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Pro vs cheap IPS displays

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by hwan, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. hwan

    hwan Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 20, 2014
    St Louis, MO
    I have a pair of old LG IPS monitors (IPS226, about $150 when I bought it a few years ago) calibrated with Spyder4pro. I'm considering getting a new, larger monitor. I'm wondering what the main differences are between the cheaper IPS monitors and the pro grade expensive ones.

    Up til now, I'm been very happy with the quality of the images being displayed on my monitor. The only prints I've done have been the generic shutterfly/walgreens ones, and the colors in those have been awful.

    I am currently considering getting the Canon Pro-100 printer and printing myself. Will having a pro monitor make much of a difference in getting my prints to match the screen compared to the cheaper IPS monitors?

    Also, what's the main difference between working in AdobeRGB and sRGB? AdobeRGB is better for printing since it had a wider gamut, right? But at the same time, images displayed on the Internet use sRGB. Since the majority of my images will be shared with family and friends online, should I stick to working in sRGB?
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Anything you post online should be sRGB. Color management for printing opens up a whole new world of complexity and profiles for specific ink/paper/printer combos. Google Cambridge in color for a primer on color management.
  3. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    Surprisingly, (to me, anyway), if you are shooting RAW files, (which is a good idea for maximum flexibility in processing your images), it doesn't matter if your camera is set to sRGB or AdobeRGB - that only affects the JPGs. Therefore, I have begun setting my camera to sRGB, because that is what is displayed on the LCD screen I am using for review (chimping). RAW files have no "color space", just raw pixel data (ergo the name).
    Once you are in ACR or LR or PS, set your default workflow to AdobeRGB (or ProPhotoRGB) for max color space on your RAW files while working on them.
    When you get ready to send an image online or through email, etc., i.e. anything digital/electronic, embed the sRGB color space in your JPG or TIF.
    For printing through commercial labs, including places like Walmart (boo!) or Costco (yay!), I believe most still prefer sRGB files, but you should check with the specific company you are working with.
    For printing at home, I believe AdobeRGB is your best bet, but that may vary with different printer models.

    That is my understanding from the research I have done - I am most assuredly no expert.
    If I am mistaken in any of this, please someone correct me.
    (As if I have to ask . . .:tongue:) 
    • Like Like x 2
  4. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    I think you pretty will have your stuff together on color spaces.
  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    IPS panels come in many varieties. Besides the basics like price points and screen size/resolution, you also need to consider the working color space of the monitor. Some panels will very closely replicate the sRGB color profile while others can come close, or closer, to Adobe RGB. Larger is not automatically better, especially if you are primarily outputting sRGB files. If you are planning on printing at home, find out how large the color space of your printer is, and then factor that into your decision. It can be quite challenging, and it may require extra attention, if you have a wide gamut monitor, and that is the only part of your workflow that is wide gamut (excepting program like LR) because you will almost always need to make adjustments for sRGB output, and that adds an extra step to your workflow. On a side note, are you calibrating your monitor? If not, that is one thing that you should address, regardless of monitor quality or price.

    Good luck,

  6. hwan

    hwan Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 20, 2014
    St Louis, MO
    I have just bought the printer (Canon Pro-10) and a new calibrator (X-rite i1 pro). My current monitor supposedly covers about 98% sRGB and 72% aRGB.

    Here's my current workflow: Raw images are imported into LR and edited. 99% of my images never leave LR. Then they are exported as sRGB jpeg for sharing and web purposes.

    My question is as follows: If I get a new monitor that covers close to 100% aRGB, do all my edit on that monitor (calibrated) in LR, and export as sRGB, will that image look the same on my current monitor (also calibrated) that only covers the sRGB space? Does this conversion cause the colors to change slightly? Would I need to set the new monitor's profile to only cover the sRGB space?

    So my main things are:
    1. I want the prints to match the monitor (mostly portraits).
    2. I want the pictures to look the same when shared and viewed on the web on calibrated monitors.
  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    You can go wide or normal gamut, but unless your printer (or printing service) can take advantage of AdobeRGB, then you are not taking advantage of what you purchased except when viewing on your own monitor for your own pleasure. If you want to share on the web, then unless your audience has an AdboeRGB monitor, a highly unlikely assumption unless you know them personally and know their equipment. You really cannot even assume that people have calibrated monitors. So, you really need to stick to the sRGB color space for output, as it is the LCD of color spaces. Images that have been worked on in larger spaces and not properly exported may be out of gamut and with certain colors will appear to look off. And the difference is not always subtle.

