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Luko
01-26-2005, 01:40 AM
This is not Nikon against Canon, Digital against film but it can provide a lot of casualties. I'll then ask you to leave your guns at the entrance, gentlemen. Ladies cut their fingernails too. Gearheads or geeks get a bath
and a haircut.

This is a borderline topic too, not exactly photo but almost... at least it has something to do about... yeah, more or less...

Surviving from a summer flood, my CRT monitor is obviously living its last days, it's getting darker everyday, even if I push brightness at maximum I'm slowly getting blind looking at your photos, this site now looks like TrekBlob to me.
I have also noticed that I get more and more freezing situations when browsing TE, even though I'm running 2 firewalls, a permanent antivirus and 2 adblockers. This cold wind blowing says it is time to change the whole.


What should I do :
- get the middle range Mac G5. It will be my first Mac ever and it looks a great performer. BUT I have all my software like PS CS, MS Office in PC version, i've heard that Mac OS X can emulate and accept WIndows based soft. Is that true? No problem with my scanner too, I suppose that's only a driver question?
- get a new PC and a formula1 19' LCD screen. Errrh... just stick to Nascar type LCD screen. OK but which type, brand, model for photo? I don't know what to look for.
- get a new PC and that ol' bulky CRT screen :( ....?

any precise comment or links towards a site reknown for acute advices would be very appreciated.

Thanks.
Luko

cgrindahl
01-26-2005, 03:15 AM
I'm a happy Mac person but that doesn't help you in any way. Here is some info that may be useful.

There is a product called Virtual PC that has been used in various iterations on Mac products to satisfy those folks who are obliged to work occasionally in a Windows environment. From what I've read over the years it is less than ideal and can be quite troublesome at times. (Please understand I am biting my tongue as I write this... ;-) ) Here is a link to the Apple Discussion board at the Apple website. You can search on Virtual PC and see for yourself what folks are saying about it.

http://discussions.info.apple.com/webx?14@648.lpV6azWRMwu.4@

Frankly, with your investment in Windows compatible software, it seems the sensible way forward is to buy another Wintel machine. Many folks seem to find a way to work in that environment, viruses and all. If I were in your situation, I would likely be considering a LaCie CRT monitor, either the 19" or the 22." I've been using an Apple Studio Display, a 17" CRT made by Mitsubishi, the Diamondtron. When I was toying with the idea of adding more real estate I did a bit of research. Granted, aesthetics were important to me and many of the vanilla monitors hardly inspire one. The LaCie has a fine reputation among graphics professionals and the dark blue case is appealing to my eye. I may be tempted by an LCD in the future, but not at the moment. I love my CRT!

Of course, if money were no object, I'd make the switch to Mac and buy new software. Perhaps you could buy software at upgrade prices since you already own the Windows versions thereof. Good luck whatever you decide.

thien
01-26-2005, 06:40 AM
(Sounds of my guns and Samurai sword being disposed in front of the house....)

Hi Luko,

No wonder, your critiques has faltered lately (wait a sec, what this swiss-army knife doing my pocket). Let's start again shall we? :D.

With all your investments, I think you should still stick with a PC unless the whole color management peak your interest and you want to discover the new frontier. While CRT is still the king of the hill when it comes to accurately reproduce the colorspace. However, most of us would never need that much precision. With this regard, the LCD is a better choice as the new LCDs has coverred the sRBG space quite well. Samsung is doing very well in this regard and BenQ seems to be pretty good too. Samsung 213T and 913 has been getting some good reviews.

This is the best <a href=http://www.robgalbraith.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=UBB3> discussion site</a> for professional colorspace management that I've know of . However, the discussion also can be very anal and only the top thing would do for these pros. Not exactly, consumer stuff.

Cheers,
Thien

PixelTerror
01-26-2005, 03:11 PM
Hi Luko,

Being a friendly guy, I have no guns and even no swiss army knife to leave at the entrance :))

I just wanted to tell you that I have tried VirtualPC once as I wanted to try out a game in a second windows environment without overloading my live environment with useless libraries, and I'm far less than impressed, it eats a lot of power and has many restrictions in sharing peripherical devices with the mother environment, so I gave up. I think it was version 3, not sure anymore...

