Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Post-processing & Printing | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2012 · External Monitor vs laptop?
  
 
Ed Swift
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · External Monitor vs laptop?


Hi All,

Looking for some advice regarding monitor calibration and using an external screen vs laptop.

I've just had a calendar back with a variety of prints, some of which are darker than on my screen at home. I'm going to check the luminance and set up a couple of lights for checking prints as suggested here:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1170475

However I was wondering if a dedicated monitor which never moves could be a good idea too. It will allow me to still sit and edit on the sofa if i want, but then plug into the monitor to double check.

I'd also plan to calibrate both, however have tried the manual tools on the laptop (i.e. "you should be able to see all the shades of black/white boxes" etc) but find some settings just don't go low/high enough. As such i was wondering if buying a "cheap" monitor such as the one below would really be worth it, or is the same situation likely to arise?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dell-Ultrasharp-U2312HM-inch-Monitor/dp/B005MHMFJA/ref=sr_1_4?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1354628416&sr=1-4

edit: or maybe this one is better:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/VE247H-Widescreen-Response-Intelligence-Technology/dp/tech-data/B004T2LMP2/ref=de_a_smtd

Many thanks or any advice?

Ed

Edited on Dec 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM · View previous versions



Dec 04, 2012 at 01:49 PM
sbeme
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · External Monitor vs laptop?


Cant speak directly to the monitor you are looking at, but my setup is a laptop with high quality Dell screen attached to an NEC monitor. Its pretty hard to calibrate a laptop well in my experience. It is a total pleasure to view on 24" rather than 15.4, much easier to edit, check color, etc. NEC is pretty pricey but I suspect there are many more affordable options. And I know European pricing can vary considerably from US.
Get more info re monitors and go for it.
Scott



Dec 04, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Ed Swift
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · External Monitor vs laptop?


Thanks Scott,

I'm thinking maybe the Asus i edited to include above.

I think the bigger screen would also be a nice bonus.

Ed



Dec 04, 2012 at 02:18 PM
JimKied
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · External Monitor vs laptop?


I also use a high quality Dell laptop as my main computer and have a Dell 2410 IPS monitor attached. I wouldn't try to calibrate the laptop screen. But the 2410 is easily calibrated and works well. If you have old eyes like me, the bigger the external monitor the better.


Dec 04, 2012 at 02:26 PM
mshi
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · External Monitor vs laptop?


All laptop LCD monitors have only 6-bit color depth while you can get 10-bit or higher color depth on external LCD monitors.


Dec 04, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Alan321
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · External Monitor vs laptop?


mshi wrote:
All laptop LCD monitors have only 6-bit color depth while you can get 10-bit or higher color depth on external LCD monitors.


1. Is that 6-bit part definitely true ? I use a MacBook pro but I haven't seen any bit-depth specification for it.

2. The 10-bit part is true but most monitors have only 8-bit and most graphics cards only output 8-bit.

3. Some of the up-market monitors might display only 10 or 8 bits per channel but they might be equipped with an internal lookup table and processing for 10-bit or 12-bit or perhaps more. They still look better even with an 8-bit graphics card.

- Alan



Dec 04, 2012 at 04:47 PM
mshi
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · External Monitor vs laptop?


Alan321 wrote:
1. Is that 6-bit part definitely true ? I use a MacBook pro but I haven't seen any bit-depth specification for it.


Yes, you can verify that by using LCD panel manufacturer's data. Apple's OSX doesn't support 10-bit color depth output as we speak.


2. The 10-bit part is true but most monitors have only 8-bit and most graphics cards only output 8-bit.


Most prosumer LCD panels, such as very popular Dell UltraSharp 2412M, for example, are still 6-bit monitors.

3. Some of the up-market monitors might display only 10 or 8 bits per channel but they might be equipped with an internal lookup table and processing for 10-bit or 12-bit or perhaps more. They still look better even with an 8-bit graphics card.

If you spend tons of time retouching, you may want to spend more to get a professional quality output device. But since you use Apple, you don't need to waste any money on 10-bit monitors since only Windows7 and above support 10-bit color depth output at the current stage. Hope this helps.




Dec 04, 2012 at 04:53 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Alan321
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · External Monitor vs laptop?


Ed Swift wrote:
However I was wondering if a dedicated monitor which never moves could be a good idea too. It will allow me to still sit and edit on the sofa if i want, but then plug into the monitor to double check.


A very good idea provided that the external monitor is good enough to be sufficiently more useful.

As such i was wondering if buying a "cheap" monitor such as the one below would really be worth it, or is the same situation likely to arise?

It would not be good enough for me, but I'm far more fussy about having a good monitor than any other part of the computer system because in terms of photography editing it all comes down to how accurate the screen is. Speed and so on are secondary concerns. I may well be wrong, but I can't imagine a 150 pound monitor being particularly good in any respect. However, it may still be sufficiently better than your laptop and therefore be useful.

