The thing about December is that I’ve waited the whole year for it, only to find each day fleeting by and before you know it; it’s already the third week. There’s nothing slow about December, and that’s the beauty of the month: that it’s so transient.
This year has been filled with passport stamps, new destinations, unforgettable adventures and sh*tload of travel photos. Some of them you’ve seen a lot on this blog, and some of them are still stored inside my external HDs. We’ve been contacted for a few more confirmed trips for 2018 and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Back to December. With the volcano erupting in Bali (bless the island), a few work trip have been cancelled and I got more time to actually browse my holiday photos and do some editing. I edit a lot on my 13 inch macbook pro, because it pretty much travels with me everywhere and I mostly edit on the go. However, as I started to work more from the office, I felt the urge to actually see my work in BIG screen, and to actually do something more than instant, lightroom filtered retouching.
And as if my wish was heard, I got a chance to try out the new professional monitor from BenQ, The SW2700PT 27′′ QHD Monitor. After a whole week of using it (connected to my laptop), let me just tell you that it has changed the whole way I see my images! It’s like staying in the dark for a long time and finally someone came to switch the light on!
I could see my photos CLEARLY for the first time ever – each and every light of the city, every lines on a face portrait, every little details and textures – it was all… there. Scaled up, defined, real big. So I guess that’s why they call it the perfect monitor for photographers.
I shoot a lot during my trips; for instance, from one location in Paris I might end up with 50-100 images where I actually would use about one tenth of it. If you’re a photographer too, you might know that selecting photos can be really exciting, but most of the times, really really tiring. When you’re really tired of seeing similar photos you might end up choosing randomly. All this time, selecting photos on my small screen laptop sometimes made me lazy and ending up choosing some random, bad ones. However, when displayed in this size, it was just hard to miss anything. I can actually see the actual quality of every image and make the selection process much faster and easier. Trust me, the 1.4 or 2.8 f-stops can be look really unforgiving when it’s just slightly off your focus. The high pixel density of 2560×1440 (QHD) resolution deliver the crisp picture quality you expect for close up reviews and refined detail touchups, and the spacious 27” wide-screen view provides greater comfort and productivity. What I love more about this, it has 99% Adobe RGB Color space that provide excellent color accuracy, that gives really natural looking display, which is very important for me as a photographer. For those who is unfamiliar with RGB Color space, darling, you can just choose this over 100% sRGB option because this will definitely give you excellent color accuracy and consistency.
I think there are a number of things that are should be important when it comes to choosing the right kind of display: Color Range, Color Depth, Resolution, Display Panel Type, Color Accuracy and Color Management. If you’re familiar with my fashion and travel work, you know that I LOVE working with colors. The SW2700PT is a 10-bit display which means that it can produce over 1 billion colors. Most displays on the market only offer 8-bit specs, so you can expect color gradients to be much smoother and less pixelated. You know those images wen you actually see a color block instead of a nice gradient and color transition on your sunset photos? Blame your old display, hun. The QHD resolution of SW Series monitors delivers the sharpest display for detailed image editing. With ultra-high pixel density, every photograph is displayed with clarity, definition and accuracy, outlining every detail and highlighting every subtlety. It’s also worth mentioning the small circle button that sits under the monitor, which is the On Screen Display (OSD) controller, that’s specially designed for this monitor. You know it’s really nice, especially for us photographers, when you can easily switch the color setting from sRGB, Adobe RGB, and Black & White while editing our photos through a small Hotkey Puck like this.
On the back of the monitor, there are a few important port connection options. This includes Outputs: USB 3.0 (to your desktop/laptop), HDMI, DVI-DL, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphone jack and a micro USB port for the OSD controller.
On the left side of the monitor, you will find two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader that supports SD/SDHC/SDXC, MMC, Memory Stick/Memory Stick Pro and MS Duo/MS-Pro Duo. This is really useful if your desktop or laptop doesn’t currently have an SD card reader built in (or like my new macbook pro that only have usb-c holes. Why Apple??). More interesting that with this BenQ SW2700PT monitor, there’s Pallete Master Element Software, which helps me to easily perform calibration from time to time, and make sure you have the perfect color accuracy.
My favorite thing of the model is that SW2700PT comes with an in-box shading hood to obstruct ambient light and glare outside which impact the color reproduction in my post production process.
I guess us photographers mostly splurge on cameras and photography equipment and we treat monitors like filters or tripods. Most of the times we also underestimate the post-processing by using any monitor that isn’t very color accurate, bright or sharp. We don’t blink an eye at dropping IDR 10 mio for a camera or 20 mio for a lens but hesitate when it comes to adding a high-quality display to our own digital darkroom. But seriously guys, having a monitor that can accurately display the true natural colors of the images I have taken is a very important aspect of my photographic and post production workflow. Moreover, THAT visual enjoyment when your photos almost comes to life before your eyes… who’s not into it?
So lastly, I highly recommend you take a look at the BenQ SW2700PT if you want to take the next huge step in perfecting your images.