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R Scott James

laptop screen question for Viewing / editing photos

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Hello everyone. I have a monitor question, is stems from me questioning the amount of noise I see in photos. I have only have one image fail QC and after looking at It, it should have. I shoot micro 4/3 and have a Olympus omd em10 MK2, a em5,  and a Panasonic gx85 that I use for video. I use Luminar 3 for editing raw files. I have a older lap top i5 8 gig ram BUT my lap top monitor resolution is 1600x900 8 bit RGA. Its about a 8 year old lap top. Question is my lap top monitor sufficient for editing? am I seeing a less quality image because of the lap top screen? 

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Posted (edited)

I would say definitely no - you should be using a 24" - 27" monitor normal resolution (not 4 or 5K). It is not just resolution, it is also about screen size. While it is possible to edit on laptops, the screens are really too small to see the detail in images from modern digital cameras. It is not just about seeing noise or lack of sharpness either - it is also simply viewing one's images at a large enough size to appreciate the quality. Why pay for wonderful cameras and lenses and then view the results on a tiny screen, moreover as a lot of people never print their images nowadays so the only time they ever see them is on a screen. Non-photographers are more often than not viewing on phones. 

Edited by MDM

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My current display on an all-in-one HP PC is about 18"x10" and I find it quite adequate, but I do have a second monitor that's about 13x10. . Monitor size per se shouldn't affect your ability to judge sharpness and detail- you can zoom in to 100% on any display.. You just have to scroll around more on smaller ones.

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

My current display on an all-in-one HP PC is about 18"x10" and I find it quite adequate, but I do have a second monitor that's about 13x10. .

 

One man's adequate is another man's eye strain. And adequate may be just that - some of us prefer more than just adequate. Once you get used to using a large monitor then going back to a small one for editing is a pain. A basic 24" monitor these days can be bought very cheaply ( the OP is in the USA as well so I expect he can get one very cheaply).

 

1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

 Monitor size per se shouldn't affect your ability to judge sharpness and detail- you can zoom in to 100% on any display.. You just have to scroll around more on smaller ones.

 

That is not correct. It's a combo of size and resolution. Using a high resolution 13" display for example (MacBookPro Retina 13" screen) makes it difficult to judge sharpness at 100% (Mark C may point out that you can view at 200% but it is not the same rendering and is much less comfortable). As in the other thread about viewing at 100%, editing on a small screen can be done but it is not ideal. In relation to the OP's question, he is very likely seeing less detail that he would if using a larger monitor. But it will obviously depend on which screens one uses. 

 

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I disagree. I said "per se". I have a larger monitor than I used to but I view at 100% in exactly the same way so I'm not getting eye strain. I'm not seeing more "detail". I'm just seeing slightly more of the image.

It seems right to point out the options to the OP, and those options include not buying a 24" monitor. I've never bought one- all mine have been handed down.

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I think there are other potential issues with using an 8 year old laptop display

 

1) Is it calibrated (colour temperature in particular, but also gamma and brightness). 

2) The contrast will probably change with screen angle depending on the technology LCD/IPS/LED etc.

 

I made a BIG MISTAKE of using an uncalibrated 15" Dell Laptop display to produce my 1st 1,000 or so images for Alamy. When I finally bought a screen calibration device I was shocked how far out the colour temperature of the display was. I also found it impossible to get consistent rendering as the contrast varied so much depending on how far I opened the lid.

 

I still shudder when I look back at some of those images. They do sell, but I'm gradually reworking and reloading them when I can.

 

If you want my advice, make sure you've got a decent calibrated display to work on. I wouldn't go below a 15" laptop display, but a 24" monitor or larger is so much better. I'd avoid hi-res 4K, 5K or retina if you can as the inspection at 200% "fix" is far from ideal. (Although it's possible to zoom to 200% the preview windows in PS when adjusting sharpness etc. are fixed at 100%.)

 

Mark

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3 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I disagree. I said "per se". I have a larger monitor than I used to but I view at 100% in exactly the same way so I'm not getting eye strain. I'm not seeing more "detail". I'm just seeing slightly more of the image.

It seems right to point out the options to the OP, and those options include not buying a 24" monitor. I've never bought one- all mine have been handed down.

 

You are right literally - sorry my Latin is a bit rusty. It's been a long time since I was at school. What I was really saying is that it both monitor size and resolution both need to be considered here. I love quality and think it is worth spending within reason (reason being entirely subjective) to achieve that. No doubt you and I exist at different parts of an equipment spectrum. I would be most unhappy with hand-me-downs. It is definitely beneficial for a number of reasons to use a high quality larger monitor but of course it is not essential.

 

1 hour ago, M.Chapman said:

I think there are other potential issues with using an 8 year old laptop display

 

1) Is it calibrated (colour temperature in particular, but also gamma and brightness). 

2) The contrast will probably change with screen angle depending on the technology LCD/IPS/LED etc.

 

I made a BIG MISTAKE of using an uncalibrated 15" Dell Laptop display to produce my 1st 1,000 or so images for Alamy. When I finally bought a screen calibration device I was shocked how far out the colour temperature of the display was. I also found it impossible to get consistent rendering as the contrast varied so much depending on how far I opened the lid.

 

I still shudder when I look back at some of those images. They do sell, but I'm gradually reworking and reloading them when I can.

