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MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021) display calibration?


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The best opinion on calibrating these brand new mini LED displays that I have seen is from this guy: 

 

 

With colour calibration in general, it depends really on what the end use is going to be. If you are providing clients with images for publication, then colour accuracy may be very important - obviously depends on the client. If you are shooting portraits for printing (yourself or a lab) then it is also very important, as skin tones need to be accurate or they look really off - that said many pro labs will colour correct for skin tones but that only goes so far. If you are just shooting stock for Alamy then accurate colour is much less important.

 

 

Edited by MDM
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Thanks for your reply. I've watched an earlier video by the same guy – but not the one you suggested. I'll have a look at that right away.

 

 

It's not for any specific purpose other than to make sure I'm looking at the actual colours of my photos when editing so that I have a reasonable idea of what they'll look like elsewhere.

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58 minutes ago, Thomas Kyhn said:

Thanks for your reply. I've watched an earlier video by the same guy – but not the one you suggested. I'll have a look at that right away.

 

 

It's not for any specific purpose other than to make sure I'm looking at the actual colours of my photos when editing so that I have a reasonable idea of what they'll look like elsewhere.

 

The other video is longer and goes into more detail about the theory but is practically the same. 

 

In my experience, you can't have any firm idea at all of what your images are going to look like on someone else's device even if they are using a calibrated monitor. It might be the theory but in practice it doesn't work. The ambient lighting alone will affect how things look and different monitors will look different even when calibrated with the same device, using the same colour space and viewed in the same light (mystery of the universe no 95).

 

From my experience and similar to the man in the video, for stills photography I like to set the brightness around 90Cd/m² as this gives good matching for my printer. Most monitors are set way too bright for photography. If the screen is set too bright then images will look too dark on other monitors. Your images on Alamy look fine to me on my calibrated monitor - good contrast and colours look to be in the right ballpark.

 

The raw histogram is a very useful tool if using LR or ACR. Shooting a good uniform and neutral grey card in the scene can be a great way to get white balance in post (remembering that colour of the light itself is very important). I have an older X-Rite version of this card - I wasn't aware until now that X-Rite and Calibrite are now the same company.

 

It is different for video and these new MacBook Pro screens can go really bright for HDR video (Apple call it XDR - extreme dynamic range). 

 


 

 

Edited by MDM
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45 minutes ago, Thomas Kyhn said:

Thanks! Your comments have been very helpful.

 

Don't mention it and glad it helped. To be honest I am not at all clear about calibrating these new screens - I am learning as I go. If you should discover anything new or interesting please post.

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Isn't there a flaw in using the same device to profile and then check the dE values after applying the new profile because X-Rite haven't yet produced the necessary matrix data for these new displays? To my mind this even calls into question using the i1 to set the white point just yet. I know when using X-Rite i1 Display Pro before I've been concerned that the white point can shift significantly depending on which display technology is selected, so IMHO it's pretty critical that the matrix selected and its content is correct.

 

Given the statement here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212851

Every MacBook Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display undergoes a state-of-the-art factory display calibration process on the assembly line to ensure the accuracy of the P3 wide color panel and the individual backlight LEDs. In addition, the factory calibration process enables sophisticated built-in algorithms to accurately reproduce a variety of color spaces used by media workflows today, including sRGB, BT.601, BT.709, and even P3-ST.2084 (HDR).

 

I'd argue it's best not to mess with the calibration, especially not before X-Rite have updated their matrices.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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13 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

Isn't there a flaw in using the same device to profile and then check the dE values after applying the new profile because X-Rite haven't yet produced the necessary matrix data for these new displays? To my mind this even calls into question using the i1 to set the white point just yet. I know when using X-Rite i1 Display Pro before I've been concerned that the white point can shift significantly depending on which display technology is selected, so IMHO it's pretty critical that the matrix selected and its content is correct.

 

Given the statement here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212851

Every MacBook Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display undergoes a state-of-the-art factory display calibration process on the assembly line to ensure the accuracy of the P3 wide color panel and the individual backlight LEDs. In addition, the factory calibration process enables sophisticated built-in algorithms to accurately reproduce a variety of color spaces used by media workflows today, including sRGB, BT.601, BT.709, and even P3-ST.2084 (HDR).

 

I'd argue it's best not to mess with the calibration, especially not until after X-Rite have updated their matrices.

 

Mark

 

You can mess safely with the factory presets as you can create a copy of any of the presets and mess with that. Looking at Thomas's images, I am not sure if it is worth the effort or expense for the device unless he starts doing colour-critical work, as the factory calibration should be pretty close for Alamy and general stock purposes.

