Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

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Norman Lang

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Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

PostMon Nov 29, 2021 7:27 pm

I recently purchased a MacBook Pro with an M1 chip with 16 gb of memory. It’s faster than my 6 core Mac Pro with 32 gb of Memory. So I’m thinking that the only issue is the small 13” inch screen. When the M1 Max MacBook Pro came out, I ordered a “16” which is even faster and better and bigger. But I would still like a bigger screen. I have dual 24” screens on my Mac Pro but they are dated. My idea is to get a new monitor so I can use it with the MacBook Pro. (Either the M1 or M1 Max) I don’t want to spend $5K for the Apple HDR monitor, but I want the best quality/value that will get the job done with Resolve. Anyone have any recommendations?


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George Deierling

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Re: Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

PostMon Nov 29, 2021 10:46 pm

BenQ SW321C - plus Xrite I1Display meter, if you need it calibrated, comes with factory calibration software
BenQ PD3200Q - comes precalibrated, if you need good enough

- unless you are grading HDR, that be a different story
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Norman Lang

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Re: Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

PostMon Nov 29, 2021 10:56 pm

Thanks George. I will look into that!


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Jason Conrad

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Re: Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 2:51 pm

You could use a larger monitor for UI and the 13” for clean feed. Not as good as a reference monitor, but better than previous gen laptop screens.


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Norman Lang

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Re: Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

PostWed Dec 01, 2021 4:52 pm

Thanks Jason. Yes. I have been using my 24 in SmallHD to display the program and clean feed to the 13” MacBook Pro. That works. Reversed, the clean feed on the SnalHD picture it’s not great though. The HDMI from the laptop looks crappy on the SmallHD. Not sure why. But as you say, using the MacBook Pro for the clean feed gives me enough real estate for Resolve on the SmalHD and a “usable” reference on the MacBook.


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George Deierling

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Re: Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

PostWed Dec 01, 2021 9:25 pm

Ultrastudio monitor is pretty inexpensive and it produces an accurate cleanfeed. I used a 24" SmallHD in the past, now a discontinued model, it was bright but not anywhere remotely close to accurate colors, despite of what they say.
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

PostWed Dec 01, 2021 9:44 pm

Norman Lang wrote:I recently purchased a MacBook Pro with an M1 chip with 16 gb of memory. It’s faster than my 6 core Mac Pro with 32 gb of Memory. So I’m thinking that the only issue is the small 13” inch screen. When the M1 Max MacBook Pro came out, I ordered a “16” which is even faster and better and bigger. But I would still like a bigger screen. I have dual 24” screens on my Mac Pro but they are dated. My idea is to get a new monitor so I can use it with the MacBook Pro. (Either the M1 or M1 Max) I don’t want to spend $5K for the Apple HDR monitor, but I want the best quality/value that will get the job done with Resolve. Anyone have any recommendations?


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Anything <1K$ and uncalibrated will be most likely worse quality than screen built in new (14 or 16 inch) MacBook Pro.
Unless you invest into something decent (Eizo, maybe good BenQ or some used FSI etc.) and calibrate it you won't gain any accuracy by using external monitor.
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George Deierling

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Re: Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

PostWed Dec 01, 2021 10:16 pm

I think Norman is talking about a UI monitor. A BenQ can be good enough for both, large screen UI and reference quality.
I can't imagine working Resolve on a 13" screen.
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Uli Plank

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Re: Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

PostThu Dec 02, 2021 12:41 am

The screen on the 13" model (M1, not Pro or Max) is not that great, just good. The screen on the 14" and 16" models is as good as it gets today in any laptop, including pretty good accuracy.
So, I'd suggest getting any decent 24" you like for the GUI and work from that, so you can use the internal one for checking color. I'm using an LG and it's fine with me.
Don't approach Resolve with your expectations from other NLEs! They are all different.
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Norman Lang

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Re: Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

PostThu Dec 02, 2021 12:48 pm

My 16” inch MacBook Pro M1 Max ships in the next couple of weeks. I think that the larger screen will add additional processing power and will make it easier to edit smaller projects using just the laptop. Then I can start narrowing down the search for a decent monitor. It’s frustrating because I had a couple of 24 inch Apple Cinema Displays with an Ultra Studio Thunderbolt link to my 24” SmallHD monitor on my Mac Pro. The Ultra Studio is EOL, so it won’t work with the new MacBook Pro. The old Apple monitors work fine, but now will have to be replaced. I’m ok with that. After years of service I guess it’s time for an upgrade. It’s just a bit of a chore to get the configuration right for the new setup. There is still a chance that a new M1X desktop solution will be available from Apple with a 27” inch screen that will play nice with an additional screen. In any case, I really appreciate your help so far.


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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Monitor for editing with MacBook Pro

PostThu Dec 02, 2021 3:55 pm

It's not about screen to be an Apple or "nice" one. You want something fairly accurate which you can trust.
Get an Eizo or cheaper BenQ or LG OLED TV and calibrate it.
New Macs HDR screen are nice for Netflix watch etc. They may even be good enough for SDR once trusted calibration is out there.
Zoning side effect (way more visible for HDR) will always remain (don't see a tech to fully avoid those).
I don't think FSI new zoned monitor will be any good. It will always have those issues as well, specially when it has not that many zones at all for its size. Reference monitors should avoid zoned backlight (at least these in current form). Now I understand why Eizo said they are not going to release HDR monitor with zones.

One of the most annoying side effects of new Apple screen (after watching just 2 movies) is scene change pumping effect. Lets say you have a scene which ends with black or very dark and next scenes is just average brightness. What you will get is next scene will get displayed at reduced brightness (because previous was very dark) and then jump to correct one. It's bit annoying if you're sensitive and see "those things". It's more annoying than blooming effect. Beside this watching Dolby Vision graded content on new Macs is real joy.


Here is some interesting info about new screen:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/ap ... t-30551191
For non-color critical work those screens (once tuned) should be fine.

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