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Buying a monitor soon.

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  #1  
Old 08-29-2009, 08:32 AM
xxxmen xxxmen is offline
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Buying a monitor soon.

I'm hoping to get a monitor to cobine with my Imac. I do some simple colour correction,but would like to know what I should be looking into when buying a monitor. Any tips or what I should look for in the sense of technical terms etc. would be appreciated. What should I be aware of when making this purchase.
Thanks. Basic use is for colour correcting and general web surfing.
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Old 08-29-2009, 05:18 PM
Mikefive Mikefive is offline
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Re: Buying a monitor soon.

Well I don't know much about hardware but i know Eizo and Apple Cinematic monitors are good
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:20 PM
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StormFX StormFX is offline
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Re: Buying a monitor soon.

Nec Spectra View is another option.
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Old 08-30-2009, 03:31 AM
retouchpro2010 retouchpro2010 is offline
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Re: Buying a monitor soon.

Apple Cinematic monitors are not good enough for softproofing!
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:42 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Buying a monitor soon.

xxxmen,
Much will depend on your price point. Also, be aware that many of the terms can get a bit confusing, as the sales/marketing folks make up new terms to suite their needs. For example, "contrast ratio" has recently seen a jump from the normal 400:1 or 1000:1 ranges to some new 10,000:1 ranges. Nothing other than marketing.

In the sub-$500 range, things have improved dramatically over the last 5 years. Many of the LCD displays in this range are now very reliable, very stable and will serve your needs well. Just stay away from those little known LCD's that are on clearance.

Many of the more important considerations in these LCD's is more ergonomic. Ensure that the LCD comes with an adjustable stand, both for height and tilt. Anything without this little feature will simply annoy you later.

Next in my book would be the viewing angle. This is the angle (both up and down, and left and right) in which you can move from dead-on center and still get a clean, true picture. Nothing is more aggravating than to be working on an image, correct your posture, then discover the image looks different now that you're sitting up straight. Look for something between 30-60 degrees. More would certainly be better, but less is useless.

After that, you are getting into the technical specifications, which while important, will not vary too much in this price range. Some of these spec's are more important for differentiating between "gaming" LCD's, i.e. response time....when editing photographs, it's just not too important if your pixels update in 20ms or 30ms.

Another item to note (which may seem obvious to most, but not so obvious to others) is whether or not to buy an all digital LCD or one with an analog connection. Almost all video cards today come with one or two digital (DVI) connectors on them. However, there are some with one digital and one analog (VGA) connector. (Depending on which iMac you buy, some are furnished with all digital connectors, and some come with both.) I mention this because you often find great deals on LCD's, only to find out later they are analog only. While theoretically they should produce the same image on screen, this is not necessarily true. So, most people today are buying LCD's that have digital inputs. Analogs will likely be gone in a few more years, once laptops adopt digital outputs for their remote LCD's.

Most technical terms can be found on the vendors' website. Many also have very good introductory pages to help you understand the basics of LCD's and other buying considerations. Hopefully, some of the stuff above will help with the not-so-obvious.
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:53 PM
Rydiant Rydiant is offline
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Re: Buying a monitor soon.

You might want to look out for a monitor with an IPS panel. IPS monitors maintain consistent colour through the widest viewing angles, compared to LED panels based on other technology (ex. TFT and PVA.)

What size are you looking for? If you're thinking of a 24" monitor, you might want to check out the HP LP2475. It's received a lot of good reviews. Dell has a new IPS monitor in the U2410. It was first available in Japan. I'm not sure if it's officially sold in other regions yet.

I believe the 24" aluminum iMacs have IPS panels. The 20" models only use TFTs. The 20" white models around just before the aluminum case redesn also had IPS screens. What kind do you own? Maybe getting a hardware calibrator would be enough.

There are a bunch of knowledgeable posters in the Displays forum at [H]ard|Forum ( http://www.hardforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=78 ) Check it out.

Last edited by Rydiant; 08-30-2009 at 09:55 PM. Reason: A question needed a question mark
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:58 PM
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Re: Buying a monitor soon.

...oh, and I should have mentioned this also. Many manufacturers have some really nice chipsets and proprietary algorithms to enhance the image. These are great for web browsing, gaming, etc. But, if you plan to calibrate your LCD, you will need to turn all of this off, as it overrides your calibration. So, while these enhancements seem appealing at first, you could end up spending extra for something you may not be able to use. However, if you don't intend to calibrate, they are quite good at making the image look great.

Since you said you may be doing some color correction... we must assume you will be calibrating. Hence, you also need to consider how much you plan to spend on that. The least amount of money is probably $60 for a Spyder Express. From there, the cost jumps pretty quick into the $200 to $800 range; as much or more than the LCD. But, for minor or occasional color correction, the Spyder Express does a very good job.
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