Re: Just posted: Apple iPad 2: Tool or Toy?

Started Mar 18, 2011 | Discussions thread
T3 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,321
display quality info

whitebird wrote:

In addition to a reported "leak" of the LED back light around edges of the screen, there have also been some comments concerning black level and contrast in comparison to first revision (and some other tablets as well). The screens are also very glossy, and can be a problem in some light.

Display quality, color rendition, contrast, and reflectivity would all certainly would impact the device's usefulness as a photographer's tool. Perhaps that could be an addendum to the article?

I'm sure you've heard of the photographic and print guru, Ctein? He's fellow contributing editor to Photo Techniques Magazine. Writer of such highly regarded books as "Post Exposure" and "Digital Restoration." Double degree from Caltech. Written over 250 articles and manuals on photographic topics. The man has been around a long time, has enormous experience, and is very well respected.

"Part fine-art photographer and part computer wizard." — Photo District News

"Ctein is an exceptionally fine printer — one of the last of the true old-fashioned photographic craftsmen. And the guy has a mind like an encyclopaedia." — Mike Johnston , Editor, PHOTO Techniques

Needless to say, he's a very well regarded person, very knowledgeable, and very demanding when it comes to the equipment and monitor screens he works with. Very demanding. Here's what Ctein had to say about the iPad's screen:

"The day they came out, in early April, my friend Mark Richards bought one. He showed it to me that weekend. I pulled up some difficult-to-render photographs from my website and pixel-peeped like mad. The iPad had a near-studio-quality display . (Truth is I've seen studio displays that were worse; I'm just very fussy.) The iPad held gamma well with changing viewing angle, and if it wasn't running full 24-bit color with no dithering, it was faking it well enough that I couldn't tell."

After careful consideration and testing, he eventually bought one, and here's what he had to say:

"iPad color out of the box is acceptable. Not as good as a studio monitor, but close enough for serious work, and much, much better than anything I could get in a portable device before. I can use it for making serious refinements to a photograph, which was, after all, the point."

And...

"There went a grand, but what did that get me? A portable dual-display rig with a studio-quality display that's touch sensitive, so I can brush directly on the photo I'm working on. Definitely worth it to me."

Read the full article here:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/07/why-i-needed-an-ipad.html

There's also Anandtech's test:

"We also measured and were able to get color gamut volumes and uncalibrated Delta-E performance as well. However, we're not entirely convinced that these numbers are sound. The remote desktop software common to the iPad and iPhone 3GS we used offered 24 bit color depth at maximum, and the test results for both the iPhone 3GS and iPad turned out very similar. We're talking down to 0.01 Delta-E in some cases. For that reason, we're excluding the data we've obtained for color tracking until we're positive the numbers are right. Of course, the iPad itself remains 24-bit color, same as in previous versions of iPhone OS.

...Whatever the numbers say, the display is beautiful in use and blows away most others."

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3640/apples-ipad-the-anandtech-review/7

And there's Displaymates test:
http://www.displaymate.com/iPad_2_ShootOut.htm

As for the glossy screen, I put a semi-matte screen protector on it which greatly diminishes finger smudges and all but eliminates glossy reflection. But even without the screen protector, the gloss screen and smudges were never really an issue when directly viewing the iPad screen. I found it was only distracting when in very bright environments, or when the iPad was turned off. The funny thing is that I could be using the iPad for an hour with no problems, then only when I turned the iPad off did I then realize "wow, look at all those smudges!" Haha.

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