 

 

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7 hours ago, MDM said:

 

You can mess safely with the factory presets as you can create a copy of any of the presets and mess with that. Looking at Thomas's images, I am not sure if it is worth the effort or expense for the device unless he starts doing colour-critical work, as the factory calibration should be pretty close for Alamy and general stock purposes.

Good point. The ability to customise the factory presets looks really useful to adjust brightness level (with a good degree of accuracy without external tools) and the ability to tweak the WB using xy values, if you have something to match it too. Also good that there's a range of presets (e.g. sRGB, P3 etc.) Quite a step forward. I'm sure X-Rite will provide an update to their matrices before too long, although, for most folks the factory calibration will be adequate. 

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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4 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

The ability to customise the factory presets looks really useful to adjust brightness level

 

When customizing the Photography (P3-D65) preset, it would have been useful if there was a way of retaining the brightness slider or at least setting the Maximum Luminance below 50, which I find is much too bright to work with.

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2 hours ago, Thomas Kyhn said:

 

When customizing the Photography (P3-D65) preset, it would have been useful if there was a way of retaining the brightness slider or at least setting the Maximum Luminance below 50, which I find is much too bright to work with.

 

The whole idea is to fix the max luminance so it can't be changed - like putting a bit of tape over a knob on a monitor back in the days when you could change the brightness by turning a knob.

 

But you can certainly set the max luminance in the customise preset box. The default for Photography setting is 160 (not 50 as you say) and you can just change that and save it. It's the box that says SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) - ignore the HDR box and related options - they are for video. The recommendation is generally between 80-120 cd/m² - I use 90 for print matching. You can also play with the colour by changing the white point coordinates. Working on copies has no effect on the originals as far as I know. 

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8 hours ago, MDM said:

The default for Photography setting is 160 (not 50 as you say) and you can just change that and save it. It's the box that says SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) - ignore the HDR box and related options - they are for video. The recommendation is generally between 80-120 cd/m² - I use 90 for print matching. You can also play with the colour by changing the white point coordinates. Working on copies has no effect on the originals as far as I know. 

 

I'm aware of the default of 160, what I mean is that it doesn't seem to be possible to set the brightness at a lower value than 50. If you set it at, say, 40, it will revert to 50.

 

Here's an example.

 

c2R85RH.png

 

If I save the above preset, and then make a new custom preset on the basis of the above, Maximum Luminance has reverted to 50:

 

a61m0MJ.png

 

I find that 50 is too bright to work with for a longer time.

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1 hour ago, Thomas Kyhn said:

 

I'm aware of the default of 160, what I mean is that it doesn't seem to be possible to set the brightness at a lower value than 50. If you set it at, say, 40, it will revert to 50.

 

Here's an example.

 

c2R85RH.png

 

If I save the above preset, and then make a new custom preset on the basis of the above, Maximum Luminance has reverted to 50:

 

a61m0MJ.png

 

I find that 50 is too bright to work with for a longer time.

 

I don't understand as 50 is incredibly low in itself. If I use the Digital Cinema preset which defaults to 48 the screen looks really dim - white looks like a light grey. I never go below 90 for photography and 80 would be an absolute minimum.  

Edited by MDM
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53 minutes ago, MDM said:

I don't understand as 50 is incredibly low in itself. If I use the Digital Cinema preset which defaults to 48 the screen looks really dim - white looks like a light grey. I never go below 90 for photography and 80 would be an absolute minimum.  

 

Is that with a similar screen?

 

A custom preset based on Photography (P3-D65) but with Maximum Luminance set to 50, I get more or less the same brightness as with this preset and slider setting:

 

dfZ2Ub4.png

 

 

 

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Yes new 14" MBP - all the new ones have these XDR screens. I don't think it is a good idea to use a slider though as it is not consisten and too easily changed. Better to use the Apple brightness calibrations which appear pretty exact.

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6 minutes ago, MDM said:

Yes new 14" MBP - all the new ones have these XDR screens. I don't think it is a good idea to use a slider though as it is not consisten and too easily changed. Better to use the Apple brightness calibrations which appear pretty exact.

 

In the screenshot above, I only used the slider to exemplify the brightness of the Photography (P3-D65) preset with Maximum Luminance set to 50 – brightness isn't recorded in screenshots, and this seemed like the easiest way of showing how bright 50 appears.

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OK I think we will have to leave it there as I can't understand how 50 cd/m² can appear too bright. I had lens replacement surgery a few years ago after which everything appeared incredibly bright and still does more or less but 50 cd/m² looks dark to me on any screen.

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