Phil, from Spokane, WA writes:
“Hi, I’m just starting out in real estate photography part-time. After spending a good chunk of money for new photography gear (new camera and a couple of Godox AD-200s), my desktop monitor just crashed! Are there certain things I should be looking for in a monitor, now that most of my computer time at home is going to be spent in Photoshop and LR editing my photoshoots. I'm trying to leave my full time job, where I work in an office and spend most of the day working on spreadsheets on a small laptop (not good), so I don't want to scrimp on this. Do you have any recommendations? ”
Thanks for writing in, Phil. I have no doubt that our community is going to offer many great suggestions on specific brands and specs regarding their own favorite monitors. So instead, I’m going to offer some suggestions on a few general things you should be looking for in a monitor. Based on some reading I’ve done, here are some things to keep in mind as you do your comparison shopping:
- Color Space. This one is key. There’s no way to overstate how important it is to have proper color display. sRGB is the standard 8-bit color space for web. Everywhere I looked online said that a good monitor should cover a minimum of 90% of sRGB (and 70% of the AdobeRGB spectrum).
- Resolution. Just like a bigger camera sensor allows for more pixels to be captured, higher resolution allows for more “information” on the screen. I’m thinking bare minimum is an HD (1920×1080) monitor.
- Size. Phil if you’ve been looking at spreadsheets all day, then you can certainly appreciate that bigger is better and much easier on the eyes. I’d guess that most folks in our community have at least a 24” monitor that they’re working on.
- Brightness. If you’re not working in a very dark room, then a bright screen is important.
- Calibration. The bare minimum is to have a monitor that gives built-in 8-bit calibration on RGB, ranging from ‘0,0,0’ (black) to ‘255,255,255’ (white). The best practice though is to buy yourself a good calibration tool from a reputable company (e.g., Spyder, X-Rite)
- Other Considerations. Some people I know have screens that allow them to physically rotate their screen from a horizontal orientation to a vertical one, which is great if you’re editing a detail shot that you might have shot in portrait orientation. Another consideration is black levels--generally speaking, darker is better.
I hope this has been helpful, Phil. I’m looking forward to seeing what specific recommendations our community makes.