I am looking for a Widescreen LCD w/ LED back-lite, computer monitor to work with Photoshop, dedicated to working with Pro Photographic Artists.
Please recommend the Top 5 in each size category
In 3 sizes categories / 24” / 27” / 32”
Price range $300.00 to $600.00
That has these as Min. specifications.
Display colors more than 16.7
Interface Type/ Input The fastest / Highest
Resolution Minimum of 1920 X 1200
Contrast Ratio Minimum of 1200:1
Brightness Minimum of 400
Response Time 1ms – but not more than - 2ms
Can you help?
Thank you for your time.
You can buy a monitor that is appropriate for Photoshop work near the limit of your budget. However, it will not be a professional level monitor with electronics that can help improve color consistency though.
If color accuracy is important then you will not be able to find a monitor with 1ms or 2ms response time and LED backlight that would be appropriate for your needs. If you want color accuracy then you want a H-IPS, S-IPS or P-IPS panel monitor. They can produce 16.7m actual colors. If you are looking for a 1ms/2ms response time monitor with LED (a.k.a. WLED) backlight, then you are looking at a TN panel monitor which can only produce 256k actual colors. Thru a process called temporal dithering a TN panel monitor can blend up to around 16m colors, but they will not be accurate.
The fastest IPS panel has 6ms (the Planar PX2611w is rated at 5ms, but it is no longer in production) response times. IPS panels can produce 16.7 million colors (excluding the less expensive e-IPS panel) because they are 8-bit monitors. Each primary color (Red, Green, Blue) uses 8-bits to represent all the shades of that color; sometimes these are referred to as 24-bit monitors because 8-bits x 3 primary colors = 24. Due to the fact that 8-bits can be used to represent the shade of each color, that means 256 shades of each primary color can be created. As a result 16.7 million colors can be displayed by the monitor. The math is as follows:
8-bit = 2^8 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 256 shades
16.7m colors = 256^3 = 256 x 256 x 256
Excluding e-IPS panel monitors, all IPS panels in your price range only use CCFL (florescent) backlight. There are IPS panel monitors that has LED backlight, but they are all professional level monitors and they have a starting price of around $2,400. They use what's called RGB-LED and it is a full array backlight. Full array means the backlight spans the entire back of the monitor; like CCFL backlight. RGB-LED means that Red, Green, Blue (the primary colors) LEDs are used to create precise white.
TN panels and e-IPS panels are called 6-bit monitors (or 18-bit monitors) because only 6-bits are used to create shades of each of the primary colors. That means only 64 shades of each primary colors can produced; which means only 256k actual colors can be produced. As mentioned above temporal dithering is used to blend up to around 16 million colors. This is done by the pixels flashing extreme fast between 2 colors to create a color that the monitor cannot normal display. The is commonly called Advanced Frame Rate Control (A-FRC). For example, to produce the purple the pixels would need to quickly flash between Red and Blue. The math for the colors is a follows:
6-bit = 2^6 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 64 shades
256k colors = 64^3 = 64 x 64 x 64
6-bit monitors are generally not good for color accuracy because of color banding issues when fine gradients are involved. The narrow viewing angles of these types of monitors also means that colors on the screen can shift when tilting your head.
The LED backlight in inexpensive monitors like all TN and e-IPS panel monitors is referred to as White-LED or WLED. These WLEDs are actually Blue LEDs with a yellow phosphorous coating to imitate white. They can sometimes produce slightly bluish colors, but even in the best circumstances the white it produces will not be true white which can affect color accuracy if that is important. Additionally, these monitors use edge lit backlighting. While the monitor can be thinner, lighter and use less electricity, edge lit backlighting can have more issues with backlight consistency than a CCFL backlit full array monitors. This can affect color accuracy as well.
Based on your maximum budget of $600, I recommend the Dell U2410 which uses a H-IPS panel. See following review: