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October 23, 2012

Apple Introduces New iMacs and 13 Inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display 'For the Pro in All of Us'

Apple announced a new and faster iPad today (less than eight months after the new Retina iPad), along with an entirely new product line, the iPad mini. For most filmmakers though, that's an appetizer to the main course -- which happens to be brand new computers, including a new Mac mini, a 13" Macbook Pro with a Retina display, and new (incredibly thin -- pictured left) 21" and 27" iMacs. We didn't get a Retina iMac like many were hoping for (or a new Mac Pro for that matter), but the fact that they squeezed an entire computer inside such a thin housing is a remarkable feat. Click through for the rest of the details.

Since it was a pretty big day, here is a rundown of what was released and when it's going to be available:

  • iPad -- faster with Lightning port | $500 and up for Wifi, $630 and up for LTE | Both versions available in November
  • iPad mini -- with 7.9" 1024 x 768 display | $330 and up | Available in November
  • Mac Mini -- Dual 2.5 Ghz or Quad Core 2.3 Ghz Ivy Bridge Processor | $600 and up | Shipping Now
  • 13" Macbook Pro -- Retina display - 2560 x 1600 | $1,700 and up | Shipping Now
  • 21" iMac -- 1920 x 1080 display | $1300 and up | Ships in November
  • 27" iMac -- 2560 x 1440 display | $1800 and up | Ships in December

So they announced new iMacs -- big deal, right? Well, it's some of the less than obvious features that make the new offering interesting -- besides removing the optical drive, and adding USB 3.0. They've also made NVIDIA GPUs the standard for these new iMacs, so you should be able to take better advantage of CUDA acceleration in Adobe programs like Premiere and After Effects.

One of big breakthroughs is a brand new screen that is supposedly less reflective -- which I'm sure will make many folks happy. Here's a little bit about that screen:

The new iMac display is not set behind the cover glass — it’s right up against it. The LCD itself is 5 mm thinner than before, and we used an advanced process called full lamination to eliminate a 2-mm gap between the LCD and the glass, something that has never been done on a display this large. Although it may not seem like much, those few millimeters are enough to make images look as if they’re leaping off the glass. Full lamination has a second major benefit: It eliminates the reflection of light off the LCD panel and off the back of the display’s cover glass. But we also figured out how to reduce reflection off the front of the glass without compromising color quality. Instead of applying an antireflective coating to the glass in a conventional way, we adapted a process used on smaller surfaces like camera lenses and fighter pilots’ helmets. It’s called plasma deposition, and it involves coating the glass with layers of silicon dioxide and niobium pentoxide so precise and so thin they’re measured in atoms. The result: an astounding 75 percent reduction in reflectivity — and vibrant, accurate colors.

OK, so some of that is marketing speak, but the one thing you can say about Apple is they are always doing something groundbreaking related to making screens fit into thinner housings. Another interesting tidbit they mentioned, is that each display is being put through its own extensive color correction test before shipping, ensuring that the displays are all individually calibrated. That might not seem like a big deal, but Apple has always delivered stunning color performance, and this will most likely remove any inconsistencies.

Apple is also introducing new hybrid drives into the iMacs and the Mac Mini. They take an SSD and a traditional spinning drive and fuse them together for better performance, which they've aptly named Fusion Drives. This technology is not new, but it's certainly new for Apple and OSX, and it will give you all the benefits of having a fast SSD drive (faster load times and a speedier workflow overall) but without sacrificing on total space. They are offering configurations that go all the way to 3TB with these Fusion Drives, so you won't have to choose between speed or space -- you can have both.

The new 13" Macbook Pro interestingly enough has a similar resolution as the 15" computer, 2560 x 1600 vs. 2880 x 1800. Obviously not all programs are Retina-capable yet, but it definitely makes the case for high resolution films above 1080p. If 2K and above screens become commonplace, why not release your film in multiple higher-res versions similar to Tom Lowe's Timescapes? They've also added USB 3.0 to this computer as well as the rest of the product lines, including the Mac Mini. It's a relief that Apple has decided to support both Thunderbolt and USB 3, as there have been far more devices (namely external hard drives) made for the USB 3 spec.

