Best Video Editing Monitor Selection: Case Study With Kevin Thorpe of Big Jam Studios

Best Video Editing Monitor Setup

Interview

Kevin Thorpe from Big Jam Studios
Kevin Thorpe Big Jam Studios

What is the best video editing monitor? How do you make your selection? Is it as simple as just gettting the highest resolution screen you can afford? Kevin Thorpe of Big Jam studios offered Best 27 Inch Monitor is an experienced professional video editor and also a bit of a legend in the trance music niche. I headed over to Big Jam Studios to interview Kevin and find out more.

What Video Editing Monitor do You Currently Use?

Big Jam Studios currently run with a basic Acer 17″ monitor as a line monitor and a 27 inch Dell 2709W for video and photo editing. Kevin commented:

This setup has been great for flexibility. Many people are surprised that we run “pc monitors” off a Mac. Of course it’s entirely possible to choose any monitor you like and still use a Mac

Big Jam Studios Current Video Editing Setup
Big Jam Studios Current Video Editing Setup

Kevin bought the 27 inch monitor on the basis of a recommendation from a friend in the graphic design industry. At the time, with a resolution of 1920 x 1200, it was the best video editing monitor for the money. Resolution being a key consideration when selecting the best video editing monitor. Kevin also runs all of his sound editing work through the same setup hence the audio monitors (speakers) at either side of the monitor. Be careful to get screened speakers when placing them near any displays as the magnets in the speakers can distort the image.

Why Use a Multiple Monitor Setup?

Big Jam use a second smaller monitor as a line monitor. This allows Kevin and the team to monitor the frequency content of audio in real-time and while editing. This allows them to make changes to improve the overall audio quality while keeping the main 27 inch monitor free for either audio timeline management or for video footage editing.

Big Jam Studios Best Video Editing Monitor Setup
Big Jam Studios Setup

What is The Best Video Editing Monitor?

Going forward, Kevin and the team are investing in a brand new 27″ iMac Retina setup. When I asked why, Kevin commented

It’s just a great combination of awesome graphics, sleek design and the Mac is built in too.

The team have settled on a final iMac spec of:

Big Jam are also planning to add a new 19″ monitor to complement the iMac and continue frequency analysis capability which keeps the main display free for video and audio timeline editing.

What is the Best Software to Use For Video Editing?

Adobe Premiere Logo
Kevin uses Adobe Premiere exclusively. It’s hands down the best video editing software out there. With the new Adobe CC range, it can be purchased for just a few bucks a month.

Can we See an Example of Your Work?

Kevin has recently comopleted a series of Vlogs (Video Blogs) for local hypnotist Tim Box.

I was really pleased with the way these came out, the clarity is great and of course Tim and Zoe are naturals in front of the camera.

Where do You see the Video Editing Industry Headed in the Next 20 Years?

Well vlogging is growing rapidly. Smartphones are becoming more and more powerful and I do expect to that a semi professional video editing platform might be available in the not too distant future. Right now it’s just about possible to take professional video with a Nokia Lumia 1020. In fact Ellie Goulding’s music video “How Long Will I Love You” was famously shot using this exact phone as a publicity stunt by Nokia.

It’s impressive although the industry still has a way to go before pro-editing capabilities are available on the move. I think the future is exciting with technology driving the availability of online video, the quality and proliferation will continute to increase rapidly. With organic LED and curved screen technology already available, the best video editing monitor in two decades will be very different to the tech we have now.

What is the Webcam For?

Many eagle eyed readers will have noticed a 3rd party webcam on top of Big Jam’s 27 inch video editing monitor. When I noticed, this is what Kevin had to say:

We’ve noticed a strong trend into online learning. A lot of people are using technolgy to reach education they might never have been able to access. I’m currently teaching a DJ in Australia how to make better sounding trance music and a student in Hungary how to improve his electronic music skills. As an award winning music creator I tend to be quite well known in the DJing and techno / trance music space. It’s an unusal niche to be in and it is very rewarding when you see someone on the other side of the world achieve something special that you helped inspire!

Have a question for Kevin? Drop a comment below and I promise to get a direct response for you!

Best 27 Inch Monitor for Graphic Design & Art

Best 27 Inch Monitor for Graphic Design dell-p2715q

If you’re an artist or designer (whether you’re doing it for a living or as a hobby) then a monitor is probably one of the most important pieces of kit you’ll ever buy, so it’s worth investing a little time and money, and doing it right. Luckily for you, we’ve already invested the time to save you some of yours*, so have a look at our top three picks of the best 27 inch monitor for graphic design & arty types.
*Sorry we can’t invest any of the money for you, you’re on your own with that one.

