To be honest, I like to edit my photos on my 3-year old 15″ HP laptop and never thought of upgrading to a bigger screen or monitor until I was recently approached by BenQ to test the SW2700PT monitor. I have been using this BenQ photography monitor since past couple of weeks and by the means of this post I would be sharing my genuine review, and at the end would suggest if you should go for it or not.
The BenQ SW2700PT is a monitor manufactured and designed especially for photographers as it covers 99% of the Adobe RGB color space, which is much wider than the sRGB color space. The massive 27″ monitor is packed with QHD (Quad High-definition) resolution of 2560×1440 pixels at an aspect ratio of 16×9.
The SW2700PT monitor features 109 pixels per inch density, this allows the monitor to project images with fine details which can be a great treat while editing photos. Further adding to the list of specifications, this photography monitor comes with a true 10-bit display which means that it can display more than 1 billion colors whereas the standard 8-bit display monitor can display approximately only 16.8 million colors. This allows the monitor to project smooth color transition and gradations, thus providing us a better view of the photos
Built Quality and Physical Appearance
The moment you look at the BenQ SW2700PT you would notice that the monitor is of solid built quality and gives a superior and classy look. The stand on which the monitor stands is sturdy and stable, and it allows you to adjust the height as well. By using both your hands, you can rotate the screen and tilt it at a maximum of 90 degrees vertically which allows you to view photos clicked in portrait orientation.
The monitor also comes with the shade hood which blocks the light coming from the top and side of the display, thus eliminating reflection and providing an obstruction-less view. In order to switch between different color modes, BenQ provides the OSD (On-screen Display) controller which can be connected using USB port and it sits on the monitor stand. This is a user-friendly accessory as it saves your time by not navigating through the menu every time you wish to change the color mode. Simply pre-set the buttons on the controller and switch between the color modes with a click.
Two USB slots and an SD memory card slot are placed on the left-hand side of the monitor and are easily accessible without even getting up from your chair. Other ports are placed on the back side of the monitor, which I found a bit odd to locate at first but after using it for a couple of days I got used to it.
The first and the most impressive specification that I am going to talk about is the ability of this monitor to display approximately 99% of Adobe RGB color space. If you are not aware, Adobe RGB has almost 30-35% more color space than sRGB is able to represent. This means that the photos clicked in and displayed on Adobe RGB color space will have more vibrant colors and will be able to show more accurate colors. Most modern day printers are compatible of printing photos in Adobe RGB color space, thus using this monitor would save you from wastage of prints as you have to make estimates while using an sRGB monitor. As you can see in the image below, the color space with green boundary is sRGB and the one with yellow boundary is Adobe RGB with more color space especially towards the green and blue color.
After using this monitor for more than 3 weeks, I am in love with its ability to represent precise colors which my laptop display fails to do as it hardly covers 50% Adobe RGB and 75-80% sRGB color space. I do not have to estimate the results that I would get on my prints as the BenQ SW2700PT lets me see 99% Adobe RGB color space, and as mentioned earlier the printers are very well equipped to print in Adobe RGB color space.
The 10-bit display does prove to be effective as I was able to notice smooth gradation of transition from one color tone to another. At no point did I notice sudden transition of color tones, this is because this 10-bit display is able to produce more than one billion colors.
Usually, the monitors produce even contrast and brightness in the centre of the screen, but you can notice the fall-off in the corners which can hamper your results while editing photos to be used on the web or to be printed. Talking about the performance of the BenQ SW2700PT I noticed even contrast and brightness from centre to corners, I hardly noticed any fall-off.
Talking about the color modes available in this monitor, there are basically four modes you can switch between: Adobe RGB, sRGB, Black and White mode and custom mode. So if you have clicked your image in Adobe RGB format and want to edit your photo with the aim of getting it printed, using Adobe RGB mode is the perfect choice. As I am not that much into prints, I use this mode to edit my HDR images in order to view true colors. As I upload photos on my social media platforms a lot, I switched to the sRGB mode in order to see how my photo would look like when it goes live on the web. The best part about this monitor is the OSD controller which helped me switch between these color modes as per my need.
Using the Black and White mode allowed me to see my photos in monochrome tone, but obviously one cannot depend on this mode while editing photos to be used as black and white. I would choose this mode to scan through my photos and finalize the files that I realize are looking better in monochrome.
In order to maintain the color performance of the monitor, BenQ has a software called Palette Master Element using which you can calibrate the monitor with the use of a calibrator. As listed on the website, the SW2700PT supports the following calibrators: X-Rite i1 Display Pro, i1 Pro, i1 Pro 2 and Datacolor Spyder 4/Spyder 5. If you are already using this monitor, you can download the software here.
All in all, I am really impressed with the BenQ SW2700PT monitor because of its ability to project 99% Adobe RGB color space which can help you as a photographer in getting accurate results on my screen before you get the photos printed. This will also help you if you like clicking and editing HDR photos. The comfort of rotating the screen 90 degrees lets you view your portrait-oriented photos as is, using the 27″ screen size efficiently. Centre-to-corner consistency in brightness and contrast lets you see the accurate results while you are editing photos.
At the cost of Rs.75,000, this is a great investment for serious photographers especially those of you who get their photos printed frequently for the clients of exhibitions. To know more about the BenQ SW2700PT photography monitor, visit the official BenQ website.