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LCD monitors

 
 
Al Dykes
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      08-24-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Kibo informs me that Bruce Murphy <(E-Mail Removed)> stated that:
>
>>Bob <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>>
>>> I'd say get a good CRT and forget the LCD for now. I have a top of
>>> the line graphics quality NEC 19" CRT and the picture is awesome! No
>>> LCD comes close! AND I paid half of what an 18" LCD would cost!

>>
>>Did you have fun testing the 30" Apple Cinema display? That's an LCD,
>>so you must have checked against it to make such a statement. Right?

>
>You can obtain 30" Apple Cinema displays for the price of an 18" generic
>LCD screen? Impressive!
>
>--




B&H Photo has an advert in the June 2004 issue of The NAAP Photoshop
Professional's magazine (pg 15) with a bundle; Buy a Microtek 997M (19
in) LCD and get a book free. Microtek also bundles this screen with a
calibration spider so I'd guess it's an LCD that's good enough for
some professional graphics work.

It's about $700. I used to pay that much for 17in CRTs. I go into
B&H once in a while and am going to look at it, just for grins.

OTOH I just bought a Viewsonic P95F (18 in) for $249 and I love it.





--
Al Dykes
-----------
adykes at p a n i x . c o m
 
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Nostrobino
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      08-24-2004

"Drifter" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Tue, 24 Aug 2004 00:12:16 GMT, "Nostrobino" <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
> >I'm thinking of getting a 17" LCD monitor, which will be used in large

part
> >for digital camera work. Most of the 17" monitors--in fact all that I've
> >seen--have a maximum, and presumably optimal, resolution of 1280x1024.
> >Obviously this 5:4 aspect ratio means non-square pixels

>
> Okay, I'm going to try and avoid confusion with the following
> statement.
>
> 1) The "picture elements" or pixels on a monitor don't change shape.
> They are physically locked by the design of the monitor and changing
> aspect ratio has no effect on their shape.


Changing the aspect ratio HAS TO change the shape of the pixels. The
problem is that on a 1280x1024 monitor the pixels will be non-square--so
images will be slightly squashed vertically, a circle will be not quite a
circle etc.

I realize that (unlike a CRT monitor) an LCD monitor has its pixels
"physically locked by the design" as you say, and therefore gives its best
performance at its maximum resolution. We are talking about different pixels
here. If you have, say, a 5-megapixel photo, which is typically 2560x1920
pixels, that has to be fitted into whatever the maximum monitor resolution
is. That 2560x1920 is a 4:3 aspect ratio, the standard for most digital
cameras. Obviously it cannot be delivered pixel-for-pixel to a monitor that
does not also have 2560x1920 resolution (which I doubt any generally
marketed monitor does). The PHOTO IMAGE pixels have to be translated somehow
into the available MONITOR pixels.

If this is done on a conventional CRT monitor, there is no problem with
distortion as long as the screen resolution is also 4:3, which almost all
standard resolutions are; 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 and 1600x1200 are all
4:3, and some popular if non-standard resolutions like 1152x864 as well.
However the translation is done, the pixels remain square and there is no
distortion. The only standard resolution which is different is 1280x1024,
which is 5:4, and this does produce distortion (non-square pixels) at least
on a CRT monitor.

>
> 2) The "picture elements" or pixels of the file can be changed, but
> don't need to be to "accommodate" a particular monitor resolution.
>
> Using most image viewing programs you can zoom in so that one pixel of
> the image file uses hundreds of pixels of the monitor to display it.
> My point is so that the difference between hardware pixels and image
> pixels is understood and we don't confuse the two.
>
> So if I have a picture that is 1280x960 and I want to display it on a
> monitor set to 1280x1024 I have a couple of options.
>
> Option# 1: Alter the aspect ratio so that the 1280x960 image gets
> stretched out to fill a 1280x1024 screen. Obviously this will distort
> the image.


Well, no. If you did THAT, then the problem would be solved and you would
AVOID distortion.

