Max Yuryev joins the chorus of fellow YouTube influencers iJustine, Jonathan Morrison, Marques Brownlee and others in extolling the picture quality of Apple’s XDR to the skies, going seriously overboard in his most recent video comparing the 6K display to LG’s 5K Ultrafine display. Blooming “is only visible in extreme, unrealistic scenarios,” he claims, explaining that “if you turn the brightness down a bit, it does go away, and in rooms like this, you would never have it above maybe twenty-five or thirty percent brightness.”
My own display has 1,152 dimming zones compared to Apple’s 576 – but let’s charitably assume for the time being that the two monitors behave broadly similarly when it comes to blooming: it is unmistakably present when viewing bright text against a dark background and becomes very disturbing when seen off-axis. Haloing becomes gradually less noticeable as display brightness decreases; ambient light levels increase; or both. However, in order not to utterly obliterate all visible detail in the shadows, ambient light in a grading suite should not exceed five nits. And to the best of my knowledge, not only is there no option to reduce display brightness when editing HDR, it would be highly undesirable to do so. Consequently, setting the screen to 25% brightness as Max suggests is not only unrealistic, but defeats the whole purpose of acquiring a 1,600 nit monitor*.
If you want the ability to accurately edit HDR, which is the main reason we bought our display, you have to go with the XDR. – Max Yuryev
Opinions on blooming and how much if any is acceptable vary widely. The FSI XM310K, with 2,000 dimming zones, is leagues better than Apple’s XDR, as is their XM311K, which utilizes LMCL technology (effectively one backlight for each pixel); and Sony’s BVM-X300 OLED has no blooming whatsoever. But true reference monitors running $35,000 and up are out of reach for most of us mere mortals, while affordable microLED grading monitors are well into the distant future. So setting aside 100% fidelity, which isn’t remotely possible with consumer-priced monitors, is the $6,500.00 Pro Display XDR really the only option? Far from it! Rather than investing heavily in technology that was already dated the day it was released, my suggestion for those just wanting to upload the occasional HDR video to YouTube would either be to get something like the $1,200 Asus ProArt PA32UC or an OLED television.
*According to Apple’s documentation for HDR video (P3-ST 2084):
Use this mode for 4K or ultra high-definition video production workflows up to 1000 nits (full-screen sustained) using the wide color P3 primaries and the high-dynamic-range SMPTE ST-2084 EOTF. This mode is designed for controlled viewing environments set up per ITU-R BT.2100 (ambient light 5 cd/m2 and peak luminance of display ≥ 1 000 cd/m2).