Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I've been into photography for almost four years now and all this time I've been working with crappy TN-panel-based screens, namely a Sony SDM-S75D and a Samsung 206BW. After getting some prints that didn't look anything like what I saw on the screen, I think it's time to invest in a good screen (obviously taking into account that I'm a student and I don't do this for a living).

Thus, I'm looking for a screen with the following props:

  • FullHD, or 1920x1200 or higher resolution. At least 22" desired (in order to keep my eyes' health)
  • At least one HDMI (with DHCP) and one DVI.
  • Good panel, IPS or something like that - I don't know much about panels, other than TN panels are crap.
  • [OPTIONAL] Maybe hardware calibrated? I don't think there are any screens under 350€ with this feature.

Some time ago I did some research and found that the HP LP2475W was really hot, but calibrating it was essential as its factory defaults were very bad. I've also been looking at some S-IPS dell screens lately, and they look really good.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to knowing your opinions.

Thanks in advance.

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Possible duplicate: photo.stackexchange.com/q/1687/21 –  Rowland Shaw Jan 13 '11 at 15:37
    
Not really, in that post the user asks for the features too look for in a screen. I'm asking for actual monitor models. –  José Tomás Tocino Jan 13 '11 at 15:51
2  
Actual monitor models may be too specific for the nature of this site. New models come and go very quickly. –  mattdm Jan 13 '11 at 16:01
    
To keep price down you may want to look at refurbished monitors. You can find may nice models on www.buy.com that offer a 3 year warranty for an additional $20 USD. Here is one example on sale this week: buy.com/prod/… –  kacalapy Jan 13 '11 at 16:17

1 Answer 1

The cheapest color-calibratable display which has a wide-gamut which is essential to seeing colors accurately is the NEC P221W and it falls very close to your budget. This is an excellent monitor, I own two of them, along with a larger 30" model which costs a lot more.

The wide-gamut aspect is truly important as it lets you see most colors in your images (this one covers all of sRGB and 98% of AdobeRGB). If you calibrate a monitor with poor coverage, what you see will truly be way off. It is also quite important that you can calibrate the display itself to preserve nuances and avoid banding which results when people calibrate their graphics card instead.

It satisfies most your requirements except its resolution is 1680x1050 and it has no HDMI port. You're going to have to give in somewhere. If you up your budget to $1000, then it will be easier to satisfy all your requirements. AFAIK the NEC PA241W gets awfully close, although I have not tried that one personally, I trust it will perform quite well. You can consider looking to see the price of this one as refurbished (I bought each P221 for $237 that way, the retail was $435).

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1  
My NEC P221W is in the mail per your recommendation, I'm so excited to finally get it! –  PearsonArtPhoto Jan 13 '11 at 18:14
    
I take it one can still use e.g. a Spyder colorimeter to calibrate a monitor such as this one? –  Conor Boyd Jan 13 '11 at 20:43
    
@Conor - I've never tried that brand but I do not see why not. If you want to be sure, call Datacolor (Makers of Spyder). I'm sure they'll know better. Feel free to let us know the answer after :) –  Itai Jan 14 '11 at 17:01

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