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Thread: Choosing A Monitor

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    Choosing A Monitor

    Does anyone out there use a BenQSW271 monitor? I am looking for a monitor that will work with my BacBook Pro (Retina, 15in Mid 2015). Any suggestions or feedback would be appreciated.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    It looks line another excellent unit from BenQ. I use the SW2700 and the only real difference I see is that the new unit is 4K versus 2.5K on mine (which is plenty for photo editing; if I were shooting 4K video, I might have a different opinion). As long as your MacBook Pro drivers handle 4K displays, you should be fine, but unfortunately I don't know if they do.

    The only "warning" is that to calibrate it properly one needs the xRite i1 line or the DataColor Spyder 4 / 5. The ColorMunki or older Datacolor devices will not work with the calibration software the unit ships with. One has to connect the screen to the computer with both the USB cable and HDMI cable to write to the internal LUT. I had thought that communications through the HDMI cable would be all that was needed, but it took a bit of testing to figure that out. The software that ships with the unit has to be used as the software that the colourimeter ships with does not communicate with the screen. The software seems to be customized xRite i1 software.

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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    I'm interested in this thread because I am working my way up to splurging on a wide-gamut monitor, and the BenQ and Dell models are far cheaper than the Eizo and Nec ones. However, I have read mixed reviews of the BenQ. Two reviews of the 2700 on the B&H website commented on color casts on the edges, e.g.,

    The right side of my screen had a blue cast, while the left magenta. This is a known issue, and I wound up with a 'bad' copy of this monitor.
    Manfred, have you had any problems like this, or do you know if it is something that BenQ has dealt with?

    One reviewer had a similar problem with a Dell model, the UP2716D:

    The left side was green/yellow, the right side was magenta
    which he showed in a photo.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    Manfred, have you had any problems like this, or do you know if it is something that BenQ has dealt with?
    No. I've had no issues at all. I bought mine about 6 months ago and the colours are consistent from edge to edge. I know one other person who has the 2700 and their experience is identical to mine. I'm extremely impressed given the cost of the unit versus the Eizo and NEC units. The tests rank that I read rank the performance of this unit above either of the other two brands.

    If there had been a problem, it would have gone back to Benq immediately.

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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Thanks. This is helpful.

    I think the video card in my computer won't support a wide-gamut monitor, and the computer is quite old, so this is likely to be part of a complete upgrade.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    That would surprise me as I had a 10-bit (wide gamut) card in my old computer that I built in 2009. They have been around for a very long time.

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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Thank you Manfred and Dan. The fact I like photographing much more than figuring out technical details. It is good to have internet friends that are willing to help me out.

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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Hi Dan, I have had the BenQ 2700 for about 18 months now. No problems whatsoever, certainly no colour casts.
    I'm somewhat surprised that there might be, since each monitor is tested and certificated for its compliance with the AdobeRGP1998 standard prior to shipping.

    I run a multi monitor configuration with the BenQ as my primary but I check their calibration every few months and there has been no change in performance of the BenQ since I first switched it on.

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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Thanks, James and Manfred. I'm leaning toward buying one. Most of my images end up only on the web, and for those, of course, my sRGB monitor is just fine, but I print enough that a wider-gamut monitor seems like a sensible expense.

    BTW, the person I quoted who complained about the Dell posted a photo of the color problem. The person who complained about the BenQ didn't. I wondered whether the issue was the angle at which he view it.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    BTW, the person I quoted who complained about the Dell posted a photo of the color problem. The person who complained about the BenQ didn't. I wondered whether the issue was the angle at which he view it.
    The problem with the online reviews is that that they are often unclear and the expectations people have are also unclear. I suspect that a very high percentage are related to user error, rather there being anything wrong with the product.

    I remember reading one on a particular flash model and the person was complaining about the unit not having a particular feature, yet this was clearly stated in the product description on the product website.

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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    Thanks. This is helpful.

    I think the video card in my computer won't support a wide-gamut monitor, and the computer is quite old, so this is likely to be part of a complete upgrade.
    You may correct me, but isn't the gamut a property of the monitor and not of the video card?

    George

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by george013 View Post
    You may correct me, but isn't the gamut a property of the monitor and not of the video card?

    George
    The computer screen may be wide gamut, but unless the video card supports a 10-bit display and uses a digital connection, like HDMI, the screen cannot be fed wide-gamut data from the computer. I does not matter what the display is capable of, if the feeder system is not designed to deliver the data.

    I have some old 8-bit cards that have VGA output that I could connect to my wide gamut display.

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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    . . unless the video card supports a 10-bit display and uses a digital connection, like HDMI, the screen cannot be fed wide-gamut data from the computer.
    I don't understand the need for 10-bit, unless there are actually no 8-bit wide-gamut monitors. Please clarify.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    I don't understand the need for 10-bit, unless there are actually no 8-bit wide-gamut monitors. Please clarify.
    That seems to be the distinguishing feature be and all the ones I looked at are 10-bit. The 8-bit ones are spec'ed to 16.8 million colours (sRGB) and the 10-bit ones to 1.1 billion colours (AdobeRGB). Both nVidia and AMD produce 10-bit video cards only.

