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09-15-2019, 03:03 PM   #1
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Monitor for photo editing

I hope it's OK to ask a hardware question here...

I'm currently using a 27" 4k monitor that is not an IPS screen, and only displays something like 77% Adobe RGB. It's sharp, but the non-IPS screen changes saturation and tone with every movement of my head, and 4k is also annoying because many programs don't work well with displaying tiny fonts and icons. Since I edit photos mainly for print, I want a 99% Adobe RGB monitor and to make it affordable, go to a 2k monitor and possibly give up 27" for 24".

Any thoughts or advice on monitors you've tried and recommend would be greatly appreciated.

09-15-2019, 03:27 PM   #2
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There are several recent articles around on that theme. For example, The best monitors for photo editing in 2019 | Creative Bloq and Best monitor for photo editing of 2019 | TechRadar.

I would be interested to hear what which one you decide on.
09-15-2019, 03:41 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I'm using the BenQ SW2700PT and find that I like it a lot.

When I was looking for a 27" monitor, I found that this particular model was well respected, often recommended, and not unreasonably priced.

It's worth a look.

-- Bill
09-15-2019, 03:46 PM   #4
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I use a EIZO CS2730. I love it. Also hear very good things about the BENQ

09-15-2019, 05:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
There are several recent articles around on that theme. For example, The best monitors for photo editing in 2019 | Creative Bloq and Best monitor for photo editing of 2019 | TechRadar.

I would be interested to hear what which one you decide on.
Thanks, Paul. Good information.

---------- Post added 09-15-19 at 07:11 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by wm_brant Quote
I'm using the BenQ SW2700PT and find that I like it a lot.

When I was looking for a 27" monitor, I found that this particular model was well respected, often recommended, and not unreasonably priced.

It's worth a look.

-- Bill
Interesting, I had already looked at that monitor on BH. I’m also looking at its little brother: BenQ SW240 24.1" 16:10 PhotoVue IPS (also 99% Adobe RGB), thinking that I could live with 24” to save a couple hundred, assuming that it’s as good as the 27”.
09-15-2019, 08:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wm_brant Quote
I'm using the BenQ SW2700PT and find that I like it a lot.
I have this monitor too. Bought it about a year ago. Excellent monitor. Can't recommend it enough.
09-16-2019, 01:19 AM   #7
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My LaCie 324 graphics monitor is on the way out. It's been a wonderful, accurate display.

I like 24", so my next will likely be a NEC MultiSync® PA243W, which has a wide gamut and is apparently very accurate (I will continue to use a calibrator).

Personally, I do not like big screens, preferring instead a 24", calibrated monitor AND a second display. The second display, takes the unwanted windows while I'm working on the main display.

Last edited by BarryE; 09-16-2019 at 03:28 AM.
09-17-2019, 09:35 AM   #8
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Thanks very much for the helpful replies to my monitor quandary. I ordered a BenQ SW2700PT 27" 16:9 Photographer IPS Monitor (should have it day after tomorrow). What it came down to is price (this is at the upper limit of what I can spend, IPS screen and full Adobe RGB gamut. I decided that those factors were more important for photo editing than having 4k, so I'll know in a couple days, but it's good to know that some of you use and recommend this monitor.

If you're interested, the background is: I've been using a 27" Samsung 4k monitor for the past couple years. I was in Costco one day and fell in love with it because it was so much sharper and larger than the monitor I was using at the time (10 y/o 17" Dell). While I did love the sharpness and abundant screen real estate, a few drawbacks became apparent: many programs currently do not display well (IMO) on 4k, as the fonts and icons do not scale up and are tiny and hard to see, the TN screen (as opposed to IPS) is extremely view-angle dependant, so if you move your eye-level up or down, the part of the screen you're looking at changes saturation and lightness, and when I calibrated it I found that it only displays something like 77% Adobe RGB and 83% sRGB. All of which make it a poor monitor for critical photo editing (i.e. if you want to edit for printing). You live and learn. With the BenQ, I'm giving up 4k for 2k, but gaining the full color space and wider usable viewing angle. I don't think I'll miss the 4k (hope I'm not wrong about that), and I hope the additional colors make my editing more accurate. In a way, it's a relief to lose the 4k. I use the Nik plugins a lot, and the most recent update made some of them compatible with 4k, but not Viveza, which (when used through Photoshop) still has nearly unusable micro text in the UI (Oddly, it works alright in Lightroom). I'm wondering if having fewer pixels to display will free some resources on my display card and speed performance...

