30" LCD for Color Work Help

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by JockItch43, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. JockItch43 macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2008
    Hello All,

    I admit, I'm a newbie when it comes to color work. However, I'm very much into photography and I need a color accurate monitor for post processing RAW files in CS3. I realize that I have much to learn, but I want to make a good decision in regards to this purchase.

    I know I'm getting a Mac Pro soon, but I'm seriously struggling with which 30" display to purchase. If I'm going to spend nearly $2000 on a display, I want to make sure I get my moneys worth. The three models I'm considering, in order of current preference, are as follows:

    -30" NEC MultiSync LCD3090WQXi: Not yet released but is a new generation, high gamut S-IPS panel with the best specs, features for image quality, and brand name reputation for quality. 2 DVI inputs with one of them being HDCP. Rotates from landscape mode to portrait mode. However, this panel is atheistically the least pleasing of the group (which is a negative), but I'm most concerned about image quality.

    -30" Dell 3008WFP-HC: Uses the same new LG S-IPS panel as the NEC. Has a ridiculous amount of inputs (including HDMI, displayport). Has a built in scaler for connecting other sources besides a computer. Has a CF card reader built in. Looks very nice aesthetically to me. However, knowing Dell, I wouldn't expect great color accuracy out of the box with this unit. But with proper color calibration, this panel should do well with color accuracy, correct? Also, many have reported significant back-light bleeding issues with the early shipments of this display. Additionally, some complain that the back-light, even set to its lowest setting, is too bright.

    -30" Apple Cinema Display: This model is a very distant third for me right now. It looks very nice aesthetically, but I feel like I'd be paying a premium for an older display with limited features nearing the end of its lifecycle. Only one input (not HDCP) and lower color gamut than the other two models. My worst fear is purchasing one of these and Apple finally releases an updated model a month or two later. I can't wait for Apple to release an update any longer.

    So, basically in my mind right now, it's between the NEC and Dell. For features and looks, I like the Dell much better. However, for image quality, which is ultimately most important to me, I'm thinking the NEC will probably be the best choice (which is why it's my first choice right now). If a properly calibrated Dell is equal or very close to the image quality of the NEC, I'd probably prefer it. I'll likely pull the trigger at the end of the month. Any thoughts or suggestions?
  2. dante@sisna.com macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2006
    Start by reading this article and the others linked to it.


    Anandtech test monitors pretty hard -- pay special attention to the calibration section. This is the key section for what you want to do: how a monitor handles calibration is the key to good color work.

    I would also consider this HP LP3065. It is a fantastic monitor for the monitor for the money: we have one, and an ACD 30.

    For you needs I think all the monitors on your list will be great. The apple lacks the gamut of the dell, nec and HP BUT this can also keep you out of trouble in Print work. High Gamut monitors easily show colors in original files which are not capable of being reproduced in SWOP inkjet or offset print applications. If you reproduce this way, calibration is key.

    The APPLE ACD is most highly-tuned out of the box for this gamut. Hands Down.

    But it looses in features and sometimes in price.

    Good luck.

    You could also search these forums for often fervent and detailed discussion of this topic: many threads exist.


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