In the first part of this article, I mentioned about screen technology, Bit Depth and Resolution of monitors. All these plays a major role in the selection of monitor for photographers.
The brightness of the screen is also important. Consumer and gaming markets normally demand for higher contrast ratio but in professional photo editing requirements, we need a monitor that can go as low as 1:500.
Brightness is measured in candelas per square meter or cd/m2. A good pro monitor should be able to cover 50 to 200 cd/m2. Most of the consumer grade monitors can give you more than 200 candelas which is good for movies and gaming. Photo editing requires 80 to 120 cd/m2.
Photo editing requires less candela because during editing, you are trying to mimic the colors after printing. Printed photos of course has lower brightness since it is just reflecting the light. If your photos are destined for web which will be viewed through a monitor, then you can edit it at higher candelas.
With regards to LED, contrary to most people’s understanding, the LED panels are actually LCD with LED backlights. A normal LCD would have a fluorescent backlight which covers around 72% in terms of whiteness based on the NTSC standards, LED backlight can cover more than 90%.
The only way to know the quality of your white is through calibration or under the device specification provided by the manufacturer. A wider coverage of white will give you more wider colors which is needed in matching aRGB or sRGB color spaces.
Recently a friend of mine replaced his monitors with AOC IPS screen technology. Given that it’s AOC, price are definitely very cheap. I was surprised to hear AOC producing IPS screen so I checked the monitor and found out that yes it’s a true IPS screen but unfortunately, the resolution is low that you can almost see the pixels.
If you have a good budget for a monitor, I’d recommend the DELL UltraSharp Monitors. This monitor will exceed all the standards especially in terms of color space. Although the HP Dream Color is superior to Dell’s, the price is just too much for its features. You may also want to check ASUS Pro Art series. Price is less than DELL but almost matches all the features.
DELL is just around over 30k and ASUS less than that but if you just bought an “L”lens or a Nano lens that wiped your budget for a pro monitor, you can actually buy non IPS monitors that has a wider angle of view than the usual. Unfortunately, you will have to inspect it personally by viewing it from all sides and evaluate the amount of color shift.
Now that you have managed your color from the desktop, you should now consider how the printers ensure that the colors you are seeing in your monitors matches the prints. Maybe I’ll talk about printers in another article. Keep on shooting everyone!