What you’re looking for is the classic monitor hat trick of resolution, colour and connectivity options, so if you think you can just stroll into Micro Center and pick the first special offer you see, you’d best think again…

Dell P2715Q 4K Monitor LED – IPS



Dell-p2715q

This Ultra HD 4K Monitor has a very desirable 3840 x 2160 res and IPS. The Dell P2715Q also boasts 99% sRGB straight out of the box, although it wouldn’t hurt to have calibration tools on standby for fine tuning. Connectivity is more than adequate with DisplayPort 1.2 means that you can easily Daisy Chain with other monitors, and this plus the cable control make it all very neat and tidy. Speaking of which, the Dell is a very tidy model thanks to built in cable management, and that allows you to really take advantage of the impressive ergonomics. Obviously the Dell P2715Q isn’t going to be a great choice for those running Mac or Linux, but for Windows users it’s a fine pick. There have been scattered complaints about mouse lag and it’s not the ‘sexiest’ of hardware, but with a RRP of $699 , this monitor is definitely a good, cost effective option for designers.

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ViewSonic VP2780-4K 27-Inch Ultra HD SuperClear IPS LED Monitor



Viewsonic VP2780

Another UHD with IPS, the ViewSonic VP2780-4K gives you a rather impressive 14 bit 3D LUT as well as pre-calibrated Delta E≤2 for truly stunning colour. DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 have prompted the manufacturers to label the ViewSonic as futureproof in their own blurb, and such amazing connectivity definitely makes for a striking refresh time (60hz). Multi picture functionality is definitely a plus for designers, giving you the freedom to view various projects simultaneously and making comparisons with reference images and the like far easier. The price tag is a little heftier than the Dell at $899 and the base is kind of bulky but I’m afraid that’s the price you pay for colour like this!
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Dell UP2715K 27-Inch Ultra HD 5K LCD Monitor



Dell-UP2715K - for Graphic Design

So Dell’s response to the Mac 5k was to bring out this little beauty the UP2715K; a 5120 x 2880, 12 bit LUT, In-plane switching diva with ports in all the right places. The specs are sky high, but unfortunately so is the price, and with a RRP of $2499 it’s definitely not for the feint hearted. Having said that you’ll need to go a long way to find someone with anything really bad to say about the Dell. The biggest downside as far as I can see is that it’s not great for displaying low-res footage (you kind of get the feeling that that sort of thing is below it). Even the monitor’s aesthetics are superior, with sleek lines and a delicate base making it as nice to look at as it is to use.
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Resolution

Let’s be honest here, when it comes to resolution size does matter and anything less than a 2560 x 1440 just isn’t going to cut it. Ideally you want to be looking at an Ultra High Definition (UHD) monitor with a resolution of 3840 x 2160, but you can go higher, with Apple claiming dibs on the top dog spot with their 5120 x 2880 5k behemoth, until earlier this year when Dell launched a comparable model (see above). Obviously when you go above your standard Full HD you’re immediately looking at a big hike in price, but it’s definitely worth the investment in terms of clarity, and hopefully you’ll be future proofing your purchase to-boot.

Colour

The holy grail of design based monitors is one that shows you colours as close as possible to those that will appear in print and this part is all about performance. Opting for a high spec model is key, so look for features such as Advanced High Performance In Plane Switching panels (AH-IPS) and a minimum 10 bit look up table (LUT). A 10, 12 or 14 bit LUT will allow you to perform frequent calibrations, which means that you’ll be able to keep on top of your palettes (although professional monitors will often come with integrated calibration tools, you’ve always go the option to buy third party if they’re lacking).

Connectivity

You’ll need an HDMI port of course, but remember that if you’re opting for UHD then your graphics card will require two of its own. The card will also need to support Multi Stream Transfer (MST) if you want to get the best resolution with a fast refresh rate. Other ports you’ll require are DisplayPort 1.2 and dual link DVI.

