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  1. #1
    Liz
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    Need Advice - which monitor?

    I'm looking for a new LCD monitor - budget $250-$300. What specs should I be looking for that will give me the best resolution/color/contrast whatever for the "cheap" budget I have?

    I'm looking at the 20" Dell SP2009W model

    Specs:

    Viewable Image Size: 20"
    Optimal Preset Resolution: WSXGA+ 1680 x 1050
    Pixel Pitch: 0.258 mm
    Brightness: 300 cd/m2 (typical)
    Contrast Ratio: 2000:1 (typical)
    Viewing Angle: 160 H, 160 V
    Response time: 2ms typical
    2MP Webcam

    It has ARC-Glare Faceplate coating (hoping this will help the headaches I've been getting from using the other new monitor with no coating).

    Liz

  2. #2
    Liz
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    What is the difference between these 2 panels: S-IPS vs S-PVA?

    I read in a couple of places that the S-IPS is better for photo editing.

    Is there anything else I should look for? I can't find reviews.

    Liz

  3. #3
    Liz
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    Just thought I'd give this post one more shot.

    Anyone have advice on what to look for in an LCD monitor? I prefer smaller - like not over 22" $250 - $300?

    Thanks

    Liz

  4. #4
    drg
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    I'm usually hesitant to recommend a particular 'brand' but in this price range the best I see consistently are the monitors from Samsung.

    Dell will sometimes tell you or give you enough manufacturer information to figure out where they come from, but not always and there offerings are I feel at this time a bit overpriced.

    The S-IPS and S-PVA are manufacturer technology terms from respectively Hitachi (IPS) and Samsung (PVA).

    Some of the best photographic monitors I have personally seen and or used are based on some variation of the IPS technology. But these were a very recent Mac/Apple monitor and a Mitsubishi. Both of these were optimized for Color Matching, but reportedly don't have the dynamic range of some other technology.

    If you ever are going to watch Video (TV, Cable, DVD's etc) on the monitor, the PVA tech is better under a lot of lighting conditions because it can deliver higher contrast and crisper blacks. Supposedly.

    Can you go look at several side by side running in a setup (similar lighting and computer running the monitor) as you will use? Will the seller let you load a few of your own photos to see how the appear on a particular monitor?

    Hope this helps and let us know what you do as this monitor thing get more and more important as times goes on and I personally always like to know what other people find works for them!

    Good Luck!
    CDPrice 'drg'
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  5. #5
    Liz
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    Quote Originally Posted by drg
    I'm usually hesitant to recommend a particular 'brand' but in this price range the best I see consistently are the monitors from Samsung.

    Dell will sometimes tell you or give you enough manufacturer information to figure out where they come from, but not always and there offerings are I feel at this time a bit overpriced.

    The S-IPS and S-PVA are manufacturer technology terms from respectively Hitachi (IPS) and Samsung (PVA).

    Some of the best photographic monitors I have personally seen and or used are based on some variation of the IPS technology. But these were a very recent Mac/Apple monitor and a Mitsubishi. Both of these were optimized for Color Matching, but reportedly don't have the dynamic range of some other technology.

    If you ever are going to watch Video (TV, Cable, DVD's etc) on the monitor, the PVA tech is better under a lot of lighting conditions because it can deliver higher contrast and crisper blacks. Supposedly.

    Can you go look at several side by side running in a setup (similar lighting and computer running the monitor) as you will use? Will the seller let you load a few of your own photos to see how the appear on a particular monitor?

    Hope this helps and let us know what you do as this monitor thing get more and more important as times goes on and I personally always like to know what other people find works for them!

    Good Luck!
    Thanks! I appreciate your input and the information from your experience. I doubt if I will watch Video. The reason I asked about the IPS vs PVA is that I went into a computer website and asked this same question, but according to them I couldn't get a decent monitor that would be within my budget. They did say to get IPS for photo editing, but they also stated the least expensive one would be about $600 - and it wouldn't be the best.

    So much for that. Right now I have a HP that looked better on the demo at Costco - actually it looked pretty good. However, using it now it doesn't look quite as good, but I haven't done any calibrating. And the negative aspect is the glare - it is extreme, especially when I'm working in the office - documents, typing, etc. The white screen actually makes my eyes hurt. I do get migraines and my eyes are sensitive to light. Interestingly the 17" Dell that I gave away with my old computer is the best out of anything I've used. I didn't experience any glare. For some reason I'm not particularly fond of the wide screen. I think there is a way to get "borders" around the area where you're working as it is set up this way at the store - and the wide doesn't look so w i d e.

