Laptop Screen Display Advice

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by dotfur, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. dotfur

    dotfur TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    new york
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Just getting started here. Need to buy a laptop for use as primary - maybe only computer.
    I'm thinking that before Memory, processor, hd size and all that,That I wanted to start with screen display characteristics before anything else.
    I photograph my local dogpark almost everyday, post photos to my website: mostly for viewers to see and download if they'd like; sometimes a viewer or I will have a photo printed.
    Am thinking that I'd rather NOT switch to the MAC world.
    Hard to search for certain ( important?) screen/display qualities.

    Screen size. I'm thinking 17"

    Resolution : how important ? What do you advise ?

    * Brightness: in case I take laptop outside on a shoot. Which I might, since I shoot mostly dogs at the park. Need to see the screen in daylight.

    * Accuracy : how accurate, authentic, true are the colors . Sub issue : I hear that the "glossy " screens make the colors look great to the viewer but may not be accurate? Sub - issue : I'm thinking that color accuracy etc is very important for photo printing , but can a screen display be too good such that you are achieving things that will be lost on viewers with lesser screen displays - in fact : look wrong on other screens ?

    * Calibration : what laptops, screens allow for calibration of the display I hear the term "spider." What laptop has this ability ? Can This ability ( spider) be added on. Is it better to have this ability come with the laptop ?

    * Dedicated Card: I hear mention now and then of some kind of intigrated graphics card or something ? Is this important ? Is is it more a video or gaming type thing ? Does it have to do with giving a person more control of the display ?

    * Viewing Angle ? You know. How important ?

    Hard to find all these attributes reviewed, rated in one place.
    I know that a laptop will not match a desktop and all that. But this will probably be my only computer for awhile.
    * Any ideas on what laptops currently come close to doing well with all these display issues ?

    Thanks for any help,

    Marty
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Laptops are about the worst, so here's some concerns in the various areas:

    Resolution: Enough to work with but not make the tools to small. If you have bad vision a lower resolution may be better so you can see everything on the 17" screen. Certainly more resolution would give more work space but this is one thing I do NOT look for in a laptop. Ultimately it depends on size and I'd be happy with a 1440x900 panel.

    Brightness: No LCD looks good outside. It's something that the industry has been battling with for years. If you have a glossy display you'll see your face, if you have a matte display you'll have trouble making out the details, and if you have a really bright display you may as well stay indoors because you're battery won't last long enough to get outside. There was one display which naturally reflected sunlight back into the display through the top making it readable (not sure if it was ever commercially manufactured) but you can be certain to have absolutely zero colour consistency on that one.

    Accuracy: Good luck! Laptop panels are thin and light, and thus TN panels. TN panels as mostly 6 bit when all is said and done, and the gamma varies with viewing angle. Certainly one of the new laptops at work has a screen quite bad enough that when viewing at an angle of more than 55 or so degrees the colours literally invert half way down the brightness scale. Ok so not all screens are that bad, but it won't matter. You're outside which means you won't see the screen anyway. Another problem with this is that the eye colour balances to it's brightest average source. Therefore if your screen looks blue (6500k) indoors but the lights are low (around 80lx) then you're eyes make it seem white. Most laptop have a screen that's somewhere around the 5000k temperature. So when you're outside and sitting in the shade in an attempt to see your screen, you're eyes will balance a fair way to skylight and ultimately the screen looks orange. This can be fixed in calibration which I'll talk about in a sec. But ultimately the problem is you have a screen which is of poor quality and you're using it in an environment that is not suitable for reproducible colour conditions, and you're battling a tiny light energy efficient backlight against a million kilometre wide ball of burning plasma.

    Calibration: All screens can be calibrated to an extent. This starts at the top of the range where the calibrator measures the screens (all screens can do this with a calibration uni like a Spyder 3, Huey Pro, or i1 Display 2 just to name a few cheapies), and can adjust the physical colour temperature of the backlight. On top of this these screens often have an internal lookup table where the final 8bit colours displayed are chosen from a selection of 12bit possibilities. I would say a very small portion of displays people have do this even on this forum, and NO TN panels or laptops are capable of this.
    Beyond internal lookup tables the calibration can write the lookup table of the video card. This reduces the maximum output, and the range of possible colours being able to displayed as due to the correctional mapping (which doesn't matter on TN panels since they can't display the full 8 bits anyway, but better screens are more negatively affected. Further more the more you use this method to compensate for a colour temperature the more brightness and colour depth you lose, and if you use the somewhat standard 6500k for photo editing it is a huge jump from the normal 5000-5500k of screens.
    Ok these are some issues with all screens except the special cases mentioned at the top and that said it is a good idea anyway. However for most screens the environment doesn't provide the limitation of the reduced brightness, and the need for a way different native colour temperature. A Laptop outside would have these requirements.

