Computer Monitor for Photography

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by BillN, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro Charter Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    I am looking for a new monitor, biased towards good quality images

    I have two desktops with two monitors on each. All the monitors are Samsung SyncMasters, N, B and a 2032BW
    and each computer has one digital one analogue monitor attached.

    They all show slightly different images, as does my laptop

    What do you guys use .......... I would like a 24" monitor and reading the reviews, the Samsung T240 is good value for money, but better quality and more expensive seem to be the NEC LCD 2490 WUXi range

    I think that my graphic card is OK - it's a ATi Radeon X300 .......... a few years old, but maybe still OK

    I am a PC user ......... so any advice that says switch to Apple is not really practicable for me

    I would really like some good advice

    Thanks
     
  2. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Bill, I hope you can get some helpful advice here. I've moved this to the "Hardware" forum where it fits a bit better.
     
  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Bill , I have 3 Macs.
    I use a Spyder Pro 2 to calibrate them.
    After calibrating they all read the same.
    I bought a Spyder 3 but returned it because it wasn't as good as the 2.
    I would try that before getting new monitors.
    Shooter
     
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  4. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    454
    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    I'm a mac user as well. Totally agree you should try calibrating them first. You can get a spyder2 on eBay for 50 Buck
     
  5. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro Charter Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    Thanks

    I'll try to find it

    Spyder Pro 2 is what I want - that's right isn't it?

    US$100 to US$ 150 in the UK - £70 to £110

    I'll try to find a US download site
     
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Yessir. The new version 3, miscalibrated all the time...
     
  7. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro Charter Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    I have had a look around and there does not seem to be any Spyder 2 Pro software for sale in the UK, (nothing on Amazon - says "not available") - Spyder 3 Pro yes - but 2 no

    There seems to be a few sites that offer "free downloads" - presumably they must be suspect and download all kinds of stuff to your computer that is not needed.

    Also looks like you can only buy it in "the box" - I'll have to keep looking - (there is only one on Ebay UK, it has a BIN of £100 - (that's maybe $150)
     
  8. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    454
    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    You need the box... there is a hardware component.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. jesse

    jesse Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    104
    Dec 16, 2009
    Hong Kong
    Dell 24" ultra sharp may be a good choice
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran Charter Member

    403
    Jan 26, 2010
    I have a samsung T260HD, it's pretty close to the T240, it's really nice, one of the better LCD's I've had but it also produces quite a bit of heat compared to some of the smaller ones I've had. I've heard some people complain that the samsung t24/t26 series have bad colour depth but I haven't noticed...

    I also agree with the monitor calibration, although it will only help to a certain extent. With calibration, I can get my laptop screen and some of my LCD's looking "similar" but still not the same. On one of my LCD's (an acer p243w) there's just no hope. Even after calibration it's horrible.

    Another thing to think about and or read up on with regards to calibration though : the calibration is intended for "printed material". It will calibrate your monitor for optimal desktop publishing. Mean while, normally, computer monitors are calibrated for a crisp, user, wow, effect. The end result is that if the picture looks awsome on your calibrated monitor, it will look awsome when printed, and will look off to just about everyone looking at the picture online / on their computer. Consumer monitors are calibrated at a "cool-blue". When you first calibrate your monitor you may find it a "warm earthy red".
     
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  11. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro Charter Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    hardware component - does that mean that it is only good for one monitor
     
  12. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Bill,
    It's a screen attachment. It does not stay on the screen, only in use.
    It plugs in to a USB port. You can calibrate all your monitors whenever...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. ajramirez

    ajramirez Mu-43 Veteran Charter Member

    212
    Jan 16, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Bill,

    No. The hardware component is the spectrometer (I think that's what it is called). It is like a puck with three legs (hence the "spider" moniker) that you place on your screen that reads the monitor's output in order to make the necessary adjustments to create the profile. The box should include the spectrometer and the software to drive it.

    There is also more than one version of the Spider 2 software. I use the Pro version. I am not conversant on the differences between it and the other versions.

