Acer 22" LCD: Acceptable for Amateur Photog?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by termina3, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Hey guys,

    Got an email for this deal:

    The question is: Is this good enough for photography editing?

    Background info: I'm not a pro, but I do sell photos for money (, and my customers expect a professional product. Also, this display would be used in conjunction with my 20" ACD… which I understand is considerably better on color accuracy.

    Has anyone used this 22" Acer and an ACD OR just the Acer? Is the hype about the type of display legit (i.e. is the addt'l $400 I'd spend to get an ACD best spent on the display and not on a lens?).

    Thanks! -T
  2. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    Bay Area
    If its primary use is going to be Photography, then no, it will not be adequate.

    If you had said computer gaming or movie watching, my response would be different. I like to think that display technology is one of the few things where I really know what I'm talking about, so hopefully this post will be helpful.

    All 22" monitors except for 1 made by Ezio and 1 made by Lenovo (as far as I know, there may be a Lacie model as well) use twisted nematic panels, better known as "TN" panels. These panels boast very impressive response times (gray to gray and black to black) of around 2ms. This puts you close to a CRT in terms of refresh rates. HOWEVER, they make extreme sacrifices to accomplish this. Viewing angles are extremely small, to the degree that you will lose significant color accuracy when working on photos. They are also (by design) incapable of displaying true colors and for this reason, the images you see on the screen will not match up with what a printer produces because no matter how much calibration you do, a TN screen can not properly reproduce the color spectrum in a photograph.

    They also have the same resolution (1680x1050) as a 20" lcd, so the pixel density is lower, meaning larger pixels and a resulting image that is not very crisp (due to a low pixel density).

    I would absolutely suggest that you look at 20" LCD models that feature an IPS base (what the Apple Cinema Displays use) or at a bare minimum, an MVA-based panel for the same price range and resolution. Suggested monitors are the discontinued NEC 20WMGX2-BK, one of the best panels out there; but hard to find. They surface once in a while for $200-$250 refurbished and are an excellent bargain. If you can get a used panel with a confirmed Philips S-IPS base, a Dell 2007WFP is a good option as well. They use the same panels (the Philips-LG S-IPS) that the Apple Cinema Display used.

    Both of those, as well as the 20" Apple Cinema Display will serve well for photography / color accurate monitors. There is nothing worse then working on a photo all day in photoshop only to learn when you print it or send it to someone else, that the colors are completely off, or its incorrectly saturated/exposed etc because your monitor could not display the image properly.

    Since you already use a 20" ACD, the difference will be sickening if you try to utilize both. You'll also notice that its less crisp, the colors are less appealing and it will display websites that you're used to looking at one way as something completely different (grays become crushed blacks, etc). Definitely try to match up another ACD if you can afford it, or look at the Dell and NEC models.

    Hopefully I've helped.
  3. termina3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    To say the least! You blew my expectations out of the water; thanks!
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It depends on how you used the seond display. If you keep the photo or "canvas" on the 20"ACD and then only use the cheaper 22" display for the finder, web browser and maybe the photoshop palets or Aperture metadat then you'd have a color accurate and cost effective system. But if you want to display images look for some one that uses the same LCD panels as the ACD.
  5. sonor macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    London, UK
    #5 is very useful. It has details of a huge number of monitors, with information on the type of panel used. Type "IPS" into the Panel Search feature.
  6. tonie macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2008
    it's a TN panel so I wouldn't recommend it. IMO, for photos, I think you need at least a PVA, MVA, or IPS.
  7. disdat macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2005
    New England USA
    Oh thank you for this link! I have been searching for monitors, but didn't know where to find the specific info on the panel type

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