by Kevin Alexander | 30th October 2015
Among the many new features in OS X El Capitan, it seems Apple has silently integrated another one: 10 bit color for the 4K & 5K iMac. Very interesting news for colorists, photographers, and editors. German online magazine Mac & I recently published an article that captured our attention. They revealed that OS X El Capitan has for the first time integrated 10-bit drivers for their Apple iMac screens. Professionals know that 10-bit screen color is the desired color depth for serious color correction. When you work in 8-bit you often see banding artefacts and lose detail on soft gradients which makes editing harder and less accurate. This is not to be confused with the bit depth of your source files. We all know that working with video DSLRs or other heavily compressed video footage that is limited to 8 bit color depth gives you less options during grading and 10 bit, 12 bit or even 16 bit color photos and videos are better. On the screen side 10 bit is the desired depth to let you view the end result without gradation steps. The screen bit depth is also related to the internal processing in whichever software and hardware you’re using. Unfortunately most display monitors are limited to 8 bit color and on top OS X has been limited to that bit depth in the past. Which means although you might be editing in 10 bit, and the monitor might even support 10-bit processing, you are only seeing 8 bit. Windows on the other hand has done 10-bit since 2009 (Windows 7). Apple has changed this within El Capitan. According to Mac & I, Apple has confirmed that the new 5K and 4K iMac (along with the 2014 iMac 5K) support a 10-bit graphics driver which has been enabled with the release of El Capitan. The graphics driver enables 30 bit pixel depth. 10 bit for each RGB color. Image courtesy Mac & I magazine. A few things to note: First, apparently it only works on the 4K & 5K iMac 2015 & 5K iMac 2014 right now. [UPDATE]: A cinema5D reader reported that he got 10 bit on a Mac Pro with D500 graphics and an Eizo CS230 monitor. Also, currently it only works within the Preview and Photos applications. If you want to test it out, you could take a 12-bit RAW photo with soft color gradations and take a look. But it’s also important to note that, for now, no other apps, such as Adobe or other editing software, take advantage of this processing, yet. This is just a preview of what’s to come. For those who have been waiting for this feature for a long time, it’s important news. And something to keep an eye on to see how long it will be until other software companies start utilizing the feature. via Mac & IRead more
Apple has released a new iMac, the 27″ retina screen utilizes 14.7 million pixels to produce a 5K resolution back lit display. Billed surprisingly as “the most amazing iMac Apple have ever built”, the 27″ iMac retina stands as Apples flagship iMac, without replacing its non retina cheaper counterparts. $2499 will see you the base spec iMac retina, that’s $700 more than the standard 27″ model. It carries the same 3.5GHz quad-core i5 base processor, same 1TB SSD/3TB fusion drive options, and 8G memory as standard. Graphics takes a changes however with an AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics processor as standard with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Specification: 27-inch (diagonal) Retina display with IPS technology 5120X2880 resolution 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz) Configurable to 4.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz) 8GB (two 4GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory; four SO-DIMM slots, user accessible Configurable to 16GB or 32GB. 1TB Fusion Drive Configurable to 3TB Fusion Drive or 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of flash storage (SSD). AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory Configurable to AMD Radeon R9 M295X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Headphone port SDXC card slot Four USB 3 ports Two Thunderbolt 2 ports Gigabit Ethernet Kensington lock slot I’d imagine it would only be a matter of time before we see this filter down to the Apple Display screens also. I’d love a high resolution for their Macbook Air line also, but perhaps less likely. via/ NoFilmSchoolRead more
OWC, known to manufacture affordable Mac hardware, just announced that they managed to break the speed record for affordable external thunderbolt RAID storage. [UPDATE]: We’ve received numerous e-mails with claims that the benchmarks by OWC are incorrect. The title of this article has been updated accordingly. Especially filmmakers and editors have been waiting for affordable and fast thunderbolt based storage solutions, a few of which we’ve finally seen hitting the market last year. Just a few months ago OWC introduced their ThunderBay line of 4-drive external RAID-ready storage solutions, recently refreshing it with Thunderbolt 2 connections. It is available in configurations from 4TB up to 16TB and also offered as a diskless enclosure that goes for $429. Mac Pro’s 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports boost speed Several of the OWC drives can be chained together using a combination of the two Thunderbolt 2 ports it has. However the great speeds described can only be achieved using a Mac Pro that sports 6 separate thunderbolt connections. This is how OWC achieved speeds of nearly 4,000MB/s. The benchmark testing showed 3,990MB/s read and 3,802MB/s write speeds, running an HDD array of 3x 12TB OWC ThunderBay 4 drives. They achieved similar numbers running SSD drives. [UPDATE]: numerous e-mails with claims that the benchmarks by OWC are incorrect. In different benchmark tests the maximum speed that could be achieved with the method described here would be 1902 MB/s. The 12TB OWC ThunderBay 4 drives used cost $939 each, making this the most affordable ultra-fast storage solution available. OWC says: The Mac Pro has a total of six Thunderbolt 2 ports connecting to three separate Thunderbolt 2 busses, with two ports to each bus. We connected one ThunderBay 4 to one of the two ports available for each bus to get the maximum performance. Those three ThunderBay 4 enclosures were made into a single RAID-0 array using the built-in software RAID-0 in OS X. We then fired up the benchmarking tools and watched in awe at the performance the ThunderBay 4 enclosures achieved. This combination of performance and storage comes at a fraction of the price of rack-based storage. The ThunderBay 4 enclosures generally got very good reviews. Other, less affordable, but proven solutions include the new G-technology external RAID drives and the Promise Pegasus RAID, both of which are now also compatible with Apple’s new Thunderbolt 2 standard. image via macsalesRead more
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