EIZO ColorEdge CS230 Monitor


    Photo Review 9
    User Rating: 0/10 (0 votes cast) disabled.

    Thank you for rating!

    You have already rated this item, you can only rate it once!

    Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

    Log in or create a user account to rate.

    EIZO ColorEdge CS230 Monitor

      In summary

      Buy this monitor if:
       - You want a high-quality screen for image and video editing.
       - You need a screen that is easily profiled.
       - You want a monitor that will perform well for many years and be easy on your eyes.

      Don't buy this monitor if:
       - You really must have a screen that can display most of the Adobe RGB colour gamut.

      Full review

      The ColorEdge CS230 is the entry-level model in a suite of five ColorEdge monitors announced by Japan's Eizo Nanao Corp. at the beginning of August 2012. It comes with an in-built SelfCorrection sensor, which makes it easy to maintain an initial colour calibration by automatically re-adjusting the monitor. Unlike the top-of-the range models, the sensor in CS230 can't perform calibrations on the monitor unaided or handle ICC profiling.

      The ColorEdge CS230 with Eizo's EX1 measurement sensor in position for calibration and profiling. (Source: Eizo.)

      These tasks will require a colorimeter like the DataColor Spyder, the X-Rite ColorMunki or EyeOne Display or Eizo's EX1 (which is based on the Spyder).  Once the monitor is calibrated, however, the SelfCorrection sensor will check it automatically, based on a user-determined schedule that will keep track of the last time the monitor was checked, even when the it is switched completely off.

      Design and Ergonomics
      Design-wise, the ColorEdge CS230 and its siblings are based upon the ColorEdge CG245W, which was the first monitor with built-in calibration and scheduling.  Their screens feature backlit LED technology and are mercury-free to ensure minimal environmental impact when the unit is eventually disposed of. 

      Front view of theColorEdge CS230 in use. (Source: Eizo.)

      As the 'baby' in the range, the CS230 has a 23-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It's designed to suit photo enthusiasts, particularly social photographers whose workflow is based around sRGB. (We've covered the advantages of sRGB in our recent review of the FORIS FS2333.)

      The screen's bezel is approximately 17 mm on either side, 26 mm wide at the top and 37 mm at the bottom. The SelfCorrection sensor is concealed in the centre of the upper bezel where it joins the screen. It pops down automatically, according to the user-determined schedule.

      The bottom bezel carries seven button switches plus an ambient light sensor that adjusts the brightness of the display to suit ambient light levels and provide comfortable viewing conditions. The button switches access the following functions:

      Signal: switches input signals for the display between auto and manual.
       Mode: toggles through the colour modes (User1, User2, User3, Paper, sRGB, Calibration).
       Return: cancels the current setting or adjustment and exits the adjustment menu.
       Up and down arrows: increase or decrease the values for the adjustment settings selected.
       Enter: displays the Adjustment menu, determines an item on the menu screen and saves values adjusted.
       The Power button switches power on and off.

      The supplied stand has a circular base with a footprint of 22 mm. It provides 154 mm of height adjustment and enables the screen to be tilted up to 30 degrees upwards, swivelled through 344 degrees or pivoted through 90 degrees for viewing in portrait orientation, shown in the illustration below.
       
       

      Positional adjustments for the ColorEdge CS230. (Source: Eizo.)

      All ColorEdge monitors come with one DVI-I, HDMI and DisplayPort terminal each for connecting to different types of graphics boards. HDMI offers the additional benefit of direct connection with digital cameras. A USB hub with two upstream and two downstream ports is also included in the interface panel on the rear of the screen. 

      Eizo supplies all the necessary cables plus setting-up instructions and a Utility Disk and detailed user manual in a very nice mesh and plastic pouch with a zipper closing. The disk also contains a set of Screen Adjustment Pattern Files, which are used for adjusting analog signals when the monitor is set up for the first time or when the settings of the PC in use are updated. (No adjustment is required when digital signals are input or the image appears correctly.)

      An optional shading hood (CH6) is available for this monitor. Unlike most hoods, which are landscape-only, it can be used for both landscape and portrait orientations.

      Setting up the monitor is very easy because it ships with the stand already attached. All the user needs to do is plug in the necessary cables, adjust screen height and orientation and switch it on. The screen is then ready for calibration and use.

