Choosing the right display for design and imaging workflows

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional or enthusiast, if you use a display for imaging work you need to be confident that what you see on screen will match the final output, be that a print campaign, web image, or anything in between.  

For example, if you’re editing an image in Photoshop, you could be compensating for variations of hues and tones in the display and not the actual image. Choosing the right display is therefore crucial to getting your work looking right first time, cutting out on revisions and mis-matches which could cost both time and money.

EIZO ColorEdge CG276 and NEC SpectraView 271 Reference displays

EIZO ColorEdge CG276 and NEC SpectraView 271 Reference displays

So if you work in design or photography, which display is right for you? As well as giving our top recommendations at the bottom, we’ve also come up with some key features to consider when purchasing a display:

Even brightness

Fluctuations in brightness are common in LCD displays, and this variance could potentially cause a lot of problems. For instance, when looking at an image one side could appear artificially brighter than the other. This can mean that when you edit an image you are compensating for problems in your display’s uniformity rather than the image itself.

Higher end colour critical displays will have features such as digital uniformity equaliser (DUE) technology or Digital Uniformity Control to counterbalance these influences and ensure uniformity and stability over time.

DUE comparison

EIZO DUE illustration

Full tone curve and smooth gradation
If you are viewing an image on a display, you want to be able to see details within shadows and highlights as well as mid tones. Try going into Photoshop and selecting the ‘Info’ window – when you move your mouse over highlights and shadows, can you see the tone change along with the numbers?  Both EIZO and NEC Colour Critical displays guarantee a full tone curve resulting in smooth gradations of colour.
The look up table (LUT) is a key factor in a monitor’s ability to display tonal grades and transitions; a display designed for colour critical applications will have a LUT with a high humber of bits, around 14 or 16, and the best ones will have 3D LUTs that allow an even better mixing of colour.
EIZO CX smooth gradation

EIZO gamma curve illustration

Wide colour gamut
If you’re shooting in RAW or working in Adobe RGB, you should consider a display which has a wide colour gamut as it will be able to reproduce almost the entire Adobe RGB colour space. This allows colours such as rich blues and vibrant greens to be reproduced more faithfully and accurately than on a display with sRGB colour space, which can only reproduce approximately 75% of Adobe RGB.
EIZO CX and Adobe RGB

EIZO colour space comparison

Hardware calibration

With hardware calibration, the adjustments are made directly in the display rather than the graphics card, enabling these displays to produce more accurate calibration results. EIZO’s CG displays come with a built-in calibration sensor, which means they can calibrate automatically and eliminate the need for a third party calibration device.

Hardware warranty

If you are investing in a display then the length and coverage of a warranty is an important consideration. All EIZO displays and the NEC SpectraView Reference displays come with a five year warranty, and some high end displays will also come with a pixel defect warranty (meaning you’re covered for any pixel problems you may have within the warranty period).


Our top display recommendations…

For colour professionals who need the highest level of accuracy

 Ideal for photography, retouching, pre-press and post-production.

We recommend considering a display such as the EIZO ColorEdge CG series or NEC SpectraView Reference. These are the most advanced displays in their line-ups, with the tightest uniformity and colour tolerances, and come with additional features such as 3D LUT, hoods and pixel failure warranties.

For colour professionals and prosumers

Ideal for general design and photography work. 

If you need colour accuracy but don’t need extras like hoods or the tightest tolerances, the EIZO ColorEdge CX series or NEC Spectraview are ideal. They offer excellent quality, high bit LUTs, cover the majority of the RGB colour space and are capable of hardware calibration.

For enthusiasts and users working in sRGB

Ideal for web graphics, photography  captured in sRGB/jpeg, editing video.

If you only need to work in sRGB, the EIZO ColorEdge CS230 offers great performance at a lower cost. It has a 16-Bit LUT, self-calibration sensor, and comes with a five year warranty. And NEC’s P series displays offer great value for money – they cover the majority of the sRGB colour gamut and have IPS panel and Digital Uniformity Control for great imaging performance.

Additional resources

Article: Master colour management with EIZO’s easy handbook

– Video: Why choose EIZO’s ColorEdge monitors for colour critical workflow?

The Jigsaw24 Displays shop

The Jigsaw24 Displays shop

Want to know more about finding the right colour accurate display? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Call us: 03332 409 306

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