• February 6, 2017

Best Monitor for Photo Editing and Photography (February 2017)

If you are a digital photographer, you will need a computer and a monitor to see your photos in order to evaluate or retouch them. And if you want a job well done, as often happens in photography, you can’t use just any monitor, you have to choose with care.

Best Monitor for Photo Editing

This may mean knowing how to decipher mysterious new acronyms and compare technical characteristics that seem to be made to be understood only by an engineer.

Of course you can find monitors that are extremely costly, designed for professionals with deeper pockets. But luckily there are affordable alternatives that are, in any case, a leap in quality when compared to the monitor based on a laptop or a desktop computer.

In this article I introduce the main features to consider in the selection of a monitor for photography and photo editing.

Vade retro portable

Purchasing a new monitor may be particularly useful if you use a portable computer, as many people do today. Reading the characteristics which follow, you’ll discover how laptops concentrate all the negative aspects.

In addition, a good monitor for photograph must have the option to be calibrated. Calibrating the monitor on a laptop is usually more difficult and sometimes we do not do so precisely.

What are the characteristics to assess in the choice of the monitor?

As is the case for any technology product, if you start delving deep into the technical specifications for computer monitors it seems like the lists are as numerous as confetti. Fortunately, however, the number of features to keep in mind for photographic use is limited.

Let’s look at them one by one.

Size

This is an easy-to-understand feature, certainly, the larger monitor is better. The difficult part is deciding which is the minimum size that allows us to work comfortably while not spending too much.

When choosing a monitor for your computing needs, you should first think about your desk size, vision acuity and the distance you’re sitting from the monitor. People who struggle with a tiny 13 inch notebook screen not only invite eyestrain but also poor posture. Displaying a highly detailed photograph or other image on a small screen like this does not help you see how it really is supposed to look.

Most laptops have 15 inch screens, but this is hardly better than the smaller option. What you gain in convenience and portability forces you to lose out on display quality and comfort. Photographers and artists need a larger and higher quality display in order to properly view and edit their pictures.

From what I’ve read, and according to my personal experience, I would recommend you do not drop below 24 inches, 27″-32″ is a nice size for editing. If your budget is very tight you can settle for a 23-inch.

Monitors of this size are large enough to justify the expense. Furthermore, they allow you to view your pictures at a good level of magnification and simultaneously hold all the toolbars and panels typical of photo editing software and post-photographic production.

In particular, these dimensions relate to screens with proportions of 16:10. I believe the old 4:3 is no longer available, while the 16:9 favor the width too much when compared to the height and can make awkward access to functionality of the various programs.

The monitor’s 16:10 fits perfectly into pictures taken with the landscape orientation and also leave a generous amount of space for the various toolbars arranged vertically in many image editing programs.

Finally, this is the dimension that at the moment it offers the best price/performance ratio.

TN or IPS?

The Twisted Nematic (TN) is a very well known form of technology and it is also considered to be the oldest as well. Its best feature is that it gives short response times, which is why it is great for a gaming platform, but unfortunately is not good for a photographic use. When combined with LED lighting, a Twisted Nematic monitor can provide a lot of brightness and use less power than other technologies of its kind.

However, TN also has features that are not as advantageous. For instance, it has color distortions that happen when viewing wide angles. These monitors have 6 bit color technology. They are not able to show all the colors of the 24 bit color range that most video cards can show you, which add up to around 60 million colors. There are huge differences in certain products, but the ones that are on the low end will have a color for just the medium range angle changes. You will be able to recognize a Twisted Nematic monitor because of such color modifications, if you are looking at the picture from the top or from the sides.

In Plane Switching (IPS) is a contemporary technology that uses other types of technologies such as S-IPS, AS-IPS, H-IPS and E-IPS. The main reason that you want to use IPS panels is because they are either 8- or 10-bit technology. They produce a minimum of 125 percent of the colors that are available in the NTSC gamut. Also, these colors are not distorted when you look at them from various angles. The majority of them can be viewed well beyond 170 degrees. Previously, the only problem had to do with emphasizing the black colors, which usually meant that there were going to be some problems with the contrast. Also, IPS panels tend to be pricey and they are also slow at first.

