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08-04-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
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Should i get a 8-bit or 10-bit (wide gamut) monitor?

I am using Lightroom (v5 now) for 99 percent of my photo editing. I currently have a dual monitor setup with cheaper 27 and 24 ASUS monitors. I use a Spyder 3 for calibration. Unfortunately my 27" is acting up so I started looking for a replacement. I am considering either a Dell 2713HM or a 2713H. Both are IPS monitors and should be better than the TN monitor I have.

However, all the color space stuff is somewhat beyond me. I assumed the 10 bit monitor would be better, but after some research it seems there are all kinds of things you have to have in place for a 10 bit workflow, and I read that LR 4 does not support 10 bit (PS does). I do always shoot RAW. I use an Epson 3880 and have been very happy with the result. I also use digital photos extensively (apparently not benefiting much from the wider color space due to everyone using sRGB).

Thoughts?

08-04-2013, 10:12 AM   #2
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It's all quite confusing.

The bits in the file and bits of the monitor are things you can see as 2 different things.

With lightroom it most likely work with 16bit files or atleast it handles them like that but most likely it will show 8bit colours.
It works in higher bits as not to pull apart or destroy the information of the file/pixels.

With photoshop you can indeed indicate that you are working with a 10bit monitor and it should then output 10bit colours.
08-04-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
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I think when most monitors are advertised as being "10-bit" they are referring to the Look up Table or LUT. More bits = better color nuance and smoother gradations, but there are other considerations that are equally as important. Specifically the contrast ratio and the luminance point. Some monitors can display a huge gamut, but only when the luminance is set WAY too high for photo editing. Ideally you want a photo monitor that can maintain it's display gamut when the luminance point is set down around 90 cd/mē. Very few monitors can actually do this, and I'm not aware of any from Dell, but things may have changed. Look at the Eizo Coloredge series if you want a real photography monitor, and then go to the bank and take out a second mortgage.
08-04-2013, 11:36 AM   #4
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The Eizo Coloredge monitors run around $2k - a little too rich for me... The Dell/Samsung/Viewsonic IPS monitors (often recommended for photography) goes around $600-$900. The difference beteween the wide gamut monitors and the "normal" ones are a few hundred dollars.

08-04-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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To get any benefit out the 10-bits you need 1) a graphics card capable of sending 10-bit data to the monitor (the vast majority are not) 2) a 10-bit capable monitor 3) software that takes advantage (Photoshop) 4) Windows

A wide gamut monitor (the 2713H) should be quite useful for you because of your method of output (the Epson). Spyder 3 will probably be able to calibrate the Dell well enough but to take advantage of the direct hardware calibration you'll need X-rite i1DisplayPro.

If you don't want to study the vagaries of colour management a wide gamut monitor is by most accounts a bad idea.

I'm in the process of buying a new monitor myself and after a week of fairly intense study I decided to leave wide gamut well enough alone: I can't justify a ColorEdge or NEC Spectraview and the cheaper alternatives I've seen have not convinced me. The fact that I have prints made infrequently, don't usually work with highly saturated images, share my images with peole who have uncalibrated sRGB monitors and have to use the same monitor for my everyday needs all points to the same direction. Having said that, a NEC 241 Spectraview would be really nice.

Hopefully Microsoft, Apple and the rest get their colour management act together one day. it's a mess right now.
08-04-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imcalfin Quote
If you don't want to study the vagaries of colour management a wide gamut monitor is by most accounts a bad idea.
Thanks - confirms my own thoughts. Will probably get the 2713HM which appers as though it will be a nice improvement over my ASUS VW266H, without getting into the 10 bit stuff...
08-04-2013, 02:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
I think when most monitors are advertised as being "10-bit" they are referring to the Look up Table or LUT.
It's trully the panel, those EIZO's you are talking about for example have 16bit LUT and 10 bit panel.

As for the graphics card, you need a workstation one for the support.
08-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #8
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Almost all cheap "10-bit" monitors are truly 8-bit panels that use a dithering approach that flickers the display to achieve the 10 bits. For some people this is visible and annoying. Also some 8-bit monitors use the same to go from true 6-bits to 8.

Just look for an 8-bit monitor that does not use dithering (true 8-bit). I believe the Dell U2715HM is one of them.

08-04-2013, 11:40 PM   #9
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My NEC PA 241w has one important feature (for me) it can be swiveled into portrait format and thus display a true portrait image. If you have never seen or worked with such a screen it is hard to imagine how nice this is.

But as others have said... money, money, money... (Apologies to ABBA)

Greetings
08-08-2013, 12:33 AM   #10
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10-bit panels tend to be true 10-bit (dells come to mind) this uses the adobe RGB colour space, but it depends on your work, for 99% of the people 8-bit is more than enough, unless if EVERYTHING you use is in 10-bit colour space rom your photos in raw (aRGB) to your printer which would be calibrated. Personally I wouldn't want to watch movies, or browse pictures, etc on a 10-bit monitor, as 99% of things were designed to work in sRGB colour space (8-bit). Viewing sRGB stuff on a aRGB monitor is not accurate, unless if the monitor has a dedicated sRGB mode that you can calibrate.
08-08-2013, 05:40 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone. Got the 8-bit U2713HM. A nice upgrade over my old monitor. Now I just need to gt calibrated, though it looks surprisingly good straight out of the box.
08-08-2013, 03:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Daemos Quote
10-bit panels tend to be true 10-bit (dells come to mind) this uses the adobe RGB colour space, but it depends on your work, for 99% of the people 8-bit is more than enough, unless if EVERYTHING you use is in 10-bit colour space rom your photos in raw (aRGB) to your printer which would be calibrated. Personally I wouldn't want to watch movies, or browse pictures, etc on a 10-bit monitor, as 99% of things were designed to work in sRGB colour space (8-bit). Viewing sRGB stuff on a aRGB monitor is not accurate, unless if the monitor has a dedicated sRGB mode that you can calibrate.
Sorry to say this but bitrate is not connected to gamut.
Gamut tells you the greenest green and bluest blue it can show and the bitrate is about the accuracy, it's the amount of shades it can display.
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