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Posts Tagged ‘Photo’

Think Tank Photo updates TurnStyle sling bags and adds wheels to StreetWalker series

26 May

Bag and accessories manufacturer Think Tank Photo has updated two of its ranges, adding more internal space and a rolling option to the StreetWalker series and a new waist strap to the TurnStyle sling-type bags.

All three of the existing StreetWalker backpacks have been enlarged to create more depth in the interior compartments so they can carry more kit, and particularly large bodies with wide-ranging zoom lenses still attached. The series also now features a version with wheels and a retractable handle in the StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0, which can operate as a backpack or a rolling case.

The company has also revamped its Turnstyle series of sling bags, adding a new waist strap to hold the bag securely when the user is taking pictures. There are three sizes of bag, and each is now available in grey or blue.

The StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0 costs $ 299.75 while the Turnstyle bags are priced $ 74.75 , $ 84.75 and $ 99.75 for the 5, 10 and 20 versions. For more information see the Think Tank Photo website.


Press release

Think Tank Photo Releases New StreetWalker® Rolling Photo Backpack
and Upgrades Classic StreetWalker® Series Backpacks

Santa Rosa, Calif. – Legendary durability and award winning comfort have made Think Tank Photo’s StreetWalker® series one of the most sought-after products in the photographic world. Now Think Tank announces the new StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0, featuring the ability to switch from a backpack to a roller. Also released are upgraded versions of all three classic StreetWalker backpacks. Photographers get the same comfort and quality as the original series but with new features such as increased depth for modern DSLR systems, and dedicated pockets for both tablets and smartphones.

The new StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0 is so spacious, it will fit two DSLR
bodies with lenses attached (including a 200-400mm f/4), and a 15” laptop. The StreetWalker HardDrive V2.0 backpack fits two bodies with lenses attached or a gripped body with a 200–400mm f/4 attached, a 15” laptop and a 13” tablet. The StreetWalker Pro V2.0 backpack fits two bodies with lens attached or a 400mm f/2.8 unattached, and a 10” table. And, the StreetWalker V2.0 backpack fits one gripped DSLR with 70–200mm f/2.8 attached, one standard DSLR with 24–70mm f/2.8 attached, a 16–35mm f/2.8, and a 10” tablet.

“With the release of the new StreetWalker Rolling Backpack and the new versions of the three classic StreetWalker backpacks, we made three of the best pro-level backpacks in the photo industry even better,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s CEO and lead designer. “The one thing we’ve heard over and over since they first launched is how comfortable and durable they are.

Now, with the hybrid rolling backpack and the upgraded core backpacks, we’ve integrated even more photographer feedback to expand their functionality.”

KEY FEATURES

StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0

  • Comfortable harness system allows you to roll the bag or carry it on your back
  • Dedicated laptop compartment that holds up to a 15” laptop
  • Fits two bodies with lenses attached including a 200–400mm f/4
  • Specially designed interior to maximize gear for carry-on, meets most U.S. and International airline carry-on requirements
  • Reinforced telescoping handle with rubberized touch points
  • Tripod mount on front panel
  • Dedicated smartphone pocket fits today’s large phones with a 5.5” (14cm) screen size
  • Lockable YKK® RC Fuse zipper sliders (lock not included)
  • Two side water bottle pockets and two side zippered pockets
  • YKK® RC Fuse zippers, ballistic nylon, high-density velex and closed cell PU foam are the highest quality materials in the industry
  • Custom-designed, high-performance, 80mm wheels with sealed ABEC grade 5 bearings for quiet rolling
  • Seam-sealed rain cover included
  • User-replaceable retractable handle, wheels, wheel housings, feet and kick plate extends product life
  • Adjustable dividers allow a customized fit for your DSLR or Mirrorless gear
  • Hypalon reinforced rear panel for increased durability
  • Shoulder harness pockets, D-rings, daisy chain and adjustable sternum strap

Think Tank Photo’s Upgraded TurnStyle V2.0 Camera Bags Offer Greater Stability

Santa Rosa, Calif. – Ideal for a casual day of shooting with a DSLR or Mirrorless system, Think Tank Photo’s slim, body-conforming TurnStyle V2.0 sling bag allow photographers to move and shoot freely. The updated version of this popular series offers a new stabilizer strap that holds the bag steady while actively shooting or tucks away when not in use. Think Tank’s sling bags’ design promotes easy rotation for rapid access to gear and accessories.