    I think I'm going to take a half day to go out and compare monitors - and just hope for the best.

    Thanks again - your info will help in my search - and I will attempt to see if I can view a monitor side by side.

    Liz

  6. #6
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    One of the quickest ways to help separate good from bad monitors is to look at the viewing angle specification and the timing specification. IPS will be around 178 degrees and SPVA and MPVA will be 176-178. If you are getting fast timing speeds like 2 ms, then those are going to be 6 bit panels. IPS and PVA are usually 8 bit, so they will have better color depth. If you are a pro doing photo editing, you want a good viewing angle. 160 degree panels show too much shift if you move your head. 170 is better but still not ideal.

    Stay away from 20 inch widescreen monitors. I have one and regret it. Too many pixels stuffed into too small of an area at native resolution (and you only want to use native resolution on an LCD monitor). Photoshop menu icons are so small. Surfing the web hurts your eys. Go for at least a 22" (uses the same resolution but has a larger screen) or 24". I would go for a 19" over a 20" widescreen.

    My $.02,
    Doug

  7. #7
    Liz
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    Quote Originally Posted by xvvvz
    One of the quickest ways to help separate good from bad monitors is to look at the viewing angle specification and the timing specification. IPS will be around 178 degrees and SPVA and MPVA will be 176-178. If you are getting fast timing speeds like 2 ms, then those are going to be 6 bit panels. IPS and PVA are usually 8 bit, so they will have better color depth. If you are a pro doing photo editing, you want a good viewing angle. 160 degree panels show too much shift if you move your head. 170 is better but still not ideal.

    Stay away from 20 inch widescreen monitors. I have one and regret it. Too many pixels stuffed into too small of an area at native resolution (and you only want to use native resolution on an LCD monitor). Photoshop menu icons are so small. Surfing the web hurts your eys. Go for at least a 22" (uses the same resolution but has a larger screen) or 24". I would go for a 19" over a 20" widescreen.

    My $.02,
    Doug
    Doug,

    Thanks for taking the time to post all the above information - this sure is a learning experience for me. I had tried a Dell 22" monitor, but it hurt my eyes for some reason - at the time I thought it was the glare. At any rate, I was away for the weekend so I didn't have time to do any monitor shopping.

    I'll keep the information you gave me - sometimes it's difficult to get any specs on the monitors and most sales people don't seem to know too much from my experience. Your information is helpful as I found a website that includes the specs mentioned above.

    Liz

  8. #8
    Senior Member WsW-WYATT-EARP's Avatar
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    I am searching for a new lcd panel too ... ran across this thread that has some great info ...

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/top...onitor#6176459
    Ben

    Bodies: Nikon D300 - Nikon D50

    Lenses: Nikkor 50mm f1.8 D - Tamron 17mm - 50mm F2.8 - Nikon 70mm - 200mm F2.8 VR - Nikon 1.7 Teleconverter

    Lighting: Nikon SB600 speedlight - AlienBees (2) B400's - Polaris Flash Meter

    Stabalization: Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod - Manfrotto 3265 joystick head

  9. #9
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    I'm using a BENQ 24" widescreen and very happy with it.
    The calibration curve isn't a curve.
    It's three straight lines.
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  10. #10
    Senior Member WsW-WYATT-EARP's Avatar
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    after researching all day ... I ended up with a dell 2408WFP - it isn't an IPS monitor but it is a s-pva which gives faster response time with a better viewing angle than a TN monitor would... It sells for 619 from dell but i was able to find a small biz. coupon for 25% off which the total was 513.
    Ben

    Bodies: Nikon D300 - Nikon D50

    Lenses: Nikkor 50mm f1.8 D - Tamron 17mm - 50mm F2.8 - Nikon 70mm - 200mm F2.8 VR - Nikon 1.7 Teleconverter

    Lighting: Nikon SB600 speedlight - AlienBees (2) B400's - Polaris Flash Meter

    Stabalization: Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod - Manfrotto 3265 joystick head

  11. #11
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    That's what I've got at work, also a good monitor that keeps its calibration.
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  12. #12
    Senior Member WsW-WYATT-EARP's Avatar
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    The reviews were good and the price was decent. Gets old looking at monitor after monitor .... excited to get it sometime next week. From what I have read today the PVA style monitors do hold the calibration very well and calibrate quite easily.

