Originally Posted by Eveone
My 17 inch pc screen has a resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels. If I by a new pc with HD resolution will my photo's look sharper / better ??. I'm pretty sure my videos would but photo's on a 21.5 /23 /24 inch screen ??.It's all jargon to me.
I don't think it would make a whole lot of difference in terms of sharpness.
1280x1024 on a 17" (diagonal) monitor gives you a dot (pixel) pitch (DP) of about 0.2634 and PPI (pixels per inch) of about 96.42.
DP ..... smaller is better
PPI .... larger is better
17" 1280x1024 .... DP 0.2634 | PPI 96.42
You can find 1920x1080 resolution monitors in a variety of sizes.
21.5" .... DP 0.2479 | PPI 102.46
23" ....... DP 0.2652 | PPI 95.78
24" ....... DP 0.2767 | PPI 91.79
27" ....... DP 0.3113 | PPI 81.59
and 1920x1200 in a few 24" monitors
24" ....... DP 0.2692 | PPI 94.34
and 2560x1440 in a number of 27" monitors
27" ....... DP 0.2335 | PPI 108.79
and 2560x1600 in a few 30" monitors
30" ....... DP 0.2524 | PPI 100.63
*** Caution: 2560xNNNN monitors require a high bandwidth connection such as Dual Link DVI, Displayport, or an HDMI port of the latest v1.4 or higher standard. Older PC's and many laptops do not have a port capable of driving these monitors.
So.... your old 17" is comparable in dot pitch and PPI to several current monitors. Be aware that the viewing and editing software you use can have a big impact on the quality of the image on screen. Most software will interpolate your 4000x3000 image to fit a 1920x1200 space. Not all software is equal in the algorithm used to interpolate.
What you will gain going to a 1920x1200 monitor is room on the side to put your menu bars when editing so that more of the image is available in view. Or... working in overlapping windows, more space to have corners of windows available for clicking on to go back and forth.
Where you may see a significant benefit with upgrading to a newer medium or higher quality monitor is in the adjustments in the on screen menu (OSD) of the monitor. Many of the new LCD's have a "Sharpness" control which you can adjust using the Sharpness page of the following web site.
Where you will also likely see significant benefit is in the gamut coverage. Monitors from several years ago were not always consistent in providing near 100% coverage of the sRGB color space, some only reaching about 67% coverage. It depended on the quality of the monitor of course. A monitor purpose built for graphics use may have been near 100% but a cheap monitor intended for gaming or office use may have been less.
Most of the current LCD monitors with CCFL back lights now offer about 96-98% coverage of the sRGB space. Some offer wide gamut back lights covering about 100% of the sRGB space and 100% of the AdobeRGB space. Most LCD models with LED back lights are at 94-95% coverage. Note that a new type of LED back light is just being introduced that offers about 98-99% coverage of the sRGB space. You'll find these in the new Dell U2713HM and U2913WM as well as wide gamut GB-LED versions in the Dell U2413, U2713H, and U3014.
Today, a number of laptops suffer from less than full coverage of the sRGB color space. Even the majority of models using the premium 1920x1080 "IPS" matrix LCD panels only offer about 67% coverage of the sRGB space.
The other area where you may see significant improvement is in less banding in color gradients.
Better quality monitors from several years ago offered panels with true 8bit color depths of 16.7 million colors. Many cheated a bit though, using 6bit panels but with a bit of electronic trickery (Frame Rate Control) simulating an 8bit color depth. Typically these monitors also offered various artifacts in their imagery such as banding in gradients and other effects.
Today, most monitors up to about $400 USD/CAD, such as the Dell U2412M, HP ZR22W, etc etc, offer 6bit + Advanced Frame Rate Control to simulate an 8bit color depth. The new 6bit+AFRC is very good, much better than the old 6bit+FRC system and even some old 8bit monitors from 6-7 years ago, so banding and other artifacts are minimal. Above $400 you start to find true 8bit monitors, and above $550 you start to find pseudo 10bit color depth monitors. Pseudo meaning that they are likely 8bit + AFRC to simulate the 1.04 billion colors of a true 10bit panel.
Last.... but most important for viewing and editing images, is the LCD matrix type found in the panel.
In terms of image quality for photo editing, these are the TFT LCD panel types from best to worst:
*IPS* (newer variants are S-IPS, AS-IPS, H-IPS, e-IPS, P-IPS, AH-IPS, etc)
*S-PLS* (a new IPS like tft panel from Samsung in 2011; equal to IPS)
*PVA* (newer variants are S-PVA, c-PVA)
*MVA* (newer variants are A-MVA, P-MVA, S-MVA, etc)
If you would like some background on these panels, read this article:
It's all about having as little shift in color and gamma from the centre of the screen to the outer edges. The IPS, S-PLS, and to a lesser extent, S-PVA panels do a very job of keeping colors solid edge to edge.
TN panels are commonly used in gaming and general duty monitors, and in laptop screens. These are easy to spot because viewed from below, the screen shifts to almost a "film negative" appearance. Sitting in front of a TN, you may notice that the top and bottom of the screen is slightly darker than the middle. Properly calibrated a monitor with a TN panel is usable for image editing but is not ideal.
IPS is just so much better that once you've used one you'll not want anything else. Today's IPS panels can be found in monitors as low as $160 USD for a 23" 1920x1080 with fixed stand, pretty much the same price as monitors with TN panels, and lower than some high end TN gaming monitors.
If you go to the TFT Central review site I list below, load the reviews for the following monitors and go to their "Viewing Angles" section and click on the image there so it expands. You will see the clear difference between a TN and an IPS panel.
Dell with IPS ... http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2412m.htm
BenQ with TN ...... http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/benq_xl2420t.htm
You're lucky in that the two best monitor review sites are located in Europe and one is in the UK.