All standard computer monitors have a 4:3 aspect ratio display. If you have
a 4:3 image from the camera (as is the usual case), and show that on a
monitor which also has 4:3 resolution (e.g. 1280x960), then you have an
undistorted image on the display.


>
> Option# 2: Display the 1280x960 image AS a 1280x960 image which would
> result in some "letterboxing" (empty space at the top and bottom of
> the 1280x1024 screen) but would not distort the image.


But that DOES distort the image. You're taking a 4:3 aspect ratio image and
displaying it squeezed vertically (else you would not be getting that
letterboxing at the top and bottom). The SHAPE of the monitor is still 4:3
like any other monitor, but you're compressing the image vertically in order
to fit 1280x1024 pixels into it while the image only has 1280x960.


>
> >and this concerns
> >me. I've tried viewing digital photos at 1280x1024 on my present CRT
> >monitor, and while they don't look too bad it's obvious that they are
> >slightly squashed vertically

>
> I think it's possible that you changed the resolution of the picture
> somewhere, maybe you set something to "fill screen" or similar. When
> I view a native 1280x960 image on my monitor set to 1280x1024 I get an
> image with the correct aspect ratio (1280x960) that is "letterboxed"
> on the screen (I.E. has some blank space at the top and bottom).


If it's letterboxed then it is NOT the correct aspect ratio. A 1280x960
image has an aspect ratio of 4:3, and so does your monitor. If the image is
filling your monitor horizontally but not vertically then it's being
distorted.


N.


 
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Nostrobino
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      08-24-2004

"Bob" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Tue, 24 Aug 2004 00:12:16 GMT, "Nostrobino" <(E-Mail Removed)>

wrote:
>
> >I'm thinking of getting a 17" LCD monitor, which will be used in large

part
> >for digital camera work. Most of the 17" monitors--in fact all that I've
> >seen--have a maximum, and presumably optimal, resolution of 1280x1024.
> >Obviously this 5:4 aspect ratio means non-square pixels, and this

concerns
> >me. I've tried viewing digital photos at 1280x1024 on my present CRT
> >monitor, and while they don't look too bad it's obvious that they are
> >slightly squashed vertically, when compared to square-pixel settings.

>
> I'd say get a good CRT and forget the LCD for now. I have a top of the

line
> graphics quality NEC 19" CRT and the picture is awesome! No LCD comes

close! AND
> I paid half of what an 18" LCD would cost!


Yes, I think you're right. I already have a good 19" flat-screen CRT and
it's fine. I've been tempted by LCDs since the prices have come way down,
and (according to the specs at least) contrast ratios have been much
improved, and I really like the idea of light weight and space savings. This
19" CRT is a beast to move around, not that I really do that much.


>
>
> >So my questions are:
> >
> >1. Do 17" LCD monitors generally take well (or at all) to be used at a
> >non-standard 1280x960?

>
> If you don't use an LCD in it's native resolution, it will suffer from
> distortion in fine details. Also, the color has to be generated over

multiple
> cells and that can cause problems as well. Remember that an LCD monitor

has a
> cell for each pixel and is very precise that way, but a glass monitor can

have
> it's beam deflection size varied all over the place and still maintain

perfect
> color. It's easy on a CRT to adjust the picture size to the exact aspect

ratio
> you want - you don't have to display edge to edge just because it can! And

top
> quality CRTs have much finer 'pixels'.


Yep. I guess I'll stay with CRTs at least for the time being. Maybe I'll get
a 15" LCD for my "small form factor" Biostar. Most 15" LCDs have 1024x768,
which avoids the non-square-pixel problem.

N.


