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  • December 3, 2013

    Apple iPad Mini Retina Color Problems

    Artists, and especially photographers, should be aware of this issue. I’ve been using the ipad 2 since the day it was released almost three years ago. I use to to show examples of my artwork photography and image improvements to artists when I attend art shows. For my use, the ipad mini could have been the perfect upgrade if they got the display right, smaller and lighter but sufficiently impressive. That should have been the second generation mini with the retina display. Especially after hearing about the new ipad air with retina display and how good the color looked.

    Apple screwed up big time. They used what appeared to be a different technology on the mini 2 retina display and the colors look muted and somewhat washed out, (for the technically inclined) as if you were viewing an Adobe RGB file in a browser. In fact viewing the same images on my older ipad 2 and the new mini 2 showed that the color looked much better on my older ipad. In testing, the mini 2 doesn’t even have the color gamut of the sRGB color space, the default color space for jurying or for the web. But what’s even more interesting is how much the issue is being downplayed in the reviews. Some reviewers are saying that you won’t see the difference unless you view two devices side by side. That may be true, but don’t artists want to see accurate jury images on their ipads?

    If I’m going to spend over $700 (64 Gig, Sprint) on a new iPad, for my use it needs to be a visual upgrade from the one I’ve been using. My ipad mini retina arrived and after comparing it to my ipad 2, I returned it to an Apple store. I’ll wait a generation and hope Apple can release an ipad mini with accurate color in the future.

    The color issue has been well documented. Here’s one of many search results.

    © Larry Berman