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Thread: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

  1. #1
    Workshop Member ChrisDauer's Avatar
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    Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    As a new thread, (Sorry Lars!)

    How much better is an Eizo, which I've always heard great things about, over a Dell/Apple monitor?
    Say, LCD either Dual 20" Full Screens or a single 30" Widescreen.

  2. #2
    DougDolde
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Can't tell you how much better, but my EIZO CG21 is just amazing. You won't regret getting an EIZO.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Graphics professionals seem to have a preference for EIZO and NEC displays over Apple displays. Specifically, EIZO ColorEdge series and NEC SpectraView series. As I understand it there are a few specific reasons:

    These dedicated graphics monitors have high-bit color processing, with the ability to load the linearization table of the monitor profile into the monitor (as opposed to the graphics card). This leads to significantly smoother and more neutral grayscale tonality.

    One standing complaint with Apple monitors is the difficulty in repeating the same settings, and setting up multi-screen displays to have the same brightness. Since Apple monitors do not display any indication of chosen brightness, the only way to repeat a setting is to set it to full brightness. This can be particularly troublesome if you have a classroom of displays that need to be consistent, but even a dual-display setup can be troublesome.

    My personal opinion - Apple is in the business of selling design (which it does very well), and as such from time to time makes product decisions that prioritize form over function. Eizo and NEC specifically target graphics professionals with their high-end series, the hardware might not be as pretty but is less of a functional compromise. This is reflected in price.

    I think there would be room in the Apple product line for a "pro" line of displays to compete with Eizo, just like the MacBook has a Pro line. Apple is traditionally so strong with creative pros, such a product line would give the message of Apple's dedication to that segment.
    Last edited by Lars; 20th December 2007 at 02:17.

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    The Eizo ColorEdge monitors are hardware calibrated. The CE series has a 10-bit LUT with 12-bit precision and the CG series has a 12-bit LUT with 14-bit precision. The monitor connects to the computer via USB. When you run the Eizo ColorNavigator s/w with an EyeOne Display attached and hit "Start" the s/w takes control of the monitor. It sets the appropriate brightness, contrast, gamma and color temp to match your desired settings without any user intervention at all. The calibration proceedure is about the quickest of any I've done. And, the results are far better that an 8-bit LUT in your OS/video driver.

    Eizo monitors are much more consistent in terms of brightness uniformity from edge to edge. They are mapped in factory and have an automatic brightness stabilization that corrects for lamp wear. In other words, your Eizo will appear the same brightness even after several years of lamp fade. You don't have to deal with a half-hour warm-up before using the monitor either. The Eizo is designed to come up to max brightness in less than five minutes from powered-off (and maintain that exact brightness all day).

    They also run cold to the touch. Compare this to an Apple Cinema Display, which you can fry an egg on. Viewing angle is better, with less change off-axis and the monitors are exceptionally easy on the eyes. Not sure why the eye strain is reduced, but it is.

    Each panel is tested and calibrated in the factory to gamma 2.2 before shipping. There is a zero pixel defect policy and the Eizo carries a five year warranty, the best for any LCD panel.

    Of course, the Eizo monitors are also capable of displaying between 96-101% AdobeRGB colorspace, depending on model. Apple/Dell monitors are more in the 75-85% range.

    Bottom line is that the Eizo is designed for graphics pros who need to stare at the same screen all day. Calibration is super easy. Color gamut is unmatched and smooth tonal gradations are really smooth.

    Btw, if I sound like an Eizo user, I am. If I sound like an Eizo dealer, I am as well...

    David

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Most of my design work is for offset printing and since I've moved to a remote area, away from most of my clients and their printers, I rarely (as in never) do press checks anymore while my work is in production. I need to have an accurate display that will bring me closest to what the client will see once the ink dries.