Best 27 Inch Monitor for Graphic Design Summation

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve picked two Dell monitors. Am I biased? Yes. I’ve always used Dell for design and their latest offerings are just as good as they’ve always been. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t shop around, but if the reviews on the wonderful world wide web are anything to go by I’m not the only one who rates Dell. Having said that the ViewSonic is an unexpected but very welcome contender and definitely one I’ll be keeping an eye on in the future.
So do we have a winner? Well of course I was always going to go for the P2715Q in terms of definition and, as far as artists are concerned, this one is the full package – looks, performance and specs are all spot on. Unfortunately, considering the price tag, it simply doesn’t offer enough given that the ViewSonic provides only slightly lower specs (and in fact better LUT) for virtually a third of the price. However, my overall favourite is the P2715Q. Call me a Dell groupie but I’d choose this monitor even if it wasn’t the cheapest, and the fact that it is, is just the icing on the cake!

Best Photo Editing Monitor: My 27 Inch Setup In Detail

Best Photo Editing Monitor

The Viewsonic VP2770-LED is the best photo editing monitor you are going to get for your money unless you want to spend out $1500 on a NEC PA272W-BK-SV in my opinion. Want to know why? Read on…

Best Photo Editing Monitor



Best Photo Editing Monitor? Viewsonic-VP2770-LED

If you are serious about photo editing, then you are going to need the right equipment and tools. Back when I first started, I can remember downloading Photoshop CC and trying to use it on my old 19″ TN based monitor. It was horrible. Photoshop is best used with a full Adobe RGB colorspace or at the very least an sRGB capable monitor (if you don’t know what that means, don’t worry – look here for a quick explanation).

IPS and Adobe RGB

So, once I had accepted that the old monitor had to go, I set about researching how to choose the best photo-editing for my budget. I quickly discovered that an IPS monitor (or TPS which is effectively the same thing) is essential for accurate colour reproduction. My price range was $300 – $800 and I soon found that it is not possible to find a monitor with full Adobe RGB colorspace for that money. So that brought a comparison of all the IPS monitors I could find under $800 with sRGB. There is surprising large choice and variety in the market even at that niche level.

Size and Resolution

Ever heard that size doesn’t matter – it’s what you do with it that counts? Well – every inch does makes a difference – up to a point. The majority of monitors on sale now are 27 inch. This is partly because it was one of the first sizes where manufacturers could achieve UHDMI resolution on a single panel. I believe it is also partly due to Apple releasing the iMac at 27 inches and driving the industry trend in that direction.

UHDMI resolution is widely available on monitors targeted at the photo-editing industry. This gives you a whopping 3840 x 2160 pixels. QHD is slightly less at 2560 x 1440 which is four times the coverage of standard HD.

Shortlist

Samsung U28D590D



Best Photo Editing Monitor Candidate: Samsung-U28D590D-1

I really liked the Samsung U28D590D – it has UHDMI resolution, comes with HDMI and Displayport connection and looks beautiful. As a bonus it also has a 1ms response time which would be useful should I ever wish to do any gaming. It has a colorspace of 1 billion, known as ‘1K’ which is reasonable for photo editing. It is a 28 inch size which is of course more than sufficient. I very nearly bought it, but the sticking point which I ultimately paid an extra $100 for was lack of IPS. The Samsung U28D590D has a TN based panel which simply isn’t accurate enough for serious photo editing. It is great for gaming although not my pick of the bunch for best gaming monitor.
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Viewsonic VP2770-LED



Viewsonic VP2770 LED

The other main contender in my price bracket was the Viewsonic VP2770-LED monitor. This has an IPS panel and is therefore much better suited to photo and video editing. It is a pro-level monitor for photo-editing and other color critical applications and there are no extras like built in speakers as you might get with many other similarly priced monitors. It does have a built in USB 3.0 hub though, which I’ve found useful for connecting a graphics pad and other accessories to. The USB hub is no good for frequently used devices as it is rather fiddly to reach on the rear of the monitor.

In the end, I decided the best photo editing monitor for me was the Viewsonic VP2770-LED. It has the Displayport and HDMI connectivity of the Samsung and with the more faithful color reproduction using IPS technology, I felt it was the best monitor for my needs. It was tempting to upgrade to the VP2772 which has 99% ARGB coverage for an extra $300 but I decided to stick to the budget.
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NEC PA272W-BK-SV



