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In Need Of Monitor Help


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#1 Lanimilbus

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 06:55 PM

I own and run a website for my photography (http://www.lanimilbus.com) and have been uploading and editing my photos with a 2001 Dell CRT monitor for the past 6 and a half years now. Since Iím uploading and editing my pictures for the rest of the world to look at on various types of computers and monitors, it is very important to me that what I see on my monitor is as close to what everyone else sees as possible. I.e. the brightness, contrast, saturation and hue of a picture should look more or less the same to everyone else as it does to me when Iím editing it.

I thought of updating to a newer, more improved monitor a few years ago but when I went to the local computer store to look at monitors all they had were LCD flat screens. This is a problem because I can never seem to get my photos to look the way I want them to look on other monitors when I use a LCD monitor; first off, Iíll be adjusting the brightness and contrast of a picture on the LCD screen and then when I look at the screen from a slightly different angle it will either look darker or lighter depending on my point of view. I tried editing a batch of pictures on my laptop once and though they looked fine on the laptop, when I put them onto my CRT monitor they were all much too dark. I talked to the salesman at the computer store about this (he happened to be a graphic designer) and he told me that when heís editing photos for the web he uses a very old, very large CRT monitor to avoid the problems I mentioned and to get the most universal view of what the picture will look like. Because of this Iíve always assumed that what I see with my CRT monitor is essentially what the rest of the world will see. Iíve recently discovered that this is, in fact, not true.

Over Christmas break I visited an Apple store and viewed my website with one of their display computers (a very large widescreen LCD Apple monitor) and was fairly shocked to see how different my photos looked. First off, Iíd been resizing my photos to be (with borders) an average of 13 inches in width and 10 inches in height. This more than fills up my 800x600 monitor, but on the widescreen Apple it only filled up about 40% of the screen when viewed full size. Secondly, some of my photos looked too bright or washed out or grainy in parts; things I had never noticed when viewing them on my CRT monitor at home.
Then last month I was viewing a message board where people were discussing hidden objects in pictures and a certain picture was posted of a chain link gate where there was supposed to be a person in red hiding in the background. I looked at this picture for half an hour on my screen trying to find the person and eventually resorted to saving the picture and adjusting the brightness/contrast of it in Photoshop; only then could I see the person in red. I then looked back at the original picture and even when I knew exactly where to look for the hidden figure, I could see nothing but blackness. I asked a few of my friends if they could see it in the original picture on their respective computers and they all could. I then burned the original picture onto a CD and loaded it onto my laptop; on my laptopís screen I could instantly see the person in red. Not only was the picture significantly brighter and easier to see but the hue of the wires (which were very grimy looking and dark green on my CRT screen) looked totally different (much lighter and more silvery and clean).
(By the way, the picture in question is here, the original being on the top and the brightened version with the circled figure being on the bottom: http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/112/hiddente7.jpg)


This bothers me, as I have been editing all my photos (adjusting the levels, brightness, contrast, saturation etc) so that they look good on THIS monitor, and Iím now realizing that what Iím seeing on this monitor is not what everyone else sees.
So, all this being said, I need a new monitor: one that is as universal as possible. One on which I can edit my photos and the finished product will look as similar to how it will look on every other monitor as possible. Can anyone offer any advice or suggestions on what type of monitor that would be? Also, I clearly need to upgrade from my 800x600 screen resolution...is there a certain resolution that more monitors use than any other? Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any and all help,

-Alec

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 09:07 PM

The new Dell LCD monitors are as good as any and sometimes better. 2 suggestions:
Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP has an application called Color Control Panel Applet. I think this is right up your alley.
Consider a better (and more expensive) video card. Not the ATI or nVidea gamers use, but one specific to your needs. They're out there, it takes some searching. Matrox has always considered one of the better ones. You want one that's good with 2D not 3D
Mark

Edited by garmanma, 05 February 2008 - 09:14 PM.

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#3 garmanma

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:11 AM

Another thought. Installers use a test disk when setting up flat panel HDTV's to make the final adjustments. I've seen it discussed on http://dl.tv I'd have to look into it a little more
Mark

Edited by garmanma, 06 February 2008 - 09:12 AM.

Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
Do not send me PMs with problems that should be posted in the forums. Keep it in the forums, so everyone benefits
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