Manufacturers have begun to produce Super IPS panels, but at cheaper prices. The response times have been reduced a lot and the contrast has been greatly enhanced. Also, the color display and the selections to calibrate the colors are a lot better than other panels of this kind. There is no distortion, even when you are viewing at shaper angles.

IPS monitors have not really been affordable, but the gap is starting to close. Just one year ago, most IPS monitors were three times expensive than the regular TN monitors. However, the 23 inch screens can be bought for around three hundred dollars these days. If you want professional graphic monitors that utilize IPS technology, you will have to still pay about a thousand dollars for it.

So the IPS monitor is the best monitor for photography mainly for two reasons:

  • Allows you to play a very large number of colors (close to 100% of the color space sRGB),
  • Provides a visual angle very high.


VA is another good technology
, but it is not used as much. Similar to IPS panels, this type of technology utilizes a minimum of 8 bit technology, provides good coverage and the colors are not distorted when shown at different angles.

Matte screen or Glossy Screen?

Glossy Screen

Matte screen

Indoors, the glossy can still reflect a great deal of light.

If you make a turn at any electronics store, you’ll notice how the monitors of portable and those for fixed computer screens have glossy screens.

The glossy appearance favors the contrast and vibrancy of colors and is designed for the use of the computer that is dedicated to the entertainment, but unfortunately, as far as sexy may seem, these monitors have several disadvantages that are particularly evident in photographic work.

For example, the glossy screens reflect the sources of light and even the shapes of what lies in front of the monitor, by altering the perception of what is shown, saturation and contrast do not correspond to the content of the photo, especially once it is printed.

The monitor is not glossy are said matte. They are easily recognizable in each case, you’ve worked a monitor of this type.

If you buy on the internet, you can’t recognize at a glance if a monitor is matte or glossy. You should be able to discover by looking between the technical characteristics or possibly looking for on Google the name of the monitor associated with the word glossy.

My advice:

If they will be shown on just one screen, both of them are no problems. If they will be utilized for print, then opt for matte, which will have better saturation as a result of the glossy screens. Glossy is not the same as what you will get with print.

Bit depth LUT

Monitor display calibration is limited no matter what model you own. Owners of digital monitors should resist any changes from the factory settings because this can result in a loss of colors and shades. One way to counteract this is by buying a monitor with a higher bit depth LUT. This not only affects the specificity of the calibration, but also allows the monitor to utilize more colors in its display.

Bit depth LUT

Note: Since the input values for the display remain the same, a higher bit depth LUT will not display more colors at the same time. A video card with a higher bit depth LUT will not improve accuracy of calibrations if not paired with a similarly equipped monitor.

In a system with a low bit depth, the darkest (1) and the brightest (4) shades merge with white (5) and black (0) because the shades themselves are rounded up or down to the closest output available. A system with a high bit depth LUT does not need to round shades to the closest output value that can use additional intermediate values. Because of this increased precision, posterization of image and color banding are not a problem for even the oldest and most color-changed displays.

Most currently available monitors have 8-bit LUT, though 6-bit and higher 10-bit LUT’s are also on the market. For most purposes, 8-bit options deliver quality calibrations and clearer, color-true pictures. There are also monitors, usually LCD and marketed specifically to gamers, that sacrifice bit depth LUT for higher refresh rates. This process is the quick change of animated graphics in that many games with more quality and smoothness, but is no importance for those interested in viewing photos and still graphics.

Standard Gamut or Wide Gamut (Extended Gamut)?

RGBAll physical devices have restrictions when it comes to the types of colors that it can provide. An inkjet printer does not have the ability to produce a better shade of yellow than what is provided by the ink cartridge. The shade of red that your monitor shows is restricted by the hardware that is utilized in the LCD panel. This is known as the device’s color gamut.