    Up until this past summer I used a Sony Artisan CRT and for its time, it was an excellent display. But it aged while LCD panel technology progressed to the point where it seemed reasonable to replace it. After a lot of research I decided on the Eizo CG21 over the NEC and Apple products.

    I was nervous about the transition from CRT to LCD, but I can honestly say it was the best move I could have made. I have tremendous confidence that what I'm seeing on screen is about as close as you can get to what the finished product will be. At least within the tolerances required for the work I do.

    The Eizo has been flawless from day one. It's easy and performs as advertised. Highly recommended if you need a high degree of color accuracy.

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    Workshop Member ChrisDauer's Avatar
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    Btw, if I sound like an Eizo user, I am. If I sound like an Eizo dealer, I am as well...
    Thanks David!

    Can you, or anyone else for that matter, explain what is do different between the CG221 and the CG241W?

    I know the 221, is smaller, but I can't figure out why it's so much more expensive, when it seems like the larger monitor is faster, and simply has more... everything?

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Chris:

    The "big deal" about the Eizo CG221 is that it's native colorspace is basically all of the Adobe RGB (very large for monitors) while the CG241W is a more normal LCD display and smaller space containing maybe 90% of Adobe RGB.

    If you proof for print, especially with the new wide-gamut printers, you're going to get a closer rendering with the 221, at least theoretically. However, it's a debatable point that one can learn to "read" the proof view accurately enough on a monitor with a smaller gamut and still get accurate output. Best thing to do is head into Keeble and have them show you difference.

    I can tell you that for me, it was total available real-estate that drove my final decision
    Jack
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    Workshop Member ChrisDauer's Avatar
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Thanks Jack!

    Fortunately, I'm not buying today and have plenty of time to look around.
    If I was buying today it would most likely be the Eizo FlexScan SX3031W. Seems to be a good compromise between the two worlds of screen real estate and color capability (supposedly 97% of Adobe RGB.) Resolution is around the 3 MP mark.

    However, there is a little something coming out that sure would be 'fun'.

    WQUXGA is around 9 MP, and will be produced by Toshiba next year. Unfortunately, at this price you're better off buying a used IBM T221, which provided the same resolution.
    http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/02/t...00-resolution/
    Last edited by ChrisDauer; 26th December 2007 at 15:23.

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Chris,

    The CG221 is the Eizo flagship, but has been around for a few years. It is capable of displaying 100% of AdobeRGB. The CG241W was just introduced this last fall and can show 96% AdobeRGB. I've also found the CE240W to be a great value. Almost the same specs as the CG241W, and only $1675. We haven't received any pricing on the new 30" screens yet, but these are geared more to CAD/CAM users than photo editing. I'm hoping to see an anouncement for CE and CG 30" models. Maybe they will be showing them at PMA. Anyone else going to Vegas?

    David

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    David

    Jack and i will be there on Saturday
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Guy,

    Let's all meet up. I should be around on Saturday.

    David

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Sounds Great David
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    hard to figure:
    B&H prices:
    CG221: $5k
    CG241: 2.3k
    CG211: 2.8k

    jm

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    Workshop Member ChrisDauer's Avatar
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Any comments from users of the CG301W vs. SX3031W?
    The two look very similar on the Eizo website. But there is about a $2k difference between them.

    CG301W = 5.3k
    SX3031W = 3.0k

    Both have 97% of Adobe RGB. I believe they both have 12-Bit Gamma, 16-Bit Internal Processing. Both have Brightness and Color Uniformity with DUE. Maybe I'm being dense but I'm kind of expecting something big for the price jump and I was expecting it to jump out at me (like this is a V8 instead of a V6.)

    Thanks for the feedback/input. *ahem* David... ;-)

  15. #15
    ddk
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisDauer View Post
    Any comments from users of the CG301W vs. SX3031W?
    The two look very similar on the Eizo website. But there is about a $2k difference between them.

