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07-08-2008, 01:03 AM   #1
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Computer question

So I'm also looking to make my first photography computer investment! I have a mac laptop that runs just about as good as any desktop and I intend to use it as both. Macbook, 2gb ram, 7200 speed 500gb hard drive, stock video card, adobe cs3. I plan to hook it up to a nice monitor, extra keyboard and wireless mouse, also I have an external hard drive with I think 250ish gb, when at home. I understand that a high quality big monitor is a must, and I have the necessary converter to attach any monitor to the mac. What should I get? Budget is limited, I might add. I would prefer to get something aftermarket. I just want something at least "19, true colors. I also understand that calibration is key, do I need something special to do that or can it be done on the monitor/computer itself? Help me make the right choice! I'm looking to start my professional career in photography and I want to have something that I can keep and build on, not something I'll outgrow immediately and have to re-invest in or replace in the near future. I plan to do most if not all of my editing on the extra monitor for color reasons. Thanks for the help!

07-08-2008, 05:37 AM   #2
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You might want to look here for some advice. It seems all screens are not created equal, or at leasrt some are more equal than others.
Errata Blog Archive Computer LCD Monitors for Photography - Mark Roberts' Blog
07-08-2008, 06:08 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jnoelle Quote
home. I understand that a high quality big monitor is a must,.............Budget is limited,
that's the catch right there. As is the limited budget and don't want to outgrow it philosophy. Very opposing things.
What to aspire to (just for reference):
EIZO / ColorEdge CG222W
or
LaCie - 324 LCD Monitor + Hood + Calibration Software + Colorimeter
LaCie - 320 LCD Monitor

What would work for now:
Huey
Accessories - ColorVision Spyder2express monitor display calibrator review - Digital Photography Now
And for monitors, start here:
Buying a LCD monitor for photo editing | Void Pointer
I won't be in your position till my CRT finally dies.... IF you can find a CRT they still are the best. I actually thought they were extinct but here's one:
NEC Display Solutions AccuSync 120-BK
07-08-2008, 05:04 PM   #4
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ok i'm looking at a dell 2007fp monitor. it's on craigslist and i'm not sure if it's ips or pva because that model has gone through both, but it's definitely not tn. good enough?

07-08-2008, 05:19 PM   #5
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Most LCD monitors but the expensive ones are not considered good for photo editing. I picked up a big 21" Sony Trinitron CRT for $50 bucks that a person was getting rid of to go LCD. Until you've got the money for a Lacie or Apple LCD, I'd stick with a CRT. They're dirt cheap cuz nobody wants them, but better for color accuracy, as long as you calibrate it.
07-08-2008, 06:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by cygnet Quote
Most LCD monitors but the expensive ones are not considered good for photo editing. I picked up a big 21" Sony Trinitron CRT for $50 bucks that a person was getting rid of to go LCD. Until you've got the money for a Lacie or Apple LCD, I'd stick with a CRT. They're dirt cheap cuz nobody wants them, but better for color accuracy, as long as you calibrate it.
I agree with you for the most part but Apple screens are no better than most, and often worse. Yet are more expensive with far less functionality like different inputs.

I have a Dell 2007 and its pretty good, puts up a decent fight against the Samsung XL20 I have at work, which is a LED backlit pro photo quality monitor, equals NEC or Eizo screens for far less cost.

You either buy the best of the generic consumer monitors, or prepare to pay $1500 or more for a pro model.
07-08-2008, 09:16 PM   #7
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thanks for the help. yeah i'm in no position to purchase a 1000-1500 dollar monitor, so i want to purchase a high end consumer monitor and hope for the best until i have more money! i just wanted to know, out of those monitors, what i should be looking for and how to differentiate which ones are better considering my needs
07-09-2008, 01:43 AM   #8
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For photos I'd say use a CRT...
yes they are bigger than LCD but the colours are closer to true...

LCDs are back lit and this makes the colours off, unless you buy these calibration things but they can be expensive...

07-09-2008, 06:09 AM   #9
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good quality functioning CRT's are getting harder to come by

i know mine has a weird issue, i can never get my blacks to look fully black unless i make my whole screen really dim.
07-18-2008, 10:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jnoelle Quote
ok i'm looking at a dell 2007fp monitor. it's on craigslist and i'm not sure if it's ips or pva because that model has gone through both, but it's definitely not tn. good enough?
I believe you'd like it. I own the 2005FPW and bought it when it was over $400. I've been told by the print techs that the colors of the images I bring in, with only 2 exceptions in the multiple dozens of enlargements I've had printed, were very accurate colors. Of course, much more expensive graphics monitors can be had, but I'm happy with it's performance.

So is that Pentax, me, the monitor, or combination of all of them...?

Cheers,
Marc
07-18-2008, 12:50 PM   #11
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Just got a new Dell XPS 420 a couple weeks ago with a wonderful widescreen Ultra Sharp monitor. It is fantastic! And I am so glad NOT to have to deal with a wireless mouse or keyboard any more. We only changed batteries in the keyboard once in about 4 years but the mouse batteries had to be CONSTANTLY changed. Just a heads up.....be prepared!
07-18-2008, 01:37 PM   #12
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I only use NEC LCD monitors because I have found them to be the brightest and sharpest. They have not been calibrated but my prints look the same as on the image on the monitor. I have not seen any Eizo but they are said to be among the best.

Concerning the mouse, the Microsoft mouse goes to sleep after a short period on non use to save the battery. Ordinary AA batteries can last me up to two years even using it many hours a day.
07-18-2008, 02:35 PM   #13
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Installing Aperture to be able to sort your pictures and do some rough pre-photoshop PP could perhaps be a good idea as well.

Getting a RAID setup of some sort on your harddrives might also help with handling some of those huge files you get if you for instance try to make some panoramic photographs that you want to print really large. (Or if you insist on scanning medium format film in 4000dpi+++)
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