Monitors that do a very good job in terms of wide colour gamut, uniformity of colour across the whole screen, uniformity of brightness across the whole screen, sufficient pixels per inch (which for me means well over 100ppi instead of 90 or less), and a wide enough real viewing angle (so that no matter where you are in front of your screen the whole screen looks good instead of parts of it going dark or changing colour at the wider viewing angles), etc., are all far more expensive.


Be aware that many monitors are built and set up to impress game players and movie watchers rather than show accurate and complete colours and tones for photographers.

If you want to be spoiled forever (not necessarily recommended ) then go to a store that can demonstrate the merits of an Eizo or NEC Spectraview monitor. Then work your way down-market until you reach your newly revised satisfaction limit.

- Alan



Dec 04, 2012 at 05:16 PM
WAYCOOL
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · External Monitor vs laptop?


mshi wrote:
All laptop LCD monitors have only 6-bit color depth while you can get 10-bit or higher color depth on external LCD monitors.


OP is talking about a laptop. There is not a laptop made anywhere that is capable of 10bit output and no Apple made will do 10bit. So why even bring it up?



Dec 04, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Ed Swift
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · External Monitor vs laptop?


Thanks very much for the replies every one.

As a bit more info, I'm currently using a Dell XPS L502X i3 which meets pretty much all my needs power wise.

Also, I've just tried the test for Luminance above and am getting readings of 1/100th in Elements, or 1/80th in DPP/Elements Organiser which is on the low end to too not bright enough. :/

My girlfriend just suggested that maybe Snapfish just print slightly dark. Given the amount of black on the photos maybe it's drowning the details.

Either way, i still think an external monitor is a good idea, if only for knowing its always at the right angle once set. Not sure i can stretch to even 1/4 an nec at the moment though!



Dec 04, 2012 at 07:39 PM
gdh66
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · External Monitor vs laptop?


The Asus you linked to there has a TN panel, so it'll have inherently poor viewing angles. Without fail monitors with TN panels will have 170/160 viewing angles in their specs, and are likely to perform in similar fashion to the average laptop in that respect (laptops are all TN panels - 6-bit as already advised). The actual figures, i.e. 170/160, are optimistic in real-world use, and based on an arbitrary contrast test.

In an IPS panel the viewing angle specs are more representative of actual use for photographic purposes (178/178) - you can usually move around a great deal with no ill effect on colour/contrast. Your first link is to an IPS Dell monitor. The cheap ones tend to still have 6-bit colour depth, however, even though that spec is often not present. They'll likely be an improvement over a laptop screen, but check a few reviews before purchase if you don't want to spend more.

Some labs do just print dark, but you should evaluate the print in decent light before jumping to any quick conclusions. Window light is one cheap source. Halogen lights are another, with intrinsically high levels of colour accuracy (Google SoLux bulbs for a refined halogen bulb intended for proofing & displays).



Dec 07, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Tom Robinson
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · External Monitor vs laptop?


Can someone here enllighten me?
I am confused in the fact that hooking a nice monitor up to a laptop will allow better control of profiles to match to the output device (printer). Doesn't the laptops video card have a part in all this.
Personally I am dealing with this same situation. I don't really care what the image looks like on screen. My concern is matching the screen to output. I've tried Color profiling put still am not happy with results. It is a baffling science for me that doesn't seem to have any universal standard.
Please, someone who is happy with thier workflow chime in. I'm printing to Fuji Frontiers.



Dec 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM
RHPS
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · External Monitor vs laptop?


Tom Robinson wrote:
I don't really care what the image looks like on screen.My concern is matching the screen to output.


A bit of an odd thing to say really. If you do any editing at all you are doing it using the screen - you can't edit a print! The whole point of a color-managed workflow is that you do all your editing on a calibrated monitor so that the colors you are looking at are known to be accurate. This part of the workflow is completely independent of the printing process.

Once you have an image that you are happy with, you send it to a printer that prints accurate color. If you are using a lab then you need to know that they give accurate color, but you are entirely in their hands on this point. Bottom line is that if your monitor is accurate, and if the lab gives accurate color, the prints will be a pretty good match to the screen.

You could of course fiddle with the monitor color controls to give a visual match to the print, but how do you know the print is correct? You either have to compare it to a reference print or to a calibrated monitor.

And just for information, there is in effect a "universal standard". A certain set of RGB values in an image file will correspond to a particular color, where "real" colors are normally defined in the L*a*b* color space. The accuracy with which the monitor displays a color can be verified by measurement. Similarly, when you print the image, the color can be measured from the print. As long as the color is within the capability (gamut) of the printer it should be pretty close the the theoretical color represented by the RGB values in your file.

Yes it is science, and it works; but it's not rocket science.



Dec 11, 2012 at 05:13 PM





FM Forums | Post-processing & Printing | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Retrive password