    CG301W = 5.3k
    SX3031W = 3.0k

    Both have 97% of Adobe RGB. I believe they both have 12-Bit Gamma, 16-Bit Internal Processing. Both have Brightness and Color Uniformity with DUE. Maybe I'm being dense but I'm kind of expecting something big for the price jump and I was expecting it to jump out at me (like this is a V8 instead of a V6.)

    Thanks for the feedback/input. *ahem* David... ;-)
    CG is Eizo's graphic display line, which gives you the best consistency, color and tone when calibrated, the SX line is a more of a general purpose line of displays. I haven't seen the SX series so I can't comment on it vs the Apple Cinema Display which is still a fantastic monitor after all these years when properly calibrated; and doesn't run hot at all like mentioned above!

    The Apple looses against my CG241W.

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisDauer View Post
    Any comments from users of the CG301W vs. SX3031W?
    The two look very similar on the Eizo website. But there is about a $2k difference between them.

    CG301W = 5.3k
    SX3031W = 3.0k

    Both have 97% of Adobe RGB. I believe they both have 12-Bit Gamma, 16-Bit Internal Processing. Both have Brightness and Color Uniformity with DUE. Maybe I'm being dense but I'm kind of expecting something big for the price jump and I was expecting it to jump out at me (like this is a V8 instead of a V6.)

    Thanks for the feedback/input. *ahem* David... ;-)

    Chris,

    The CG line comes with Eizo ColorNavigator software and allows you to perform direct hardware calibration using an i1. The SX line isn't hardware calibrated. Essentially, you are limited to 8-bit LUTs in your video card vs. 12-bit in the monitor's ASIC. Also, the CG comes with a nice monitor hood.

    Hope this is the info you're looking for.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post

    The CG line comes with Eizo ColorNavigator software and allows you to perform direct hardware calibration using an i1. The SX line isn't hardware calibrated. Essentially, you are limited to 8-bit LUTs in your video card vs. 12-bit in the monitor's ASIC. Also, the CG comes with a nice monitor hood.
    No disrespect intended here, but are those differences really adding up to $2.3K of pricing? That seemed more like what Chris was asking in his original post, and frankly, I am wrestling with the same issue. The CG line is outstanding, but really, how much better are some of these things than the SX line?

    LJ

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    I can't respond with a rundown of how much more hardware calibration costs to manufacture into a monitor, but I can say that if you make a living with your monitor (read computer) and color accuracy is an absolute requirement, then the cost differential is acceptable.

    I've calibrated monitors for a long time now in order to get as close to the 4 color output of offset as I could. My Eizo CG211 gets me closer than even my former Sony Artisan did to matching the final printed sample to what I worked with onscreen. This is key for me since I send my design files to printers all over the country and never go on press to oversee the printing. The differences can be subtle, but critical.

    In the same way that a 28mm Summicron will show nuance that a 28 Voigtlander would miss (at 5 or 6 times the price), the Eizo provides that extra measure of accuracy that I need. Do other monitors by different makers compare? It's possible. But I've never regretted the premium price of either my 28 cron or my Eizo.

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Tim,
    I can appreciate what you are saying and your experiences from you work demands. I guess I am having a bit harder time appreciating just how different these two monitors, from the same company, really are. I am sure the HW calibration and LUT is better in the CG, but if one is running a decent video card already, doing frequent if not daily calibrations, and working in a rather light controlled environment, are the differences really THAT much? I would imagine they are using the same LCD panels, though there might be differences in the QC levels, just as is the case with NEC and Apple.

    Please do not think I am being obstinate here. I am really trying to understand just how much difference there is. I appreciate subtle color differences and stuff now, so I agree with what you are describing. Still trying to understand what one is really getting for that premium price. Not adverse to paying it if it truly that much better. Given that most monitors need to be scrapped after 3-4 years of hard use anyway, are the CGs that much of an exception?

