There was discussion here a while ago on whether flat panel monitors are\ngood enough for photographic work. Since then I've done a lot of digging to\ntry and get to the bottom of this subject, and thought I'd summarise my\nconclusions as to why exactly LCD monitors generally don't seem to cut the\nmustard. If anyone has any additional comments or recommendations on\nmonitors that are good enough but don't cost the earth, feel free to chip\nin. Any prices below are for 20" 1600x1200 monitors, which is what I was\nlooking for.\n\nDespite claiming 16.7 million colours, most LCDs have 6 bit LUTs (6 bits\nper channel colour) whereas we all know that 8 bits is required for true\ncolour. Samsung monitors (around £600) seem to have 8 bit LUTs, and the\nbetter NEC models have 10 bit LUTs (but cost £900+).\n\nThe fluorescent backlights use by LCDs have colour deficient spectrums and\nonly cover 70% of the NTSC colour gamut, whereas CRTs cover 90%. White LED\nbacklights are better but are only just starting to become available.\n\nMost LCDs are around 500:1 contrast. CRTs are around 3500:1, which is the\nsame as 35mm film. The difference is largely in the black level. At least\n1500:1 is needed for convincing blacks.\n\nThe optimum brightness of a display in normal conditions is about 90cd/m2,\nwhich is what CRTs give. LCDs are 2-3 timed brighter (probably to punch out\na bit more contrast, albeit at the expense of even worse black levels).\n\nIn summary, for photo use a monitor should have an 8 or 10 bit LUT, and the\nhighest contrast you can find at the lowest brightness level. Unfortunately\nmost monitor specs do not say how many bit colour they have but simply say\n(almost certainly wrongly) that they give 16.7 million colours. Go for LED\nbacklighting if available/affordable. A photo-quality 20" LCD will probably\ncost £900-1000, though it's possible that some £600 displays are suitable\n(I haven't been able to determine this for sure because of the LUT issue).\nIn contrast, a 22" Diamondtron can be had for £350-400 these days.