Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budget)

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Karen Kawas

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Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budget)

PostTue Sep 11, 2018 5:41 pm

Hi everyone!

I'm currently looking into buying a monitor for color grading. The problem is I have a very tight budget and I am looking at these two monitors:

Dell UP2716D 27" and Dell U2718Q 27".

I'm having a hard time deciding which one would be best for me.

I decided that I need as much color accuracy of Rec 709 and DCI P3 as I can get since I do a lot of color grading for short films that end up at festivals and Rec 709 for commercial work.

I see in the description that UP2716D has greater color accuracy but the U2718Q has a greater resolution...

I'm just lost here. Can anybody guide me through this decision?

This are the links to both monitors:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/spanish/c/product/1194915-REG/dell_up2716d_27_widescreen_led.html

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/spanish/c/product/1352128-REG/dell_u2718q_ultrasharp_27_4k.html
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostTue Sep 11, 2018 7:19 pm

Niether. Get one of the Eizo CG range even if it's just HD resolution.
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Ryan Humphrey

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostTue Sep 11, 2018 7:43 pm

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Niether. Get one of the Eizo CG range even if it's just HD resolution.
Not sure that's a very helpful reply, since the cheapest Eizo CG starts at 3x the price of these two monitors.

"What's the best monitor bang for my buck in the ~$500 range" is a question that seems to be evergreen. I haven't been in the market recently, so I'm not sure what's good right now, but there surely must be some better-that-others options.
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waltervolpatto

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostTue Sep 11, 2018 11:28 pm

for 500$, go to the store, get a lg or a Sony tv, calibrate as best as you can.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostWed Sep 12, 2018 1:22 am

or go to craigslist and get the best panaplasma you can
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rpwooste

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostThu Sep 13, 2018 12:46 am

One of those are QHD which doesn't seem useful for most grading, likely to be either 1080 or UHD. If you're doing Rec709 the extra color of Adobe or DCI won't be useful either. Better to get the 4K model of these two. If you're doing HDR work, then the extra color of DCI is useful, but you'd really want a display with HDR luminance levels of 1000 nits ideally.

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostSun Sep 16, 2018 2:02 pm

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Marc Wielage

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostSun Sep 16, 2018 7:47 pm

I have seen prices on the older LG C6 OLEDs fall down to $1100-$1200, like new in the box. One of those calibrated for Rec709 will work fine.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostSun Sep 16, 2018 8:15 pm

Marc Wielage wrote:I have seen prices on the older LG C6 OLEDs fall down to $1100-$1200, like new in the box. One of those calibrated for Rec709 will work fine.


Kind of big to put on your desk (we have a C7 and C8 55") and a lot of space.

Since we don't have to update our old workstations because of .braw I think we will buy a couple of BenQ's
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostSun Sep 16, 2018 11:03 pm

The current BenQ PV270 can be calibrated with Light Illusion so you will know what you are viewing is accurate but as the newer PV271 will have a 12G SDI input, you can go SDI all the way from your Decklink to avoid any associated HDMI converters and LUT boxes.
see: https://www.lightillusion.com/benq_manual.html
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MikeRochefort

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostMon Sep 17, 2018 12:19 am

Another happy customer of BenQ over here. Their monitors are pretty well made and calibrated out of the box. Solid screens for color grading in my opinion. I have a BL2710PT monitor and it’s served me well over the years. Thinking of picking up another monitor, maybe the P2700Q (I think that’s the name). Anything outside of their gaming series is trustworthy from my experience.

They’ve also got some really nice looking projectors with decent range...

Cheers,
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Craig Marshall

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostMon Sep 17, 2018 1:10 am

We've BenQ's older 24" PG2401PT with on-board hardware calibration for Resolve Grading since it was released several years ago. We drive it from a 12G Decklink 4K SDI Pro PCIe card using an SDI to Display Port converter where we see a 10bit 4:4:4 display by using the Decklink's on-board 4K>HD downscale to grade 4K timelines.
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RikshaDriver

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostMon Sep 17, 2018 6:56 am

LG 31um97

DCI 4K
True 10 bit panel
97% P3
99.5% Adobe RGB
Hardware Calibration

Doesn't do HDR though
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostMon Sep 17, 2018 9:15 am

MikeRochefort wrote:Another happy customer of BenQ over here. Their monitors are pretty well made and calibrated out of the box. Solid screens for color grading in my opinion. I have a BL2710PT monitor and it’s served me well over the years. Thinking of picking up another monitor, maybe the P2700Q (I think that’s the name). Anything outside of their gaming series is trustworthy from my experience.