10-11-2019, 07:06 AM   #9
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Just received my NEC PA243W. It's accurate out of the box, but with NEC's calibration software (Spectraview), the colour gamut is extendable beyond the Abobe 1998 colour space, which is very impressive. I edit in ProPhoto which benefits from these extra colours, before re-purposing for Adobe1998 for print and sRGB for web. It's great to have this extra space to work with.

The accuracy, as measured with an X-Rite Pro calibrator, is impressive too across many different settings, not just the ones it is expected to be used in, which is a mark of its quality. I initially configured two simple profiles - D65 for editing and D50 for print - both bang on.
10-11-2019, 11:58 AM   #10
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I like the Dell UltraSharp monitors. I got a IPS 27" 2560 x 1440 monitor for around 220 on sale. 4k gets more expensive and you need display port output on your video card. You are already on the right start in checking out the percentage of Adobe rgb, another important stat for the monitor is dE which should be less than 2 with a gamma of 2.2.
10-28-2019, 07:26 PM   #11
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I have a BenQ but in 24" since I have limited desk space. I also use an i1 Display Pro calibration tool to calibrate it abut once every month or two. Usually the monitor will display a message that it needs calibration. What I found is that the calibration seems to help with matching/syncing the colors between Lightroom and what you see on the monitor when you open a photo in another program (if that makes sense). The colors are more accurate/consistent over all programs but it helps the most when you print something.

I would highly recommend calibrating your BenQ monitor. They recommend it and it does make a difference. For good measure I also change the color profile in Windows 10 after a calibration.
10-30-2019, 12:07 PM   #12
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Follow up on my monitor question... I got the BenQ SW2700PT, but after a few days sent it back. It was a strange experience from the start. Initially, the colors seemed very good, but I noticed the greys were not neutral (too warm), so I used my Spyder 5 to calibrate, and thought I'd download BenQ's calibration software (since they recommend using it). I went to BenQ's website, as indicated on the supplied paperwork, but came to a non-existent page. So I Googled "BenQ monitor calibration software" and found a different link, this time it worked so I downloaded the software. (The same thing happened when I tried to register the monitor - I had to use Google find the registration page, and then the "Register" link did not work.) At first, the software would not run - it started and then a box popped up with some error message, clicking out of the box closed the program. So I calibrated using the Spyder software, which worked, but the results were odd (again, the greys were not neutral). I ran the Spyder calibration several times and got slightly different results each time, until I got a result I could live with. The next day, after restarting my computer, I tried the BenQ calibration software again - this time it ran, but there are 2 options: one advanced and one more brief. I tried the advanced first - it took at least 15 minutes and when it finished the screen was a bizarre range of pinks and purples. So I ran the calibration again, this time using the other option, which worked ok, but the result was different than I got with the Spyder software. After the calibration, it offered an option to verify the calibration, which I selected. There were 2 parameters, both of which reported as "Failed". I ended up going back to the Spyder calibration profile that I liked the most, but I still had no idea if the monitor was anywhere near correctly calibrated with all of the different results. Over the course of a few days I submitted three support requests to BenQ, and while I did get automatically generated emails indicating that my requests had been received, to this day I have not received any responses to the questions. Finally, I noticed a dead pixel, so I contacted B&H and sent it back.

I waited a while to consider other monitor options, and ended up getting a Viewsonic VP2768. It's an IPS 4k monitor that has 100% RGB, but not 100% Adobe RGB, and cost less than the BenQ. It supposedly comes pre-calibrated and the colors are great, and look like they should so I haven't bothered to calibrate it yet (although I will at some point). To be honest, I really missed the 4k. I really like this monitor.
10-30-2019, 12:31 PM   #13
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I've been using NEC 27" monitors for the last few years. I'm happy with them.
10-30-2019, 12:49 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
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I've been using NEC 27" monitors for the last few years. I'm happy with them.

Good to hear Dave. I've just purchased a NEC 24" monitor and calibrated with SpectraView. So far it's impressive.

I previously owned a LaCie, which was an NEC under the covers which gave me excellent service. It started to play up after 10 years or so. I'll be taking it apart and seeing if I can repair it soon as a spare.
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