Holy crap, I have never in my life been so blown away on how images can look. As a photographer we constantly obsess about color in our images. White balance is everything! Remember that
blue and gold/black gown that was a big topic in the media about a year ago? That was just because of lighting and white balance. The correct color of it was blue and black but the light in
the room set the white balance off, causing the image to look blue and gold. Okay Okay so our monitors when we edit and what we see in our camera is kind of the same thing. In our camera we set
the white balance, I use what’s called KELVIN. Usually the colors are right, but for a while now a few people have told me that my screen had a purple/blue hue to it.
It drove me nuts, I thought it had looked normal, in fact my prints were coming out normal. But, when I went to edit a session suddenly I found myself having a difficult time with colors. Spending nearly six hours on one image which is ridiculous! And then my entire tower had pretty much died. The hard drives were full, my graphics card needed updating but it couldn’t due to the lack of memory my computer had, it couldn’t update the drivers for my graphics card. It was lagging and just plain old. So I bought a gaming computer that had a high power graphics card, and tons of memory. Plus a few extra hard drives and that’s when I came across IPS Monitors.
In short Definition a TN monitor is actually the most common one and older one, but the worst. They are great for gaming purposes, but they are really bad for photographic use and shouldn’t even be considered. A Twisted Nematic (TN) panel can actually bring a lot of brightness when combined with LED backlighting. So even when we calibrate it, the colors are still going to be off.
There are a few bad things bad about the TN monitors. For one bad color reproduction and the second is the terrible viewing angles, as the colors will wash out when you view the monitor from the sides, above or below. TN panels also often operate with 6-bit or 8-bit, which is often just 6-bit with FRC and not true 8-bit. They can not show the 24-bit color range that most GPU’s offers you. (this is why graphics cards are important when choosing which monitor you get).
IPS stands for In Panel Switching, Most IPS monitors are either 8-bit with support for 16.7 million colors or 10-bit with support for 1.07 billion colors. 8-bit with FRC (frame rate control). Meaning they are able to reproduce colors far better than TN monitors. The colors will not be washed out or shifted either when viewed from the angle, which is another very good benefit of IPS-type monitors.
IPS-type monitors can cost, but you can find one affordable. With our photo editing we do, we need one at least over 24 inches (27 is better). So to sum it up, choose a monitor that has either an IPS, PLS or AHVA panel as they mostly produce close to 100% to the sRGB color gamut. The best photo editing monitor will have an IPS panel of some kind. If you find one that does 99%sRGB and can switch to 1998 Adobe sRGB that would help a lot too. Most of us do not edit in Adobe 1998, it’s a huge huge color difference, especially with all the printers (which tend to be only sRGB)
When I learned about the color in the monitors, I found that my editing did look way way off. I did some comparisons to show how much they were off. Because my old TN monitor had the blue hues to it, I spent so much time taking it out of the images (when the images most the time were right on point with white balance/color), that it then turned my images ‘orange’ or in other words in our world… WARM. Blue is ‘cool’ and orange is ‘warm’.
That is a huge difference between the two. So when looking for the right monitor, definitely choose IPS! (Excuse the messy work area!)