Sunday, 9 February 2014

Monitor researching

My monitor went a bit weird the other day. The screen shifted so that it was offset by about 20 pixels. After a while, the screen would randomly start shifting to the original position and then back again quickly. At first switching the monitor off, then on again fixed it. But then it seemed to be a more permanent problem. Switching the monitor on and off gets rid of the jitters, but it's annoying to have to keep doing this.

Looking online, it sounds like a problem with the monitor. The screen is offset during boot too, so it is not a windows issue. Today I am using an old Dell screen. It's not that great, but it doesn't have any shaking issues at least. So it looks I'm going to have to purchase a new monitor.

Doing some research, I was wondering about a 10 bit display. With my current monitor I sometimes see banding, which is quite annoying when doing photo editing. This article gives a good overview on the benefits and problems of 10 bit displays: 10 Bit Output Support.

I used to TFT Central TFT Selector to look for screens that might be suitable. This came up with the Asus PA249Q and Dell U2413. On Amazon the Asus gets bad reviews, while the Dell gets good reviews. Both monitors use the same panel, and other screen using the same panel cost much more.

I did also look at some reviews of the cheap Korean screens, but these seem built more with resolution and size (most seem to be 27″) in mind than colour accuracy and uniformity.

On the Graphics card front, it seems that an Nvidia Quadro 600 is the cheapest card with 10 bit support (though I didn't look into that too carefully yet). The card is about £100, the cheapest (2nd hand) Dell U2413 is £330. Ideally you'd also have an XRite i1 Display Pro (£150) for hardware calibration of the monitor. (The Dell U2413 allows calibrating its LUT but only using XRite i1 devices).

This table on Wikipedia gives a good overview of why CRTs are better than LCDs: Comparison of CRT, LCD, Plasma, and OLED.

Here's an interesting comparison between a Camdiox ND1000 and B+W ND110 10 stop neutral density filter. Interestingly, the Camdiox filter seems to come out on top, despite being quite a bit cheaper than the B+W filter, about as much or maybe slightly cheaper than the old non-MRC B+Ws go for 2nd hand. The article is on the Camdiox blog, so there may be some bias. It is also unclear whether they were testing the MRC version of the B+W or not. Anyway, it seems like it's probably a decent alternative for a 10 stop ND filter.

In the afternoon and evening I made a Birthday Cake for Clare.

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