Best photo editing monitor: CRT or LCD?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Alan Browne, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Which is best for photo editing, CRT or LCD?

    Which requires the least calibration? (frequency of calibration).

    Which has best angles of view?

    Which has the best color range / color-resolution?

    Which is more harmful/fatiguing to the eye?

    Which witch is which?

    Specific products (CRT or LCD) that are esp. good for photo editing?

    Alan Browne, Apr 16, 2006
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  2. Alan Browne

    ian lincoln Guest

    CRT are supposed to be worse on the eye. You need one that runs at 100hz or
    higher really. Although LCD have a lower refresh rate on paper that is only
    relevant to high frame rate games. LCD tech doesn't need to refresh
    regularly as each pixel stays on simultaneously until needed to change
    rather than scans. Refresh rate is more accurately described as response
    time. LCDs of course have lower radiation and consume less power. As for
    colour accuracy and angle of view well the crt wins the angle of view. As
    far as brightness and contrast the gap is closer between top end lcds
    nowadays than when they first came out. As for consistency you have to
    leave a crt monitor on 45 mins to warm up before calibrating according to
    vincent at photo I.

    As for resolution that comes down to dot pitch and screen size. The larger
    the screen and smaller the dots the higher the res. Of course LCDs work
    best only at their highest setting. Then there is the mask (memory a bit
    foggy here) on crts. One is a sort of grid and ,, hell i forget now.
    Basically if you want top quality colour management and high res etc you are
    looking at 20 or 21" sony or mitsubishi diamond. Its not just the size, the
    correct kind of screen mask or whatever was important even if they weren't
    big you were still talking LCD screen prices for the best CRT. As for
    colour range there were colourmanagement settings in photoshop that show the
    reduced gamut of actual printers displayed and it would show a patch of
    colour and the closest rendition the printer could do. Might be
    softproofing. So setting everything to adobe 1998 and forget about it isn't
    the case.

    Making sure you are not double profiling with the printer output, i.e the
    printer driver making adjustments after photoshop can be tricky. In case
    you are wondering i have just started looking into this in earnest and have
    just ordered the most expensive calibrator i can afford. I will conquor
    this before i splash out on A3+ printer with 8 or more inks.
    ian lincoln, Apr 16, 2006
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  3. Alan Browne

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    CRT, generally. You need a really good LCD to have one that's good for
    photo editing; cheaper ones won't be up to the task even after calibration
    and profiling.
    I don't know that it makes a difference.
    A good LCD isn't sensitive to it (and a not-so-good one isn't suitable
    for photo editing at all anyway). I can look at mine at nearly 90
    degrees, so it's just a sliver of light, and it doesn't darken or change
    The most expensive CRTs.
    Apple's Cinema Displays are excellent. The Dells that use the same LCD
    component are probably just as good as well, though I haven't seen them
    myself to compare. Neither will be as good as a really expensive CRT
    that costs and weighs as much as a car, of course, but at least you can
    get it into your house without a crane and it won't cause your desk to
    collapse and plunge through the floor into the basement. Sure, I'd love
    to have one of those ones that can display the entire Adobe RGB gamut,
    but really, let's be reasonable.
    Jeremy Nixon, Apr 16, 2006
  4. Here is the monitor for photo editing.


    My next monitor will be one of these.


    "I have been a witness, and these pictures are
    my testimony. The events I have recorded should
    not be forgotten and must not be repeated."

    -James Nachtwey-
    John A. Stovall, Apr 16, 2006
  5. Alan Browne

    J. Clarke Guest

    Yep. There's nothing else like it on the market. Not cheap though.

    I really wish that someone would bring out a tablet PC with full Cintiq
    functionality. _That_ would be sweet.
    J. Clarke, Apr 16, 2006
  6. Alan Browne

    Rich Guest

    A tope end CRT, Sony's broadcast units are good.
    Most of the people touting LCDs never owned good CRTs
    and don't know that they are far better than LCDs currently
    on the market. Kodaks OLED design has great potential,
    if it would only come to market.
    Rich, Apr 17, 2006
  7. Alan Browne

    Bob Guest

    NEC FE950 19" flat CRT
    Bob, Apr 17, 2006
  8. OLED (or Plasma as long as the OLED screens offered are not much bigger
    than a stamp.)

    Michael Schnell, Apr 17, 2006
  9. Kodaks OLED design has great potential,
    AFAIK, not only Kodak is _very_ busy pushing OLED technology, but
    supposedly all companies in that market.

    I saw very nice (but also just very small) engineering samples by (I
    think) Panasonic.

    Michael Schnell, Apr 17, 2006
  10. Alan Browne

    C J Southern Guest

    My experience has been the exact opposite - unless you go really top end,
    most CRTs tend to have convergence error in the corners, which I find very
    hard on the eyes - LCDs on the other hand I find clear and sharp across all
    of their real estate.