    Regards,

    Antonio
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Mar 3, 2010
    You need to research and choose carefully

    The best LCD's are IPS ...cheap LCD's even the popular brands are not IPS based.

    I use an EIZO S2433w 24" (considered the best) the Apple cinema LCD are excellent and IPS based

    The best HP and Dell are IPS based others too .. .here ....

    http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/guides/s-ips-lcd-list.php

    What IPS screens give you is real blacks proper gray scale gradation as well as a bright display and and a true colour gamut .. they finally kill the best CRT monitors and are truly sharp corner to corner
     
    • Like Like x 4
  15. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran Charter Member

    403
    Jan 26, 2010
    Nice link, I hope it stays around cuz I might look at it when I buy my next monitor (which maybe years from now).

    There's a few *almost* reasonably priced / sizes / resolutioned ones on there too. Hopefully they'll come down in cost by the time I buy a new one.

    Having said that, the price point is still quite a ways off the mainstream TN panels...

    While you're at it, remember the type of connector you use matters too. You can often see a difference between VGA and HDMI/DVI plugs/cables even with the same monitor and same video card. I haven't kept up on display port nor tried it, I'd assume it's just as good as hdmi/dvi or better. If you're going to spend a bunch on a monitor, it probably doesn't make sense to use VGA or you'll lose quality right away.
     
  16. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro Charter Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    Thanks everyone - Spyder 2 Pro - then I'll sort out the Monitor

    Just another question

    are any of these new TVs any good?

    My son has a 46" Sharpe TV which he has a computer plugged into - he has one of those "wave in the air" mice etc., and uses it as you would use a normal computer in between watching the TV ......... plus Spotify ............. which I experienced for the first time last night
     
  17. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran Charter Member

    403
    Jan 26, 2010
    oh BTW, with the spyder 2 series, all the versions use the same hardware, the only difference is the software...

    As for TV's as computer monitors. You need to do a lot of research - or take a laptop to a store to test it. A lot of TV's do not have the colour depth of computer monitors nor the pixel quality. As an example, on computer monitors, 1 pixel = 1 dot (well 3 dots R/G/B) on the screen. With some TV's they dither the dots to attempt to reproduce the colour. You can go to a typical store to see this if they have a TV hooked up to a computer. Set their resolution to the native tv resolution, this usually means 1920x1080 or something like that. If you open windows paint or what ever they have, and draw 1 dot on the screen, it should look like 1 dot. If it looks like 1 fuzzy dot... then it's pretty bad. Similarly you can try drawing 1 pixel lines on the screen in different directions, if it fuzzes over to 2 or 3 pixels... it's not good.

    What you can do is go the other way around though. Computer monitors are generally higher quality than TVs, as a result if you use a computer monitor to watch tv, you'll get a very crisp result. This comes back to your Samsung T240 remark... Samsung's T240/T260's are computer monitors. What they did though is they also made T240HD and T260HD's, they are computer monitors with tv tuners in them. I have the T260HD. It works great as a computer monitor, and also works great as a TV. I have a friend who tried it the other way around (also with a samsung) some huge 46" samsung TV plugged into his computer... looks pretty bad, annoys the heck out of him :rofl:
     
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  18. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I'm looking for a new monitor, and most seem to only be 1080 lines of resolution. Is that good enough for a 25"+ monitor?

    I thought I remembered 1600x1200 being the go-to resolution back in the CRT days ...
     
  19. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Same here for 3. Frustrating.
     
  20. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran Charter Member

    403
    Jan 26, 2010
    most lcd monitors now are around 1920x1200 or 1920x1080... it's the annoying tv people who messed up our 4/3rds standard :) It's tough even getting the 1920x1200 now and it's usually quite a bit more expensive. You could try to find a premium panel that's the 2560x... size but that's really hard to find now, that might be your only way of getting beyond the 1200 size.

    So, it might not be whether it's good enough or not, it's probably the only thing you can get.