Coming to monitor, I'm still happy with a Samsung CRT and an Iiyama CRT, I keep an eye on LCD development, but don't feel any hurry to change. I think you still can get better value for money on the CRT side.

Jean-Yves

AdrianW
01-26-2005, 11:45 PM
I think I should ask Adam to ban you for trolling ;)

Personally I'd stick with the PC. There's an interesting comparison article over at <a href="http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-6451-6410" target="_blank">RobGalbraith</a> although it's a bit dated, things have moved on since then - particularly on the PC side.

Monitors are tricky though. Personally I favour LCD these days, but the one I use is discontinued. I'm getting my girlfriend a current model for her birthday, and that should arrive in the next couple of days - it's only a 17", but I'll let you know how it goes! There's some info about specifications to look for in <a href="http://adrianwarren.com/faq/buying.shtml#LCD">my FAQ which can be found here</a>.

Good luck, whatever you decide - and feel free to email me if you're unsure about something :)

Luko
01-27-2005, 12:07 PM
Ok, thanks for your feedback.

I must say I'm a bit surprized, there was no bloodshed even though the alarm gate beeped, leaving the security guards less than 10 sec. to break Thien's arm foolishly holding his cork unscrewer. (Don't worry good people, he's now buttnaked and we're all safe.)

I would have at least expected messages from Porto Alegre urging me to get a Mac at once. I first thought Mac had the davantage over PC for their image/video management, but reading you it doesn't look so.

Even though it seems CRT are ahead of LCD, I think I can't justify to my wife a new computer purchase without the benefit of a flat screen... that's a main point of disagreement : I'm taking too much of the space in our computer room (you know why my wife overlooks a G5).

I'm now looking at some of the different LCD proposals here and there : Samsung brand gets fine appreciations but the 213T is too expensive and, frankly I don't need a 21' (see place issue above), LaCie brand is not very widespread in France and Benq seems to sell budget range screens... I don't understand the price differences...

I've browsed some hardware forums but questions about LCDs are mainly about their gameplay capabilities (refresh speed) while I'm more interested in still Photo capabilities (precision).
My question is now what should I look for? speed in ms.? contrast values? other criterias?

Cheers
Luko

dom_inik_m
01-27-2005, 03:11 PM
I've been using an Hercules ProphetView 17" LCD (nearly equivalent to a 19" CRT) for more than 2 years now, since my old Compact monitor died away, and I'm most satisfied with it. Its retail price seems to have fallen down and it should be too much of a problem for an average budget.
Nevertheless, and unfortunately, a more definite answer to your question should come with a formal set of comparison points with another screen, according to some specific actions and light conditions.
Did you think of getting in touch with a pro lab (Picto, among others) and ask them what kind of screen brands and models they use?
Though it isn't much, I hope this'll help.
And, please, let us know which'll be your final decision... ;-)
Dominique

Luko
01-30-2005, 02:48 AM
End of this thread.

I've looked at the shop windows, waved bub-bye to the idea of a Mac G5, been drooling over Eizo monitors (more than 2000 bucks for the 19" scanflex but the perfect professional pitch), asked every Paris shop for a Samsung 913 but it seems it's out of stock. Tiredness got me late in the afternoon : I finally bought a LG 1930P 19" TFT monitor.

The guy at the shop said it would be his second choice in that price range after the Samsung 913 (of course when I said digital photo, he immediately replied Eizo hence I threatened to release the big dogs with a Mac G5, this calmed him down immediately and pointed the LG).

He said the big thing over a 700:1 contrast was a DVI input in order to get the original digital coding of the image not the analogic one... can somebody translate that to me?????

I still have to ensure about the calibration (not auto-calibrating like a Eizo...btw Thien, do you still have that itineraring Spyder or calibrating device you proposed to lend?) but yet I must say I'm rediscovering some images some in a bad way others in a better way.... and no dead pixels so far...

thien
01-30-2005, 05:47 AM
Congratulations, Luko.