The TurnStyle 5 fits a mirrorless body plus two to four lenses, and an eight-inch tablet. The TurnStyle 10 fits a standard size DSLR plus one to two lenses, and an eight-inch tablet. The TurnStyle 20 fits a standard size DSLR plus one to three lenses, and a 10” tablet. These new version releases come in the traditional Charcoal and in a new color, Indigo Blue.

“This new version of our popular TurnStyle sling bags reinforces their reputation as the ideal ‘grab and go’ camera bag,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s CEO and lead designer. “One thing we’ve learned from serving professional photographers for so long is that they always need one, pre-conformed gear kit that gives them access to their core gear. The TurnStyle is that bag.”

KEY ADDITIONAL FEATURES

  • Slim, contoured, body-conforming design with a wide shoulder strap provides a very comfortable fit
  • Lightweight materials and construction
  • Breathable 320G air-mesh back panel keeps your back cool during long days
  • Easily accessible front organizer pocket for batteries, memory cards or other small accessories
  • Rear internal pocket holds documents
  • Fully customizable interior dividers
  • Seam-sealed rain cover included in dedicated pocket

MATERIALS

Exterior: All fabric exterior is treated with a durable water resistant coating while fabric underside is coated with polyurethane for superior water resistance, YKK® RC Fuse zippers, 420D velocity nylon, 550D polyspun, 320g air mesh, nylon webbing, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

Interior: Removable closed-cell foam dividers, P210D, polyurethane backed velex liner, 2x polyurethane coated 210T seam-sealed taffeta rain cover, nylon binding tape, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Prynt Pocket, a pocket-sized photo printer for iPhone, is now available

25 May

Prynt, the company that launched a phone case/printer through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter in 2015, has released its next-generation mobile printer, the Prynt Pocket. With Prynt Pocket, users can print a photo directly from their iPhone by inserting the handset into the printer, then snapping a photo. The related Prynt app also offers an augmented reality feature that plays a video within the physical photo print.

Prynt Pocket utilizes Zink inkless photo paper and has a removable paper cartridge that holds up to ten sheets at a time. Once Pocket is attached to an iPhone, users can snap a photo and then make edits using the Prynt app, including adding stickers and text, and adjusting the lighting. The printer takes about half a minute to produce a photo.

Unlike some competing instant cameras and mini printers, the Prynt app also leverages augmented reality to give users something a bit more modern and technical: 10-second looping videos that play when a Prynt photo is viewed using the company’s mobile app. The (optional) video is recorded when the photo is taken and is uploaded to the cloud, where it is then utilized whenever someone views the photo with the Prynt AR app feature. 

Prynt Pocket is available from Prynt’s website now for $ 149.99. A 40-pack of photo paper retails for $ 19.99.

Press Release:

Meet the Prynt Pocket — The Device that Transforms your Phone into the Smallest and Coolest Instant Camera

Now small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, Prynt’s second generation device is the easiest way to print and share life’s everyday moments while on-the-go

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — (Marketwired) — 05/23/17 — Prynt, the company leading a new era of instant photography, today announced Prynt Pocket, a device that transforms your phone into the smallest and coolest instant camera. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, Prynt Pocket attaches directly to your phone, and lets you capture, print and share life’s everyday moments — from spontaneous to special occasions — while on-the-go. The Prynt Pocket also has innovative video capabilities for next-gen storytelling, giving you the option to embed augmented reality videos into your photos and bring them to life in a Harry Potter-like way. Check out the video.

