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Thread: Flat-panel monitors! What's the verdict for 2013?

  1. #1
    Youngin Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Flat-panel monitors! What's the verdict for 2013?

    I'm going to be in the market for a new monitor sometime in the next 2mo or so.
    Its primary use will be for photo editing. Not much else. I'll use my laptop for internet browsing and bs stuff, but this will be a pretty much "dedicated" monitor for a yet-to-be-built PC photoshop/editing system.

    Looking at the entire spectrum price-wise. Of course, if I can spend less money, and NOT skimp on quality/endurance, that'd be great. But I firmly believe in the "do it right the first time, cause it costs you money later" mentality in life. Cheap has always left me feeling let down in the end. I can't afford that this time.

    So, I'm totally unaware of this stuff technically, so I'm hoping that I can trust you guys who are more tech-savvy than I to throw out some opinions here. 16bit lookup tables? I have not idea what that means. I just wany WYSIWYG from monitor to output(generally c-paper via lightjet).

    I'm totally aware of Eizo and their claim to fame, but I'm not brand-oriented here. Quality of the display, a long-life and ease of use is my goal. Calibration is another thing I'll need to learn. Guess I've been lucky up until now

    thx,
    Dan

    EDIT:
    prefer 24" and up displays size-wise.
    I can probably get a 2nd, much cheaper/bargain panel to use with layers and palettes, etc.. One that won't require super-duper technical color/density quality like this one will. This will be for editing the picture at-hand.

  2. #2
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Flat-panel monitors! What's the verdict for 2013?

    I use Asus ProArt PA248Q 24" LED LCD Monitor

    Now everybody can tell you how it's crap and tell how to spend way more money.

    I'm done.

  3. #3
    Preston Birdwell
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    Re: Flat-panel monitors! What's the verdict for 2013?

    Daniel,

    Take a look at the NEC Multisync PA-series monitors. For some of them you can purchase the monitor and the SpectraView calibration system as a bundle. My Multisync P-221w has over 10K hours and it looks as good as the day I got it, and it calibrates nicely with SpectraView.

    Dell also has some very nice monitors for color-critical work, so these would be worth researching, as well. Perhaps a Dell user could add more for you here.

    Actually, I've read some reviews of later model Asus screens, and I'd hardly call them 'crap'.

    With any monitor, you'll want to look at the panel type (IPS being the highest quality--but most expensive). My NEC uses a PVA panel, and I have no complaints at all. You should also look at the color gamut rating, either as a percentage of Adobe RGB, or NTSC: Higher is better, especially color work. Most monitor vendors hype the very contrast ratios, which are fine for games or watching movies, but are way too high for photo work; you'll be calibrating at a much lower contrast ratio and brightness. Some folks like glossy screens, but I find the glare objectionable. My NEC and my laptop screens are both matte, and are much easier on the eyes. That's a personal preference thing, anyway.

    I know I haven't given you anything real specific in terms of a make and model, but I hope this info will be helpful in your search. Happy hunting!

    --P
    Last edited by Preston; 24-Jun-2013 at 20:49. Reason: typo fixes
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  4. #4
    retrogrouchy
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    Re: Flat-panel monitors! What's the verdict for 2013?

    Things to consider:
    - absolutely don't buy a TN panel for photo work (gamut too small, effectively uncalibratable due to viewing-angle variations)
    - tftcentral.co.uk has a panel database that allows you to check the technology from a model number
    - secondhand high-quality products are a good option, e.g. any of the 30" 2560x1600 IPS panels (Apple, Samsung, HP: same panel in different cases) for less than what you'd pay for equivalent quality at 24" and 1920x1200
    - there are new 3840x2160 panels becoming available, e.g. Asus PQ321. I'd be all over that if I wanted something future-proof for editing high res images.

    The latter two options need modern video cards: dual-link DVI (nothing to do with dual-head) and DisplayPort, respectively, are the minimum requirements.

    Don't forget that you can usually rotate monitors to portrait orientation if you more-often shoot that way.

  5. #5
    Youngin Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Flat-panel monitors! What's the verdict for 2013?

    Polyglot,
    What's a "TN" panel referring to?

    Thank you Preston, I'll have a look at your recommendations. Your info is very helpful

    -Dan

  6. #6
    retrogrouchy
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    Re: Flat-panel monitors! What's the verdict for 2013?

    Twisted Nematic. All the cheap monitors boasting ridiculously fast response times but smaller viewing angles are TN.

    For example if you search for my work monitor (Samsung 2443) here, it says '24"WS Samsung TN Film (LTM240CT04)'. Disgusting monitor.

    Conversely if you search for LP3065, it says '30"WS LG.Display S-IPS (LM300WQ3-STA1)', which is a lovely beast - note the S-IPS bit. You want IPS or PVA/MVA, never TN. Or IGZO (meant to be at least as good as IPS, colour-wise) if you're buying one of the new high-pixel-density monitors.

  7. #7
    Tech Support, Chromix, Inc.
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    Re: Flat-panel monitors! What's the verdict for 2013?

    In the way of education, there are a number of reviews in the ColorWiki that cover high end NEC's, Eizo's and the like. The ones that I wrote talk about the things you want in a good display from the point of view of a photographer/printer. Some of these reviews are rather dated now, but just reading through them will give you an idea of the things to look for (& look out for!), why you'd want a certain feature, that sort of thing.
    http://www.colorwiki.com/wiki/Category:Reviews
    Pat Herold
    CHROMiX Tech Support
    www.chromix.com

  8. #8
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Flat-panel monitors! What's the verdict for 2013?

    I have used a Lacie 526 27 inch screen with a second cheapo monitor for pallettes and Lightroom for years now with great success.

    Understanding of the info numbers is a very important issue in my world

    I no longer calibrate or make profiles ,,, anyone want an Eye one Pro ??

    I have found that in each region of the world there are brilliant techs who are much better at it and we hire them to make our profiles
    and each year check our monitors .
    Our local guy is Angus Paddy, he is very good.

  9. #9
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Flat-panel monitors! What's the verdict for 2013?

    Ah, the voice of reason.

    Good idea!


    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    I have used a Lacie 526 27 inch screen with a second cheapo monitor for pallettes and Lightroom for years now with great success.

    Understanding of the info numbers is a very important issue in my world

    I no longer calibrate or make profiles ,,, anyone want an Eye one Pro ??

    I have found that in each region of the world there are brilliant techs who are much better at it and we hire them to make our profiles
    and each year check our monitors .
    Our local guy is Angus Paddy, he is very good.

  10. #10
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Flat-panel monitors! What's the verdict for 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Stone View Post
    I'm going to be in the market for a new monitor sometime in the next 2mo or so. Its primary use will be for photo editing. Not much else.
    For photo editing, to get close to WYSIWYG, look at the NEC spectraview monitors (IIRC, their PA series), and the EIZOs. These monitors let you calibrate the actual hardware itself, which has some interesting advantages.

    Below that, you might look for any decent monitor that you can calibrate with a ColorMunki or other "puck". The disadvantage here is the calibration is in software (LUTs). As your monitor gets older, it may not be able to obtain sufficient brightness. Or it may. But that's my point.

    As you go down the list toward ever cheaper monitors, you get into all kinds of artifacts that interfere with photo editing, especially uneven backlighting, both uneven levels, and uneven color. Makes WYSIWYG almost impossible.

    All that stuff is why the NECs and the EIZOs stay near the top of the recommended list year over year. Just sayin'.

    Bruce Watson

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