Articles: Monitors

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The monitor’s menu looks humble and unassuming, resembling simple menus of many inexpensive models. The exterior is deceiving, however. The setup options are so extensive that there’s no talking about comparing them to ordinary monitors.

The menu allows you to change:

  • The position of the image on the screen
  • Brightness
  • Color temperature from 4000K to 10000K stepping 500K (and an additional step for the standard 9300K temperature)
  • Gamma exponent from 1.8 to 2.6 stepping 0.2
  • Saturation (from -16 to +16 stepping 1, that is from black-and-white image to very lush colors)
  • Hue
  • Gain for each of the three basic colors independently
  • Hue and saturation for each color of the 6-compoenent system (red, yellow, blue, green, cyan, magenta)

Besides, the ordinary options like onscreen menu-related settings, power-saving settings and others are available. I would note the option to disable the Power indicator and to enable brief sounds when the monitor’s controls are pressed.

But the most interesting feature of ColorEdge monitors is the automatic hardware calibration opportunities they offer. By “automatic” I mean that the calibration is performed with appropriate equipment rather than by your filling in a large table like with the above-described Mitsubishi UX21LCD. The calibration is done through the ColorNavigator utility supplied with the monitor, and using hardware calibrators EIZO ColorEdge CX1 or Gretag-Macbeth Eye-One.

Unfortunately, we received the monitor without a calibrator (which is actually an optional component, purchased separately), so I can only enumerate the capabilities of ColorNavigator. First, it can calibrate the monitor for any of the following targets:

  • White brightness from 30 to 200 nits stepping 5 nits
  • Black brightness from 0.5 to 3.5 nits stepping 0.1 nits
  • Gamma exponent from 1.0 to 2.6 stepping 0.1
  • Color temperature from 4000 to 10000K stepping 100K

After the calibration, ColorNavigator allows you to set up additionally the saturation and hue of each of the six colors, the white balance, the levels of black and white, and the gamma exponent, if your requirements are so tough that you want to fine-tune the results of the hardware calibration. These parameters can also be adjusted in the monitor’s menu, but ColorNavigator is much easier to use. But I don’t think you’ll have to do this calibration too often: with the above-mentioned calibrators, EIZO guarantees color setup accuracy with a delta-E difference of less than 0.5. That’s an excellent result.

Of course, ColorNavigator offers you tools for managing a set of color profiles (up to 20 profiles in total) in case you need several setup variants, for example, for different printing devices.

The monitor is based on an S-IPS matrix from Hitachi. EIZO declares a 10-bit LUT (Look-Up Table – a table that stores the points of the gamma compensation curve), which misleads some users into thinking that the monitor displays a 30-bit color (10 bits for each of the three channels). The matrix is actually 8-bit (so, there are 24 bits in total to represent color), while the 10-bit LUT increases the gamma compensation accuracy. If the LUT were 8-bit, smooth color gradients wouldn’t be as smooth as they are. I should confess, though, that a majority of modern LCD matrixes use a 10-bit LUT, and EIZO’s newer models employ a 14-bit one.

The visual impressions from the monitor are highly pleasant, except for the analog input which couldn’t ensure a high-quality picture in 1600x1200 resolution. But I think the owners of this monitor will hardly connect it via the analog input.

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