Since the LCD are digital devices (duh :D), the final signal that it output to display is are composed of pixels. The computer or specifically our graphic adapters also works in the digital domain. With CRT which are analog devices, the graphic adapter has to convert the digital information into analog signal with a Digital-to-Analog-Converter (DAC). With the advent of the LCD, this extra step of D-A conversion can be skip in the graphic adapter so the entire signal chain are in the digital domain. This digital domain conservation requires 2 items:

1) The graphic adapters has to be able to output in digital domain (i.e.: have a DVI output)
2) The output device (monitors) has to have a DVI input.

Some lower model of LCD does not have a DVI input and they have an Analog-to-Digital-Converter to convert the analog signal back to the digital domain for display. Your task is to make sure that you have a DVI output from your computer else your spanking new LCD DVI connector is useless :D.

I still have the Spyder to calibrate the LCD is you want to have a spin at it, just email me privately and we will work through the details :D.

AdrianW
01-30-2005, 08:07 PM
What follows is for future reference more than anything else...

Thien's covered the difference between DVI and VGA nicely. Whether it's truly that important seems to very much depend on the graphics card/cable/panel combination concerned though - I've seen some systems which you can't really see any difference between a digital-DVI connection and a well setup analogue VGA connnection, and others it's as clear as night and day. Cable quality can be quite a significant factor with VGA, particularly at higher resolutions. If you can afford it, then obviously DVI is best :)

For us, the big problem is that most LCD panel manufacturers are focussing on response times at the moment, but that's not much use to us as photographers - what we're interested in most is the one thing not on the specification sheet - colour accuracy.

Some reviews are now taking this into account, but not many. The current methodology over at Tom's Hardware seems pretty good - whilst they're most interested in response times, they are also providing colour accuracy information:
<a href="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/display/200409231/shuttle-04.html" target="_blank">good</a>
<a href="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/display/20041123/17_lcd-33.html" target="_blank">bad</a>

Other things to consider, what are the warranty terms? Pay particular attention to the stuck-pixel and backlight provisions... For example Formac have an optional (extra cost) "zero-dead pixel" package which guarantees no stuck pixels when the panel leaves the factory (although note they say that some may fail in transit). Some companies warranty the backlight for three-years (it's the most likely part to fail), others don't. Obviously a warranty isn't any good if the company isn't around when you need to collect though ;)

thien
01-31-2005, 02:22 AM
I forgot to mention that when you buying a DVI cable, you friendly salesman might ask you if you want the DVI-I or DVI-D cable. The DVI-D connectors only have the 24 pins that transfer the digital signal, the DVI-I has the 24 digital pins plus a cross-type pin for analog signal. For you it doesn't make any difference, either one would serve you well (as long as your graphic adapter DVI connector supports DVI-I).

AdrianW
02-02-2005, 02:23 PM
OK, the monitor has arrived :)

It's a <a href="http://www.viewsoniceurope.com/UK/Products/LCDX/VX715.htm" target="_blank">Viewsonic VX715</a>. Colours are natural and contrast/viewing angle are very good. It's not quite as accurate in the shadow areas as my Sony SDM-X72, but the overall colour rendition is much more balanced and I can just about make out all the shades on the TE calibration chart.

However as you know the TE calibration chart is only the sixteen most significant shades of grey (true colour has 255) it's almost impossible to get the very bottom darkest shades differentiated in Photoshop though.

Stuck pixels? One subpixel, unfortunately it's red and it's stuck on. Still that's not bad :)

Overall? 8/10

In some ways it's better than my SDM-X72B (viewing angle and colour rendition particularly), in others it's not - it's very difficult/impossible to differentiate the lowest 16 greys no matter how I fiddle the settings. For the price I'm happy though!

AdrianW
03-02-2005, 06:18 PM
I've solved the low end greyscale issue on our VX715 - if you have the latest nVidia drivers (and obviously a supported graphics card) then you can change the Gamma of the display from within the driver program. I can now just about differentiate the top 16 and bottom 16 shades of grey - and the midtones are still fine too :)