New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion?

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sergisanchez

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New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion?

PostFri Sep 17, 2021 12:24 pm

So FSI is known for providing the great, reliable monitors that many colourists rely on.
The DM240 was an iconic model, praised by mostly everyone, so it is a bit sad to see that they have discontinued it.
I am hoping that the model replacing it, the DM241, will be at least as good as the old model was.

But these are just hopes. I was wondering if any of you have actually tested it already and have a more solid opinion?
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSat Sep 18, 2021 12:01 pm

I’m guessing that DM240 was based on quite old panel (as for today).
New model is most likely based on current panel, so should be rather better than worse.
Only strange thing is lack of HDMI ( yet you have DVI or DP).
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSat Sep 18, 2021 9:02 pm

The FSI DM240 is a great monitor and we use it here for UK HD broadcast grading and delivery without issue. Unfortunately the the FSI DM241 uses a cheaper panel that has a lower contrast ratio than the out going one it replaces. I don't know why they discontinued the better panelled model, since it's a common and reliable reference choice here - maybe it's to do with availability and the chip crisis? It remains to be seen whether you can still use the DM241 for the same, since I haven't used one.

However in all other respects it's identical and the quality of FSI monitors, their support and internal software is first rate. I would still recommend it for these reasons alone and the price of them is very fair for what you get.
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSat Sep 18, 2021 10:51 pm

Oh, you never know what to except :)
Surely there are way better panels than one in DM240 model today and relatively cheaper. We are now in era of UHD and HDR panels, not just simple SDR HD.
I assume contrast is not everything anyway.
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jallen0

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSat Sep 18, 2021 11:57 pm

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:I assume contrast is not everything anyway.


You would assume wrong. Especially for critical color correction, which is what FSI monitors are known for. Especially the one it is replacing.
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSun Sep 19, 2021 12:19 am

Well, plenty HD panels with very good blacks and contrast but crap otherwise.
In this case maybe no one is actually making good HD panels anymore. Maybe simply no market for it.
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSun Sep 19, 2021 9:11 am

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Surely there are way better panels than one in DM240 model today and relatively cheaper. We are now in era of UHD and HDR panels, not just simple SDR HD.
I assume contrast is not everything anyway.


Maybe there are Andrew but it begs the question as to why Flanders was unable to find one for the DM241, probably because very few are being made now in 24" plus HD as opposed to UHD? Yes there are many UHD/HDR panels that exceed the specs of HD ones but good ones are far more expensive and most of UK broadcast is still HD and native 1:1 pixel ratio finishing is always better IMV and since that represents 1000s upon 1000s of hours still, I'd have thought there is still very much a market for good ones. There is no middle ground yet for UHD reference monitors and so £4-5K as opposed to £20-40K is quite a consideration too.

The panel quality (and specs) is one thing but the stability and calibration precision is another and we have several here that have maintained identical, accurate calibration for over a year - they are due for calibration very soon. The contrast ratio, as Justin alludes to, is critical for a grade 1 reference SDR monitor - it should be ideally at least 2000:1. The DM240 is 1500:1 but I have not seen a QC problem grading on it. I don't know if the 1100:1 ratio of the DM241 is just too low or not therefore. There are very very few Lcd HD panels that have 'good blacks' for SDR, even fewer for HDR yet. In my own suite I have a SmallHD 1703 P3X, which is a very good panel, as good as the DM240, yet a faff to calibrate (accurate once you get there) and poor support - I wish I'd bought the DM240 now instead. At only 17" it was still £3.5K.

Since you grade at 70-100nits for SDR you need very accurate contrast to eyeball a grade. It is as critical as colour. A low contrast panel would have you grading in too much contrast even if your scopes told you all was good. Conversely Oleds are not really ideal for SDR since their infinite contrast can create problems grading with the sub blacks too.

The reason BTW the FSIs do not have HDMI is because most facility environments are exclusively SDI and the client monitor, where I work is run HDMI directly from the Decklink in any case.
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSun Sep 19, 2021 9:30 am

This comes exactly to the same point as with HDR.
Panels makers may be simply not interested in creating high quality ones ( it now may be true for HD as well) as there is relatively low demand compared to mass produced ‘average’ panels. I doubt high-end panels production is a lucrative business.

