The photographic monitor
Photographers and amateur photographers don’t think twice before buying an expensive camera or professional lenses, but they often overlook an equally important component, the monitor. More and more often we hear about photographic monitors. But what are they? Do you really need one? Let’s be clear about it, in this review!
Why a photographic monitor?
In the world of photography and beyond, color management plays a fundamental role so that our works are displayed correctly regardless of the media used.
The monitor, therefore, is one of the most important tools we have at our disposal because through it we make crucial changes to our photos in post-production and today, thanks to the collaboration with BenQ, I have the pleasure of trying a monitor designed specifically for us photographers! This is BenQ SW271, which in fact has all the credentials to be called a “photographic monitor”. Let’s see them together!
How it looks like
The BenQ SW271 arrives home in a “huge” box, just think that the it weighs about 16 kg! Once you open the package you immediately realize how much care has been dedicated to the packaging, everything is perfectly in place, safely stored and protected by polystyrene to avoid any kind of problems or damage during shipping.
Out of the box
Once out of the box, the Benq SW271 impresses with its design. The frames are really small, giving the monitor a very modern and elegant look. Available connections include a convenient SD player, 2 USB3.1 ports, HDMI 2.0, 1 Display Port 1.4, and a Type-C USB port compatible with the Thunderbolt interface used on the latest Macs. I really appreciated this last one because it allows you to transmit video and data with just one cable. So you can calibrate with great ease and display brilliant 4K content thanks to an incredible transfer speed.
One of the features that I immediately appreciated about this monitor is the ergonomics of use that, for those like me, who spend many hours in front of their PC working on their photos, is an aspect not to be underestimated! This BenQ SW271 offers the chance to adjust both the height and tilt quickly and easily and, as a result, your back and eyes will say thank you! Staying on the subject, the anti-glare screen protector included in the package is worth mentioning. In addition to giving it a “professional” aesthetic touch, it helps to reduce reflections caused by surrounding lights and therefore ambient lighting, ensuring even greater color accuracy and helps you avoid unnecessary distractions while working.
In addition, you can rotate the monitor vertically, a feature that promotes the development of vertical photographs taking full advantage of the entire surface of the display. Although I love taking portrait photographs, I don’t find it very practical for me to rotate the monitor every time I rotate it, especially if you use the screen protector (to be mounted and unmounted each time), however it is a very useful feature that deserves to be mentioned, especially if you have a second monitor on which you would like to continue viewing horizontally.
A complete and quality product
IPS and HDR
BenQ SW271 arrives factory calibrated, with a report included in the package, but the feature that differentiates it from most monitors on the market is that the calibration is hardware and not software type. This means that the calibration data is stored directly in the monitor inside the graphics chip and not on our computer as a profile to be applied to the output of the graphics card. This peculiarity offers several advantages. It allows you to connect to the monitor any device, PC, Notebook, Macbook, always keeping the same calibration and therefore color fidelity and, first of all and most importantly, ensures a much more accurate calibration than the software type.
Hardware vs software
Let’s clarify. Software calibration, always executable through external probes, generates, as already said, a color profile to associate to the video card output of only 8bit. The Hardware one, instead, generates a LUT (Look Up Table) 3D calibration that has a depth of 14bit.
More specifically, it means that with 8bit guaranteed by the software calibration the generated profile will be based on a scale of 256 values (2^8) 16.7 million colors, while with the Hardware one the available values become 16384 (2^14) or 4.39 trillion, which guarantees a calibration curve much more accurate and able to handle all shades of color.
But its most useful feature is that you can switch between Adobe RGB, sRGB and Black-and-White modes at the touch of a button. The buttons can also be customized to set other modes such as quickly changing the calibration profile we created or changing brightness and contrast, an additional convenience for photographers.