View Full Version : Best monitor for digital artists?
July 7th, 2006, 02:55 PM
I've been using a CRT monitor but have never really been happy with the color and contrast. LCD's seem to be getting better everyday--but the LCD's I've seen in person don't seem to hold detail very well at the white and black points. Do you have a monitor you would strongly recommend, be it LCD or CRT? Keep in mind I don't give a crap how it is with gaming, etc. I'm only interested in getting the best monitor to work on art with.
I've read that the Formac's are really good for digital artists but haven't had any luck finding them available in the U.S.
July 7th, 2006, 03:54 PM
I'm also looking for some information about this - my CRT has just about died, and I'm currently using a borrowed LCD.
I need a new monitor, and, like Dan_Scott, I need it to be as good as possible for digital painting.
Any suggestions (again, CRT or LCD) would be greatly appreciated!
July 7th, 2006, 04:00 PM
I traded in my 19 inch LCD for dual CRT's. The LCD was so far away from displaying what eventually went to print it was a HUGE drawback when I was doing any freelance work. So, unless in the past year LCD's have come huge leaps and bounds, CRT is the way to go for any artist, in my humble opinion. Only then are you going to get a more true screen to print image.
July 7th, 2006, 04:31 PM
K, I'm just chucking this in after googling the definitions of CRT and LCD (d'oh, I know what they are, just not what they stand for). It gives info on how they work. Not saying it'll help or not, but it's there if you want a look:
For graphic applications, sharp images are important. Therefore a higher resolution along with a larger screen provides the best solution. At least 1024 or greater and 17" in size.
I heard Graphic designers ideally use 19" monitors? Either way, it's good to work on a higher res so you can actually see all of what you're working on if it's of a huge size. 1600x1200 screens are a bitch to read from but if you can increase the font on your browser then it's all good. I mainly use my computer to paint now (ref on one screen, painting on the other, whee) - general browsing and such are done on the laptop so not to eat up electricity.
July 7th, 2006, 04:50 PM
Dell 24" widescreen is the way forward.
If you have tons of cash.
I don't do print work, but my dual 19" TFT screens are great for graphics and texture work, which is my job.
These days, new LCD and TFT screens are pretty much fine, it's just a matter of calibrating them... I have a fairly cheap pair of screens and they've been fine - AG Neovo F-419, if you're wondering. The Samsung 19" Syncmaster seems to get consistently good reviews, but it's about £100 more.
Like with most things, you pay your money and you take your choice. Usually the more you shell out, the better the quality will be. Check out CNET, Tomshardware, or a similar review site (or just google it) to see if you can find a review or round-up of TFT/LCD screens and look for high scores in image quality.
July 7th, 2006, 05:28 PM
It's the accuracy of prints that's also a concern for me, though, since I'm looking more at illustration.
I'm leaning more towards CRT right now, if only because of the print-work issue.
Meh, it's confusing...
July 7th, 2006, 05:32 PM
Well, what you could do is try and find an image that every copy of Windows XP ships with, and print it out (like one of the desktop backgrounds - something vibrant and nicely photographed), then take it into a store and get someone to display the same image as the desktop background, then fiddle around with the monitor brightness/contrast settings etc. to get the closest match to your printout.
Obviously that'll only really work very well if the shop has good lighting though.
At any rate, I'm sure a good TFT or LCD flat panel can hold it's own against a CRT these days image-wise, plus they take less power, and are lighter and smaller.
Just a thought.
July 7th, 2006, 05:45 PM
If you're out for high quality, there's basically just NEC and EIZO. They are known for their great color (used in graphic design, especially picture editing, which is about as prim as it can get), have a great contrast and luminosity.
Basically, you should aim for something that has good color-management (hardware-calibration, maybe?), luminosity and - even more important than luminosity - the best contrast you can buy.
I'm using some no-name (=Vobis) crap at home, but an EIZO 21" from their ColorEdge line at work. It's like Earth and Moon, really. My Vobis doesn't make a big difference between a 8% grey and white at all, it outshines and has a really bad contrast overall. The colors are ok, but nothing special.