A majority of monitors have a color gamut that matches the SRGB color gamut. You might already know that the sRGB color gamut does not have as much as the more commonly utilized Adobe 1998 version. Also, a lot of the Adobe colors that can be printed via your inkjet printer are actually not in the range of the SRGB colors. As a result, your camera can provide these colors and they can be printed with your printer. However, you cannot see them on your monitor. Basically, you will view an estimate of these colors because they are restricted by the monitor’s color gamut.

Wide gamut monitors get rid of this issue because what they have is matched up with a bigger amount of what the Adobe 1998 has. You can find this amount in the monitor’s specs. The benefit of this is that you can view colors in your pictures that look brighter than the regular gamut monitor. This gives you the ability to see all of the colors in your pictures.

It is best to have a wide gamut display because this is the way of the future. This is practically what is available right now. To utilize this type of display, you have to know about color managed workflows and possess a display that has the right calibration. You also have to utilize a color managed app such as Photoshop. This is not that hard to manage, but you have to know exactly what you are doing in order to be successful with it.

How to choose:

Depending on your photo and graphic display and editing needs, you need to choose a monitor that covers the sRGB spectrum and possibly the Adobe RPG spectrum as well. The first specification is found on every single quality monitor on the market today.

The sRGB spectrum is more than sufficient for web-based photographs and all graphics that are intended to be displayed on a monitor in their final form. For artists that print their work, the Adobe RPG spectrum capable monitor will result in better clarity, color correctness and ultimately higher-quality work.

Currently, nearly all monitor can cover more than 99% of the sRGB spectrum however not all of them can cover most of the Adobe RGB spectrum.

LED Monitors

You are entering the market monitor LCD backlit LED. in this case too there are different types, corresponding to different acronyms.

For photographic use, ask attention to buy a monitor RGB LED and not el-wled . The second option does not provide a color reproduction sufficiently faithful.

Viewing Angle

The first LCD monitor for your computer suffered from an angle of view very reduced. What does that mean?

With a reduced visual angle, moving left to right, top or bottom with respect to the central axis of the monitor, the colors are transformed and the contrast changes . You can imagine how it is absolutely recommended in a monitor to use for photo retouching.

The monitor of more recent production, allow you to move to the right or to the left relative to the monitor without noting obvious changes in the image. Choose a monitor with at least 120° of visual angle horizontal and possibly the same for the vertical.

Resolution

On this aspect there is little to say, the available resolutions are not a lot, especially, the resolution is also determined by the size of the diagonal.

For a monitor by 23 or 24 inches, the size that I advised before, do not fall under a native resolution of 1920 * 1200. Recalls that LCD monitors should be always used to their resolution, so don’t think you can use a resolution higher or lower than the one specified.

Should You Buy a 4K monitor?

Any full-size image on a 4K monitor will be displayed with enough detail and beauty for a photographer’s appreciation. Your palettes tools can also be set to an incredible number.

These pictures also require the ability to zoom in and out in a photo editing program like Photoshop and also to display text and fonts clearly and at the correct size. This differs from standard video, television or gaming monitor usage.

Most computer software applications are designed to make use of full high definition resolutions, which results in text that is easily viewed from a standard distance away. In 4K format, text minimizes to an uncomfortable level in the same programs and software apps.

4K is becoming highly active in the 2016 market but this display technology is outpacing some of the older programs that people still use every day. If you combine software usage from even two or three years ago with the new 4K option, the size of your text will be unreadable. This makes for very difficult computing and a lot of frustration between modern technology usage and keeping older but not yet obsolete software.

In order to get the best benefit from 4K, you need to make sure that the programs you use work well with it. Many of the standard Windows applications work well with 4K already although some Windows desktop ecosystems may lag behind this technology.

By far the most popular graphics and photography editing software, Adobe Photoshop, is already working well with 4K displays. Even the largest pictures can be viewed with full detail at high resolutions and in actual size without the need to zoom in or out or scroll the workspace. The entire Photoshop interface scales easily so you have no problem accessing all your favorite tools and palettes. If you are regularly engaged in photography or graphics editing or work with videos, a 4K monitor is virtually essential.

