Can you recommend a computer monitor that’s ideal for digital imaging?

May 15, 2013 at 10:30 am  •  Posted in Q&A by

Now that I’m getting more serious about digital photography, I’ve ordered a fast computer with 12 GB of RAM, and I’ll need a monitor that’s ideal for imaging. Based on my research, the Eizo Color Edge CG243W would be the best bet but it sells for $1800. Can you recommend a more affordable alternative?
—Charles J.

Most reviewers agree that the Eizo Color Edge CG series is impressive, and it’s popular among graphic arts professionals, Charles, but most of us don’t want to spend that much. I did not test monitors, but Digital Camera World (a reputable UK  magazine) did so in late April and published their Best Monitor for Photo Editing recommendations. The 5 Things to Look for in a Monitor section is also well worth reading.

This publication rated the 24″ Eizo CG243W as excellent with a score of 88%, but their preferred model was the Samsung S27B970D (about $1100) with a 92% rating. This 27″ monitor is larger and provides a higher pixel density of 109ppi (vs. 94ppi for the Eizo) for a crisper display. Its built-in Natural Colour Expert software ensures that colour rendition, while “not perfect” is “still very good.” The Dell U2711 (a bit pricey in Canada at $1000), with the same pixel density, came in third with an 85% rating. It’s said to provide “very accurate” colour rendition.

A bargain by comparison (about $500), the 27″ NEC EA273WM-BK with a score of 78%, offers “above-average performance” with 82ppi pixel density; that’s adequate for most photo enthusiasts. My concern would be their comment indicating that the NEC model “isn’t suitable for colour-critical work.” Presumably, the accuracy would be greater after monitor calibration as discussed in a previous Q&A, Why and how should I calibrate my computer monitor? While I cannot vouch for the accuracy of Digital Camera World‘s findings, their reviews should be useful as a start in your continuing research as to the monitor that would best meet your own needs and budget.

However, if you want to spend a little more, the most affordable monitor that should be useful for digital imaging is the 27-inch LG 27EA83R-D (about $850). The LG product (highly rated by TIPA) boasts 99% coverage of the Adobe RGB colour space, 100% coverage of the sRGB colour space and 10-bit color depth said to “achieve 64 times better color representation than conventional 8-bit monitors.” Other features include WQHD (Wide Quad High Definition) technology for “four times the resolution of HD” and a 4-screen split feature so you can view four images simultaneously.

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