      The CS230 provides a full range of manual adjustments covering brightness, colour temperature, gamma, hue (including individual colour channels), saturation, contrast, clipping and gain. It also includes a Self Adjust setting for minimising flickering and blurring. This facility can also adjust the screen position and screen size correctly to match the computer being used. It works best when an image fills most or all of the screen and contains a normal range of tones.

      You can configure the screen to reduce the effects of after-images that can appear when viewing movie clips containing fast-moving subjects via the Overdrive control. Noise reduction is also available as a separate option in the HDMI settings menu.

      Calibration
      Most third-party colorimeters and calibration software can be used to calibrate Eizo monitors and you'll need a colorimeter if you want to create ICC profiles for the ColorEdge CS230. The built-in sensor in this model (and also the CX240 and CX270 models) can't carry out a full calibration, unlike the sensors in the higher-featured CG246 and CG276 monitors, but it can maintain the settings provided by an initial calibration.

      As with most monitors, it takes approximately 30 minutes for the electrical components to stabilise so you should wait for at least that time before attempting an initial calibration. Ensure your working area is evenly lit, with no light falling directly on the monitor screen and adjust the monitor's brightness according to the ambient light levels. Screens last longer and are easier to view in moderately low light levels.

      If you don't own a colorimeter, Eizo markets its own colour matching tool, EasyPIX, which we reviewed in June 2011. It also offers its own ColorNavigator hardware calibration software, which comes in two versions: full and 'Elements'. The latest versions of both applications are available for downloading at http://www.eizo.com/global/support/db/products/software.

      Being totally free of charge, ColorNavigator Elements is the option most purchasers will use, at least initially. It is also the most likely to suit photographers who haven't got into full colour management because, as the name suggests, it's simple and straightforward.

      However, it can't create ICC profiles for use with software and printers. For that you'll need the full version of ColorNavigator plus a third-party colorimeter and software (or you may decide to opt for one of the CG models which have built-in re-calibration sensors). If you already have a colorimeter but don't want to buy ColorNavigator, it's useful to calibrate the screen before using ColorNavigator Elements so you have an ICC profile for printing the reference image.
       

      Using ColorNavigator Elements. (Source: Eizo.)

      ColorNavigator Elements allows you to adjust the colour and brightness of the monitor to make the picture displayed on the monitor look as much as possible like the printed reference picture. To begin the adjustment process you must set up the monitor's white level and colour gamut and produce a reference print.
       

       The introductory page of the ColorNavigator Elements wizard.
       

       Setting up the screen for displaying pictures.

      You can use either the image supplied by Eizo or a photograph you took yourself and opened in your regular image editor. (The editing software should remain open, even though your image will be printed from ColorNavigator Elements.)

      Printing a reference image.

       The EIZO reference image is a good starting point since it contains four popular subject types.
       
      Once the print is made, you have to capture an on-screen version of it for colour matching. The reference image is displayed on the screen and you can adjust the borders of the capture frame by dragging the out to the borders of the picture. Clicking on the Capture button captures the image and moves you to the next step.

      Capturing the screen image for colour matching.

      This involves adjusting the brightness and colour of the on-screen image by comparing it to the reference print. First the brightness is adjusted with the Luminance slider and then the colour ring-around is used to match the screen image with the printed one. (Note: print gamuts are much smaller than screen gamuts so you won't be able to obtain an exact match; just aim for a 'good enough' resemblance.)

      The adjustment panel shows a colour ring-around and Luminance slider to the right of the reference image.

      A 'Feature colours' tab is provided for fine-tuning skin tones and sky hues. Once you have a print that looks the way you want it, you can use it for subsequent colour matching.

      The 'Feature colours' adjustments.

      Clicking on the SelfCorrection tab causes the self-correction dialog box (shown below) to appear. When you click on OK, the built-in sensor to drops down and measures the screen's parameters and saves them for reference.
       

      Self correction takes only a few minutes. The drop-down sensor is indicated by red arrows. (Source: Eizo.) 

      SelfCorrection maintains the adjustment settings of the original calibration by checking the monitor's white point at pre-determined intervals. When changes are detected the screen will be automatically restored to the initial settings. 

      The Preferences tab allows you to set SelfCorrection intervals anywhere between 50 and-500 hours (the default is 200 hours). Clicking on the 'Complete Adjustment' tab closes the wizard and saves the settings.

      Photographers who are seriously into colour management will probably prefer working with the much more versatile ColorNavigator application, which sells for AU$275 (inc. GST).  ColorNavigator enables you to do a direct monitor calibration ('hardware calibration') on the monitor's chipset, as distinct from a software calibration that just corrects the computer's video card.

