Computer Monitor Recomendations?

DepthAfield

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woodsac said:
Actually, the new breed of LCD's are just as reliable and accurate as a CRT. There are a couple of discussions in the archives about them.

Woodsac is on the money with his assessment of current LCD monitors. The technology has come a long way in the last two years, and these monitors are now equal to CRTs, at least for the purpose of photo editing.

My next monitor will likely be the Viewsonic LCD VP930b. I am leaning toward that particular model because of its contrast ratio (1000:1) and it’s within my budget (under 400US). I love my current Viewsonic CRT, but it’s too damned heavy and takes up waaay too much valuable desk space.

As for color/hue and contrast issues, Soocom1’s suggestion to use a hardware/software ‘Spyder’ periodically is something we should ALL be doing to insure our prints match what is seen on our monitors!
 

thebeginning

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^i'll second that. I was in the same position a few months ago and ended up getting an LCD because I didnt have the space to fit a 21" CRT (if you are wanting a CRT still, look for monitors with trinitron or diamondtron displays. sony and NEC make some good models). There are several numbers that you can look at to determine what LCD to buy (contrast ration, brightness, gray to gray time, black to white time, etc.), but for us photographers it's narrowed down to only a couple things. Pretty much anything over 500:1 contrast ration is going to do well, although higher is usually better. the brightness really doesnt matter IMO, as you're not going have many problems with LCDs being not bright enough...sometimes they can seem too bright, but you can tune that down or just get used to it :)

it all boils down to the display itself. Although color calibration software and devices help alot, some monitors just don't calibrate as well as others. an uncalibrated lcd with good color accuracy can look better than a stubborn lcd that doesnt calibrate well even after it has been calibrated. There are ALOT of models out there to choose from, but I ended up choosing a slightly larger (not huge) widescreen LCD because of the space it saved and the workspace it provided. For widescreen LCDs in the 20" range, IMO there are really only a few competitors. For my research and price range, i narrowed it down to apple and dell. Apple makes some fantastic widescreens under the 'cinema' name, but they can be pricey. However, when i found out that the displays used in the cinemas were the same as the ones used in dell's widescreen ultrasharp series, i dropped the apple idea and went to dell. After alot of research and comparisons, i ended up buying from them. I'd check out their 2005fpw (which is what i bought), it has great color accuracy and works quite well with calibration (although as of now i'm only using software). PM me if you have any questions about it!
 

Azuth

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If you get an LCD, you want one that uses an 8-bit panel for decent colour reproduction. The Dell 2007fpw etc fall into this category. Most screens that list a response time of 8ms or below do not.

Another guide, though less reliable is how many colours the specifications list. A 6-bit panel will generally list either 16M, 16.2M or more than 16M colours, this isn't really accurate as they use dithering to acheive these colours. A 6-bit panel can only show 64 shades of grey.

An 8-bit panel on the other hand should list 16.7M colours (Though some 6-bit panels list this, so it's not a definative guide). An 8-bit panel can display 256 shades of grey.
 
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Jen

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OMG - my head is starting to hurt! Thanks so much for the in depth answers though. This is exactly what I was looking for even if it is making my head hurt! Maybe I will go with an LCD. I do not have the room at all for a CRT, so if I can get an LCD that is just as good, then that would be awesome!
 
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Jen

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I think I may have found a monitor! This is the one I am curently looking at. Most of the technical stuff means nothing to me, though I am learning a lot through this process! Any comments or advice would be VERY appreciated!!! THANKS!

ViewSonic VP2030b 20.1" LCD Monitor-Black

Product Features
20.1 color TFT active matrix UXGA LCD
Display Area - 16.1 horizontal x 12.1 vertical; 20.1 diagonal
Optimum Resolution - 1600x1200
Contrast Ratio - 1000 - 1 (typ)
Viewing Angle - 170 degrees, vertical & horizontal @ contrast ratio > 10 - 1

Technical Details
Model: VP2030b
Item Package Quantity: 1
Type: 20.1" color TFT active matrix UXGA LCD
Display Area: 16.1" horizontal x 12.1" vertical; 20.1" diagonal
Optimum Resolution: 1600 x 1200
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (typical)
Viewing angle: 170 degrees horizontal, 170 degrees vertical
Response Time: 8 ms gray-to-gray (avg); 16 ms black-white-black (typical)
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Light Source: Long life, 50,000 hrs. (typical)
Panel Surface: Anti-glare
Analog Video Input: RGB analog (75 ohms, 0.7/1.0 Vp-p)
Digital Video Input: DVI (TMDS, 100 ohms)
Frequency: Fh: 24~92kHz, Fv: 50~85Hz
Synch: H/V separated (TTL), composite sync on green
PC Compatibility: VGA up to 1600x1200 non-interlaced
Mac Compatibility: Power Mac G3/G4/G5 up to 1600x1200; PerfectSuite and pivot function not support by ViewSonic
Analog Connector: 15-pin mini D-sub
Digital Connector: DVI-I (digital and analog capable)
Power: Internal power; 3-pin AC plug
Voltage: AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz (auto switch)
Power Consumption: 52 W (typical)
Power Management: Meets TCO'99 and ENERGY STAR standards
Width: 18.4 inches
Height: 15.9 inches
Depth: 2.4 inches
Weight: 19.8 lbs
Warranty: Three year limited on parts, labor and backlight
 

thebeginning

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that monitor looks quite nice, actually. from what i've seen of that monitor, there are only a few problems with it...like say the 'footprint' (the base that supports the display) is fairly large, but still smaller than CRTs. If you like lower resolutions (which would be odd) then it's not so great, as it doesnt handle downgrading resolutions from 1600x1200 too well. that shouldnt be a big deal though, as the more resolution you have usually the better. is it going to be used only or mostly for photo stuff?
 
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Jen

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thebeginning said:
that monitor looks quite nice, actually. from what i've seen of that monitor, there are only a few problems with it...like say the 'footprint' (the base that supports the display) is fairly large, but still smaller than CRTs. If you like lower resolutions (which would be odd) then it's not so great, as it doesnt handle downgrading resolutions from 1600x1200 too well. that shouldnt be a big deal though, as the more resolution you have usually the better. is it going to be used only or mostly for photo stuff?

Thanks so much for your response. The monitor has official been ordered and should arrive early next week! :wink: It will be used for other stuff besides editing & viewing photographs, but it's main purpose will be photographs. The other stuff isn't so important.
 

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