    LJ

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    I understand where you're coming from and I don't have the insider technical savvy to answer definitively. If I had to guess, it would be that the hardware calibration is more costly to implement on a 30 inch monitor and so the enormous price difference. But that is just me pulling a theory out of my a**.

    You may be right that for the 30 inch monitor in question, and for photographic printing to ink jets, the difference in price may not make sense. But when trying to match a client's Corporate color on offset press? Another story. They (clients) are very critical. The price difference I paid for my Eizo-peace-of-mind has more than paid for the Tylenol I would have had to purchase otherwise.

  21. #21
    DougDolde
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    My five year old Eizo CG21 is still running strong and appears have as good of an image as it did when new. I can't imagine using anything but an Eizo.

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Tim,
    I can appreciate what you are saying and your experiences from you work demands. I guess I am having a bit harder time appreciating just how different these two monitors, from the same company, really are. I am sure the HW calibration and LUT is better in the CG, but if one is running a decent video card already, doing frequent if not daily calibrations, and working in a rather light controlled environment, are the differences really THAT much? I would imagine they are using the same LCD panels, though there might be differences in the QC levels, just as is the case with NEC and Apple.

    Please do not think I am being obstinate here. I am really trying to understand just how much difference there is. I appreciate subtle color differences and stuff now, so I agree with what you are describing. Still trying to understand what one is really getting for that premium price. Not adverse to paying it if it truly that much better. Given that most monitors need to be scrapped after 3-4 years of hard use anyway, are the CGs that much of an exception?

    LJ
    LJ,

    First off, the Eizo ColorEdge monitors come with a 5 year warranty. They are designed to last longer than standard LCD monitors. A "good" video card is really a moot issue with 2D images. I run an Eizo with a $90 video card. I'm not doing HD video editing or rendering so a higher-end card will make no IQ difference for my photo work. The difference between an 8-bit LUT and a 12-bit LUT is pretty notable. Hardware calibration really works much better - ask around for real life experience on this.

    Regarding the panels, you will notice that the specs are different regarding illumination and contrast ratio. So, either they are using the same panels with better CCFL backlighitng or the panels used are different as well. I know that all the LCD panels used in the CG line (except some models like the CG211) use S-PVA. I believe that the SX series uses PVA panels.

    If you are looking for a cost-conscious, hardware calibrated Eizo, take a look at the new 22" CG222W for $1,400. The only drawback with this monitor is the screen resolution of 1680x1050. Or go to the 24" CE240W for $1,675. You'll get 1920x1200 res with a trade-off of 10-bit LUT vs. 12-bit LUT in the CG. For the price of the new 30", you could just get two CG241W monitors with no trade-offs. Or, start with one and add a second later if and when you need it.

    David
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    But when trying to match a client's Corporate color on offset press? Another story. They (clients) are very critical. The price difference I paid for my Eizo-peace-of-mind has more than paid for the Tylenol I would have had to purchase otherwise.
    Tim,
    That part I completely understand and agree with you. That is why I burn lots more in storage to keep all the client print files, just so I can go back and deliver something to them that is exactly what they got on their first order.

    I am pressing this issue a bit harder, and not directed at you or anyone else, because like many, I am facing that next round of upgrades and replacements of things in many areas....computer, monitor(s), cameras, storage, etc., etc., and the price tags start creating a different kind of headache to manage That is my personal concern, but I would imagine there are others facing the same thing. So, paying $2+K less for an excellent big monitor may be a worthwhile trade-off. (I even think the NEC 30" monitor is quite good, and better than Apple's offering.) However, if the gap between it and the top of line model is really big in the performance and output area, it may be worth spending more there, and figuring other budgets differently. The hardest part is actually getting to see some of these units in side by side comparisons anywhere. Reading spec sheets only gets one so far, as we all know

    LJ

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    LJ,

    First off, the Eizo ColorEdge monitors come with a 5 year warranty. They are designed to last longer than standard LCD monitors. A "good" video card is really a moot issue with 2D images. I run an Eizo with a $90 video card. I'm not doing HD video editing or rendering so a higher-end card will make no IQ difference for my photo work. The difference between an 8-bit LUT and a 12-bit LUT is pretty notable. Hardware calibration really works much better - ask around for real life experience on this.