NEC Multisync PA272W

If I had the money and had been inclined, I would have invested in the NEC PA272W-BK-SV. It is really aimed at professional printers who need full Adobe RGB colorspace to see exactly the colors they will get on paper and is pretty much the best photo editing monitor out there unless you go for the 32″ version which really is the cream of the cream. The hood accessory for blocking out reflections and light is a nice touch. Although it is easy to make your own monitor hood from cardboard to suit any monitor which will be the subject of a future blog post. It also includes an NEC-specific calibrator “SpectraViewII” which does look very handy. However there are plenty of aftermarket calibrators available that are at least as good and will suit any monitor. I will be doing a blog post on selecting the best monitor calibrator soon.
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Post – Purchase Update

So I’ve had the Viewsonic VP2770-LED for exactly a year now and have done a lot of photo-editing with it. I have found it to be an excellent monitor for the purpose and am very pleased with the purchase. The non-reflective screen is nice and faithful to the image being displayed although some might prefer a more reflective surface such as used on Apple products. I did find the placement of the monitor to be important i.e. away from windows and other non-intentional light sources. I also ended up buying a decent strip lamp to illuminate the wall behind it in order to gain the best possible contrast effect.

Have a comment based on your own experiences? Leave me a comment below, I promise to read them all!

The Top 7 Accessories for Your 27 Inch Monitor (Hint: Not what you might expect!)

27 inch Monitors used in the film The Matrix.


Click Here to Receive as a PDF

Ultimate Cable tidy: D-Line Cable Tidy Band 1.2m

Double-sided Velcro cable tidy reel.


D-Line Cable Tidy

So simple, so effective. A reel of Velcro that can be cut to length and used to secure all of your messy wires into a super-streamlined setup. Of course with it being velcro, you can readjust it at any time, so no more cutting off cable ties and re-fixing. If Velcro just isn’t your thing, they do a super sleek cable trunking system too.
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Awesome speakers

Monsoon Speakers
Monsoon Speakers



Logitech Z600 Speakers
Logitech Z600 Speakers

Monsoon Planar speakers are pretty much the ultimate PC speaker accessory. Sadly they’re now only available second hand – eBay is your friend. Almost as awesome though are the Logitech Z600 Bluetooth speakers. They are sleek, powerful and priced under $180. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00DYVK304″ key=”small-light” locale=”US” cart=y tag=”bes27incmon0f-20″]

3M Screen privacy filter



3M privacy filter 27" Screen
3M 27″ Screen privacy filter

Avoid unwanted eyes prying on your work – these are great for your 27 inch monitor and you can get sizes to fit laptops as well. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00433SNSQ” key=”small-light” locale=”US” cart=y tag=”bes27incmon0f-20″]

Screen Wipes


iCloth Screen Wipes


I once trashed a monitor by cleaning it with regular household product. Do yourself a favour and clean your shiny new monitor with the right gear. Use the iCloth to clean your screen or alternatively use a dry or damp microfiber cloth to get it sparkling clear.
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Click Here to Receive as a PDF

Multi-Screen Mount: Deluxe Hex Monitor Stand

hex screen setup
If you want a multi-screen setup that rivals The Matrix, there are some great hex screen mounts on Amazon which allow up to six 27 inch monitors to be mounted on your desk. Massively strong and subtlety styled, the Deluxe Hex Monitor Stand is a great choice for multi-monitor setups of up to six screens. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B006JGG9FE” key=”small-light” locale=”US” cart=y tag=”bes27incmon0f-20″]

Adjustable height desk


electric height adjustable desk
Electric height adjustable desk.

A good ergonomic setup is key for extended monitor use. Many are now switching to stand-up desks. If you want the best of both worlds, get yourself an electric height adjustable desk which remembers your favourite positions. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B00FN36G1Q” key=”small-light” locale=”US” cart=y tag=”bes27incmon0f-20″]

Desk Light



Daylight U32500 Triple Bright Lamp
Daylight U32500 Triple Bright Lamp

This light is just what you need… to illuminate the area behind your monitor. By lighting up the wall / desk behind your monitor, the contrast will immediately be heightened and you will get a much improved experience. This lamp is one of the largest that Amazon sell and illuminates my behind my monitor as I type this. [easyazon_cta align=”none” identifier=”B0052OT64K” key=”small-light” locale=”US” cart=y tag=”bes27incmon0f-20″]

Bonus 27 Inch Monitor Accessory

Screen Calibrator

Ok, so I promised you 7 accessories but in the process of writing this, the topic of best monitor calibrators came up and I just had to include the X-Rite-EODIS3-i1Display-Pro.