If FSI included DP and DVI then for me it’s very strange decision not to have HDMI. If I would like any of those 3 it would be HDMI when it comes to post needs. Maybe it’s costs cutting.
1100:1 doesn’t sound that great. No idea if there is really nothing better out there. Eizo has HD monitors with 1500:1 contrast.
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSun Sep 19, 2021 9:38 am

Undoubtedly you are right, but then there can not be a great market for broadcast cameras as opposed to prosumer ones or any other kit we use either? Yet they still are made to exceed specs, some only HD too.

I think even the FSI top HDR panel has no HDMI - I think it's a Flanders thing. I'm glad my SmallHD has them as it's the only way to get 12bit 4:4:4 in it - which is not necessary for the industry use of these FSI DM240s :)
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSun Sep 19, 2021 9:48 am

Has Sony introduced LCD emulation mode in their HD OLEDs?
HDR one did have it as far as I remember.
Maybe this is the way. But then you may have burn-in problem with OLEDs. Always something :)

Cameras market seems to be bit stronger than monitoring. It may be down to elemental parts which go to cameras vs. monitors. Sensors development is pushed by consumer market more than by pro one I think. It’s consumer market which is driving pro not other way around. With monitors somehow it doesn’t work.

Old Dolby looked impressive until I had Sony HDR OLED next to it :)
Dolby colours did hold up nicely but rest looked so outdated.

Eizo finally put some effort and made their HDR monitor post ready only to find out that Panasonic won't make that good panel anymore.
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSun Sep 19, 2021 10:16 am

I don't know about some of the newer panels, you probably know more than me :) I can see some of newer FALD panels have problematic blooming and only the top quality reference HDR panels avoid this. I think enterprise customers, who pay a lot more for smaller volume manufacturing are not insignificant. After all there can't be a huge volume of £30K 31" reference monitors out there either but they seem to be worth making for those companies.

I am looking at the Eizo CG319X as a client/4K SDR monitor and yes contrast is quoted as 1500:1 but specs are one thing as I said and construction, quality of calibration and support another too. I would still prefer, and be more confident, to use a FSI DM240 for my current work.
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSun Sep 19, 2021 10:57 am

Eizo should be good- proud Japanese company. They typically don't do shortcuts, but they are not post oriented either.
They had 16bit internal processing for years. With new HDR monitors they moved to 24bit pipe- don't know any other company doing it (Eizo uses huge 24bit internal LUTs). CG319X is also 24bit based. Contrast will be most likely less than 1500:1 if you have uniformity turned on.

FALD for me is too big compromise for a reference screen. Oh..Eizo said they will never do HDR screen using FALD as it's not good enough. And they didn't until Panasonic came up with their dual layer panel. Lets see what they are going to do now when this panel is discontinued :D

Looks like paid by Eizo, but they should hold up to Sony with no problem:
https://www.prad.de/testberichte/test-e ... orgrading/
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSun Sep 19, 2021 2:07 pm

Good to know, thanks Andrew it seems a good panel.

Incidentally for anyone reading this thread - since I know you'll know this Andrew :D , the most important spec that will indicate colour critical accuracy is the Delta E average. >= to 2 is considered nigh perfect and >= 5 is considered colour critical accurate for grading. Not all manufacturers publish reliable data and many others are way outside of this but I would not consider a monitor where the manufacturer could not at least quote this spec for their product.
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostSun Sep 19, 2021 4:53 pm

Prominence uses same Panasonic panel as many reference HDR monitors- Sony, FSI, TVLogic, Postium, Boland, etc. 2nd (after 1st not the best try) post oriented monitor from Eizo.
This is(was) probably best panel out there atm. but already discontinued.
There are still some differences between these monitors and Eizo seems to be rather on better than worse side. Eizo has good processing I think. I've read that their support is not as good as FSI, but Eizo is fairly big company, so this is never going to match boutique, heavily post focused business.

CG319X uses very different panel- standard IPS and it's not an HDR monitor (even if it accepts HDR signals). Max luminance is around 350 nits. Users report it as quite good for its price. Contrast around 1100-1300 depending if you use uniformity compensation or not.
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sergisanchez

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostTue Sep 28, 2021 9:40 am

Thanks everybody for your replies.

We were aware of the drop in the contrast ratio and it is good to see that most of you consider it as the major drawback.

Since the lack of user reviews for the DM241 is huge, once the monitor arrives to our facility I will tell you here what we really see.
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: New DM241 monitors from Flanders Scientific. Any opinion

PostTue Sep 28, 2021 6:45 pm

sergisanchez wrote:Since the lack of user reviews for the DM241 is huge, once the monitor arrives to our facility I will tell you here what we really see.


Thanks Sergi, I would be very interested in your findings.

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