When buying a PC or laptop, most abbreviations such as CPU, GPU, Cores or RAM, are already well known.
The screens, however, still have a lot of features that seem gibberish and it’s sometimes hard to tell which features are important and what is just gibberish marketing.
We will review all the important features to watch for when comparing and buying monitors for visually demanding work, and end the article with some instructor suggestions, depending on your budget and needs. Best Screens for Graphic Design, Video Editing, 3D Animation, and Other Visual Works
1) Dell UltraSharp UP2716D, 27 “
BEST 27 “OVERALL: MOTION DESIGN, VIDEO EDITING, 3D
Size: 27 “/ 16: 9 | Slabs: IPS | Color Accuracy: 100% Adobe RGB | Bit: 10bit | Resolution:WQHD 2560 × 1440 | Brightness: 300cd / m² | Contrast: 1000: 1
The very popular Dell UltraSharp UP2716D is a 27 “IPS monitor. It is available at a very reasonable price, given its high quality. It has a WQHD resolution that is good for a 27 “screen when you plan to display a large number of GUIs from Premiere Pro, After Effects, 3D Animation Software or other software on it.
Since its 16: 9 IPS panel has a brightness of 300 cd / m² and a static contrast ratio of 1000: 1, it is amazing that it covers 100% sRGB and Adobe RGB spectrum.
2) Eizo CS2420, 24.1 “
SERIOUS PRINT JOB, GRAPHIC DESIGN
Size: 24 “| Slabs: IPS | Color Accuracy: 99% Adobe RGB | Bit: 10bit | Resolution: FullHD 1920 × 1200 | Brightness: 350cd / m² | Contrast: 1000: 1
The Eizo ColorEdge CG2420 is a 24 “monitor of the highest quality. It has built-in color calibration hardware, which ensures that everything is set correctly, without having to use external color calibration devices.
The aspect ratio of 16:10 gives you these additional extra pixels vertically, which allow you to work more easily on projects that have brochure dimensions or other printing products. With 99% Adobe RGB, 350cd / m² color accuracy and 1000: 1 (!) Static contrast, this monitor allows you to perform high quality design work.
3) HP ENVY 27s
4K: BEST CHEAP SCREEN 27 “
Size: 27 “| Slabs: IPS | Color Accuracy: 70% Adobe RGB | Bit: 10bit | Resolution: 4K 3840 × 2160 | Brightness: 350cd / m² | Contrast: 1000: 1
You would not expect such features at such an affordable price as the HP ENVY 27s. It also offers a contrast ratio of 1000: 1 and brightness of 350cd / m² with 27 “IPS panels and 4K resolution of 3840 × 2160. Adobe’s color spectrum coverage is not as high as that of some of the more expensive monitors, but 70% of Adobe RGB and 100% of sRGB are not too bad for that price.
An excellent choice for beginners who need 4k and more color accuracy than you can get from a TN monitor.
4) ASUS ProArt PA329Q
4K: BEST 32 “MONITOR WITH HIGH COLOR ACCURACY
Size: 32 “/ 16: 9 | Slabs: IPS | Color Accuracy: 99.5% Adobe RGB | Bit: 10bit | Resolution:4K 3840 × 2160 | Brightness: 350cd / m² | Contrast: 1000: 1
The Asus ProArt PA329Q is a monitor monster. It has a 32 “IPS screen with a resolution of 3840 × 2160. Brightness of 350 cd / m² and contrast of 1000: 1 are solid and reach 99.5% of the spectral coverage of Adobe RGB colors.
It also has a 10-bit capacity that allows you to drive the monitor at higher bit depths, as your other hardware and software supports it. Because of its size, you can easily get away with just one of these for your workplace, and can even sit further away from it.
BUYING GUIDE: Which Monitor is Best for Graphic Designing, Video Editing, 3D Animation
On which support will your work be presented?
The first thing we need to ask ourselves when we are looking for a new monitor is: for what type of media do we create our work?
For example :
When we work in Photoshop, we can edit some photos, which will then be printed on a photo printer.
If we work in graphic design, we could design logos that will be posted on websites and printed on posters and flyers.
When we work in motion design, video editing or 3D animation, we can usually say that our work is mostly digital and will be shown on screens.
But what kind of screens?
You are a film presenter and your work is shown in theaters? Or are you currently editing clips that will be shown on Twitter and will mostly be played on mobile devices?
Why am I asking all this?
Because you must first have a good idea of how your target group will experience the work you are creating. This can be done using control devices, such as a control monitor or mobile phones, or TVs, depending on the use your target group makes.
And second, you can always overproduce your work and spend too much time on details, color accuracy, or frames-per-second, that your target group might not be able to appreciate, given their inferior devices.