    Regarding the panels, you will notice that the specs are different regarding illumination and contrast ratio. So, either they are using the same panels with better CCFL backlighitng or the panels used are different as well. I know that all the LCD panels used in the CG line (except some models like the CG211) use S-PVA. I believe that the SX series uses PVA panels.

    If you are looking for a cost-conscious, hardware calibrated Eizo, take a look at the new 22" CG222W for $1,400. The only drawback with this monitor is the screen resolution of 1680x1050. Or go to the 24" CE240W for $1,675. You'll get 1920x1200 res with a trade-off of 10-bit LUT vs. 12-bit LUT in the CG. For the price of the new 30", you could just get two CG241W monitors with no trade-offs. Or, start with one and add a second later if and when you need it.

    David
    Thanks, David. This is the part that I understand a lot more. (I read the warranty footnote from EIZO in the 30" CG, and it may be 5 years, but they only cover the panel for 3 years or 30,000 hours....bit odd marketing.)

    I presently run with two 24" monitors now, and honestly, though very nice for some things, I am really wanting to go to a single 30" instead, hence my questions. The screen real estate and ability to lay things out for working on a single screen makes the 30" more attractive and practical than two 24" screens, even though they provide more area. Just a personal preference.

    Sorry if I took this thread a bit into the weeds, and I do appreciate the comments and input from folks. I am not averse to the EIzos at all, having used them a lot in the past. I am just trying to justify their premiums now that things are coming from my account I really need to find someplace that has these units up, running, and on display for comparisons, including some of the other contenders, like the new NEC models, since some of their new tech is looking quite interesting also.

    LJ

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    Workshop Member ChrisDauer's Avatar
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    Chris,

    The CG line comes with Eizo ColorNavigator software and allows you to perform direct hardware calibration using an i1. The SX line isn't hardware calibrated. Essentially, you are limited to 8-bit LUTs in your video card vs. 12-bit in the monitor's ASIC. Also, the CG comes with a nice monitor hood.

    Hope this is the info you're looking for.

    David
    Hi David,

    Yes, it's very much what I'm looking for but here is my confusion:

    Quote Originally Posted by Eizo.com
    http://www.eizo.com/products/lcd/SX3031W/index.asp
    12-Bit Gamma, 16-Bit Internal Processing
    The FlexScan SX3031W comes equipped with EIZO’s latest integrated circuit which has a 12-bit look-up table with a color palette of 68 billion colors from which the most appropriate 16.7 million (8-bits) are displayed. It also features 16-bit internal processing for smooth display of grayscale tones, especially in dark areas of an image which typically are difficult for LCD monitors to display without banding.
    So, both the SX and the CG have the 12-bit LUT. So it sounds like it's a really really nice $2k monitor hood.
    Sarcasm aside, I'm assuming the internals are better in some way but as an Enginerd, I'd like to see some numbers. Something beyond, it's really really good. Right now, it sounds like the CG will hold the color profiling better than the SX. But I've got the i1, so I can just profile more often, right? Here is where I'm a little confused.