      Hardware calibrations are more accurate than software calibrations because they can work with more data. But first, the user has to make all other parameters in his/her workflow play their role correctly in order to use the sophisticated calibration ColorNavigator provides.

      This means working in the correct environment, having the monitor colour settings, software and printer correct and evaluating prints in the correct viewing environment. The latter should emulate natural daylight as closely as possible and be free of 'spikes' in the colour spectrum (like those produced by fluorescent lighting).

      Loading the software is straightforward and the application is wizard-based so it steps you through the setting-up process. A comprehensive (and detailed) on-screen user manual is provided to help you track what you should do at each step.

      With the CS230, you will need a colorimeter to measure the display's colour reproduction and create an ICC profile. Before this is done, the wizard steps you through on-screen adjustments for the gamut, brightness, colour temperature, black level and calibration target and lets you select the measuring device and reference device (if required). Calibration should take roughly three minutes.
       
       

      The first page of ColorNavigator showing the options in the Advanced drop-down menu.
       
       

      The screen for positioning the colorimeter to carry out a calibration and ICC profile measurement.
       
       

      The display while calibration is taking place. The inset screen tracks the progress of the calibration.
       
       

      The result of the calibration.
       
       The SelfCorrection sensor drops down from the top bezel and the monitor displays a series of targets to calibrate it as part of the calibration process. Once the process has been completed, clicking on Finish saves the ICC profile. ColorNavigator also allows users to:
       - Precisely set the contrast, gamma and colour temperature of the screen;
       - Carry out paper white matching for RGB  and CMYK  workflows, with manual tweaking of hue and saturation for accurate colour matching to prints;
       - Create monitor profiles that emulate the screens of devices like tablet computers;
       - Profile and colour match multiple monitors;
       - Emulate CMYK profiles and perform validations against any CMYK profile;
       - Maintain multiple calibrations (including one for each paper type) which are easily selected via icons on the desktop toolbar;
       - Re-set other monitor modes (sRGB, Adobe RGB, SMPTE, REC7809, etc).

      ColorNavigator 6.4.0 for Windows is an 82.1MB Zipped file; for Mac OS X it's 286MB. ColorNavigator Elements is 51.8MB for Mac or 40.5Mb for Windows. You can also download a copy of EIZO ScreenManager Pro for LCD for Windows (10.8MB), which lets you adjust the monitor through the USB interface via mouse and keyboard.

      Performance
      As with the FORIS FS2333, we used the Datacolor Spyder4 Elite (INSERT LINK) for both the initial ICC profiling and our  in-depth testing, the results of which are shown here. Advanced Analysis of the ColorEdge CS230 with the Spyder4 Elite showed it to be a very good performer overall, with perfect scores for gamut and colour uniformity and 4.5 out of 5 for tonal response, white point, contrast, luminance uniformity and colour accuracy. The overall rating for the screen was 4.5 out of a possible 5. The results of the tests are presented below.

      The overall rating, based on the Datacolor analysis.

       The graph above shows the colour gamut of the display. The green triangle shows the boundaries of the sRGB colour space, while the purple triangle delineates the Adobe RGB colour space. The red triangle shows the measured colour space for the monitor, which actually covers a larger colour space than sRGB in red and green and is only marginally deficient in blue.
       
       

      The graph of the measured gamma shows it to be identical to the standard 2.2 gamma curve, which is ideal for image editing with Windows PCs.
       
       

      The colour accuracy graph shows almost all colours to be spot-on, with a slight deviation in cyan.
       
       

      The Screen Uniformity test checks the colour consistency and brightness consistency of the display in nine sections of the screen, at various luminance levels. The graphs above show the results obtained with the brightness set at 50%, which was the optimum setting for calibration, determined by the Spyder4 Elite.

       

      The 'before' (top) and 'after' (below) displays produced by theSpyder4 Elite showing the effects of calibration. The close similarities between these displays shows the ColorEdge CS230 ships with excellent colour settings.
       
      Conclusion
       ColorEdge monitors represent the cream of Eizo's line-up and provide the most advanced features, highest build quality and best performance available. They are also the only models in Eizo's range that include direct hardware calibration, which uses high bit depth processing through built in ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) and LUTs (look-up tables) in the monitor itself.