Here are some examples of monitoring functions that may not be entirely necessary, depending on your work and your target group:
- getting a 4K monitor while in general, you issue low-resolution gifs
- purchasing a high-precision color monitor when your target group uses only low-quality mobile screens
- opt for a 144Hz display when your animations turn at 25FPS
You can easily save money here, so it’s good to know how accurate and high-quality your work must be in order to find the minimum required features in a screen.
Of course, you might need functions elsewhere, 144Hz when you play, for example, or the 4K screen to have multiple applications open at the same time, but you understand the basics.
TO SHORTEN IT :
Think about what will be the end result of the media, on which your work will eventually be disseminated (print, magazine, internet, mobile, TV, projector …) and keep this in mind when reading the rest of the article.
Let’s take a look at the most important features of a good screen for visually demanding tasks:
Type of slabs
There are three main types of slabs in modern monitors today.
- The TN panel
- The panel of the VA
- The IPS panel
Now, these three types of slabs have very specific characteristics, and it will soon become clear what type of slabs we should choose for our type of visually demanding work.
See the following table:
|Performance||The fastest: slow response time, highest refresh rate, minimal motion blur; Low input lag||Longest response times in general Higher refresh rates||Response times slower than TN, faster response times than VA; Refresh frequencies of game quality are rare|
|Display||Worst viewing angles
|Viewing angles are generally better than TNs, worse than IPS;
Better image depth
|Best viewing angles
|Price||The cheapest||More expensive models can have performance comparable to TN||Very expensive|
|Better use||General purpose||Professional|
IPS Panel slabs are the best type of slab for our type of work. We need the best possible color display to be able to accurately design the content of our project.
Having a high viewing angle allows us to see the monitor from different angles, so even a colleague or customer standing or sitting next to you can take a look at what you see, without overly obscuring the contrast and the colors.
High-end monitors with IPS panels typically have a vertical and horizontal viewing angle of at least 178 ° , which is very useful.
The two main disadvantages of an IPS screen are price and latency. Latency does not concern us as much, because we buy the monitor for professional use and not for AAA games.
The price, of course, is another question, but since we earn most of our living from the work we do at the PC and the monitor, it should be worthwhile to spend a premium for the best possible quality – the display that will serve us well for a long time.
Reflection or matte?
Here’s what you need to know about display surface finishes:
There are lots of tablets, iMacs, and Monitors that just look expensive and high quality, thanks to the polished and reflective finishing treatment they received.
But the fact is that we have to stay away from bright / reflective monitors because bright objects, such as lamps, windows or even other displays, are reflected in your monitor, distract you from your work and can make it difficult to see what is displayed.
Professional displays have matte surfaces, which means that reflections that bounce off the surface of the screen are scattered and at the same time attenuated, to make the picture quality as clear as possible.
Always opt for a matte rather than shiny finish for professional work.
Color Accuracy & Range
The color gamut describes a range of colors in the color spectrum that are identifiable by the human eye (visible color spectrum).
In this visible color spectrum, there are areas for which a monitor can be evaluated. ” SRGB ” and ” Adobe RGB ” being the most popular.
As you can see in the image above, Adobe RGB covers a wider color spectrum than sRGB, so you’ll find many monitors that support a higher percentage of the sRGB spectrum more easily than the Adobe RGB spectrum.
Our goal, when we buy a good monitor, is to maximize the percentage of sRGB and Adobe RGB.
As we have seen above, to get the best possible color gamut, we will have to examine the monitors equipped with IPS panels because the TN panels lack precision in this area. But even within Monitors that have IPS panels, there are still big differences.
You will generally see that most monitors have at least 90% sRGB coverage and at least 70% Adobe RGB spectral coverage. The higher the coverage percentage, the more expensive the monitors.
Monitors with 99% or even 100% Adobe RGB coverage can cost a good premium, compared to monitors with around 70-80% Adobe RGB Spectrum coverage.
This is the perfect time to reflect on the importance of color accuracy for you and your work, as you pay a premium for high-precision color monitors.
Color Bit Depth
Monitors usually have one of the two most popular color bit depths. 8 bits and 10 bits.
These bit depths are understood as bits per channel, which means that with 8 bits you will have 256 color steps per channel (R, G and B). Together they make up 24 bits per color, or 16.7 million colors, to which we are most accustomed.
10-bit monitors can output 10 bits per channel or 1024 color steps per channel. That’s 30 bits per color and totals a range of 1 billion colors.
Take the billion color, which should be much better than 16.7 million colors, right?
The problem with this is that, yes, more colors are better, but your other hardware and software (apart from your monitor) must support it too!
You will need a graphics card that supports 10-bit output (usually only Quadro or Radeon Pro Workstation graphics cards) and your work will need to be at least 10-bit as well.
If you are working on a JPG image, an MP4 video, or a png sequence, all of these formats store color in 8 bits per channel, which means that your 10-bit per channel monitor will not display any additional bit depth in your work.
