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Apple Pro Display XDR: the Best Viewing Experience in History for Images?

Print may be favored by some, but not me. It’s my repeatedly-confirmed view that those arguing for prints have seen properly presented images on an iMac 5K—when I test for validitu, the response has always been “haven’t actually seen it”, or similar. I present all my work in Retina resolution on this site—it’s beautiful to behold that way.

The 6K Apple Pro Display XDR delivers a drool-worthy combination of resolution and screen size with true professional grade peformance While the future promises 16K, 6K is what is practical for now.

The Apple Pro Display XDR along with the 2019 Mac Pro form a truly high end professional-grade solution. See the overview and specifications:

  • Retina 6K Display
  • State-of-the-art calibration and a sophisticated algorithm ensure that you get the highest-quality color possible
  • 32-inch (diagonal) IPS LCD display with oxide TFT technology
  • Resolution: 6016 by 3384 pixels (20.4 megapixels) at 218 pixels per inch, aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Brightness: 1000 nits sustained (full screen), 1600 nits peak
  • Contrast ratio: 1,000,000:1
  • Color: P3 wide color gamut, 10-bit depth for 1.073 billion colors
  • Viewing angle: Superwide angle with high-fidelity color and contrast at 89º left, 89º right, 89º up, 89º down Fully laminated; 1.65% reflectivity
  • 2D backlighting system using 576 full array local dimming zones, Apple-designed timing controller (TCON) chip engineered to precisely control high-speed modulation of both 20.4 million LCD pixels and 576 LEDs in backlight for seamless synchronization
  • True Tone technology with dual ambient light sensor (ALS) design to ensure an accurate viewing experience in any ambient lighting condition
  • Reference modes: HDR Video (P3-ST 2084) HDTV Video (BT.709-BT.1886) NTSC Video (BT.601 SMPTE-C) PAL and SECAM Video (BT.601 EBU) Digital Cinema (P3-DCI) Digital Cinema (P3-D65) Design and Print (P3-D50) Photography (P3-D65) Internet and Web (sRGB)

I doubt I’ll be able to afford one, at US$5999 ($4999 + $1000 for optional Pro Stand)—WOW.

The Apple Pro Display XDR has the same downsides for photographers as does the iMac 5K: it will not be a good choice for evaluating image sharpness, due to too-high pixel density, see: Too-High Pixel Density on 5K and 8K Displays Impedes Image Assessment.

But I sure want one—the Apple iMac 5K has by far been the most pleasurable viewing experience ever for my images. Still, I rely on the NEC PA302W for editing decisions.


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