      Because the calibration is monitor-specific and carried out with high-order calculations, it can encompass a wider range of hue and tonal levels and produce smoother calibrations, particularly in deep shadows and for subtle gradients. If you're serious about your colour workflow management, these monitors can help you to obtain accurate, predictable and stable control of your editing desktop viewing area.

      Eizo's FlexScan monitors don't support hardware calibration or automatic self-correction but provide most of the features and most of the quality of the ColorEdge line-up, making them a slightly cheaper alternative. And you can use ColorNavigator Elements for colour matching as you would with the CS230.

      FORIS monitors are even more affordable but are designed primarily for gaming, although the FORIS FS2333 also includes features that make it usable for image and video editing.

      Even though prices of Eizo's monitors have come down in the past year or so, they remain comparatively high for ColorEdge monitors. If you're looking for a budget-priced monitor, the FORIS FS2333 is probably a better choice. 

      But, if you want a monitor that will perform well for many years, be easy on your eyes and offer accurate colour and tonal rendition plus reliable viewing quality, the entry-level ColorEdge CS230 is certainly worth considering, particularly if you are already using colour management or plan to do so down the track. Each monitor's gamma level is adjusted before it leaves the factory so you can be sure of getting predictable colour you can depend upon. Like other Eizo monitors, the ColorEdge CS230 is backed by a manufacturer's five-year warranty that covers all components including the LCD panel.

      Buy this monitor if:
       - You want a high-quality screen for image and video editing.
       - You need a screen that is easily profiled.
       - You want a monitor that will perform well for many years and be easy on your eyes.

      Don't buy this monitor if:
       - You really must have a screen that can display most of the Adobe RGB colour gamut.

      SPECS

      Panel Size: 58 cm (584 mm diagonal)
       Panel Type: IPS (backlit LED)
       Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels (16:9)
       Display area: 509.2 x 286.4 mm
       Pixel Pitch: 0.2652 x 0.2652 mm
       Viewing Angles (H/V): 178/178 degrees (typical)
       Brightness: 300 cd/m2
       Contrast: 1000:1
       Response Time (Typical): Grey-to-grey: 10.5 ms
       Display Colours: DVI: 16.77 million from a palette of 278 trillion; DisplayPort: 1.07 billion from a palette of 278 trillion
       Gamut Coverage: sRGB
       Preset Modes: Colour Mode (User1, User2, User3, Paper, sRGB, Calibration)
       EcoView Settings: Auto EcoView, Bright Regulator
       Other settings: Screen Adjustment (Clock, Phase, Position, Resolution, Range (Auto)), Screen Size (full screen, enlarge, normal), Colour Adjustment (Brightness, Contrast, Black Level, Independent 6-Color Control, Gamma, Temperature, Saturation, Hue, Gain, Enhancer, Reset), HDMI Settings (Noise Reduction), Range Extension, Signal Switching, OSD Menu Settings, Overdrive, Mode Preset, USB Selection, Signal Info, Monitor Info, DUE Priority, Key Lock, Signal Bandwidth, Power Indicator, All Reset
       Video Input Terminals: DVI-I 29 pin (with HDCP), DisplayPort (with HDCP), HDMI (with HDCP)
       Digital Scanning Frequency (H/V): DisplayPort, DVI: 26 - sixty-eight kHz, 23.75 - 63 Hz (VGA Text: 69 - seventy-one Hz) HDMI: fifteen - sixty-eight kHz, 23.75 - 61 Hz 
       Analog Scanning Frequency (H/V): 26 - 68 kHz, 47.5 - 61 Hz
       USB Ports / Standard: Monitor Control Ports for two 2-port USB hubs/ USB 2.0
       Power Consumption: 54 W (maximum), 21 W (typical), less than 0.5 W in Power Save and Standby modes; 0W when switched off
       Power Management: Power Save (VESA DPM, DisplayPort Version 1.1a, and DVI DMPM)
       Height Adjustment Range: 154 mm
       Tilt / Swivel / Pivot: 30 degrees Up, 0 degrees Down / 344 degrees swivel / 90 degrees pivot
       Dimensions (W x H x D): With Stand: 544 x 372.5 - 526.5 x 245.5 mm; Without Stand: 544 x 353 x 75 mm
       Net Weight: With Stand: 7.5 kg; Without Stand: 4.8 kg

      Rating

      RRP: AU$1375

      • Build: 9.5
      • Ease of use: 9.0
      • Viewing quality: 9.0
      • Features: 8.8 

      BUY