    Spec sheet on my screen: https://www.benq.com/en/monitor/phot...fications.html
    Last edited by Manfred M; 4th November 2017 at 06:02 AM.

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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    The computer screen may be wide gamut, but unless the video card supports a 10-bit display and uses a digital connection, like HDMI, the screen cannot be fed wide-gamut data from the computer. I does not matter what the display is capable of, if the feeder system is not designed to deliver the data.

    I have some old 8-bit cards that have VGA output that I could connect to my wide gamut display.
    In my optics the gamut is the range in wavelength the monitor can display. See the horse shoe. The bit depth is representing the steps in change it can handle. Unless there're some practical limitations as communication between card and monitor, a wide gamut can be 8 bit, or x bit.

    George

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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    The problem with the online reviews is that that they are often unclear and the expectations people have are also unclear. I suspect that a very high percentage are related to user error, rather there being anything wrong with the product.

    I remember reading one on a particular flash model and the person was complaining about the unit not having a particular feature, yet this was clearly stated in the product description on the product website.
    Absolutely. It's common to see negative reviews from people who don't know how to get something to work, don't know what the product is supposed to do, or simply ordered the wrong size. That's why I considered the negative review of the Dell, which included a photo clearly showing the problem, to be more credible.

  17. #17

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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    Absolutely. It's common to see negative reviews from people who don't know how to get something to work, don't know what the product is supposed to do, or simply ordered the wrong size. That's why I considered the negative review of the Dell, which included a photo clearly showing the problem, to be more credible.
    I've been on this site before. https://www.color-management-guide.c...otography.html
    He has some thoughts about monitors and worked them out step by step. With a good argumentation, I think. Maybe it might help you for general purposes.

    George

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by george013 View Post
    In my optics the gamut is the range in wavelength the monitor can display. See the horse shoe. The bit depth is representing the steps in change it can handle. Unless there're some practical limitations as communication between card and monitor, a wide gamut can be 8 bit, or x bit.

    George
    It's all about definitions George. If wide gamut is defined as a colour space that is wider than sRGB and bit depth greater than 8-bits, you have your answer. This is definitely the definition that is used by manufacturers of display equipment. Take a look at the specs of wide gamut screens and you will see this is true

    I know some people (including me) feel that this definition is too narrow given that modern cameras record data at 14-bits (or 16-bits if you look at medium format), but then we are restricted by the devices that we use. 10-bit video cards are mainstream and 10-bit displays are becoming more common.

    Here is the relevant part of the spec sheet of my screen, the Benq SW2700

    https://www.benq.com/en/monitor/phot...fications.html

    Let me highlight the relevant lines....

    Choosing A Monitor
    Last edited by Manfred M; 4th November 2017 at 02:01 PM.

  19. #19
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by george013 View Post
    I've been on this site before. https://www.color-management-guide.c...otography.html
    He has some thoughts about monitors and worked them out step by step. With a good argumentation, I think. Maybe it might help you for general purposes.

    George
    Unfortunately, he has one of those sites that look really good, but he seems to be good at giving his opinion without proof or demonstrating facts. His claim to fame is that he has been a photographer since 2004, but I see no evidence that he has any real technical knowledge / training regarding the subject. If he did, I suspect that information would be on his website.

    Some of what he writes is correct but others is definitely not.


    If you want a credible source, look at

    Best laptops for photo editing? #11 that Trev (Tronhard) posted. The two links there are excellent.

    Dr Ito is one of my sources and he has the technical and academic background to know what he is writing about. Unfortunately CAPA has many good documents, but they are available only to members.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 4th November 2017 at 03:58 PM.

  20. #20

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    Re: Choosing A Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    Unfortunately, he has one of those sites that look really good, but he seems to be good at giving his opinion without proof or demonstrating facts. His claim to fame is that he has been a photographer since 2004, but I see no evidence that he has any real technical knowledge / training regarding the subject. If he did, I suspect that information would be on his website.

    Some of what he writes is correct but others is definitely not.
    First your image of the specs of the shown monitor.
    It says it has a certain color gamut. Meaning it can show colors within an range of x to y wavelength, analogue.
    Further it says that it can show that range in parts of 2^10 peaces of a single channel. Using a 10 bit D/A conversion.
    At last it says that combining the 3 channels R,G and B will produce (2^10)^3= 1.07 billion different gradients WITHIN that gamut.
    Definitions are important for a good communication. I'm not aware of any definition of gamut that includes the bitdepth.

    About your reaction on the link I posted, I don't understand what you are trying to prove. I'm not going to defend him, but I must say he has a strukturell approach of the subject.
    I just don't see much difference between your link and mine. So I'm very curious what points are wrong in your opinion.

    George

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