So NEC/EIZO's the choice, right? Well, at least if you have 1,800 $ left (for a 21", that is). You can get used or expo models for about one third of the price, which is still much but the difference to a brand new one isn't big at all. Then a small no-name as a secondary and you're ready to go.
Here's a link for the EIZO graphic line...
July 7th, 2006, 07:04 PM
Something like the EIZO isn't too bright? Brightness (screen-to-print colour accuracy in general, really) is a reservation I have about LCDs at the moment.
July 7th, 2006, 07:28 PM
I personally think LaCie's CRTs are a cheaper alternative where you get decent bang for your buck. I really despise LCDs when it comes to color accuracy...
July 7th, 2006, 07:57 PM
Midnight: Actually I think a LCD is much better for print-design. CRTs are too bright, actually. They always shine right into your eyes, while LCDs have a nice sort of luminosity. And as paper is never "white", it's better to work with something that doesn't create outshine. So a LCD is much more like paper than a CRT. The 21" EIZO has almost the same color-accuracy like the Barco I had before, plus it doesn't outshine. My eyes won't hurt after some 15 hours in front of the screen...
July 7th, 2006, 08:58 PM
Thanks MoP for that Tomshardware link. Looks like they have some pretty in-depth reviews and take into consideration what you'll be using the monitor for. The thing I didn't like about CNet is they didn't seem to address how a monitor would be for design work vs. gaming, movie viewing, etc.
I'm willing to spend about $1000 for a good monitor but don't know if I want to go above that.
July 7th, 2006, 09:56 PM
you might want to take a look at this thread at sijun.com
I got a dell fps1905 ultrasharp and I love it. It's far better than my old ctr. I'm sure there are better LCD's but what I have now is great just for practicing.
July 10th, 2006, 10:18 AM
Good question Dan. The Dell is supposed to have some of the same guts as the Apple Display which looks pretty tastey, especially a 24" or 30" monitor. That might require a bigger tablet though.
I'm still using the CRT. It takes me years to commit to something new.
July 10th, 2006, 02:25 PM
one question guys: do you recommend dual 19inch LCD's or one 21inch or more LCD? I'm a graphic design/illustrator, so the advantages of the dual monitor setup are kinda logical, but I'm also a movie watcher, & the rest of the family is gaming most of the time... which do you recommend?
July 10th, 2006, 04:25 PM
I'm using a Mitsubishi 21 inch CRT Diamond Pro 2070SB. I believe they no longer make it but dang is it a good monitor.
July 10th, 2006, 10:06 PM
Nowadays the gap between CRT and LCD is getting smaller and smaller. I myself switched to LCD more than year ago (NEC 1980SX), it takes some time to get used to it, but since then I have no complains doing artwork. The only concern is the ability to handle colors - which depends on matrix - so look for S-IPS type (NEC and EIZO using them) they are the best.
GriNGoLoCo, dual setup is better imo - you can work on one display while playing movies on another. ;) But seriously speaking you've got more workspace with dual and you can put all menus and refs onto another display so they wouldn't affect your image.
July 11th, 2006, 01:29 AM
thanks for your input leo. it is more than enough :) i'll be trying to buy the dual setup from now on.
July 13th, 2006, 03:11 PM
Been doing some more research on this and looks like Eizo and NEC are top of the line with regards to professional level LCDs for photo-retouch (which equates to digital painting in my book). Eizo seems quite a bit pricier, so I'm leaning towards the NEC 2180 or 2190. Although, I read a really good review on the Samsung 970P. Anyone have any experience with it?
July 13th, 2006, 04:52 PM
THe art school I went to used Viewsonic monitors on everything, and they always did a nice job as long as you color calibrated them correctly. I bought a midrange Viewsonic LCD last year and have been very happy with it.
July 14th, 2006, 12:39 AM
Viewsonic, Benq and Dell widescreen would be my choise to buy, bigger workspace in the monitor, clarity and lessen eye strain. Also good if you get those Samsung CRT screens, blood awesome.