Best Monitor Calibrator X-Rite-EODIS3-i1Display-Pro

There are a variety of screen calibrators available on the market. Many are entry level or over complicated top end models. The X-Rite-EODIS3-i1 Display-Pro is a great choice because it includes ambient light compensation, is relatively easy to use and is definitely professional level. If you’re serious enough to need a screen calibrator, then I definitely recommend investing in decent kit and the EODIS3-i1 is certainly that!
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Have an experience you would like to share? Leave me a comment below and I promise to consider it for an update / future post.


Click Here to Receive as a PDF

Should You Buy The NEC PA272W?

NEC Multisync PA272W

As the title suggests, this article is about the 27 inch PC monitor, the NEC PA272W. So, should you buy the NEC PA272W? The answer is – sorry I’m not one to spoil endings. We’re going to go over this monitor and see if it holds up across the boards. Can it perform at a high level when it comes to gaming, photo and video editing, every day use, etc?

You may have heard different things about it like that it’s great for graphics-based applications but it’s filthy-expensive and something about something called “SpectraViewII,” but what is that?

Well, let’s get into it.

NEC PA272W Specs

  • The viewable screen size is 27 inches with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. That’s pretty much the best you’re going to get when it comes to a monitor these days.
  • The NEC PA272W weighs a cool 28.4 pounds. That’s not light. In fact when you take a look at one of these things it’s got quite a thick body compared to other 27 inchers. The panel itself is 3.5 inches thick. You’re not getting that sleek, slim look you might be used to with an iMac or Dell UltraSharp U2715H.
  • The NEC PA272W screen display is backlit by LED. This consumes 37% less power than earlier LCD screens including the NEC monitor just before this one.
  • SpectraViewII, which I mentioned earlier, is a very important feature. This is specifically an NEC tech that utilizes a color measurement sensor and calibration software. In a nutshell it creates color-rich graphics that calibrate to whatever you’re viewing at any given moment.
  • It has the typical convenient tilt, swivel and pivot ability with a height-adjustable stand.

What is the NEC PA272W good for?

What is it good for – absolutely nothing! Ok, that’s not true but I couldn’t help quoting that song. This monitor was practically designed with the photo and video editor in mind, not to mention the gamer.

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With its kick-ass screen performance covering 99.3% of the Adobe RGB color space everything seems to pop. Any monitor that performs well in the graphics department will be sure to work well for general office use for simple black on white word documents as you’re looking at sharper imaging for text.

One important factor that you’re also going to want to think with, is whether or not it’s easy on the eyes. If you’re writing code or sitting in front of word docs or excel spreadsheets or working with highly detailed graphic applications, the last thing you’re going to want is to step away at the end of the day with bloodshot eyes looking like you’ve got a major case of pink eye. Luckily this display allows you to customize the brightness and RGB to find the exact right fit for your eyeballs.
Look for the NEC PA272W to be a perfect fit for:

  • Gaming
  • Video editing
  • Photo editing
  • General office use
  • Medical office use
  • Coding

What kind of connectivity are we looking at here?

Unlike the earlier NEC PA272W this newest model has better connectivity issues. And just to answer a question I’m sure a lot of you are burning to know – yes it is Mac compatible. This is what it looks like:

  • 1 DisplayPort
  • 1 Mini DisplayPort
  • 1 HDMI-DVI-D Dual Link
  • 3 USB ports – Downstream (for flashdrives, printers, etc.)
  • 2 USB ports – Upstream (for connection straight to another computer or a USB hub)

NEC PA272W Pros/Cons

Pros:

  • Amazing graphic display
  • Amazing graphic display
  • Amazing graphic display
  • Oh and did I mention graphic display.

That is really what sets this guy apart from the competition. The NEC PA272W was made for this purpose. It was not made to show off other bells and whistles or even to be the prettiest one out there. It was made for robust graphics work and it does its job.

Cons:

  • Bulkier than a lot of other monitors out there. It’s heavier and wider.
  • The price is a little bit higher as well. But if you watch it closely on Amazon the price tends to drop several hundred dollars for a day or two so I suggest you keep your eye on it.

Price


As of this writing it goes for $1299 on necdisplay.com and $1,295.19 on Amazon. But as I said earlier, watch Amazon because sometimes the prices drop for a short period. I’ve seen it drop to just over $1000.

What you’re looking at here is a monitor specifically designed to run the full color gamut and extract the most from it. If you’re willing to deal with a bulky, high-priced monitor that delivers what it promises in terms of quality then this is definitely the monitor for you.

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If price is a concern then keep moving, nothing to see here.