    Dedicated Card: All laptops have dedicated graphics processors these days and it won't matter which you chose. There are no "cards" as such. The higher the screen resolution the better the card should be because themore work it will be doing.

    Viewing angle: Well a full 178degree viewing angle is what photographers want. On larger screens the viewing angle between the middle of the screen and the edge can change. With the viewing angle the colours change defining this limit. Get the screen with the best viewing angle possible.



    Each of these options alone work excellently for laptops but I have to say it is not an ideal choice for onthe run photo editing. Nothing of the sort really exists. That said following what I have said here a laptop can still make quite a usable device in a controlled environment. Consider shooting and then doing any and all editing work in doors or at night. That eliminates a lot of these unachievable dream features and leaves you with what's important. The ergonomics of the laptop, possibly battery life, size, weight, etc. Oh and buy a calibrator, all video cards support some level of calibration curve adjustment.

    Also if you're not on the move is there anything stopping stopping you taking your laptop, plugging in a nicely calibrated IPS display ($200 for the display and $150 for the calibrator)? Thus giving the best possible working tools and environment when you can go and use it, while retaining the flexibility of having a laptop out and about.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  3. dotfur

    dotfur TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    new york
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Still given all your well taken points, the problem remains : how to find or even search for such a laptop.
    I'm trying to avoid the problem that always comes with the philosophy of " thet're all about the same:" when you finally buy the computer, and then eventually atttempt to do something important to you , then : " oh no, you can't do that with that laptop. You shoulda got ...." etc. Or " oh that model has always has a problem with that, you shoulda..."

    I'm pretty sure that at some point some screen is just somewat better than another for this or that reason. Might be some aspect that I can't afford, but I'll decide that then.
    And some of these points : you just can't search for them like screen size or resolution. Screen, display, etc is always addressed in reviews : but buried deep in the review somewhere are some of these concerns. So you pretty much have to read every review of every laptop model instead of just selecting for certain qualities in a search.
    Was hoping for some direction in terms of what brand, model, and " make sure it has " type stuff.

    Thanks again,

    Marty
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Unfortunately it is my experience that these features vary greatly between laptops not even of the same manufacturer, but within the same series. E.g. The Dell Latitude E6400 which I use has in my opinion a worse screen than E5500 which is half the price.

    I can't really offer any specific advice since these two laptops and two lousy IBMs are the only thing I currently have experience with, and all of them are business laptops bought for very different reasons so you're likely to get far more bang for buck out of something else.
     
  5. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The best screen in terms of resolution and colour gamut currently is the Dell Studio XPS 16 - RGBLED screen.
     
  6. CW Jones

    CW Jones TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    813
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Im not a professional editor or anything but my Dell 1525 on 1280x800 res seems to work pretty well for me
     
  7. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Buy a 15.4" laptop (for portability, since you're going to take it on shoots) with a DVI port and hook it up to a 24" 1920x1200 IPS-panel monitor when you get home. It is much easier to make sure you get an actual high-quality screen (and not just something that was sunk in a vat of glossy-coating) that will stay calibrated and allow you to see as much of the photo as possible while still keeping font sizes reasonable (because of the size). Even still, you should not be taking your laptops with you to shoots. Just get a big memory card and shoot a lot of pictures and sort through them at home, and learn from your mistakes for next time.

    The VAST majority of laptops today are NOT sold with dedicated graphics cards. The definition of a dedicated graphics card is one that has it's own, separate memory - a dedicated graphics card does not borrow from the main memory (RAM) in your machine. Intel graphics cards are all integrated, nVidia 9400 chips are integrated... a dedicated graphics card will help your machine in Photoshop and in general speed.

    In fact, if at all possible for your situation, buy a (or better yet, build your own) desktop. You will save money, get higher quality components, and overall have a better experience. Photography isn't about sitting in front of a computer on Photoshop all day - let alone in the field. It's about SHOOTING - as many frames as possible until you know what you're doing and even then, getting it done right at the time of exposure is more important than trying for hours to get it right in Photoshop. The people who you shoot can wait until that evening when you upload your photos at home.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
accurate colour laptop screens
,
best laptop screen resolution for photography
,
dell laptop acreen temperatire
,
is screen size or resolution more important when editing photos
,
laptop display characteristics
,
most accurate color laptop 2014
,
most accurate color rendition laptop screen
,
most accurate laptop monitor
,

most accurate laptop screen

,
what screen resolution do i need for photo editing