The phone in our pocket serves as our camera, photo album, and the way we share our lives digitally. But with the thousands of photos stored on our phones, there’s never been an easy way to print those photos, so they become lost in our phones and rarely looked at again. Prynt is changing this and giving everyone — from teens and millennials to young parents — the ability to turn their phone into an instant camera. Printing photos from your phone is now just as instant and exciting as posting a photo on Instagram or Snapchat.

“We are thrilled to bring Prynt Pocket to market after the success we have had with the Prynt Case,” said Clément Perrot, co-founder and CEO of Prynt. “There is nothing cooler than being able to print a photo straight from your phone, and when you add in the augmented reality video feature, that takes photo sharing to a whole new level. By turning a phone into an instant camera, everyone gets to experience the shared enjoyment of reliving fun and spontaneous moments through a printed photo.”

Using Prynt Pocket is easy. Simply attach it to your phone and you’re ready to print. Once you’ve taken a photo, you have the option to record a 10-second video that will be hidden within that photo. Before printing, the Prynt app enables you to edit and enhance your photo with fun, creative filters, text and memes. Then, whoever has a physical copy, can use the Prynt app to scan the photo and watch it come to life. Whether a marriage proposal, surprise announcement or selfie video, Prynt Pocket adds magic to any moment.

The ultra-portable Prynt Pocket, Prynt comes in three colors — cool grey, graphite and mint — making it a fashion-forward accessory that fits any lifestyle. It uses inkless paper for vibrant, long-lasting, tear and smudge resistant photos. The paper has adhesive backing so you can peel and stick your photos anywhere — whether on an inspiration board, scrapbook or your desk at work. Through the Prynt app, users can also share their photos and video creations across all social channels, as well as print their favorite Instagram, Snapchat, etc. pictures directly from their phone.

Prynt Pocket is now available for purchase on www.prynt.co/, Amazon.com and UrbanOutfitters.com for $ 149. In early June, it will also be available at Best Buy, with additional retailers to be introduced. Prynt Pocket is compatible with the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, and will be available for Android later this year.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Hy6 rises again as DW Photo tries to break from tangled history

24 May

Some ideas are apparently too good to let die. DW Photo of Braunschweig, Germany, has become the latest company to attempt to produce the Hy6 645 medium format camera. This follows the collapse of DHW Fototechnik, which itself took over responsibility from the defunct Franke & Heidecke, which grew from the remains of Rollei.

The company will produce the Hy6 mod2 version of the camera, originally released in 2012 and use manufacturing facilities at the former Rollei factory. The camera will cost €5950.

German photo site Photoscala also has a fascinating look at how the camera, once sold under the Leaf, Sinar and Rolleiflex brands, came into being and how its collaborative development following the fall of Rollei has created a legal tangle for anyone trying to bring the camera back to market. Even in Google Translated form, it’s well worth a read.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Photo Gear News shows you how to make a DIY lapel mic

23 May

Professional microphones for video are expensive, and even if you have the means, some cameras don’t offer the correct inputs. In this video, for Photo Gear News, Daniel Peters shows you how to make a DIY lapel microphone using a smartphone and a pair of earbuds.

Check out PGN’s YouTube channel for more

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Google Photos update encourages sharing, adds photo book creation

18 May

Google’s I/O conference today included some information about updates for the company’s photo organization app. Google Photos will use machine learning to analyze who’s in your photos and automatically suggest photos to share. Suggestions will appear in the sharing tab on the Photos apps for Android, iOS and web ‘in the coming weeks.’ You’ll also be able to set up shared libraries to automatically send photos to designated people – with the ability to share everything, or just photos of certain people, for example.

Google also announced it will allow you to create photo books from your Photos library, streamlined by a largely automated photo selection process. They’ll be available to US users only at launch, and will start at $ 10 for a softcover book and $ 20 for hardcover.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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How to Get Your Photos Featured in a Photo Magazine

12 May

Your Instragram feed is flawless. You’ve got the likes, followers, fans even … what’s next?