To conclude, my personal opinion is that the 4K display capabilities are very attractive but not quite yet practical for all uses. In your excitements about this new technology, it is still important to hang back a bit and make sure all your existing hardware and the programs you use regularly work with the 4K monitor before you purchase one.

Digital connection

Now all of the monitors should be equipped with a digital connection, HDMI or DVI. Be careful not to buy a fund of magazine that has only the VGA.

Also, check which ports are available on your computer. Don’t worry, however: adapters exist able to convert any format.

Best Monitor recommended for photo editing

Monitors that incorporate all the features that i listed abut on prices between 100$ to 2000$.

With a little patience, however, you can find offers that will make saving a few dozen dollars. As I wrote before, if your budget is tight, of the features that I have described can find a compromise on size, but not on the other.

My recommend:

Here are some models that I have identified are looking for a monitor for you.

Disclaimer: Clicking on a “Details on Amazon” link will bring to you to the appropriate Amazon.com product listing, where you can check the price, customer reviews and more information about the product or similar products.

last comments ...
Alok JR
Alok JR

thanks for the detail information and suggestions. I used this as a base for all my thanksgiving research and purchase.…
Gerard Keyes
Gerard Keyes

Thank you for sharing all of this general and technical information. I wasn't sure where to start in selecting…
Paolo
Paolo

Still not sure what to get... I'm opening my site to sell photo prints, photo books. Until now the best…
JC
JC

Hi, thank you SO much for this article!!! I recently bought a new macbook pro and I was going to…
Dan
Dan

Hi, I'm new in photo editing. I'm looking to upgrade my monitor and came across a ViewSonic model VP2468, has…

  • February 16, 2017

Best Camera phone 2017: Camera Buyer’s Guide: the Best Camera-Phones, Applications and Accessories

While certain segments of the camera market are struggling to keep their heads above water (single lens reflex, hybrids) and others have almost ceased to exist (compacts), there is one segment which has continued to grow to the point of reaching omnipresence: smartphones. If having a smartphone was considered being at the forefront of technology just a few years ago, these products have since been popularized to the point where even entry-level models already offer all the indispensable features.

Best Camera phone

This mass popularization has had a striking effect on the world of photography: the device which you always have on you, the one you take out of your pocket in all circumstances, is no longer a compact camera, but rather your telephone. Its always there, turned on, ready and connected. Nevertheless, all smartphones are not created equal where photographic capability is concerned, and the cheapest models are to be avoided if you are looking for a high-quality camera.

(more…)

last comments ...
Andrew
Andrew

Lumia 1020 is the best of them all
Subash
Subash

Yeah, I am also finding difficult to buy Lumia 1020
achilleslstand
achilleslstand

Pure B.S. - The Lumia 1020 Blows 'em all away!
Drew
Drew

I'd really like to see how the Nokia 808 compares. Someone had to say it,and new ones are…
Farhad Ahmad
Farhad Ahmad

I would like to talk about the latest phone developed by iDROID USA, the iDROID Tango 2 has a great…

  • February 12, 2017

Phone cameras will have RAM and will record in 4K at 60 fps and 1080 at 240 fps.

Phone cameras have features increasingly amazing, and in some cases they surpass professional cameras. For example, you could spend more than a thousand dollars in a camera that records in 1080p at 120 fps, while a modern high range mobile phone has it built-in. obviously, the size of the sensor and the image quality differ from one another, but it still is amazing that today’s mobile phones are able to record at such frame rate with such high resolution.

Cameras able to record in 4K at 60fps and 1080 at 240 fps thank to Sony’s new sensor.

On top of that modern mobile phones can record in 1080 at 120fps, or 4K at 30 fps, the new sensors designed by Sony entail that in some time no so long from now we will see the first mobile phones able to record in 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, slow-motion with an amazing quality and able to play at that frame rate in compatible monitors (since there are already some with a spec up to 240 Hertz), with a maximum theoretical frame rate of 1.000fps in 1080. Regarding photographs, the sensor will count with 21.2 Megapixels.

