and, soon after, found your post.

    As always a very well constructed and thought through article which I very much enjoyed reading.

    I should have my new love this time next week and, like you, will have it sitting side by side with my EIZO 27″ monitor. From there we should be in total control. I’II take Manhattan, you can take Berlin.

    All the best,

    Glenn Guy
    http://www.travelphotographyguru.com

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 20:17h, 11 February Reply

      Hee hee. Let’s do that Glenn!

      I’m sure you’ll love the new iMac. I’m still very much in love with mine. 🙂

  • Niklas Andersson
    Posted at 23:05h, 13 March Reply

    Hi Martin and thanks for all this information about the iMac! What are your thoughts on the difference in the ability of showing adobe rgb (between the iMac and Eizo CX)?

    This is right now my main concern! I’m looking in to getting Retina Macbook Pro + an Eizo CX270, or i 27″ iMac. I sometimes do photo work that will be printed.

    I would really like to hear what you think about all this aRgb/sRgb.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:26h, 14 March Reply

      Hi Niklas,

      My old Eizo isn’t 100% Adobe RGB. I think it is about 98%, so I can’t say for sure, but the Retina Screen is a good match, and the iMac screen is actually a little better. These devices remap the colors to use what they are capable of displaying really well, so I personally don’t think it’s an issue. It’s not like photos in Adobe RGB color space are not displayed properly or anything. When you think about it, Lightroom used Pro Photo RGB which is even wider anyway, and the images look great. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.

      Cheers,
      Martin.

  • Ness
    Posted at 15:09h, 13 June Reply

    Hi Martin,

    Glad I found your post. I was debating whether to update my old iMac or just leave iMacs behind altogether. But you’ve convinced me to stay and upgrade. Just a quick question about the i1pro2. I’ve read they’re a little more complicated than the Spyder to set up. Is that true? (not having a ‘PhD in colour management’ this stuff does my head in sometimes) And are they really the better choice for the iMac?

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 12:02h, 14 June Reply

      Hi Ness,

      I’m pleased this helped. As for calibration, unless you also want to profile a large format printer, the i1 Pro 2 is probably overkill. If you only want to profile your display, I recommend the i1 Display Pro. If you want to also profile a printer, the ColorMunki Photo is a good choice. You can see links to all of these devices here:
      https://martinbaileyphotography.com/x-rite-calibration-product-links/

      Personally, I prefer X-Rite tools over the Spyder. I owned a Spyder some years ago, and had a lot of trouble with it.

      Cheers,
      Martin.

    • Ness
      Posted at 15:59h, 02 July Reply

      Thanks Martin. The new 27″ iMac is up and running and I’m very happy with the choice. Yes calibration is just for the display so I’ll look at the i1 Display pro. Thanks for your help. Some excellent resources on your site. Thanks for sharing!

      Cheers,
      Ness

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 19:53h, 02 July Reply

      Glad to hear it Ness. You’re welcome!

  • KAI
    Posted at 13:10h, 16 April Reply

    Hi Martin,

    Do you have any hiccups when sending your photos for printing? I heard from some users who shared about concerns of lack of colour accuracy due to the high contrast on the iMac screen, when compared to the high-end matt screen monitor, in this case, NEC or Eizo.

    Some say that iMac screen only look good for entertainment and presentation, but is a disaster in print work?

    Appreciate your comment on this. Thanks for your input in advance.

    K

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 14:08h, 16 April Reply

      Hi Kai,

      No, that really isn’t a problem. Yes, you can see more detail and texture on an Eizo display. I have one as my second monitor, but if people are having problems with prints, it’s because of something else, such as their display being too bright, or not calibrated at all. Having said that, my iMac is one of the first to have the 75% reduced reflection screen, so I can’t comment on earlier models.

      I hope this helps!

      Regards,
      Martin.

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