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Old April 7th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #1
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Color grading with 27" iMac...

hey all,
I am certain this has been discussed before (not sure if I saw it here or on other forums I frequent) but I can't seem to find it again by searching or googling.
SO.
Question. "What is the best way to get proper color grading done using the new i7 27" iMac?"
My buddy is using a second computer monitor connected via the minidisplay out and he just dragged his Canvas over to it and does corrections (in fcp 7) there. My thought is that this is no different than leaving the canvas where it is and using the great 27" monitor that Aplle already provides!
I think the reason he sees different color is just that his monitor is just slightly balanced differently and thats it. I was under the impression you need to go through something like the matrox out to a HD monitor (or consumer HD tv) and then you will see accurate color for grading.

This does not have to be Hollywood feature correct, just Wedding video correct - I see what the bride will see when she hits play on her tv at home"


How do I do this correctly?
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Old April 7th, 2010, 11:28 PM   #2
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From what I understand, computer monitors and TVs/video production monitors operate in a different "color space". What this means scientifically, I don't know, but it boils down to that you can't color correct something meant to be seen on a TV or similar device on a computer monitor with any real degree of accuracy. If you were doing stuff for the web, a computer monitor would be ideal, but you are supposed to use an actual video production monitor (and preferably one ideal for color correction) for things meant to be viewed on a TV, etc.

If you need just the most general idea of whether things are correctly exposed/white balanced/etc., a computer monitor might get you in the ballpark in conjunction with your scopes.

In my opinion.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 02:13 PM   #3
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The two popular pieces of hardware that would serve you well is Matrox MXO2 Mini and Blackmagic Intensity Pro. Unfortunately, neither of these work with an iMac since you need a PCIe slot (for Mac Pro) or ExpressCard (for MBP).

I think your only option is the Matrox MXO (completely different from MXO2 or MXO2 Mini). This device has DVI outputs for a computer monitor, and you can calibrate it like you could with a broadcast monitor. But it's pretty pricey and harder to find...
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Old April 8th, 2010, 03:53 PM   #4
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Can't something be done old school. . .with a d/a device and firewire cable?
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Old April 8th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
Can't something be done old school. . .with a d/a device and firewire cable?
My understanding is that only SD material can be previewed in real time via the FW output. For HD, you need am I/O solution...
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Old April 9th, 2010, 08:24 AM   #6
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My understanding is that only SD material can be previewed in real time via the FW output. For HD, you need am I/O solution...
That's correct, no real-time previews via FW, only static. That's one of the limitations of the iMac platform, you can't add IO cards but you can use things like the Matrox and MOTU devices to provide that, but when you start adding in the cost of those devices you're better off in a true tower environment that supports professional setups.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 10:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
Can't something be done old school. . .with a d/a device and firewire cable?
It will work but only with still frames. The caveat here is that I haven't heard if the NTSC output changes the color space as well. It definitely works if your end output is DVD.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 11:06 AM   #8
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Weak. I am so not ready for the HD revolution.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #9
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I was looking into the Matrox MXO. I just bought a i7 iMac to replace my G5 Quad and saw that as the only option for color grading. B&H has it in stock for $400. It's actually the MXO2 Mini.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 05:24 PM   #10
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It's actually the MXO2 Mini.
What do you mean by this? From what I have read, the MXO has DVI inputs and MXO2 Mini has Component and HDMI. So they're totally different from each other; it's not like the MXO2 series replaced the MXO, they're both on its own. They can both calibrate the inputs, though.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 05:37 PM   #11
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Chris is right. The MXO takes a DVI signal out of your Mac and sets it up for colour grading. The MXO2 requires either a PCI-e slot or ExpressCard on the computer in order to hook it up. Your iMac has neither.
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Old April 15th, 2010, 12:03 AM   #12
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Yeah, that was a mid sentence thought and I forgot to finish it! Haha.

Yeah, the $400 was the mxo2 mini, the mxo is actually $995. I was trying to find a link to the product.

Matrox | MXO External HD and SD Video Output for Mac | MXON

http://www.matrox.com/video/media/im...i_workflow.jpg
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