 
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Nostrobino
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      08-24-2004

"Rick" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "Nostrobino" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message

news:AJvWc.6958$(E-Mail Removed) m...
> > I'm thinking of getting a 17" LCD monitor, which will be used in large

part
> > for digital camera work. Most of the 17" monitors--in fact all that I've
> > seen--have a maximum, and presumably optimal, resolution of 1280x1024.
> > Obviously this 5:4 aspect ratio means non-square pixels, and this

concerns
> > me. I've tried viewing digital photos at 1280x1024 on my present CRT
> > monitor, and while they don't look too bad it's obvious that they are
> > slightly squashed vertically, when compared to square-pixel settings.
> >
> > So my questions are:
> >
> > 1. Do 17" LCD monitors generally take well (or at all) to be used at a
> > non-standard 1280x960?
> >
> > 2. If not, do those of you who use such monitors find this to be a

problem?
>
> I'd be less concerned about aspect ratio and more concerned
> about the 20-30% color gamut you'll be losing by switching
> to an LCD.


You're probably right. My experience with LCDs is very limited. My Toshiba
laptop has the only LCD monitor I've used to any real extent, and that has
very obvious limitations compared to a CRT. Though I presume a good desktop
LCD monitor would be far better, I don't really know this of course.

N.


 
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Nostrobino
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      08-24-2004

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Kibo informs me that "Nostrobino" <(E-Mail Removed)> stated that:
>
> [aspect ratio problems]
>
> >So my questions are:
> >
> >1. Do 17" LCD monitors generally take well (or at all) to be used at a
> >non-standard 1280x960?

>
> You should never, ever use an LCD monitor at a non-native resolution.
> Unlike CRTs, LCD panels are made up of an array of individual pixels, so
> a non-native resolution requires the display to stretch the pixels from
> your computer to cover the screen. Because they won't map 1:1, the
> result is unbelievably ugly distortion.
>
> >2. If not, do those of you who use such monitors find this to be a

problem?
>
> I have both an LCD & a CRT monitor on this PC. I only use the LCD for
> text work (such as reading Usenet , & use the CRT for photo work. LCDs
> just don't have the colour/tonal resolution needed for working with
> photos, even when calibrated. My advice is to stick with CRTs if colour
> accuracy is important to you.


For that and the other reasons discussed, I guess I will stick with CRTs for
the most part.

To all who have replied, thanks for your help.

N.


 
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ERich10983
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      08-24-2004
When I bought my Sony 19" LCD monitor, I went into Best Buy early on a Monday
morning with my laptop. I plugged it into each monitor I was interested in to
compare how MY photos looked. I think I tried about 5 different kinds before
making a choice. I'm still happy with the Sony.

My needs are a little different than most since 3 months of the year I'm in a
5th wheel camper and appreciate the weight and thickness difference. I also use
this when I teach digital photography since the displayed image can be facing
the audience while the laptop computer screen is also on and facing me. I would
really like a projection unit for doing this, but the cost is a bit much still.

Earle Rich
Mont Vernon, NH
 
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Graeme Cogger
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-24-2004
In article <AJvWc.6958$(E-Mail Removed)> ,
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) says...
> I'm thinking of getting a 17" LCD monitor, which will be used in large part
> for digital camera work. Most of the 17" monitors--in fact all that I've
> seen--have a maximum, and presumably optimal, resolution of 1280x1024.
> Obviously this 5:4 aspect ratio means non-square pixels, and this concerns
> me. I've tried viewing digital photos at 1280x1024 on my present CRT
> monitor, and while they don't look too bad it's obvious that they are
> slightly squashed vertically, when compared to square-pixel settings.
>
> So my questions are:
>
> 1. Do 17" LCD monitors generally take well (or at all) to be used at a
> non-standard 1280x960?
>
> 2. If not, do those of you who use such monitors find this to be a problem?
>

There will NOT be any distortion of the image on a 17" LCD at
1280x1024, because these LCDs are a different shape to CRTs.
All CRTs are built to a 4:3 ratio, and therefore will squash
the image vertically if used at 1280x1024. All LCDs with a
native resolution of 1280x1024 are built to a 5:4 ratio, and
therefore the pixels are square and there is no distortion. In
fact if you use such an LCD at 1280x960, or 1024x768, images
will be stretched vertically.
 
