LCD for photo editing only

I'm looking for a new LCD monitor but I'm on a tight budget. I'm looking to spend around 300 but if there's nothing that fits what I need the budget could be stretched to 500. I would really rather find something that can do what I want decently for around 300 though.

I will only use the monitor for photo editing. I don't do any gaming at all and I watch movies on my TV. I need accurate colors and high contrasts from what I understand.

I don't need a big monitor and 19" or 20" will do just fine. Especially if it allows me to get a higher quality panel at a lower price than the 22" or 24" versions.

I read the S-IPS panels are the best but most of those seem to be way out of my price range. Second best seem to be the S-PVA panels. But even then I'm having a hard time finding a monitor with either of those technologies in my price range.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

In short:
Monitor for photo editing only
19" to 20"
S-IPS prefered but S-PVA is fine too
300$ prefered but if no other choice up to 500$ total
7 answers Last reply
More about lcd photo editing
  1. I'm starting to think I'm dreaming and what I want just doesn't exist...
  2. Color accuracy on a budget is tough. But there are a a few monitors within or near the top of our budget worth a look. Take a look at the AnandTech link i posted below (the "PRINT-TARGET MEDIA PROCESSING" section should be of interest). I haven't seen these in person; I'm trying to make a similar decision myself but I have a few more constraints than you.

    Panels to consider:
    HP LP2065, 20" S-IPS or A-MVA $350 after rebate, more if you want to ensure S-IPS version(bit of a lottery, but it can be discerned from the outside of the box and the A-MVA isn't bad) If your budget is the primary concern this might be a good choice, but expect to get an A-MVA panel so you won't be disappointed. The A-MVA allegedly had better black levels but has the color shift characteristic of A-MVA when viewed from an angle.
    Lenovo ThinkVision L220x, 22" S-PVA $460-550 WUXGA (1900x1200) resolution. Hard to find resellers with it in stock in the US. Reviews are a bit sparse probably not too many people interested in Lenovo monitors. This is the only 22" widescreen with WUXGA resolution and the only non-TN 22". For your use, the lack of 1:1 pixel mapping people have been complaining about shouldn't be an issue.
    Samsung SynchMaster 215TW, 21" Widescreen S-PVA ~$550. Good monitor but hard to find. Gammers complain of high input lag but it has good colors.
    NEC 20WMGX2 20" Widescreen AS-IPS, over your budget

    Relevant links are below:

    HP LP2065,1895,1924651,00.asp

    Lenovo L220x (read the whole post (especially the last page for color accuracy details) )

    Samsung 215TW
    Sorry but I don't have links to a bunch of reviews for this one handy... but google does.
  3. How can you tell if a HP LP2065, 20" is the S-IPS version?

    ...from the box? How?
  4. Anonymous said:
    How can you tell if a HP LP2065, 20" is the S-IPS version?

    ...from the box? How?

    Visual inspection of the displayed image on an angle. IPS monitors fade or color shifts the least of all panel types (at least mine does). However, if you never seen an IPS panel, then you have no point of reference to go by.

    Sure fire way is to dismantle the LCD display, look at the model number of the LCD panel itself then do research on the web. This will void your warranty though.
  5. Here is a good discussion on determining the panel type of the LP2065

    My notes from that conversation are to look for EF227A4 with a model number ending in GSM001/002/003 or EF227A8 manufactured after june 2007. If you can turn on the monitor, then hold the menu button down and turn on the monitor, then go into the advanced menu and check that the panel part # is LPL LM201U05-SLA1. That seems to be the one you want. There was also a suggestion that firmware 119 with GSM002 is another good indication (but I'm not sure which of all of this changes over time due to manufacturing refreshes)
  6. Are there any photo editing monitors available nowadays for $300 or less?

    Which would they be?
  7. I recommend staying away from LCD monitors with LED backlight; some people incorrectly refer to them as LED monitors. Some LCD monitors with LED backlight have a bluish tint because the LEDs (sometimes referred to as WLED) are in fact blue LEDs with a yellowish phosphorus coating to imitate white.

    The best recommendation I can make is probably the NEC EA231WMi. It uses an e-IPS panel similar to the Dell U2311h. Nearly all e-IPS panel models are 6-bit panels. Of the 9 or 10 different e-IPS panel models currently manufactured by LG Display, only 2 e-IPS panels are known to be 8-bit panels.

    The Dell U2311h is known to use a 6-bit e-IPS panel. There is no hard proof that the NEC EA231WMi uses an 8-bit e-IPS panel. But based on several user reviews how compared them directly against each other, it seems there are less color banding issues with the NEC than the Dell. Color banding issues is a clear sign of a 6-bit panel such as in a TN panel monitor. Note, if the source material has color banding issues, then even an 8-bit panel will display color banding issues.
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