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2009.01.03

While large LCD displays have been dropping in price rapidly, affordable high-quality display have remained pricey until very recently. NEC now has the Multisync P221W which is a color-calibratable 22″ LCD with 98% coverage of AdobeRGB color-space and a native resolution of 1680×1050. Its suggested retail price is $549 USD.

A wide-gamut monitor such as this one is essential for digital photographers to see the most possible colors. Most modern LCD displays show less than 80% of standard color-spaces like sRGB and AdobeRGB. While color calibration helps many monitors, it cannot make them show colors outside of their gamut. There exists several monitors which cover 98% or more of AdobeRGB and sRGB color-spaces but their price is most often quite high.

While I remember reviewing the absolutely amazing NEC Multisync LCD2180WG-LED which had a retail price of $8000 USD and covers 110% of sRGB, 107% of Adone RGB and 103% of NTSC, it now retails of a much more affordable $1600 USD. This was also the world’s first 10-bit-per-channel LCD display, although now there is another one by HP. This capability allows it to display more color variation than any commercial LCD available. Sadly, it will only do so once software and graphics cards also catch up.

Neocamera uses a 30″ NEC Multisync LCD3090WQXi which covers 98% of AdobeRGB and 102% of NTSC. This is a large monitor which requires Dual-Link DVI output to run at its optimum resolution of 2560×1600. A slightly smaller and lower resolution version, the 26″ Multisync LCD2690WUXi runs at 1920×1200 and goes for $1200 USD, instead of $2400 USD for the 30″ version. Note that because of the size and resolution differences, the 30″ has a higher pixel density of 100dpi. For those who do not have access to NEC displays, Eizo also has a good selection of wide-gamut displays from 22″ to 30″.

All the NEC displays mentioned here can be calibrated to different precisions, from 10-bits to 14-bits per pixel component. These models optionally come with a SpectraView color-calibration solution which is perfectly matches to the monitor and supported by the manufacturer to maximize the probability of successfully calibration the displays.

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