It’s time to make the jump from your personal digital stream to the big time.

Get your work published in a real live magazine!

We spoke with Megan Breukelman, the Editor-in-Chief of Atlas Magazine – only a super inspirational digital fashion magazine + website focused on the promotion of the next generation of fashion creatives, nbd. JK, BIG HUGE DEAL.

She dished on why you would want to be published, how to even start your quest, and tips for getting accepted by your dream magazines.
(…)
Read the rest of How to Get Your Photos Featured in a Photo Magazine (772 words)


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PDN announces 2017 Photo Annual contest winners

07 May

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photo District News has announced the winners of its 2017 PDN Photo Annual competition. It selected 165 winners from thousands of entries across 10 categories, with winners ranging from established photographers to up-and-coming artists.

Of particular note, PDN awarded its first annual Photographer of the Year award to photographer Mark Peterson for creating an outstanding body of work that reflects the year in photography, and for his book Political Theatre

Head over to the official contest site to see all the winners.

Above:

Photographer: Todd Anthony

Category: Advertising/Corporate Work

A summer campaign for UK brand Fab Ice Lollies, “A Sprinkle of Summer Fun.” [Client: Nestlé]

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photographer: Julien Grimard

Category: Sports

From a series that captures freestyle mountain biker Matt Macduff attempting the Loop Of Doom, his subsequent crash and injuries.

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photographer: Ami Vitale

Category: Magazine/Editorial

Pandas, once dangerously close to extinction, are being sent back to the wild. Following China’s massive captive-breeding program, this series shows the next step in the attempt to save the country’s ‘most famous ambassador.’ [Publication: National Geographic]

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photographer: Emile Ducke

Category: Student Work

A portrait of Aidara, a West Siberian village accessible only by boat and home to a small community of Russian Orthodox Old Believers. This faction continues liturgical practices prior to church reforms introduced in the mid-17th century. Life in Aidara, Ducke explains, consists of exhausting agricultural work, and beyond the village is a vast forest, prone to fires that the residents must control in the dry summers. [From a series]

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photographer: Jimmy Chin

Category: Sports

For this shoot, Chin accompanied Felipe Camargo while he climbed the Getu Arch in China. [From a series]

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photographer: Marcus Palmqvist

Category: Stock Photography

‘Impossible Balance’ tricks the eye with seemingly impossible moves by Swedish dancers caught in camera.

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photographer: Amber Bracken

Category: Photojournalism/Documentary

A series about the members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their allies, who camped for nearly a year in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing their territory and their water supply. Though on its face the issue is the pipeline, the conflict is steeped in generations of violent history with the American government.

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photographer: Piotr Naskrecki

Category: Personal Work

For the last few years Naskrecki has been documenting the lesser-known animals of Africa, which receive little attention due to their small size or elusive lifestyle. Images in this series were taken in Mozambique, ‘one of the least explored countries on the continent, biologically and photographically.’ [Photo of a pangolin, from a series]

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photographer: Mark Peterson

Category: Photo Books

Peterson’s caustic black-and-white series about American politicians pulls back the curtain on their performances to show them as they really are. From shortly before the 2013 government shut down to the 2016 presidential election, Peterson cuts through the staging and reveals the cold, naked ambition for power. [Book: Political Theatre, Steidl]

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photographer: Tyler Gray

Category: Personal Work

‘Blue Collar’ is an ongoing series that depicts the harsh beauty and big potential of the North American towns that never quite recovered from the 2009 financial crisis that decimated the manufacturing industry. [From a series]

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photographer: Jack Davison

Category: Magazine/Editorial

‘L.A. Noir’ features the year’s best actors—including Ruth Negga, Emma Stone, Taraji P. Henson and Denzel Washington—channeling classic film-noir looks and scenarios. [From a series]