    If you are using Lightroom, find an image that you believe has a wide gamut of colors. Invoke softproofing in the Develop module and see what is flagged as out of gamut. You can adjust the image to bring the colors into gamut for sRGB and then compare the two images. This will give you a visual taste of the difference of the difference. I have two calibrated NEC IPS panels of similar vintage, but with different types of IPS panels. When I shot college football a couple of years ago, it was murder trying to keep purple uniforms looking purple and not blue. Staying in sRGB on export, there were still differences depending on the display device, including the two IPS monitors. It can be a bit of a tail chase, especially if you are outputting to the web AND you want everything outputted to look identical. It can be done, but usually in a small gamut color space like sRGB. Yes, I am sure there are exceptions, but be prepared for a lot of work to make that happen on a consistent basis.

    Good luck,

  8. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I don't like working in Adobe RGB.

    Consider that there is no consumer level output device that supports Adobe RGB gamut. Print gamuts are not that big, and many professional print shops expect sRGB files. So if you have colors outside sRGB, now you have a problem. Out of gamut colors need to be remapped, which either means crushing colors or remapping in-gamut colors. Both are problematic.

    Also, Adobe RGB is too wide for a good 8 bit work flow. The differences between colors becomes wide enough to create issues in the mid tones and interfere with accurate skin tones. You really want to be end-to-end 10 bit for Adobe RGB, which requires professional level hardware.
  9. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I use nothing but sRGB, as it's simply easier. In order to match screen to print, you must also calibrate every type of paper that you use, so that from screen to print nothing changes. I also use Qimage for all of my printing tasks, as it's far more consistent and easier to contend with than say PS or LR (it even provides RAW support).
  10. hwan

    hwan Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 20, 2014
    St Louis, MO
    Thanks guys. I will stick to working in sRGB. In other words, there is no point in spending extra money on extra wide gamut monitors, correct? I should just get whatever will cover 100% sRGB, as I would have the monitor profiled to only cover sRGB. Is this correct?
  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I think that really all that you need to do, unless you intend to get very serious about printing and then you're into some serious printers as well.
  12. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    I think if you are getting reasonably serious about printing either with a printer or outside source or both it is advisable to get a wide gamut monitor. Printers - I have a Canon 9500i - actually have their own gamut based on CMYK - which includes less colors than both sRGB and aRGB in some areas and more in others. A wide gamut screen will almost certainly off you the choice of sRGB or aRGB so if you need to be in a particular color space you can be. What you are looking for in a monitor is accurate screen to print match. Now I basically found I got that out of the box with my aRGB capable monitor and Photoshop 'managing' the printing of aRGB photos. Furthermore, accurate screen to print match also translates to say getting books printed by Blurb through Lightroom and also my local professional printer.

    It is ok to say you dont like working in aRGB but, for instance, Lightroom displays photos in your library in aRGB (and this cannot be changed to sRGB). And the problem you have is that aRGB colors will not look right if viewed in sRGB but a wide - aRGB monitor - will correctly view images such as jpegs or the internet where the colors have been set to sRGB.
  13. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012
    I basically use the spyder elite as a calibration tool for my high gamut IPS monitors. I own ultrasharp dell's from 27, 24 and 23". What I find is the colours I get virtually match my pro print shop. The one to really be concerned about is your brightness.

    pick several photos with all kinds of dynamic images. Adjust the brightness in LR or whatever program you use for your workflow. Request your print shop to do NO corrections. When you get your prints back test to see if they are under or over exposed. Do these tests until you get virtually identical images from your prints to your screen.

    I use the xrite passport to color calibrate my Camera profile to LR.

    I only use sRGB.

    I only get my prints done by a wet lab Noritsu machine. Dry labs do not look equally as nice because they are glorified laser printers. Wet labs have a higher operating cost but the results are much nicer due to the nature of ink absorption in paper. Dry labs are surface prints...
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