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Retina display pixelated web image issue? #1
Daniel Cox's picture
by Daniel Cox
June 18, 2012 - 11:20am


Quote below from OWC Blog. Does this mean photogs will need to change normal web image sizes from 72dpi to 144dpi? If so this could become a concern for image piracy issues. Your thoughts?

The Retina display is a powerhouse. Almost everything else in native apps and photos looks amazingly crisp and clear on the Retina display. In fact, it’s downright spectacular to see…we’re talking ooohs and aaaahs-type stuff. It’s just a shame that when Phil Schiller said that apps will need to be updated to take advantage of the Retina display, he failed in a big way to mention all web sites do, too. Even Apple’s own web site only displays 2x Retina graphics on the home page and some iPad pages. Everything else has pixelated 1-to-1 imagery.

Daniel J. Cox

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
June 18, 2012 - 5:33pm


Yep, you’re right on all counts, but this is not new. It wasn’t noticeable on the first retina display, the iPhone 4, because web pages were being squeezed down to a tiny display, however it became a big issue as soon as the new iPad was released. This will all eventually have to change — there is no question that all displays will eventually be Retina. I just read a great article on Cult of Mac, “Why Retina Isn’t Enough”, that explains why it will get even higher.

Since the new iPad was released, I stopped scaling images on this website that are larger than 560 wide (the column width of the main page) so that they display at higher rez when viewed on the iPad. It looks great but it does increase download time.

I wrote a white paper on the topic. Check out “How Do You Make Web Graphics & Photos Look Great On The New iPad?” and “Displaying Your Photography On The New iPad” for some insight.

What’s needed is a new image format, some kind of pixel equivalent of svg (scaleable vector graphics). There’s something called “liquid” that I keep seeing bantered about, but I don’t know enough about to it engage in the conversation.

In theory, an ideal system will deliver the pixels that are needed and only the pixels that are needed, and give the ability to lock the image from downloading for piracy reasons. Resolution doesn’t mean what it used to, and the same web page delivered to an iPhone, iPad, regular Mac screen and retina Mac screen are all different. It’s no longer about a 560 pixel column, it’s about a column that fills the width of your device screen.

Everything is changing :)

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PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
June 18, 2012 - 5:38pm

Dan — as a reference, on this site, if you have a new iPad, go to the two recent posts here. Visit “Devignette vs Negative Vignette in Aperture 3.3” and double-tap on the main article column to fill the page. Notice that the screenshot looks gorgeous — even in landscape mode. That’s because it’s a 1416 pixel wide image squeezed into a 560 wide space. Then go to “Restoring a pre-Aperture 3.3 Vault into Aperture 3.3” where the screenshots are displayed at 1:1 pixels, because they are both smaller then my column width of 560 pixels. These look terrible on the iPad when zoomed in because they are pixel doubled to hell. But the original screenshot was less than 560, so nothing I can do about it. Except of course to start making screenshots on the Retina display ;-)

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