    Top end CRTs were always very fussy "customers" - and very sensitive to
    magnetic interferance. Even the earth's magnetic field had to be adjusted

    I have a feeling it's another of those "right tool for the job" scenarios -
    in the printing that I'm doing for my customers, memory colours like skin
    tones / skies / grasses etc have to be accurate - I'm using an aging 17" NEC
    SuncMaster 171N - and we've not had any issues since it was calibrated
    (before was a different story) - I can't honestly see how even a
    top-of-the-line CRT would get us any improvement that we'd be able to

    Just my 10c worth.
    C J Southern, Apr 17, 2006
  11. Alan Browne

    C J Southern Guest

    For those so inclined ...
    C J Southern, Apr 17, 2006
  12. Alan Browne

    burnsdavidj Guest

    I've been researching this over hte past few months, and am interested
    in the responses you'll get. Here's what I've learned so far:
    It depends. Money-is-no-object suggests a high end CRT, if available,
    would be the ultimate.
    LCD for certain. No 45min warmup for CRT as one example.
    CRT for certain.
    CRT, though high end LCDs are very close.
    CRT. CRT is projected light, leads to eye fatigue. LCDs are a soft
    light; this leads some people to argue that a calibrated LCD image is
    closer to print than a calibrated CRT. (verdict is still out on this).
    Some things to watch out for: Most (all?) of the sub 20ms LCDs offer
    "16.2 million colours", which is not true 32 bit -- 32 bit is 16.7
    million colours. There is some h/w dithering going on, supposedly in
    colours not discernable by the human eye. There's alot of debate around
    this issue. Its gotten bad enough as a marketing problem that alot of
    LCD boxes no longer indicate the colour depth, you have to research
    that yourself.

    Right now for LCDs you have a choice between fast performance w/
    dithering (16.2 x 12 or 8ms), or 32 bit colour w/o dithering (16.7 x
    20ms+). I'm sensitive to refresh rates, so I need better than 20ms for
    video and/or gaming (less and less of the later), but am worried about
    the impact of dithering on my photos. So I'm still on the fence.

    I would help Alan if you indicated what your price range is for a
    monitor? I'm assuming consumer (<$1000 CAD), but if not my dithering
    comments probably no longer apply.

    PS I'd suggest a contrast ration no less than 700:1 if you're serious
    about colour accuracy. More contrast ratio = 'blacks' are darker.
    burnsdavidj, Apr 17, 2006
  13. Alan Browne

    burnsdavidj Guest

    Must correct myself...the 16.2 vs 16.7million colours is a 24-bit
    colour, not 32-bit.

    And its not even a true 24-bit colour issue. 8bit x 8bit x 8bit = 24
    bit colour range, but apparently the dithering approach actually is
    more like 6bit x 6bit x 6 bit = 18 bit colour range, far fewer true
    colours, but dithering used to approximate true colour. Ugh!

    Here's a good article about the situation:
    burnsdavidj, Apr 17, 2006
  14. Alan Browne

    Rich Guest

    Not with their crummy resolution. Can any 19-20" LCD do 2500 x 1875?
    A good CRT can. That's almost 5 megapixels versus what, 1600 x 1200
    for an same-sized LCD, 2 megapixels. Which do you suppose is closer
    to a printed image? Of course, if you can justify Apple's $10,000 30"
    LCD solution.... :)
    Rich, Apr 17, 2006
  15. Rich wrote:
    But there is a difference between the CRT pixel and the LCD pixel. With
    the LCD pixel, the PSF is limited by your eyes (and perhaps a little by
    the glass face of the panel), with the CRT the pixel may well have quite a
    large PSF, covering several adjacent pixel locations, particularly in the
    corners of the screen.

    In my own experience, my current 19-inch LCD running at 1280 x 1024 gives
    a significantly sharper image than my 19-inch CRT running at 1152 x 864
    pixels. Running the CRT at any higher resolution resulted in difficulty
    reading text, but for displaying images perhaps more pixels, with a less
    rectangular individual pixel shape may be better.

    As I don't print, the image displayed on the screen is what matters to
    me - the computer screen is my primary display device.

    Perhaps we need two display devices - one for text and one for images?

    David J Taylor, Apr 17, 2006
  16. Alan Browne

    ian lincoln Guest

    Considering the stability of lcd you'd be better off with that rather than
    calibrating your crt every time you use it. I would also look at your
    calibration budget and look at your existing screen before investing more.
    Its like properly calibrated cheap printers doing just as well as out of the
    box expensive ones. Considering how much the gamut is reduced for final
    prints the monitor is not the weakest link. Look after it, make sure it is
    in a decent spot where ambient light does not affect it greatly, i.e not too
    close to a window will benefit your long time workflow than splashing out on
    monitor hardware.
    ian lincoln, Apr 17, 2006
  17. Alan Browne

    Bill Guest

    Unless you're a graphics professional, the difference is not that big of
    a deal. There are some very good quality 8-bit panels available.
    A good graphics LCD monitor with a 32-bit panel looks as good as CRT
    screens with no geometric distortion. The more recent models have very
    fast screen rates as well, so there is no motion blur. The 19 inch
    models have all come down a lot in price the last year or so, and even
    the 20 inch widescreens are now reasonably cheap.

    There's really no reason not to get an LCD monitor any more. I know I'll
    never go back to CRT.
    Bill, Apr 17, 2006
  18. Alan Browne

    Daniel Rock Guest

    Show me a 20" CRT with a 0.16mm dot pitch.
    Daniel Rock, Apr 17, 2006
  19. SNIP
    Assuming the CRT has a 0.24mm dot pitch, it would require a display
    area measuring 600x450mm (23.9x17.7 inch or close to a 30 inch
    diagonal) !

    Sending more pixel data than the shadowmask can show, will
    degrade/aliase parts of the image, and will stress the bandwidth or
    force lower refresh cycles.

    Bart van der Wolf, Apr 17, 2006
  20. I used to have a laptop with the 6 bits per color thing. I'm no
    graphics professional, but that didn't stop me being thoroughly
    annoyed by the dithering. It was quite clearly visible for certain
    Måns Rullgård, Apr 17, 2006
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