2017 PDN Photo Annual

Photographer: Shawn Corrigan and Steve Boyle

Category: Video/Multimedia

A short film about Carol, known as ‘Grubby’ to her teammates, who became a starting middle linebacker after just two weeks of practice in 2001, when women’s tackle football was in its infancy. Nine seasons, hundreds of tackles and one brief retirement later, she’s back for one final season with the Firebirds. [Film: Grubby’s Last Stand]

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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TIME Lightbox tells the story behind a viral May Day photo

03 May

Photographer Zakaria Abdelkafi, a Syrian refugee, explains how he reacted to a Molotov cocktail thrown at police, and how the experience impacted him.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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How to Choose the Right Monitor for Photo Editing

03 May

Photographers rarely think twice when it comes to buying expensive camera bodies or high-end lenses, but often seem willing to skimp on a monitor. Why is that? In many cases, it’s because one monitor appears very much like another, especially when purchased over the internet, which is how many of us shop for such things.

This article will help you know what you should look for in a monitor, and show you how to interpret many of the tech specs you’ll see when shopping online. Not so long ago, buying a monitor for photography was an expensive business, but today there is more choice available at every price point.

By Senado Federal

Panel Technology

One of the things you must think about when choosing a monitor is panel technology. The “panel” is the main part of the monitor — the screen. It includes polarizing layers, glass substrates, a liquid crystal (LCD) layer, and a color filter. It’s a high-tech sandwich.

The main difference between monitor technologies lies in the way the liquid crystals are oriented, which fundamentally affects the way your monitor behaves. Here are the main three panel types:

TN (Twisted Nematic) Panels

These type of panels are often favored by gamers for their fast response times, which reduces unwanted ghosting and blurring effects in moving pictures. The biggest downside of TN panels is that their viewing angles are greatly inferior to other panel types. If you move in front of the screen, the color and contrast are liable to shift in appearance. This flaw varies in severity between monitors.

Be aware that, in monitor specs, viewing angle numbers are highly misleading. They’re based on a lenient contrast test, so you should ignore the common claim that a TN panel has 170/160° horizontal and vertical viewing angles. Those figures bear little relevance to what you’ll experience when editing a photo.

Laptops are almost always made with TN panels, which makes them sub-optimal for photo editing in a perfect world. They’re more usable if you can fix your position in front of the screen and maintain a consistent viewing angle.

Macbook Air Notebook

Image from Maxpixel CC license.

IPS (In Plane Switching) Panels

Plane Switching panels are consistent in appearance from almost all probable viewing angles. In this respect, they are far superior to most TN panels and better than VA panels. IPS panels are also favored for their innately high-quality color reproduction. In most regards, a monitor with an IPS panel is better for photo-editing than one with a TN panel.

A drawback of IPS technology is a phenomenon known as “IPS glow”, which is a glowing effect that appears across much of the panel when viewing dark screens in subdued light. The more money you spend on an IPS monitor, the less likely you are to encounter this, but it’s probably fair to say that it’s more problematic for gamers. IPS glow is different to backlight bleeding, where light appears to seep out from the edges of the screen. That, too, is more likely in budget or mid-priced monitors.

There are various sub-categories of IPS panel, including S-IPS, e-IPS, H-IPS, and P-IPS. The basic benefits of an IPS panel apply to all of them, though the different types may vary in areas like color depth or response time. An e-IPS panel, for instance, is usually cheaper because it typically runs a lower color depth (i.e. 6-bit) than other IPS types. We’ll look at color depth anon.

Proprietary technologies that are similar in behaviour to IPS panels are Super PLS (Samsung) and AHVA (AUO).

VA (Vertical Alignment) Panels

These type are not considered as good as IPS in terms of their viewing angles or color reproduction, but better than TN panels in both respects. They are a kind of a happy medium. The technology is relatively rare, but still used by some of the leading manufacturers in a minority of displays (the proper word for monitors).

