Photographers: What to look for in a monitor

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - April 10th, 2015
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Office workers probably don't think about their desktop monitors too much. Some may want them to be a little wider, but even this issue isn't given much thought.

Then there are the professional and amateur photographers of the world. These artists depend on their tools to provide them with accurate image rendering. Colour or depth misrepresentation could ultimately create prints that aren't exactly what the editor wanted.

The basics: what to look for

On the surface level, you need a PC monitor that will convey your photos as they actually are. Poor monitors deliver their own interpretations as to what your pictures look like. This can produce inaccurate work and even degrade the value of your visual perspective.

The Oxford School of Photography discussed the issue in a blog post, naming several specifications photographers should be aware of:

  • Remember: A bigger monitor doesn't necessarily translate to higher pixel density.
  • If your computer has DVI or HDMI inputs, take advantage of them.
  • True-to-life colour, while an important factor, may have to be compromised (to a certain degree) if you're looking for other features.

How are you being accommodated?

Depending on the manufacturer and model, you may receive a set of calibration tools with your monitor. In some cases, the calibration system is integrated into the device. These setups work by using certain programmes that develop ICC profiles (named after the International Colour Consortium), which can adjust colours based on accuracy.

PCMag recommended using software such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom that allow you to see how photos will look in printed form. Due to the price of Adobe tools, purchasing this programme may only be feasible for professional photographers. However, ambitious amateurs shouldn't stay away.

To confirm a basic assumption, a matte display is the proper choice. For one thing, they provide more accurate calibration setting and light reflections will be less of a problem.

Ultimately, choosing a specific monitor comes down to your personal preferences. Don't be afraid to experiment with a few before selecting one to purchase.

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