Another Monitor Thread (Mac vs Dell)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by z.peletz, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. z.peletz

    z.peletz TPF Noob!

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    I'm not looking for the best monitor out there so I've decided to start another thread. I'm looking to either buy the 23" Mac monitor or the Dell 3007WFP-HC, 2709W, or 2408. The Mac monitor "seems" to be one of the weakest out of these and has a high price tag.

    Does anybody have opinions or compared them already?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  3. For a while the Mac monitors were made by Sharp.

    They don't make their own monitors, nor does Dell. The only ones who do (and rock at it) are Sony.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    From the ones you listed:

    Dell 3007WFP-HC is an LG/Philips S-IPS panel. I think the best in your list by far.
    Dell 2709W is a S-PVA panel. A good middle ground if you play games since it has a faster response time of 6ms.
    Dell 2408WFP is also an S-PVA panel just a tad smaller.

    The Mac 23" panel is also an LG/Philips S-IPS panel, but older than the model in the Dell screen. Visually it should be on par with the 30" dell. I highly doubt it is outperformed by the two PVA panels.
    By the way the Mac 30" model is an identical panel to the Dell 3007WFP-HC.

    For colour correct work a IPS panel is the way to go. Large viewing angles, which becomes even more important as screen sizes increase. PVA panels aren't bad, but they are a middle ground between IPS and cheap TN panels, the later which are excellent for games because of their near instant response times and insanely cheap price. Note that all the monitors in the list are wide gamut displays which means you will NEED colour managed applications that recognise the colour profile from your screens driver (or your calibrator if you have one) and convert the colours to look correct on your screen. That is unless you like pink people.

    If price conscious the Dell Ultrasharp 2007FP may also be the way to go, either a Samsung or an LG/Philips IPS panel depending on which batch you end up with. This screen is not a wide gamut screen.
     
  5. freelunch

    freelunch TPF Noob!

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    My friend has an Apple 23" Cinema Display that I set up for him. It looks very good and was plug'n'play. He has never had to make any adjustments to it.

    I have a G5 and opted for the Dell 2408WFP. It also looks very good and cost 30% less. But, you will have to spend a goodly amount of time adjusting the color. Mine had to have the red ramped down quite a bit. It was three days of tinkering before I was completely satisfied with the color balance.

    The Dell has more connections and a versatile card reader. It looks as good as the Apple display. It has USB ports, but no Firewire.

    I am quite happy with my Dell.
     
  6. z.peletz

    z.peletz TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for all the info. The computer that I'm trying to find a monitor for is a Mac Pro. The styling of the Mac monitor is great and the price is ok, not great, but ok. The main thing is that although the panel is of great quality most of the specs seem to be seriously lacking when compared to the Dells. I don't really play games much. This computer will be used for recording, photography, and eventually video content creation.
     
  7. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    I'm on a MacPro too. My monitors are probably the worst on the market but they look great to me. :D

    I use dual 24" LG Flatron L246WH that I picked up for $300 ea. and put them on a dual monitor mount.

    One thing I can tell you is that the published specs are complete and utter BS. For example it says the viewing angle is 170˚... LOL! It's actually about 20˚ to be completely honest before there is some pretty major color shift. Yet in the shops they set the monitors to 100% brightness and contrast (I use 6% brightness and 70% contrast in the home) and the viewing angle is much larger (maybe cuz you're partially blinded by the monitor and store lighting). Researching after the purchase I find that every manufacturer OEM and VAR use their own original test to come up with a "contrast ratio" number basically rendering that spec. completely useless. The color support says it's 24-bit 16.7 million colors which is an outright lie - it's actually 6-bit per channel or 18-bit color with dithering compensation. :(

    So in-depth specs for comparison as reviewed by some place like Tom's Hardware might be useful but LCDs are one item you need to read MUCH more than the spec sheets and especially useful are reviews and recommendations from knowledgeable people like here.
     
  8. Applefanboy

    Applefanboy TPF Noob!

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    Just get the Dell. I use a mac, and love it, but I still don't like their displays.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Quick sidenote do you use colour managed applications properly? The "the colour balance is wrong there's way too much red" seems to be the common complaint on the net amongst people who don't realise how wide the colour gamut of these screens are, and who don't realise that windows has no system wide colour management.

    If this is the case I think you may not be getting the best out of what is a really good screen.
     
  10. freelunch

    freelunch TPF Noob!

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    I work in the graphics industry and use a Mac. Applications include the Adobe creative suite and QuarkXPress. Colour management has ALWAYS been a mystery to me! (I read your Firefox screen calibration instructions in another thread with great interest.) I've got a shelf full of manuals that give guidelines on colour management from a hardware and software perspective. While I bow to your superior knowledge on the subject, I promise you the Dell was way out of whack when it arrived.

    I turned off all system preferences, created my own colour chart as a desktop photo and got the colour where I liked it on the Dell before a did a system profile. It looks good to me. The trickiest part was getting a neutral gray. (I just hope I'm not colour blind! :D )

    The end results have to look right on my screen, right coming out of my Canon i9100 printer, right on my clients screen and right when it goes to press. It's enough to make you slash your wrists!

    As a sidenote, before the Dell I used a 22" LaCie CRT for 10 years. I hadn't realised how soft the image had become, having nothing to compare it to. Turns out I've been over sharpening all my images for the past 5 years. D'oh!

    Cheers.
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok all good then, as long as everything looks good :) I was considering one of these screens at the start of the year and found some strange reviews so I checked one online forum and that's when I heard about this colour management thing for the first time. Then proceeded to buy such as screen.

    There's nothing like being thrown in the deep end :(
     

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