    After a while all the lcd lingo all meshes together ....... pva - ips - tn - resolutions ......
    Ben

    Bodies: Nikon D300 - Nikon D50

    Lenses: Nikkor 50mm f1.8 D - Tamron 17mm - 50mm F2.8 - Nikon 70mm - 200mm F2.8 VR - Nikon 1.7 Teleconverter

    Lighting: Nikon SB600 speedlight - AlienBees (2) B400's - Polaris Flash Meter

    Stabalization: Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod - Manfrotto 3265 joystick head

  13. #13
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    One thing you want to make sure you do is to have your monitor calibrated. You can pay top dollar for the best monitor on the market, but without proper calibration, you'll still notice a difference between how it looks on the screen and how it looks printed out. But the Mac cinema monitors are gorgeous. But not $200, sadly.

  14. #14
    Liz
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    Quote Originally Posted by byjamesderuvoDHQ
    One thing you want to make sure you do is to have your monitor calibrated. You can pay top dollar for the best monitor on the market, but without proper calibration, you'll still notice a difference between how it looks on the screen and how it looks printed out. But the Mac cinema monitors are gorgeous. But not $200, sadly.
    I agree about the Mac monitors! I saw two at Best Buy when I was checking out monitors about 2 weeks ago. I couldn't believe the difference. The Mac stood out above every monitor Best Buy had - the color, resolution, detail - everything looked "perfect." The 24" screen was well over $1,000. I think the 20" was about $800. I wish I could afford it.

    I ended up with a TN monitor - the HP w2207h. It was $350 on sale for $279 which was within my budget of $300. I couldn't find anything but a TN within that price range. However, "PRAD" reviews rated it as "good" and in some aspects, they rated it above all other 22" monitors they had tested - considering it is a TN.

    The monitor is pretty good considering I haven't calibrated it yet. I viewed my images on it and the colors are quite accurate, and it's sharp. Okay for me since I don't do RAW and minimal post processing.

    One thing that bothers me a bit is the "glare" when I'm working on documents (it's also my home office work computer). It is too bright also, but I don't know how to "fix" that without affecting the images in a "negative" way.

    Here are two links to PRAD reviews and specification/information. I read that PRAD is supposed to be one of the best for rating monitors. The first link is the review section - the 2nd link includes specifications only.


    Reviews
    http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/reviews.html

    Specs
    http://www.prad.de/en/guide/hersteller_start.html

    Liz

  15. #15
    drg
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    Liz,

    Calibration will make a world of difference. Even the least expensive calibration tool on the market will really improve the quality of photos you eventually print and make consistent your viewing.

    Either orient the screen to keep light from reflecting or add a little shelf above the top of the monitor to block ambient light. Changes in ambient lighting will affect calibration!!

    The other solution is to get a piece of the anti-glare material that comes in several forms and put it over the screen.

    Let us know how this one works for you, particularly 30-90 days from now.

    Best wishes and happy editing
    CDPrice 'drg'
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  16. #16
    Liz
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    Re: Need Advice - which monitor?

    Quote Originally Posted by drg
    Liz,

    Calibration will make a world of difference. Even the least expensive calibration tool on the market will really improve the quality of photos you eventually print and make consistent your viewing.

    Either orient the screen to keep light from reflecting or add a little shelf above the top of the monitor to block ambient light. Changes in ambient lighting will affect calibration!!

    The other solution is to get a piece of the anti-glare material that comes in several forms and put it over the screen.

    Let us know how this one works for you, particularly 30-90 days from now.

    Best wishes and happy editing
    Thanks! I was under the impression that any calibration software that does a good job is very expensive. I have no clue what I'm doing here.

    Do you have any suggestions as to which software? Something that is easy/simple to use - and does a decent job - for a reasonable price?

    Also, any thoughts on what kind of anti-glare material that won't affect the images? The screen is very bright when I using it for work.

    Thanks for the help!

    Liz

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