Before purchasing a monitor for image editing, make sure it has the following features


Before purchasing a monitor for image editing, make sure it has the following features:

1. Brightness, contrast and red, green and blue channel colour adjustments.
Some monitors are sold with one or more of these controls locked and this prevents accurate profiling. Adjustable colour controls are vital because they allow you to set the colour balance of the display and ensure the monitor screen displays colours uniformly from edge to edge. Screens that are brighter towards the centre and darker at the edges and those that display colour spots are unsuitable for image editing. Avoid monitors with built in anti-glare and antireflection filters. They may not reproduce the full tonal range in the picture.

2. Adequate Resolution.
Resolution refers to the maximum number of pixels (picture elements) that the monitor can display and, therefore, to the amount of detail you can discern in displayed images. The ideal resolution for a standard 4:3 aspect ratio display for image editing is between 1280 x 1024 pixels and 1920 x 1200 pixels. Widescreen displays typically range between 1280 x 800 pixels and 1440 x 900 pixels.

3. Pixel Pitch.
The pixel pitch of an LCD is the distance between adjacent sets of the pixels that are displayed on the monitor screen, measured in mm. The lower the number, the sharper the picture the screen can display. A pixel pitch of 0.294 ø— 0.294 mm is seen as very good for a 19-inch monitor with a native resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels.

4. Gamma Correction.
The gamma of a monitor screen refers to the luminance (or brightness) of the red, green and blue signals in the display. A monitor with 10-bit (or higher) gamma processing will display a smoother gamma curve and greater hue and tonal accuracy than an 8-bit monitor. Expect to pay a premium price for a monitor with high-bit gamma processing.

5. Adjustability.
The height and tilt of the monitor should be adjustable. Some photographers also prefer monitors that can be rotated through 90 degrees to allow vertical pictures to be viewed at full screen size.
This is an excerpt from Mastering Digital Photography Pocket Guide 2nd Edition.
Click here for more details on this and other titles in the Pocket Guide series.


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