    Thanks,

    -C

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    I can't comment exactly on this issue between the CG and SX lines, but I can say that I have a CG-210 -- I got it just when they were transferring to the new model, so I got a bit of a deal. It is SO much better than the Apple monitors I have used. Not only does it display everything with more nuance, greater evenness, better color and sharper detail, it is better ergonomically too. The hood is superb, it rotates to portrait, it has more inputs, and it raises, lowers and tilts more extensively. The hardware calibration is truly worth it. Now prints come out looking like they do on screen, and that alone is worth the money -- seeing your images as they are meant to be is the whole point, isn't it?
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Stuart,
    I agree with what you are saying about seeing your images correctly, and not arguing that the CG is NOT a great monitor, but as Chris is asking also (again), based on what Eizo is saying, how different are the CG and SX models? I run an i1 calibration on my present monitors frequently, so having that "automated" would not be all that much. The hood is great, but one can fashion something similar with some black matte board, or even buy a readymade. As for tilt and movement, even the much cheaper Dells offer this on their stands now, including vertical rotation. None of that has much to do with the image, and hardly worth the $2+K difference in price, I would think. Even the warranty, as I mentioned on the CG is NOT a complete 5 year as advertised, but the panel is 3 year and the lighting is only 2 years (guess that sums to 5, but not what most folks would interpret).

    Again, not taking this out on you or anybody else, and I do appreciate your enthusiasm for these monitors, but from a practical perspective, it would really be nice to know just how different they are, given the huge gap in pricing on them. Like Chris, this has me wondering.....maybe not confused yet, but sure wondering what the real differences are among some of these monitors.

    LJ

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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Chris,

    Even though both monitors have a 12-bit LUT, the CG can actually make use of this through direct hardware calibration. The SX is still 8-bit limited by software calibration/video card. Calibrating more often won't change this.

    Regarding the warranty... I'm pretty sure it is 5 years or 30,000 hours, whichever comes first. I was told by the Eizo product manager to always turn off the monitors at the end of the day to get the full warranty period. If you leave it on 24/7 your warranty will indeed run out after 3 years. So, only run it 12 hours a day and 30,000 hours will come in 6 years.

    David
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    David,
    It would really be nice to have more of this kind of information posted in the tech specs and stuff for these monitors. Your adds and explanations are helpful.

    With respect to the warranty on the 30" CG, here is what is posted on the Eizo spec sheet for that monitor:

    1 The usage time is limited to 30,000 hours and the warranty period is limited to three years for the LCD panel from the date of purchase. The warranty period of the backlight is warranted only if the monitor is used within the recommended brightness of up to and including 120 cd/m2 with a color temperature between 5,000 K – 6,500 K and limited to three years from the date of purchase subject to the usage time being less than or equal to 10,000 hours.

    So, the explanation for turning things off at the end of a 12 hour day fits to some degree, but the limits as explained here are still 3 years, not 5 as they advertise. It is the backlight that usually is the problem with all LCD monitors.....it loses its lighting ability much faster than the LCD panel loses the ability to project the correct color.

    LJ

  30. #30
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Let's straighten this out a bit... All ATI and nVidia cards used by Apple in modern days have 10-bit DACs and hence 10-bit LUTs. However, DVI is an 8-bit interface, so 2 bits are lost between the video card and the display; unless of course you use component cables. The upcoming replacement for DVI, DisplayPort, fixes this and we can finally get the digital equivalent of component. HDMI too can pass more than 8 bits, but only for YCrCb, not RGB. Like DVI, it's limited to 8 bits for RGB. The new HP Dreamcolor display uses DisplayPort. This is one bandwagon Apple should get on IMO.

    Second, ALL displays have a LUT in firmware to make them look a certain way out of the box on a PC. Specifically, the standard consumer display is set up for high midtone contrast and crushed ('deep') blacks, because that makes it stand out in a store line-up. However, if you sell both display and the computers they attach to, you can set up the display LUT close to linear using factory calibration, and then mangle it in the driver by installing a default LUT that makes it look like everything else in the store. When calibrated and linearized, this LUT is then replaced with something closer to linear. Because the calibrated driver LUT actually does very little, 8 bits can be perfectly adequate.

    Guess what - DVI is 8 bits even with an Eizo.

  31. #31
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    Re: Desktop Monitors (LCD)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Guess what - DVI is 8 bits even with an Eizo.
    So you're saying I should wait until Eizo comes out w/ a display port; if I'm going to go down this road?

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