They’ve also got some really nice looking projectors with decent range...

Cheers,
Mike


They lost my trust by calling BenQ SW271 monitor HDR even if it's doing 350 nits max. You can attach those fake ''lables" for gamers, but not for pro range.
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MikeRochefort

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostMon Sep 17, 2018 12:51 pm

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:They lost my trust by calling BenQ SW271 monitor HDR even if it's doing 350 nits max. You can attach those fake ''lables" for gamers, but not for pro range.



Did you reach out to their support and ask them why they’re labeling the monitor as HDR capable? I’m not an HDR expert by any means, isn’t it 600+ nits the goal?

I wouldn’t knock all of their products just because they labeled a product HDR and doesn’t do the nit level you’d expect. Their SDR products are fantastic.

Cheers,
Mike
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostMon Sep 17, 2018 1:39 pm

Yes, some BenQ monitors are quite good for Rec.709 work.
No idea why (well expect pure marketing crap) they put HDR sticker on monitor which peaks at 350 nits. It uses edge lighting (at least according to tomshardware), so no way it can deliver 1000 nits across full screen and there is no way to control/increase peak at windowed mode (you need zoned or per pixel backlight for this), so 350 nits is all what it can do.

Incoming PV271 does 1000 nits peak at least per paper, so this can be called HDR.

BenQ SW271 may be good for SDR Rec.709 work, but at 1100$ it's not cheap. At this price range I would rather get HD Eizo CG range which is not much more expensive.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostFri Sep 21, 2018 4:22 am

rpwooste wrote:One of those are QHD which doesn't seem useful for most grading, likely to be either 1080 or UHD. If you're doing Rec709 the extra color of Adobe or DCI won't be useful either. Better to get the 4K model of these two. If you're doing HDR work, then the extra color of DCI is useful, but you'd really want a display with HDR luminance levels of 1000 nits ideally.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk


Anyone, do tell -- for the O.P. (original poster)'s benefit,
1. Which of the two Dell displays she's comparing is QHD (and what exactly does that mean -- "Quasi HD"? Quad HD (e.g , UltraHD 3840×2160)?

2. How is it that the UHD (aka "4k") model Dell display under review, makes for a better choice for Rec709 color, rather than the alternate display, which likely performs well within that Rec709 color space -- and beyond, considering the O.P. seems to allude to color accuracy being of critical importance to her?

3. Your suggesting she'd "really want a display with HDR luminance levels of 1000 nits ideally" -- is that a reslistic expectation for one looking to spend $500 or thereabouts for a brand new display -- and in that price range, us it realistic to expect the manufacturer to provide that performance parameter in their published specifications?

[Anyone feel free to interact on these.] Thanks in advance.
[Re]Pete

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Last edited by Peter Benson on Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostFri Sep 21, 2018 5:10 am

– Don't do HDR if you can't check it.

– QHD is UHD, so exactly four times the resolution of HD, like double on both dimensions.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostFri Sep 21, 2018 5:52 am

Building off of Uli’s response: In 16:9 ratios:

HD = 1280x720
FHD = 1920x1080
QHD (Quad HD) = 2560x1440
UHD (Ultra HD) = 3840x2160 (4K UHD, QFHD, Hi-Vision [Japan]) or 7680x4320 (8K UHD, Octo-FHD, Q-QFHD, Super Hi-Vision [Japan])

QFHD, OFHD, and QQFHD I made up, but they are what would be the technical descriptors for those resolutions.

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Peter Benson

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostFri Sep 21, 2018 10:27 am

Uli Plank wrote:– Don't do HDR if you can't check it.

– QHD is UHD, so exactly four times the resolution of HD, like double on both dimensions.
Thanks, Uli. So QHD is indeed "Quad HD" 3840 x 2160 or UltraHD.

Finally, what tool could the O.P. use to cost-effectively "check" the integrity of HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging on her HDR display -- assuming that's what you mean?