 

If you want my advice, make sure you've got a decent calibrated display to work on. I wouldn't go below a 15" laptop display, but a 24" monitor or larger is so much better. I'd avoid hi-res 4K, 5K or retina if you can as the inspection at 200% "fix" is far from ideal. (Although it's possible to zoom to 200% the preview windows in PS when adjusting sharpness etc. are fixed at 100%.)

 

Mark

 

I agree with all of this. My wife has a 15" Dell laptop provided by her job and the default colour is horrendously blue. It can be calibrated in software but most people don't bother or even realise there is a problem. I dread to think that my clients might be looking at images I have provided on such a device which is why I always include a cautionary note in relation to colour and different devices.

 

But there is also a huge variation between monitors, not just laptop displays. The you get what you pay for adage is true here. If the monitor contrast changes with a slight movement of the head, then it can be very frustrating. And needless to say, a hardware calibrating device is highly desirable if not essential. 

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2 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

I think there are other potential issues with using an 8 year old laptop display

 

1) Is it calibrated (colour temperature in particular, but also gamma and brightness). 

2) The contrast will probably change with screen angle depending on the technology LCD/IPS/LED etc.

 

I made a BIG MISTAKE of using an uncalibrated 15" Dell Laptop display to produce my 1st 1,000 or so images for Alamy. When I finally bought a screen calibration device I was shocked how far out the colour temperature of the display was. I also found it impossible to get consistent rendering as the contrast varied so much depending on how far I opened the lid.

 

I still shudder when I look back at some of those images. They do sell, but I'm gradually reworking and reloading them when I can.

 

If you want my advice, make sure you've got a decent calibrated display to work on. I wouldn't go below a 15" laptop display, but a 24" monitor or larger is so much better. I'd avoid hi-res 4K, 5K or retina if you can as the inspection at 200% "fix" is far from ideal. (Although it's possible to zoom to 200% the preview windows in PS when adjusting sharpness etc. are fixed at 100%.)

 

Mark

I am basically doing the same thing as you, its a 15" inch dell laptop , I pulled up mu Alamy catalog on my work computer desk top with a 2 year old 24" monitor and the images simply looked better a few I noticed were slightly off on exposure ( to my taste). Live and learn, after years of shooting film and stepping away from the hobby for years you know  work family etc, I am learning digital and still have a lot to learn. 

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I either read or was told some years ago that one of the biggest reasons to not use a laptop for editing was even calibrated, if you move it around it goes out of calibration. I’m not sure if that’s true, or once was, but just the thought of it being true stopped me in my tracks.

 

I had a high dollar Mac pro laptop 7-8 years or so ago, but used it on vacation to download my new images to, and do a bit of sorting. Getting rid of the really OOF ones. I did the editing on my iMac once home.

Betty

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Over the years I've used all sorts of PC's to edit photos.

Worked with several LENOVO laptops in the early 00's

and for the last five years I do most work on a desktop

using a calibrated 24' screen.  I pay more attention to my histogram

and picking a white object in the image (255, 255, 255)

and black (0, 0, 0).  All in aRGB color. Currently having

some issues with the final appearance of JPEG's on Alamy?

 

Processing also depends on the Graphics Card.

 

Chuck

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Just to add:

 

In the more than ten years contributing to Alamy I've gone from shooting film and

scanning to first a $30,000+ (retail) 2.1MP DSLR, just uploaded a 'Steve Jobs' image

shot with it. To Fuji S2's and S5's and now mostly NIKON D800's.  In the early 00's

I did most processing on LENOVO laptops.  Painful process. 

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7 hours ago, R Scott James said:

I am basically doing the same thing as you, its a 15" inch dell laptop , I pulled up mu Alamy catalog on my work computer desk top with a 2 year old 24" monitor and the images simply looked better a few I noticed were slightly off on exposure ( to my taste). Live and learn, after years of shooting film and stepping away from the hobby for years you know  work family etc, I am learning digital and still have a lot to learn. 

 

A film analogy here would be something like shooting colour film and having small prints made - you never get to see the real potential of your equipment. 

 

Most computer screens are set way too bright by default so there is a tendency to produce images that are too dark if the screen is not corrected. Your images look pretty ok although possibly a little dark in some cases.  The histogram is very useful if you don't have a hardware calibrator (these do luminance as well as colour). 

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2 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

I pay more attention to my histogram

and picking a white object in the image (255, 255, 255)

and black (0, 0, 0).  All in aRGB color. Currently having

some issues with the final appearance of JPEG's on Alamy?

 

I guess you noticed that Alamy have recently confirmed that they convert all submitted images to sRGB and ship with the profile stripped?

See this thread

 

You might like to try the following test. Pick an image with some fairly strong red content

 

1) Whilst working in aRGB In PS adjust your image for the "perfect" histogram

2) Now convert the image to sRGB (as Alamy are doing) and watch what happens to the histogram.

 

Mmmm... 

 

Mark

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9 hours ago, MDM said:

I agree with all of this. My wife has a 15" Dell laptop provided by her job and the default colour is horrendously blue. It can be calibrated in software but most people don't bother or even realise there is a problem.

Exactly what happened to me. Not realising my Dell display was too blue (cooI) I adjusted my images so they looked right to me and ended up producing images that were quite a bit warmer than they should have been. Luckily some of my warm images do seem to sell, but they would probably sell better if they were more neutral.

 

Mark

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Well I took the plunge and picked up a 22 in monitor ….have some images on a SD card right now and going on a little day trip with my daughter this afternoon should have some more images to edit tonight....will give everyone a up date.  Thanks  to all!

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