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What Monitor Should I Use As A Hobbyist? - What to consider when selecting a monitor for digital photography.
Why? Well basically, it means you'll be able to achieve the colours you want in your photos. Colours displayed on your monitor will match those in printed photos and if you carry out any post production editing, you'll be able to finely retouch images in the correct colours. Ensuring the colours you see on-screen will match your print outs will also save you money as you won't be wasting ink or paper. You'll also save time and won't become frustrated when trying to understand why your printouts aren't as you see them on screen.
What Should I Look For When Picking A Monitor?It's important to know if your camera can shoot in sRGB colour gamut or both sRGB and Adobe RGB. Most compact cameras use sRGB colour gamut while DSLRs and Mirrorless models are capable of taking images in either sRGB or Adobe RGB. This is important to know as Adobe's RGB produces colours which are slightly more appealing but if you view images taken this way on a monitor that has a colour gamut not applicable with Adobe RGB, the images won't be displayed correctly.
Some monitors show an uneven display of colour and brightness across its screen which can lead to problems when retouching images. This could be down to the monitor having poor accuracy from the get-go or because the photographer has used the monitor frequently. Whatever the reason, the colour display can change after long periods of use so monitors are available with EIZO's custom circuitry built in. Monitors with this are designed to take into account the changes in the monitor's displayed brightness etc. that occur during use and adjusts for them.
Next your monitor should be capable of clearly displaying gradations in monochromatic images, without colour infusions or omissions. Gradation creates a sense of depth as well as showing the colour shading in a photograph's data. A monitor with colour infusion or colour omission issues is unable to correctly display important elements of photographic data.
Most monitors have buttons which allow you to make adjustments to the brightness and colour tones but there are limits to how much can be adjusted so the ideal way to adjust the display is with software and calibration sensors that are specifically designed for the monitor you are using. For example, EIZO offers free photo colour matching software for its ColorEdge, CX and CS series LCD monitors. A tutorial on setting up and using EIZO's ColorNavigator Elements will be available on site soon.
It's also worth noting that you should regularly calibrate your monitor so correct colours are maintained and to correctly check the colours of your prints, it is important that images are always evaluated under the same lighting conditions. Try to minimise the effects of outside light, make your evaluations in a room with neutral coloured walls and floors, use a fluorescent desk lamp with a high colour rendering index and set grey (Achromatic grey is a good choice) as your desktop background. You can also buy monitor hoods which block outside light and reflections from your monitor.
Which EIZO Monitor Is For Me?Compact camera users should take a look at the ColorEdge CS230 monitor while those with a mirrorless camera or DSLR have a few more choices to make. For those using sRGB the ColorEdge CS230 is, again, the monitor that's worth taking a look at as its optimised for colour management with sRGB.
If you're working with Adobe RGB but are new to colour matching have a look at the ColorEdge CX240 which uses ColorNavigator Elements for easy color matching.
For those not new to colour matching you need to decide if you'll be printing images bigger than A3. If the answer is yes, take a look at the CX270 but if you'll be working with prints that are A3 and smaller, the CX240 will be fine.
The next range up from the CX series is the CG professional series which features a built-in calibration sensor.
Visit the EIZO website to see the full range of monitors they offer.