Phone cameras

Sony has designed this new phone CMOS sensor that consist in three layers, including in one of them something that has not been previously seen in a camera sensor: a RAM memory chip. Specifically, it will include a 125 MB chip that can read 19.3 million pixels in 1/120 seconds, which is four times faster than current chips.

Phone cameras

Current phone sensors have a hard time taking pictures at high speed, these, having slight distortion due to the capture rate and the way that sensors work, even in speeds greater than 1/300 seconds. The new Sony sensor is four times faster than current ones, which helps to highly mend the problem. The pixel size of the sensor is 1.22μm, which improves the lighting as well in low light spaces, while reducing noise.

Higher speed thanks to the RAM and its new construction.

Digital sensor shutters on mobile phones don’t count with a mechanical shutter as it happens in Digital single-lens reflex cameras, for which exposure time is control digitally. That’s why distortion is created when taking pictures of moving objects as car or a train. The inclusion of the RAM chip in the sensor allows higher processing speed, while reducing software loading time.

Sony has not announce when the new sensor with RAM will be available, but it should be for year’s end or earlier next year, and it probably will be release in Xperia phones, coming later for other brands.

Read More:
Best Camera phone 2017
Sony A6300 vs. A6500

  • February 6, 2017

3 waterproof cameras for Adventurers, Children and the Intrepid (Choose yours!)

Are you one of those people who loves to dive into the water and swim among fish and corals? Or is skateboarding, snowboarding, kitesurfing or, any other sport where water or ice is nearby, your thing? Or your extreme sport is taking photos with children near the water? If you are an adventurous person, a sportsperson and besides that love photography, or at least, portraying your stunts, you have no other option than to take a look at these cameras (that is, if you don’t already have one).

1. Olympus TG-4

Replacing the Tough 3, in addition to the macro functions and the high quality of this, the Olympus TG-4 adds a very versatile and luminous lens. Lets look at it in more detail.

(more…)

  • February 6, 2017

Best Monitor for macbook Pro and Mac Mini/Air 2017

Because of the Apple PC’s excellent screen, the presentation of color gradation, hue, and contrast is much better than that of traditional PC computers. Thus it is the main choice for many professional video and photograph editors. In particular, the recent launch of the Apple MacBook Pro and MacBook Mini with retina screens further established that Apple has the professional user in mind. The only drawback is that MacBook Pro’s 13 or 15.4-inch screen is too small. In fact the MacBook Air only has an 11.6-inch screen. If you usually use your Mac only to browse the web, screen size it is not so important. But for those who run complex software (such as Xcode or Photoshop), the MacBook’s screen cannot cope with all the windows. Users will need to keep pressing Option-Tab to switch between windows. An external monitor does allow you to have more display space, and helps you get the job done more efficiently.

macbook Pro

It is worth mentioning that not only does an external monitor offer a larger display space, but there is also some software optimized for multi-display software (such as Aperture and iMovie) that offers more convenience. For example, if you use iMovie to edit video on a single display, the movie preview windows will be pushed to the upper-right corner of the screen by other windows. If you have two monitors, you can use one screen exclusively for the movie preview and put the other windows on the second monitor.

(more…)

last comments ...
Nancy Nafziger
Nancy Nafziger

Thanks for the info. It's the best info I could find on the web! I have a…
Jill
Jill

What is the best 27 " monitor for photo editing I have a Mac Book Pro 10.6
Denise
Denise

Hi I have a macbook pro 13 inch with retina but want a larger screen for desk about 23 no…
Cheryl Martens
Cheryl Martens

Thank-you for the review. I have a few questions concerning monitor quality. I have a macbook pro 13" and I…
Haaspeni
Haaspeni

Thank you for very good review. I have two question. Is BenQ SW 2700PT a good choise for both Mac…

  • February 5, 2017

Nikon 1 J5 (An outstanding compact camera)

Mirrorless cameras have made themselves a place in the photography market for some time now and they don’t seem to be going anywhere, more and more brands are joining this trend, with more improvements, and more competitiveness in price, design and approval of photographers who dare to give them a try. Like the DSLR or the compact ones, there are cameras for amateurs to professional, for all tastes, needs and pockets.