Apple still has not delivered a new Mac Pro, but as Tim Cook said, we will probably see a new one in 2013. How about Retina iMacs? There's a good chance that Apple has not been able to get the price down on the screens for those, but when they do, it's likely we will be seeing a 4K or 5K screen. That would surely be a must-buy for a lot of RED owners, actually being able to see their footage on a native or close-to-native screen for only a few thousand dollars. Only time will tell though, we'll just have to wait until 2013 to find out.

You can read more about the announcements and pre-order or order these products by going to the Apple website.

What do you guys think? Which announcements are you interested in? What do you think about the new iMacs?

Link: Apple -- Website

Your Comment

82 Comments

JOE YOU ARE MISSING THE BIG APPLE FILMMAKING NEWS TODAY, BROSEPH

FCP X GETS NATIVE RED SUPPORT

NATVE

RED

SUPPORT

October 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

+1

October 23, 2012

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David

+1

Yes, full details here: http://www.macprovideo.com/hub/review-2/review-final-cut-pro-x-1006-a-ma...
Official Apple page here: http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/in-action/full-sail/

RED support (including RED ROCKET), saved in/out points, multichannel audio editing on the timeline, plus... anamorphic 4:2 support to make some people very happy.

October 23, 2012

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not to mention background 422 transcoding while you edit.

yo dawg, i heard you like proxy editing, so we put proxy in your proxy so you can edit while you edit

October 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

Wow, Adobe had that for how long?

October 23, 2012

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moebius22

Nobody cares, FCP X is miles ahead of your 90's crap that you hold on to desperately.

October 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

LoL, that's probably the last time you used Adobe.

October 23, 2012

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moebius22

I still use AfterEffects pretty regularly, although that's mostly out of habit. Stepping into Premiere, however, feels like something out the dial-up era. It's ghastly.

October 23, 2012

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Swested

My dog is better than your dog.

Or Not.

October 24, 2012

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Jerome

I have a cat, your argument is invalid

October 24, 2012

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john jeffreys

I think you are forgetting that FCP X is imovie pro. Time to switch to AVID.

October 23, 2012

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Brendan

Avid is for dinosaurs, like you. What are you, like 40? Jesus.

October 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

It's good to know that I'm not the only one you're kind of an ass to John

October 23, 2012

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dude im the nicest guy ever to you i read your blog and shit

October 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

I am happy you read my blog, but idk man, the comment you left on the post about my pocket guides was pretty snarky. Afterward I went and read some of the comments you've left on this site before. I'm not saying you're wrong with anything you say, but a bit of tact might go a long way.

October 24, 2012

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I honestly can't tell if John is just joking and sarcasm is terrible through the internet, trolling and really attempting to annoy people, or if he actually stands by what he's saying. 'Tis the mysteries of the internet, really.

October 24, 2012

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David J. Fulde

if i said i was a troll account, then i would cease to be a troll account. an interesting paradox exists here

October 24, 2012

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john jeffreys

ladies and gentlemen, Jonh Jeffreys.

October 23, 2012

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carlos

I'm over 40 and feeling FCPXy.

October 23, 2012

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Peter

Actually, 10.0.6 is a story worth its own. TONS of features I have been waiting for. Awesome!

October 23, 2012

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Swested

I think the important question on the iMac for us is do the video cards in there offer CUDA acceleration that's good enough for our post needs. If so, how much value would the Mac Pro be in a file-based native workflow?

October 23, 2012

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Peter

All the new iMacs use NVIDIA graphics cards also! Great news for us Adobe CS6 editors and Motion Graphics artists!

October 23, 2012

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Yes!!! That's great indeed for us CS6 editors...