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostFri Sep 21, 2018 1:06 pm

The Philips Brilliance 328P6VUBREB (328P6VU) also looks to be a nice grading monitor

https://www.anandtech.com/show/13382/philips-328p6vubreb-professional-4k-display-with-displayhdr-600-usbc-gbe

And the price is also not to bad.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostFri Sep 21, 2018 5:19 pm

MishaEngel wrote:The Philips Brilliance 328P6VUBREB (328P6VU) also looks to be a nice grading monitor


it's using an "8-bit + FRC VA panel, which i definitely wouldn't recommend for color critical work, even in the cheap league.

some of the very affordable benqs and dells come with much more adequate IPS panels, but you should be aware, that not all of them are able to display typical video/film frame rates in full resolution in a sufficient reliable manner.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostFri Sep 21, 2018 5:22 pm

Yep, stick with "simpler" model (maybe just HD), but with good panel and correct for video work features, eg. NEC, BenQ, Dell, Eizo CS range. I would still probably stick with Eizo- CS range is also very decent (if you can't afford CG range). Out of all these brands I would trust Eizo most.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostFri Sep 21, 2018 6:40 pm

Martin Schitter wrote:
MishaEngel wrote:The Philips Brilliance 328P6VUBREB (328P6VU) also looks to be a nice grading monitor


it's using an "8-bit + FRC VA panel, which i definitely wouldn't recommend for color critical work, even in the cheap league.

some of the very affordable benqs and dells come with much more adequate IPS panels, but you should be aware, that not all of them are able to display typical video/film frame rates in full resolution in a sufficient reliable manner.



Really, the only info I got is: "The manufacturer does not disclose whether it uses a 10-bit VA panel, or an 8-bit + FRC VA panel, but claims that the monitor supports a 12-bit internal processing for additional accuracy."
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostFri Sep 21, 2018 6:52 pm

MishaEngel wrote:Really, the only info I got is: "The manufacturer does not disclose whether it uses a 10-bit VA panel, or an 8-bit + FRC VA panel, but claims that the monitor supports a 12-bit internal processing for additional accuracy."


but it's a VA panel, which is nice for many common applications, because of it's high contrast ratio, but it isn't a recommendable choice for reliable color rendition resp. uniformity in case of changed viewing angle.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostFri Sep 21, 2018 8:42 pm

Let's wait for the reviews.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostSat Sep 22, 2018 5:46 am

MishaEngel wrote:Kind of big to put on your desk (we have a C7 and C8 55") and a lot of space.

The o.p. never stated that "fitting on a desk" was a requirement. It's rare in my experience that I've ever had the hero display on the same desk as the desk that I did my work... and that includes some very cheap facilities that were put together without a lot of money. Getting the monitor up high so the client can see it with you is often very important.
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Dinindu Jagoda

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostSat Sep 22, 2018 4:18 pm

You should try the HP Dreamcolor z24x G2 Display which falls under $500. It's not a 10bit panel but supports 1 billion colours through 8bit +FRC. But it does support 100% Rec709 & sRGB.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?N ... av-Search=

It also supports most film and TV frame rates. So you should be OK in that department and should be able to easily calibrate with a $210 Xrite i1 Display Pro with the HP software that comes with the monitor (I believe it has an internal calibration engine).

While it may not be the most accurate display, for a starting colourist that might help you get somewhere. HP is known to have decent displays in their Dreamcolor line up.

Forget about resolution, I'd go for color accuracy over resolution any day. After all one of the most expensive Colour critical monitors made by Dolby is only full HD.

I have a Dell U2718Q monitor I use in a dual monitor setup used for GUI. It's just a sub par UHD monitor. Not really colour accurate.

Din
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Dinindu Jagoda

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostSat Sep 22, 2018 4:25 pm

Peter Benson wrote:
Uli Plank wrote:– Don't do HDR if you can't check it.

– QHD is UHD, so exactly four times the resolution of HD, like double on both dimensions.
Thanks, Uli. So QHD is indeed "Quad HD" 3840 x 2160 or UltraHD.

Finally, what tool could the O.P. use to cost-effectively "check" the integrity of HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging on her HDR display -- assuming that's what you mean?

[Re]Pete



QHD means Quad HD but in this scenario, HD does not mean 1920x1080 which is referred to as Full HD. Here HD means 720p (1280x720) so four times that is 2560 x 1440. There was a time when the the terms HD and Full HD was distinguished from one another. Now when we say HD we usually refer to 1920x1080. Think that's where you may have mixed things up unless you were just messing.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostSat Sep 22, 2018 4:32 pm

MikeRochefort wrote:Did you reach out to their support and ask them why they’re labeling the monitor as HDR capable? I’m not an HDR expert by any means, isn’t it 600+ nits the goal?

