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Archive 2012 · Questions on monitors, resolution, etc.
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Questions on monitors, resolution, etc.

I currently have an LG 32-inch IPS HDTV that I'm using as my monitor. The max resolution is 1920x1080.

First question: assuming a 27-inch or larger monitor, will getting a monitor (and graphics card) that supports 2560x1440 make a noticeable difference to photo editing? Conversely, if I went with a smaller monitor, I can make do with lower resolution? (I shoot with a 50D and 6D.)

Secondly, if I should get a higher resolution monitor, I've narrowed down my choices to: Dell U2711, U2713, Asus PB278Q, Apple 27-inch Thunderbolt display, Apple 27-inch cinema display. The Apple displays are obviously sleek, and I realize that everything looks sharper and more vivid on them. But is one of the Apple displays better for photo editing than the other?

Dec 24, 2012 at 05:23 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Questions on monitors, resolution, etc.

what matters most for photo editing are:
1. accurate colours and tones
2. wider colour gamut
3. pixels per inch (higher makes smoother image on screen)
4. inches (vertical and horizontal)
5. Being able to display suitable brightness levels in the range of about 90-140 Cd/m2. (anything more is just too bright and if you can't get this low then you'll always think that your prints are too dark)

Items 3 and 4 combine to give you the "resolution" in pixels as well as the physical size that you'll be looking at. If you can, get a 16:10 ratio monitor instead of 16:9 because the extra height is useful for viewing the portrait orientated photos without making them look too small. I personally dislike 90 ppi at normal viewing distance and prefer more than 110 ppi, but too small makes it hard to see. Big monitors at high ppi are hard or impossible to come by.

The graphics card is pretty much irrelevant so long as it can produce the required number of pixels. It does not have to produce them especially fast and so having a more powerful card is largely useless for photography - with some exceptions... Having a more powerful card allows some software to utilise the graphics card processor to help the main cpu speed up some operations. However, some people report that Ps, for instance, goes a little slower in the routine activities and what it speeds up is often unused. Ps is very comprehensive and does a lot that we don't need.

Apparently you cannot run a non-thunderbolt Apple monitor off the Apple thunderbolt monitors, in case you ever want more than one. If you have only one thunderbolt port then be aware that devices including monitors like to be at the end of the tb chain, but not all devices have a second tb port to connect the next device to.

Otherwise, I know nothing specific about those monitors. Just for kicks, have a look at what an NEC PA monitor or Eizo monitor can do, and then see what you're satisfied with.

- Alan

Dec 29, 2012 at 07:17 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Questions on monitors, resolution, etc.

Alan, thanks for your response. I've decided to buy the Asus PB278Q, which has 109 ppi. I bought a cheap graphics card that supports 2560x1440 with 1GB memory. Will post once I have it connected.

Dec 30, 2012 at 04:15 AM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Questions on monitors, resolution, etc.

I've just started using the PB278Q. It's an excellent monitor. The extra resolution makes a big difference.

Jan 05, 2013 at 05:43 AM

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