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Archive 2013 · Looking at a new monitor, 8 bit or 10?
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Looking at a new monitor, 8 bit or 10?

Ive been working off of my 17" MBP screen for some time and want to invest in a new display for it for working on photos.

After some research I've somewhat decided the Dell U2713h is the best option for me. Right size, right price, 1.07billion colors, USB3.0.

Question I have is someone pointed out the even with OSX MT Lion and Photoshop CS6, i still couldn't get the full gamut / 10 bit output anyway so its pointless to buy a $850 monitor to look at the same 8 bits available in a 650 2713hM monitor with 99% sRGB.

True / False?

Am I better getting the good monitor with wider gamut and more bits,or just sticking to sRGB output?
My preference is to run in Adobe RGB.

Feb 28, 2013 at 04:47 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Looking at a new monitor, 8 bit or 10?

You can produce Adobe RGB output just fine with 8-bit input. Most Windows computers aren't capable of 10-bit output either. 10-bit input would provide you with greater accuracy, but it's producing the Adobe RGB gamut either way.

You use Photoshop, so probably at some point in your past you've converted an 8-bit image into a 16-bit image, right? You still had a 16-bit image at the end. It's got chunks of missing data, the infamous haircomb histogram, but now it's 16 bits. Same deal here.

Now think specifically of what happens when you try a massive adjustment on an 8-to-16-bit image versus an image that was always 16-bits. The extra data lends itself to higher accuracy and less distortion (especially at extremes), but you can still mutilate that converted image a pretty good amount. Same deal here, to a lesser degree since we're only talking about 2 bits. With a 10-bit input the gradations will be smoother and the calibrations will be tighter, but 8 bits will do you just fine.

People have been paying thousands of dollars for 8-bit wide-gamut displays for over a decade and seeing gains. 8 bits hasn't suddenly turned to crap because a tiny fistful of equipment supports a 10-bit workflow. Better? Sure. Astoundingly better? Not really. Necessary? No.

Feb 28, 2013 at 11:02 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Looking at a new monitor, 8 bit or 10?

So im still trying to understand this:

As I understand it, the Gamut is the range of saturations the monitor can output, from gray to some X level of saturation. that range is divided by Y number of different colors, which is how many bits, 256 level, 8 bit, 1024 levels, 10 bit.

But to reach those greater number of levels, you need hardware support of 10 bit. if you dont, and you output to a wide gamut monitor you can do 1 of 2 things:
1)output as is, with no LUT and see the 8 bits naturally, with the top of bottom 2 bits lost to blacks, whites, or saturation.
2)Use a look up table in the monitor to convert the 8bit output from the computer to stretch the maximum of the 8bit output to a mapped 10bit, then have 'holes' in the histogram where the math doesnt work.
you still get wider gamut output, and 10 bits of 'data' but your display is taking short cuts to make up the difference between 10bit file, 8 bit output and 10 bit display.

so a wide gamut monitor is still more useful even if the hardware of the laptop doesnt support all 10 bits.

Mar 01, 2013 at 01:29 AM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Looking at a new monitor, 8 bit or 10?

and dang it, the 2713HM is on sale today at newegg for $599!! shoot! thats a significant chunk of change to drop to get the slightly better 2717H...

Mar 01, 2013 at 01:00 PM
M Lucca
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Looking at a new monitor, 8 bit or 10?

I did some research on monitors a while back. It turns out that TN and IPS panels don't natively support full 8-bit. They are 6-bit with the remainder derived from some sort of software algorithm.
The only monitor type that does true 8-bit display are VA panels.

There are also different IPS subgroups. Usually the cheaper ones are e-IPS.

Mar 04, 2013 at 08:04 PM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Looking at a new monitor, 8 bit or 10?


In case you're still shopping for a monitor, the U2713H now has a coupon code available for $800 and free shipping:


Mar 05, 2013 at 12:47 AM

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