October 23, 2012

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Alex Mand

I'm confused, I thought one of the big changes with CS6 was that Mercury was supported on Open CL, and not just CUDA...as in a lot more Mac models would be able to edit better? Not the case? Where did I read that...

October 23, 2012

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trackofalljades

That might be true. But NVIDIA Cuda will still run faster then OPEN CL, that's why people are stoked about Nvidia cards showing up

October 24, 2012

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Logan B

I'm pretty intrested in the new iMacs. I know that better aesthetics do not increase performance but this thin design is really astonishing! Nothing to say specwise, I'm sure they'll perform seamlessly.

October 23, 2012

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Ska

at the very least, it'll save space on your desk

October 23, 2012

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john jeffreys

That is a plus, given the mess that is my desk!

October 25, 2012

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Ska

What about the new imac Nvidia gtx cards are they better for cs6due to cuda support?

October 23, 2012

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Javier

I think the new imac at full it,s better deal than the actual Macpro.

October 23, 2012

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Javier

I'll probably get an iMac but what do you think of HP's computers like the Z620?

October 23, 2012

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Gareth

Yeah I cant figure out if I wanna stick with Mac (All my software is for mac e.g. AE & C4D, although there are options for switching) or if I should buy a real workstation from hp or dell. I guess I would be getting more power for the money, right?

October 23, 2012

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sebastian

nofilmschool DOES have a great resource for building a hackintosh (Power/price of a PC but letting you run OSX)

October 24, 2012

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David J. Fulde

That's good in case you don't need fast support on your computer

October 24, 2012

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Javi M

I'm really souring on Apple. I'm reluctant to invest in much more of their tech since they're blatantly heading down the path of making consumer based technology that is all dependent on an iTunes/AppStore hub, and which is gradually phasing out support for all competitor products.

Not to mention to pure arrogance that's oozing from their TV spots lately, only to be contradicted within the following 12 months, if not 12 weeks. Look at the recent iPhone 5 ads, which boast "who needs a screen bigger than this? this is just common sense". 6 weeks later, they release the iPad Mini.

But, who's gonna call the biggest, most successful business of today out?

Viva la Hackintosh!

October 23, 2012

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What a lot of people might want to know is, could you use the 27" iMac to work with native RAW from the Black Magic Cinema Camera – is it going to cut the mustard there?
Because if it does, that combination would be, financially speaking, very attractive.

October 23, 2012

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ADC

You are absolutely right ... IPad mini today after Steve job publicly talk shit about the kindle ....

October 24, 2012

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Nygel bissel

APPLE is a joke, and the company is really comical these days. What interesting to me is the push for a better higher resolution screen when they dont even include blu ray bays/drives in their technolgy. The company will find every excuse or walk around answer for not including the technology. This is the same company that took two years to include copy and past in the ios moble platform.

October 23, 2012

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JkMorganChase

Blu-ray? Who the hell cares about physical formats anymore? If you really want it, buy an external drive.

October 23, 2012

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Swested

I'm increasingly questioning what the best computing set up is these days. I'm committed to the Apple ecosystem and have an 8-core MacPro (2008) which, while still adequate, is showing it's age particularly in light of things like Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, HDMI, and flash.

Given the refreshes announced today, what are people's thoughts about the best Apple set up for those of us without huge financial resources? Is it the new iMac? Is it the MacMini with lots of externals? Is it a MacBook Pro with an external monitor and peripherals?

It seems like NoFilmSchool.com is a good forum for this kind of discussion.

October 23, 2012

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redfitz

Unfortunately, Apple keeps making this tougher and tougher with every round of updates. There's no clear answer, really, as each model has huge pros and cons in terms of editing. And meanwhile, speaking of Pros, the Mac Pro remains completely neglected for yet another product cycle. I'm not into the whole Hackintosh thing when it comes to professional work, so that's not an option either.

I'd say Apple has about another year left before it needs to release a product targeted directly at the pro market, otherwise video editors will really have to consider PCs again.

