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Tag Archives: photography monitors

Building the Right PC for Your (Serious) Photography Needs

I definitely think a good computer is necessary for photographic needs, what might be fine for your every day work is probably a bit lacking for serious photographic requirements. As much RAM as you can fit is a usual cry from photographers and the monitor, well the best graphics monitor you can afford is preferred but at the top end they do get expensive. Dzvonko Petrovski on Lightstalking starts this article by declaring himself a PC, have to ‘fess up I am definitely a MAC man. Last night I was teaching our Lightroom class and those with PC’s were constantly asking, how do I make a new folder?, where is that? this doesn’t work? The one’s with a MAC just smiled serenely. That doesn’t mean a MAC is better but as they say people love their MACs but like a bad relationship, people tolerate their PC’s. I know contentious but oh so true. Anyway this is just about PC computers because you can’t build your own MAC just like you can’t build your own Bentley

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First of all, I must say that I am a PC guy. Many photographers choose iMacs over PCs for the “stability” and such, but I haven’t seen big difference in it, to be honest.

What kind of a computer does a photographer need? Well, you can go ahead with almost any decent computer, but if it isn’t up to par, it will slow you down significantly. I won’t get into specific brands, as in whether you need a Kingston or Corsair solid state drives for the differences in product specifications.

Photographers, as well as gamers need quite a lot of raw processing power in their computers. But that needs to be paired with so many different things that gamers will never need. For example, a 10-bit monitor. No game (as far as I know, and I do play a lot of games) supports 10 bit color, but photography on the other hand easily goes to 12 bit color space even with the entry-level DSLRs out there……

When talking about monitors: the bigger the better. Opting for factory calibrated to cover the most used color spaces is a good choice. Dell and Asus currently have good 10 bit monitors for affordable prices. 10 bit monitor has 1024 shades of each color, instead of 256 on the regular consumer monitors, which means they get better gradients, and better color reproduction than consumer grade. You should go for decent IPS panel (reading reviews is wise) with refresh rate not bigger than 5ms. You will want to use it for things other than photography sometimes. There are monitors that are much wider than usual, which is practically replacing 2 or 3 monitor setups. This is really good thing to have because it makes editing so much easier.

Want more of this, it is really interesting….

Best monitor for photo editing: 10 top models tested and rated

Many people just buy the biggest monitor they can afford without considering it’s purpose. A screen that is good for watching movies or playing games or reading text might not be the best for graphics work, for photography and photo editing. In class we are constantly recommending calibrating monitors, we explain how a monitor which isn’t calibrated is showing you it’s version of your pictures, not how they actually are. A step beyond, One Step Beyond would be Madness of course, would be to buy a photo editing specific monitor. Digital Camera World has tested a few and here are their recommendations

What is the best monitor for photo editing? Colour-accurate monitors offer true-to-life reproduction of photographic images, but price and performance varies. We’ve tested 10 of the top models available to see which monitor is best for photography.

Choosing a monitor for photo editing can be a daunting proposition, especially if you need it to be better at one particular task than at any other.

In this roundup we want to find the best monitors for photo editing, so we’re looking for great colour reproduction and vibrant, bright displays.

This depends on the technology used – newer ‘IPS’ LCD panels have better colour reproduction than their older ‘TN’ counterparts, so this is worth looking out for in the specifications. All the panels here are IPS LED backlit displays.

The viewing angles are also far better with IPS screens, so if you ever sit at your computer and show someone else photos they are a must.

Screen size is important too – make sure your display is physically big enough for the work you want to do (we recommend 24-inch as a minimum now and that’s the smallest here).

Also, while most of the monitors here are height-adjustable, not all displays have the same level of fine-tuning, so do watch out for that.

When buying a high-end display, it’s important to make sure your computer’s graphics hardware is up to the task of displaying the high resolutions some monitors are now capable of.

You’ll need to research the capabilities of your own machine to do that. If you’re going to be connecting up a laptop, especially, make sure it has a good level of graphics capability.

If you are thinking about buying a monitor here is a list of things to consider

10 things to look for in a monitor for photo editing

Best photo editing software? 6 top programs reviewed and rated

  1. Screen size is measured diagonally in inches, while resolution measures the number of pixels that make up the display. But a bigger monitor doesn’t necessarily mean greater resolution; the 24-inch Eizo has a higher resolution than the 27-inch NEC, for example.
  2. A more useful measure of the ‘crispness’ of a display is pixel density, measured in pixels per inch (ppi). The NEC is 82ppi, the Eizo 94ppi, while Samsung and Dell weigh in at 109ppi.
  3. Monitors increasingly offer more than just a simple display for your computer, with built-in speakers, USB hubs, card readers and multiple  inputs, such as HDMI, for use with a variety of devices.
  4. While true-to-life colour reproduction is very important in image editing, you may need to compromise to get all the features you want within budget.
  5. LED backlighting allows thinner displays, while IPS (or Samsung’s PLS) allows for greater viewing angles.
  6. We’d always recommend using a digital interface like DVI or HDMI, but it depends on what your computer has. Do you want to plug in multiple devices? Make sure your new monitor has the same input as your computer has output!
  7. Several of these displays enable you to swivel the monitor from side to side and turn the screen 90 degrees into portrait mode.
  8. Most monitors are now capable of Full HD resolution (1920×1080) but more and more can do higher resolutions – many here are capable of 2560×1440, for example.
  9. With so many devices plugged into our computers these days, a USB hub really is something you’ll wonder how you lived without.
  10. So many monitors – including several of these – are just plain ugly. Also see what people are saying about the button controls and menu system. Ensure it is usable.

Go here for the reviews and recommendations

Here are some articles we have offered previously

Best monitor calibrator for photographers: 6 top models tested and rated

How To Choose the Best Monitor for Photography

 

Best monitor for photo editing: 4 top models tested and rated

In class, any of the classes I teach, eventually the question comes up, why do my prints not look like what I see on screen. Well there are a number of reasons but the first is that professionals use monitors designed for graphic purposes. We don’t use the default that came with the computer we bought, and often the monitor costs as much as the computer. We need to be able to calibrate our monitors so that they look like other professional outfits who use professional monitors, these should be your local high street printer, the digital book publisher you use and the bespoke lab you prefer. We usually recommend looking at Colour Confidence as a start point

What is the best monitor for photo editing? Colour-accurate monitors offer true-to-life reproduction of photographic images, but price and performance varies. Digital Camera World tested four of the top models available to see which monitor is best for photographers.

Best monitor for photo editing: 01 Eizo ColorEdge CG243W

Eizo Monitor

Price: £1,200
Buy it: http://www.eizo.co.uk
This thoughtfully laid-out monitor has a versatile swivelling screen, which makes fitting it into your workspace a doddle, even with the (included) hood in place.

The menus are sensibly laid out, with icons popping up above the buttons so you always know what to press, even in a darkened studio.

The included calibration software enables you to build an ICC profile quickly, and the 1920×1200-pixel display offers high-end reproduction, but this doesn’t come cheap and, at 24 inches, this is the smallest monitor on test.

Pros: A high-end, flexible monitor with rich, consistent colours
Cons: Only 24 inches; functional rather than stylish design; pricey

Score: 88%

See the other recommended at Digital Camera World here