If you’re working on Canon RAW, RED 10bit, or EXR (and others) footage, you can see the superior color gamut that a 10bit monitor offers.
Particularly in Vignette gradients or uniform backgrounds, you can quickly see if a monitor makes good use of its 10-bit capacity.
Monitor size and resolution
The size and resolution of the instructors are more intimately linked than we think.
The size of a monitor is usually indicated in inches (“) of the diagonal of the screen range. It is therefore somewhat difficult to discern the actual width and height of the screen because you must also consult the aspect ratio to know the actual width and height of a monitor.
Thus, a 27 “monitor having an aspect ratio of 4: 3 would be much larger and narrower than a 27”, 16: 9 monitor.
Take a look at the following two monitors. They are both 25 “! So be sure to also check the aspect ratio.
Nowadays, monitors are usually available in 16: 9 or 16:10 format and ultra-wide monitors appear more and more, with formats of 21: 9 or higher.
The most popular monitors for professional work are 24 “or 27” inches and up, with an aspect ratio of 16: 9.
There are many reasons why widescreen monitors have become so popular:
- It looks more cinematic.
- Adapts better to the field of vision of the eye
- A lot of work being created is in widescreen format
Now, because the distance in pixels of a monitor depends on the size and resolution of the monitor panel, it must be kept in mind that buying larger monitors usually has to go with higher resolutions.
The reason is very simple:
You sit at a more or less fixed distance of about 60 cm from your monitors and the bigger the monitors become, the easier you will see the individual pixels in the monitor panel if you do not do so too:
- increase the resolution or
- increasing the sitting distance, when increasing the size of the monitor.
As we want larger screens that can adapt to more details, the only viable option is to also increase the resolution. Sitting further would not help us much and would only take up more space in our offices.
At standard sitting distances, we want to avoid seeing individual pixels as much as possible, for the best possible work experience.
Here are some pointers on the screen resolution, so you can see a uniform image without individual pixel:
- For 24 “monitors, you will need at least one full HD monitor (1920px x 1080px).
- with 27 “to go with at least to WQHD: 2560px x 1440px
- from 32 “you will need 4K screens (3840px x 2160px)
This is based on the assumption that your viewing distance remains the same. If you sit far enough, say that your desk is very deep and that your monitor is much further than 60 cm from your eyes, of course, you can get away with a lower resolution than recommended above.
The brightness is a breeze. The higher the cd / m² (candela [luminous intensity] per square meter), the brighter the monitor will be.
Do not make the mistake of getting a monitor that is too bright.
Think about where and when you work, and the environment in which you work.
If you do a lot of night work or work in dark rooms, a bright monitor will be counterproductive because your eyes can adjust to the overall ambient light intensity.
This means that when it gets dark, the pupils dilate, leave more light on your retina and you will need less brightness on your monitor.
If you work outdoors or in a very bright environment, a monitor with a high cd / m² will do wonders for you.
To shorten it :
Bend toward a slightly brighter screen and look for a monitor with a brightness of 300cd / m² to 350cd / m², which is a good value for most environmental settings.
Curved, flat or ultra-wide?
In addition to the standard 16: 9 flat monitors, I’ve worked on both ultra-wide flat and curved monitors, and I have to say that I personally still prefer the standard monitors (or multiple standard monitors) to the ultra-wide monitors.
I think it’s much easier to arrange and maximize the windows of many standard-sized monitors than to try to place them precisely on an ultra-widescreen, which takes a little longer than a simple double click.
There is some extra software that usually comes with Ultra-Wide that tries to simulate having multiple screens, but it does not really feel like a real experience.
Another benefit of going with multiple full size monitors is that you can go with different types of monitors, one having a high resolution and the other a good color quality, which just allows me to work more flexible.
For the game, ultra-wide or curved monitors are very popular and the benefits to the game are undeniable, but I would not recommend them for most types of professional work.
Now that we have had a pretty thorough look at the most important features of a good screen for graphic design, video editing, 3D animation, and other creative tasks should have, let’s do a quick summary.
The best screen for creative and graphic work must have the following characteristics:
- Slab Type: IPS slabs
- Surface Finish: Matte Reflection
- Color accuracy: Adobe RGB and sRGB should be as high as possible in percentage.
- Color Depth: 8 bits for the most part, go to 10 bits if you know you can use it.
- Size: At least 24 “in Full HD resolution, the larger the monitor, the higher the resolution.
- Brightness: Depends on the brightness of your work environment, but the good specifications are between 300 and 350 cd / m².
- Refresh rate: 60Hz refresh rate for most. If your work requires high-speed images or game design, go to 100 Hz, 120 Hz, or 144 Hz.
- Multiple monitors and type: I recommend at least two standard monitors