A VA panel typically has a bigger contrast ratio than an IPS panel, with an ability to display dark tones and blacks very effectively. Big contrast ratios are not always as desirable to photographers as they are to gamers, however, because they make it harder to imitate the dynamic range of a print when soft-proofing.

Standard or wide gamut?

Comparison between wide and standard gamut monitor color

Image courtesy Wiki-Media Commons.

There is no right or wrong answer when deciding whether you should buy a standard or wide-gamut monitor, but there are pros and cons attached to either choice. Let’s look at some of them:

Standard gamut monitor

Pros

  • Cheaper.
  • Wide variety of models available at all price points.
  • Doesn’t need immediate calibration and profiling (an OS monitor profile will truncate the color of a wide-gamut monitor).
  • Won’t display garish colors in non-color-managed programs.
  • Less prone to banding (usually offset by more color depth in wide-gamut).
  • Syncs okay with the output of most photo labs.
  • Smaller gamut might suit wedding or events photographers, for whom a large color gamut is less of a draw.

Cons

  • Not so good for color-managed inkjet printing, since the monitor gamut won’t encompass the color output of the printer
  • Less attractive, especially for landscape fans, who lose significant color particularly in cyans and greens

Wide gamut monitor

Pros

  • Just looks better, especially skies, sea, grass, foliage, etc. More colorful and more nuanced detail in cyans and greens – good choice for landscape shooters.
  • Much better for anyone wanting to soft-proof (preview) the color of an inkjet print, since the monitor gamut will cover the output of most inkjet printers.

Cons

  • More expensive.
  • Ideally requires immediate profiling, otherwise the OS monitor color will severely prune the monitor’s gamut.
  • Colors in non-color-managed environments will appear garish (e.g. Windows desktop).
  • More prone to banding, though this is usually countered by increased color depth.

Rather oddly, I run standard gamut and wide-gamut monitors side-by-side, and the difference in colors is marked. However, with monitors as with many other things, ignorance is bliss, you don’t miss what you never had.

Twin monitors

Image from unsplash CC license.

Aspect ratio, resolution, and screen size

Aspect ratio

You’ll find the cheapest monitors typically have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is fine for watching movies, but a 16:10 aspect ratio is worth aiming for if you can afford it. The latter allows a little more vertical working space and, as Wiki observes, is a closer fit for the classic 3:2 ratio used in many photos.

Resolution

For many years, a myth circulated that said your photos should have a 72ppi resolution for the web. In fact, as most of us now know, a monitor screen is oblivious to image resolution. This is proven, if proof is still needed, by the fact that Photoshop’s “Save for Web” feature does not attach resolution to images, even though they appear as 72ppi when reopened.

Dot pitch

Image courtesy of Wiki-media Commons.

Although several factors may affect the sharpness of an image on your screen (e.g. contrast, anti-glare filters, viewer-to-screen distance), the central thing that dictates sharpness is the monitor’s pixel density, or dot pitch. A greater pixel density or a finer dot pitch is indicative of a sharper onscreen image, all other things being equal. If you google “dot pitch calculator” or “PPI calculator”, you’ll find an easy means of calculating the pixel density of any screen.

As an example, an average desktop monitor might have a pixel density of around 90-100 ppi, while the 27” 5K iMac with Retina display has a pixel density of 217 ppi. That’s impressive in a big screen.

An extremely dense pixel pitch tends to have a flattering effect on photos, just like every photo looks sharp on a smartphone, but isn’t a necessity for efficient photo editing.

Smartphone photo

Photo from Pixabay, CC0 public domain license.

Screen Size

These days, “bigger is better” seems to be the mantra when it comes to choosing a monitor. Of course, it is pleasant to view your photos on a big screen, but my advice is to buy what you can afford and don’t give precedence to screen size over other important attributes. Also remember that big screens need big resolutions to look as sharp as smaller screens from the same distance, so don’t be deceived by pixel dimensions alone. Scrutinize the pixel density, as outlined above.