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nospam
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-24-2004
In article <wZIWc.7162$(E-Mail Removed)> , Nostrobino
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Changing the aspect ratio HAS TO change the shape of the pixels. The
> problem is that on a 1280x1024 monitor the pixels will be non-square--so
> images will be slightly squashed vertically, a circle will be not quite a
> circle etc.


if the aspect ratio of the image doesn't match the screen, it can
either be squeezed/stretched to fit or left as-is and the sides or
top/bottom of the screen are blackened. this is the same for crt or
lcd.

also, most video cards that support widescreen lcds also have standard
4x3 aspect ratio modes and simply blacken the edges of the display.

> If it's letterboxed then it is NOT the correct aspect ratio. A 1280x960
> image has an aspect ratio of 4:3, and so does your monitor. If the image is
> filling your monitor horizontally but not vertically then it's being
> distorted.


not all monitors are 4x3, particularly lcds (many are 'widescreen') but
crts too (portrait monitors, for instance).
 
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David Dyer-Bennet
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      08-24-2004
"Nostrobino" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> "Drifter" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> On Tue, 24 Aug 2004 00:12:16 GMT, "Nostrobino" <(E-Mail Removed)>
>> wrote:
>>
>> >I'm thinking of getting a 17" LCD monitor, which will be used in large

> part
>> >for digital camera work. Most of the 17" monitors--in fact all that I've
>> >seen--have a maximum, and presumably optimal, resolution of 1280x1024.
>> >Obviously this 5:4 aspect ratio means non-square pixels

>>
>> Okay, I'm going to try and avoid confusion with the following
>> statement.
>>
>> 1) The "picture elements" or pixels on a monitor don't change shape.
>> They are physically locked by the design of the monitor and changing
>> aspect ratio has no effect on their shape.

>
> Changing the aspect ratio HAS TO change the shape of the pixels. The
> problem is that on a 1280x1024 monitor the pixels will be non-square--so
> images will be slightly squashed vertically, a circle will be not quite a
> circle etc.


This is nonsense. You're making some sort of background assumption (I
can't tell what from your question) that's simply false-to-fact.

> I realize that (unlike a CRT monitor) an LCD monitor has its pixels
> "physically locked by the design" as you say, and therefore gives its best
> performance at its maximum resolution. We are talking about different pixels
> here. If you have, say, a 5-megapixel photo, which is typically 2560x1920
> pixels, that has to be fitted into whatever the maximum monitor resolution
> is. That 2560x1920 is a 4:3 aspect ratio, the standard for most digital
> cameras. Obviously it cannot be delivered pixel-for-pixel to a monitor that
> does not also have 2560x1920 resolution (which I doubt any generally
> marketed monitor does). The PHOTO IMAGE pixels have to be translated somehow
> into the available MONITOR pixels.


This focus on displaying a photo image 1:1 full-screen on a monitor
has nothing to do with anything that's ordinarily done on a computer
with digital photos.

You're right that something happens to prepare the image for display
on the monitor.

What really happens is that you configure your video card for the
maximum resolution supported by your monitor (often 1280x1024; that's
what my 17" is configured for right now), then start photoshop, and
load the image file. Photoshop then picks a size within the photoshop
window that the image will fit in, and produces a resampled version of
the photo to pass to the video driver to fill that sub-window. Note
that the monitor resolution and the pixel shape never entered into
this; that's handled internally by the video driver and by photoshop.
If you then tell photoshop to zoom in in the same window size, it
produces a newly resampled image of the appropriate portion of the
imgage file and tells the video driver to display *that* in the
sub-window. The aspect ratio is preserved through all this -- the
proportions of things in the photo will look right as displayed on
your screen.

(None of that is actually specific to photoshop; PaintShop, Picture
Window, Corel Photo Paint, and Irfan View all do exactly the same
things.)
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <(E-Mail Removed)>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
 
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Pete
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      08-24-2004
On Tue, 24 Aug 2004 00:34:43 -0700, Rick wrote:

> I'd be less concerned about aspect ratio and more concerned
> about the 20-30% color gamut you'll be losing by switching
> to an LCD.


Not just the gamut problem, but the significant changes in brightness,
contrast and colors as you change your viewing angle.

I don't think my CRT will be retiring before I do!
 
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