If I edit on a retina display, when I open the processed photos on a low density display at 100% they look pretty soft to me, as I didn't apply enough sharpening. Since I can see much more details than on a Retina display, it makes it so I don't sharpen enough for a lower DPI screen.

The only workaround I know is zooming at 200% on a retina display so to obtain a similar result. Do you have any better suggestion?

When it comes to photo retouching, is a low resolution display better than a retina one?


It depends on what your output is going to be. There is no simple answer to the proper amount of sharpening. Any number of factors can impact your decisions on processing an image. How it will be displayed, what the lighting will be like where it is displayed, what type of medium will be used to display it, what kind of feeling you want the display to evoke, stylistically what you want it to look like... all of these factors and more play in to how you make your decisions.

In general, the closer you can work to your intended output format the better. If you are planning to display on a high density display medium, then editing on a retina display makes a lot of sense. If you are expecting to mostly be viewed on lower density displays, it would make sense to work with those.

If your content will be consumed on many personal devices, my recommendation would be to use a display that has roughly average display density (or simulate it as you suggest by zooming) such that the amount of sharpness is right for the average. For color, I'd go with the most accurate color you can get. Consumer devices won't show the same thing most of the time, but being fixed to standard will center you relative to what the user expects from their display normally.

  • Thanks for your reply! I still have one question: when it comes to printing, I know that the only way to make sure that the work is done properly is to print some strip tests. I wonder though what's the best choice between a Retina display and a normal screen in order to get closer to the result? – Luigi Trevisi Nov 17 '17 at 15:38
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    @LuigiTrevisi I don't have any direct experience working with a retina display so I can't say for certain. I'd guess that the higher DPI would be helpful when dealing with high resolution photo printers, but it's also a bit of a toss up since printers don't print in an exact grid in the same way that monitors display, so there is still going to be some variation between them. – AJ Henderson Nov 17 '17 at 15:41

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