I wouldn’t knock all of their products just because they labeled a product HDR and doesn’t do the nit level you’d expect. Their SDR products are fantastic.

Cheers,
Mike


The only requirement for a display to be branded as HDR capable is that it supports HDR10 input. This dictates that the display's silicon can input Bt.2020 color space EOTF 2084 gamma, and 10-bit input. There are absolutely no requirements on max luminance, no requirements on local dimming, no requirements on bit depth of the panel, no requirements on color gamut of the panel.

That's why you find 350 nit sRGB "HDR" monitors.

If you want to learn about the only global industry standard for HDR which publishes the full details of the spec, the test methodolgy, test criteria, and even provides for end user download of an automated test tool - all for free, all available to the public, then I suggest you take a look at VESA's DisplayHDR standard at

http://displayhdr.org

If you have any questions, let me know, as I'm quite intimate with this spec.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostSat Sep 22, 2018 4:40 pm

Peter Benson wrote:Anyone, do tell -- for the O.P. (original poster)'s benefit,
1. Which of the two Dell displays she's comparing is QHD (and what exactly does that mean -- "Quasi HD"? Quad HD (e.g , UltraHD 3840×2160)?

2. How is it that the UHD (aka "4k") model Dell display under review, makes for a better choice for Rec709 color, rather than the alternate display, which likely performs well within that Rec709 color space -- and beyond, considering the O.P. seems to allude to color accuracy being of critical importance to her?

3. Your suggesting she'd "really want a display with HDR luminance levels of 1000 nits ideally" -- is that a reslistic expectation for one looking to spend $500 or thereabouts for a brand new display -- and in that price range, us it realistic to expect the manufacturer to provide that performance parameter in their published specifications?

[Anyone feel free to interact on these.] Thanks in advance.
[Re]Pete


QHD is not the same as UHD as the names imply.
QHD = 2560x1440 which is a format almost no videographer is going to use for final output, and thus for any sensible price/performance optimized choice for a grading monitor.
UHD = 3840x2160 - the most common of the 4K standards.

The problem with many monitors that have a color gamut greater than sRGB/709 is that they don't manage the colors correctly, and even if you're sending a sRGB/709 signal the monitor stretches it to the full gamut of the display panel. Clearly this would make for an awful situtation in grading, as your grading would look super saturated, you'd likely reduce the colors to make it look good on the grading monitor (because your grading monitor is misconfigured/misperforming) and your end result would ultimately be very flat.

The suggestion I made is that it would be more useful to use a 4K display with the correct sRGB/709 color gamut, than to use a QHD monitor which might result in incorrect color stretching when being used as a grading display.

Further more, it is obviously very simple and clean for a 4K monitor (3840x2160) to also display 1080P content crisply without any pixel interpolation, as every source pixel can simply be displayed on a block of 2x2 (4 pixels). On a QHD panel all 1080P source pixels would need to be mapped to 1.4 pixels horizontally and 1.4 vertically, obviously not being possible this results in some compromises.

Currently HDR-1000 is out of range for most, and certainly at the $500 price point. I am working with the display industry to bring 27" 4K IPS HDR-1000 monitors down from $2000 to somewhere in the $500-700 price point, but you won't see those products until middle next year.

Roland.
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostSat Sep 22, 2018 4:50 pm

For 500$ focus on good HD panel. Forget UHD or pseudo HDR.
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Re: Which monitor should I buy for Color grading? (on a budg

PostSat Sep 22, 2018 4:54 pm

Dinindu Jagoda wrote:Forget about resolution, I'd go for color accuracy over resolution any day.
Din

+1,000 and maybe a bit more ;-)



i use an older Dreamcolor 2480 as my UI mon, and a 50" PanaPlasma for my hero

have a crap UHD computer screen off to the side for checking alisaing, key edges, fonts, etc etc in native raster, would never use ti for anything but that one trick

for now i've yet to find a better solution than the PanaPlasma, if i had to buy a new mon today and could not find a low hours / clean PanaPlasma i'd buy the C8

on craigslist localy when a PanaPlasma that fit my wish list shows up, it's more expensive than a new C8 tho...

but the best of the consumer PanaPlasma, last gen (i think 60 series) show up fairly often, and at reasonable prices, with an SDI->lut box-> HDMI path it can be callibrated accuratly with an inexpensive probe

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