October 23, 2012

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Swested

I'm not terribly tech savvy when it comes to computers, but what kind of power can you get from networking a few mac minis in comparison to one MacPro tower? Obviously you'd need some kind of workaround to make up for the lack of high end graphics cards, but shouldn't the divided workload make up for the shortfall in pure grunt? Or are the transfer speeds on thunderbolt still not fast enough?

I've heard of people running an offline/online set up like that, working off proxys on one system and doing the final render shared over a few smaller computers, but I don't know enough to know whether that's an effective solution, or just a cheap workaround.

October 23, 2012

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The answer to a question like this is completely dependent on the exact specifics of a use case. Some application and needs can be handled very well through parallel/grid computing, others would experience no speed increase whatsoever...also you need to consider how much power you're using (buying a bunch of old G5 machines is cheap and they have a lot of FLOPS, but how much do they cost to air condition and operate...ah right that's why they're cheap).

October 23, 2012

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trackofalljades

agree especially considering the fact that CS6 has unlimited multi cam features that are only limited by hardware, Macs are really getting long in tooth and while screen resolution is "nice and all", at the end of the day regular hd is suffiecient enough to edit on. Retina displays on just a decent computer is like trying to turn a "eye candy" only beautiful woman who has no skills other than looking beautiful and trying to turn her into a house wife, it just doesnt work in the long haul and you end up spending more money making up for lesser situation.

October 23, 2012

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JkMorganChase

I've switched back to a PC after 10 years on MAC (FCP 7). Signed up to Adobe Cloud and have all the apps on both my editing PC (Windows 7) and MacBook Air.

Got an i7 3.4 with dedicated graphics card, lots of RAM, memory etc. for $700.

Apple was just too expensive to get a really fast machine......and Premiere Pro works great on Windows with the DSLR & RED footage that I use.

October 23, 2012

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Finally some sense.
We use Premiere, After Effects, Avid and FCP7. We make a lot of the tv and movies you watch. Nothing announced today, re hardware or software makes Apple compelling for enterprise or for the single professional user. I understand people are using FCPX, I've recommended it to some, but it literally doesn't exist in the current pro environment. A couple of iterations on, when we're all shooting RAW for 4K broadcast, who knows.

October 24, 2012

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marklondon

FCPX is for at-home-hobbyists. All the pros use Avid or Premiere. Avid have been in poor financial health for a while, so no point in spending time learning Media Composer if its future is in question. Abobe Anywhere (coming in 2013) is going to create a whole new career field for remote editors, and become the new driver in client collaboration.

October 24, 2012

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Razor

Dude...you should list exact specs on machines, software, etc., you guys use to create those projects: movies, tv shows. I'm directing-editng my first low bud indie feature since film school and am trying to get a solid list together of all needed for post. Thx.

October 26, 2012

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MARK11

I've been waiting for a new cinema display that I hoped was coming out today. Now what to do? I imagine it will be along the lines of the new iMac so definitely worth waiting for...anybody have any ideas? Nothing over at Mac Rumors.

October 23, 2012

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D.B.

I'm very interested by the newly retina-equipped 13" notebook, but I'm concerned about the same thing that concerns me about the other 13" model, no switching video. If there's no NVIDIA chipset on board to kick into "high gear" when editing, just how frustrating (or not) will those Intel 4000 graphics be? FCP X is one thing, but what if you want to use Premiere Pro CS6 or other CS6 applications that involve the Mercury Playback Engine?

I read somewhere (it's driving me nuts, digging through browser history now) that the inclusion of OpenCL in addition to CUDA support in CS6 was going to expand the pool of Mac hardware that can most effectively be used with Adobe applications...but the source was thin on details. Is gaining all those extra pixels in a smaller notebook really that much of a dream if you can't get Mercury acceleration? Someone who's more familiar with all this, please let me know!

October 23, 2012

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trackofalljades

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