Anti-glare Filters

Apart from Apple iMacs, nearly all desktop monitors are equipped with anti-glare filters for the obvious purpose of cutting out distracting reflections. This creates a matte finish to the surface of the screen. The degree to which this affects the sharpness of the screen image varies a lot, ranging from imperceptible to adding a noticeable grainy effect. You might make an analogy with glossy versus matte prints; the glossy print typically looks a little sharper.

An anti-glare filter is not something to be avoided in a monitor (almost impossible, anyway), but it is worth researching how much it affects the image in your desired screen before buying. Ideally, of course, it’s a good idea to get a look at a monitor before investing. Always check negative reviews when buying online.

Screen to print

Photo by Rawpixel CC license.

Color Depth

On to a slightly complicated subject, which we’ll attempt to keep simple. Color depth relates to how many distinct colors a monitor can display.

Theoretically, the more colors a monitor can display, the more smoothly it can reproduce gradual changes in tone and the less prone it is to frustrating “banding” or posterization effects (characterized by ugly pixelated blocks of color).

Most monitors on the market have one of the following two specs:

  1. 8-bit color (native)
  2. 6-bit color + FRC (2 bits)

The second of these uses dithering to create colors that aren’t there, which is theoretically inferior to a monitor that can natively display 8-bit color. A monitor with 6-bit color is more prone to banding problems, as previously described.

Note that calibrating a monitor increases the likelihood of banding, so more color depth offsets this and effectively makes a monitor more adjustable. Laptop screens nearly always use 6-bit color, so should ideally be calibrated conservatively.

You may see 10-bit color in more expensive monitors. This, again, could be genuine 10-bit color depth or 8-bit + FRC. Bear in mind that a 10-bit monitor can only display its 1.07 billion colors if 10-bit is supported by your graphics processor, software and video connection.

Hardware LUT calibration

Hardware LUT calibration is a fancy feature you’ll find in some high-end monitors from Eizo and NEC as well as a few consumer brands.

Monitor Eizo CG277 BK 27 inches

Image courtesy of Wiki-media Commons.

What is an LUT?

An LUT is a lookup table, which maps the input signals from your PC into, typically, 8-bit RGB color output from your LCD monitor.

In a monitor, greater color depth allows for smoother, more nuanced tonal transitions without banding. Like a monitor, an LUT may also vary in its color depth; the more colors it can process, the better the monitor will be at displaying smooth tones and precise color.

The above is true even if the final output is an 8-bit monitor, so a 10, 12, 14, or 16-bit LUT produces better color in an 8-bit monitor than an 8-bit LUT. The difference between a 10-bit and 16-bit LUT may be less appreciable.

Hardware Calibration

The type of hardware calibration under discussion here doesn’t refer to use of a hardware device like a Spyder. Instead of storing an 8-bit LUT in your video card, like most monitors do, expensive graphics monitors usually have a high-bit LUT built-in to their own hardware for more refined calibration. You’ll still use a calibration device to measure your monitor’s color, but the final color reproduction should be superior.

Expensive graphics monitors often allow you to store and switch between calibration profiles, so you can alter calibration settings with the click of a mouse using proprietary software. This is impossible in normal monitors, where calibration data is loaded into the video card LUT on startup and not changeable without recalibrating your monitor.

A Final Word

When choosing a monitor for photography, panel type is king. If you buy the best IPS (or equivalent) monitor you can afford, the other features are frosting on the cake. Good luck!

The post How to Choose the Right Monitor for Photo Editing by Glenn Harper appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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How To Choose Photo Paper for Printing?

26 Apr

Photography is not a hobby nor a profession – it is an art. Although, being different from many other hobbies, it requires sheer dedication, skill and talent to end up making something outstanding. Choosing the optimum paper may not be as easy as we think. I would say this part is most challenging to a neophyte. Having no experience in Continue Reading

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