The computer monitor market is very competitive. ViewSonic has been making monitors for a very long time, and they understand quality. I used to use the CRT versions back in the day, when they were some of the best monitors on the market. To my delight, ViewSonic has recently introduced another series of high quality monitors to compete in the demanding professional photographic market.
The model I have been using for a while is the VP2468. It is a 24” monitor with full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, utilizing a white-led backlit, anti-glare SuperClear IPS panel color active matrix TFT LCD. There are many video inputs, including two HDMI 1.4 ports, and two DisplayPort 1.2a ports. The VP2468 has an excellent viewing angle of 178 degrees both horizontally and vertically. It can display 99% of the sRGB color gamut, and it uses a 14-bit/3D look-up table (LUT) for very smooth and accurate color. For those who want to tweak color beyond normal calibration, the VP2468 allows for independent 6-axis color (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, yellow) hue and saturation adjustments.
When I unpacked the VP2468, there was a piece of paper that had highly-detailed factory color calibration and uniformity report. This is a factory report, done for each monitor individually, that describes the accuracy of the pre-calibration and screen brightness and color consistency. The VP2468 undergoes four times the amount of attention with factory color calibration than competing brands. Although you should still calibrate your monitor for your individual working environment, you can be rest assured that your VP2468 has a tight manufacturing tolerance and will be accurately prepared for you to begin using it in your color managed workflow. To calibrate and profile the VP2468, ViewSonic sells the Colorbration Kit CS-XRi1, but the X-Rite i1Display Pro and i1Pro 2 hardware calibrators will also work.
The ViewSonic frameless design bezel is extremely thin. It’s so thin that the buttons are on the back edge of the monitor. This bezel design will allow for a wonderful multi-monitor setup, as the gap between the screens will be very small. It will take a little time to become familiar with which button controls which setting, but once you’ve got your monitor calibrated and profiled, there’s really no reason to keep playing around with the monitor controls.
Calibrating this monitor was a great experience, and being a fine art photographer and printer, this is critical to maintaining my color workflow. The software used to calibrate the ViewSonic monitors is called Colorbration, which is based on the X-Rite i1Profiler application, with some features made specifically for ViewSonic monitors. Colorbration has basic and advanced modes. In the basic mode, a wizard takes you through all the calibration steps, easily and quickly. Advanced mode provides you with many professional options to fine-tune the calibration to very specific requirements. For most users, especially when getting started with a color managed workflow, the basic mode will be more than sufficient.
To help make the calibration process easy, the VP2468 supports automatic display calibration (ADC). ADC allows the Colorbration software to communicate directly with the monitor and configure all required settings with minimal to no user intervention. The monitor must be plugged into the computer with a USB cable for ADC to work. During the calibration process, there is an option for running the uniformity correction at the end of calibration. The ViewSonic uniformity correction is used to ensure that all areas of the monitor have consistent and accurate brightness and color values required for proper calibration, based on the calibration settings you chose. The VP2468 can be successfully calibrated to low brightness values, something that is usually found on more expensive monitors. One important feature of the VP2468 which is extremely important for accurate and consistent color is the anti-glare screen, as opposed to a glossy screen which is far from ideal for serious photographic editing.
Uniformity of brightness is another advantage offered by color management monitors. Most general-purpose monitors suffer from slight variations in brightness and color across the screen. These differences occur during the manufacturing process at the panel factory and may not be noticeable to the average user. The image processing power user, however, should be able to detect these variations, as they can impact the quality of their final product. This is why monitors that are purpose-build for image processing are tested at the factory to ensure uniformity.
It’s very important to choose the proper monitor for post processing your photos and I’ve been very pleased with the new ViewSonic VP2468! The ViewSonic monitors utilize some of the best display technology, and offer very compelling features and quality for the price. If you’re in the market for a new monitor, you should seriously consider the ViewSonic VP2468. It is a monitor that you can rely on for highly accurate and consistent color, helping you bring your photography to the next level!