The Nikon 1 J5 was Nikon’s latest addition to its "Nikon 1" series of mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses, a really attractive camera not only for the beauty of its retro-modern lines but also for its speed, size and portability. Let’s take a closer look.

(more…)

  • January 25, 2017

Sony A6300 vs. A6500 comparison, what’s the difference?

In October 2016, Sony introduced the A6500, its new hybrid camera featuring an APS-C sensor. A direct descendant of the Sony A6300, this new device – which we have been able to test – offers some nice innovations such as a 24 Mpx APS-C sensor with 5 axis stabilization, a faster image processor, a tactile display, as well as other improvements. Are these improvements enough to outperform the A6300?

We tested the A6500 equipped with a 55mm f/1.8 lens. Here is what we found.

Sony A6500

An ergonomic design

Sony seems to have found the perfect mold in which to cast their line of A6XXX hybrids, and ever since the A6000, very little has changed. The newest model looks almost identical to the previous one and noticing any external differences requires paying close attention.

Spotting the differences

In the process of trying to spot the differences between these two models, you will notice that the customizable C1 button next to the shutter release button has now been split in two and the C1 and C2 buttons are now a little bit higher up, leaving more room around the shutter release. A C3 button is also available at the rear of the device: the button labeled with the trashcan icon (C3 is available while focusing). These three buttons are customizable as is the four-way navigation switch situated at the rear. The FN button still allows for the customization of secondary functions on several of the buttons. This feature is very handy for those photographers who enjoy tweaking their camera to perfection.

Sony A6500

Sony A6500

At the rear, can still be found the switch for selecting between AF/MF – AEL which allows for choosing between manual and automatic focusing or automatic exposure locking.

(more…)

  • January 12, 2017

Panasonic Lumix GH5 – First impressions

Among all the novelties presented by Panasonic on the occasion of the CES 2017 the one that couldn’t be missing was the Lumix GH5, announced at Photokina 2016. The GH5 is the new brand flagship and recently we had a brief opportunity to experience it during a press conference held in Madrid days before the official presentation.

Although according to the intentions stated by the manufacturer, that the product has been made having in mind wildlife & adventure photographers as well as videographers, by reviewing the list of innovations of this new Micro Four Thirds Camera, it’s clear that the latter will crave it more than the former. Especially those who are professionally involved in event recording, broadcasting and filmmaking will find in the GH5 features unique to large and expensive high-end equipment.

(more…)

  • January 8, 2017

The Canon 6D Mark II will arrive in 2017

Mirrorless threaten DSLR cameras. It appears to be the future, and cameras using mirrors feel like part of the past. Is it really so? When will the transition take place? Will the Canon 6D Mark II be one of the first DSLR’s to die? Well, no. Finally it seems that the camera will be launched in 2017.

Yes there will be Canon 6D Mark II

Many photography specialized journalists have stated that the Canon 6D Mark II would not arrive next year because this camera would be replaced by a new high level mirrorless camera by Canon. However, it seems that will not be so.

Canon 6D Mark II

The new Canon mirrorless camera will have a Full Frame sensor, being thus the first mirrorless of the company with a sensor in this format, arriving after the Canon EOS M5 that has an APS-C sensor.

(more…)

  • January 8, 2017

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II – With DIGIC 7 processor

Canon announced the renewal of one of its most advanced compact cameras, the PowerShot G9 X Mark II, which maintains the 1" sensor with 20 Mpx resolution, but includes the company’s latest image processor, the DIGIC 7.

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

The new Canon compact retains much of the features of the first Powershot G9 X –sensor, 3" touch screen, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity–, and especially its 3x optical zoom lens, with an equivalent focal length of 28-84 mm and maximum apertures of f/2-4.9. Video recording is also maintained in Full HD resolution. The differences mainly focus on the replacement of the old DIGIC 6 image processor by the new DIGIC 7, which allows, among other improvements, to increase the burst from 6 to 8 fps. Also, for the first time in the Powershot series, Bluetooth Smart functionality is added, allowing fast pairing with compatible mobile devices.

(more…)