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Author Topic: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing  (Read 4714 times)

Louie

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New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« on: July 29, 2021, 11:02:08 am »

Hi Folks,

Time to replace my ageing Eizo CG241W. Apple and Eizo have conspired to make it impossible move to Catalina or Big Sur. And to be honest it is probably old enough to take it out of the critical color managed workflow. So it will be left on the desktop as a second monitor.

The question I am putting to the collective knowledge is what are the consideration between the NEC PA271Q and the Eizo CS2731.

I have been leaning towards the NEC PA in the past due to better pricing and better calibration software (SpectraView). ColorNavigator 6 did a good job but was limited in flexible options. I can't even try ColorNavigator 7 since Eizo did not continue support for my CG241W. Ugg!

I am interested in your thoughts on what are the key benefits and limitations to each of these choices.

Please limit your comments to either NEC or Eizo as other manufactures are not under consideration.

Thanks in advance.

-louie
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MichaelKoerner

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2021, 01:48:04 pm »

I'm a big fan of my PA271Q. Unfortunately, according to my local supplier, NEC quits producing/selling high end graphic monitors. Be quick, if you want one.

digitaldog

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2021, 02:03:36 pm »

I'm a big fan of my PA271Q.
I'll second that.
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Daverich

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2021, 03:24:27 pm »

I'm a big fan of my PA271Q. Unfortunately, according to my local supplier, NEC quits producing/selling high end graphic monitors. Be quick, if you want one.

You’re the second person on this forum to make that claim recently and yet I just got a PA311D from B&H after a 6 week wait for them to have them back in stock. I just checked and they’re out of stock on that model again although they still have the version that includes the spectro. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I don’t have any information to the contrary but it seems odd that they would be out of stock and then get them again if NEC stopped producing new ones. And has been pointed out in a different thread, Sharp/NEC is still listing them as current on their web site.
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MichaelKoerner

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2021, 04:56:48 pm »

I’m not saying you’re wrong, I don’t have any information to the contrary but it seems odd that they would be out of stock and then get them again if NEC stopped producing new ones. And has been pointed out in a different thread, Sharp/NEC is still listing them as current on their web site.

Interesting - just checked my supplier's website: "Unfortunately, NEC Spectraview Reference monitors are no longer available". Perhaps this is true for Europe/Germany only, but AFAIK this dealer had to reshape his whole business model, as those monitors were one of his mainstay of sales.

However, as monitors don't need spare parts/long term service, there is nothing to say against buying NEC these days - regardless any rumours. In my opinion, price performance ratio speaks in favor of NEC.

But there seem to be variations in quality, at least with PA271Q. I'd recommend to check the report function of Spectraview/Display 6 on a new machine as soon as possible, in order to get it replaced if dE exceeded 1.5 in the shadows. Just my 2c.

Daverich

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2021, 10:21:08 am »


However, as monitors don't need spare parts/long term service, there is nothing to say against buying NEC these days - regardless any rumours. In my opinion, price performance ratio speaks in favor of NEC.

But there seem to be variations in quality, at least with PA271Q. I'd recommend to check the report function of Spectraview/Display 6 on a new machine as soon as possible, in order to get it replaced if dE exceeded 1.5 in the shadows. Just my 2c.

I agree about the idea of buying a discontinued NEC as my previous one gave me 7 or 8 years of trouble free service. It would probably do the same for much longer but I was itching to get a larger, higher resolution setup. According to Spectraview, maximum dE variation on the new monitor is .6 whereas the older one was 1.2. So, discontinued or still current, I’m set for the foreseeable future.
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Louie

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2021, 04:01:29 pm »

Thanks for the feedback. I have not seen any other reference to NEC's plans to discontinue the PA series. Be that as it may I have picked up several more comments that the their quality control is not so great where people have had to send back monitors before getting one that is fully functional. My primary source for all things "Color" Chromix.com has dropped the line for that reason.

Given all that I think I will  probably get another Eizo even though I am still annoyed that they have dropped support for CG241W in CN7. I have yet to take the steps of upgrading my CPU and OS that will make CN6 (32bit only) stop working. This is it self an expensive project as I will need to move all my SATA and eSATA drives to Thunderbolt enclosure to work with a new Mac Mini. Since everything is working it is hard to get enthusiastic about laying out $2K or $3K just to have a functionally equivalent.

Maybe I'll wait for the second round of the M1 Mac Mini.

-louie

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TechTalk

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2021, 11:16:33 pm »

You certainly have made a great choice in dealing with Chromix "for all things color". I've used their ColorThink software for years and they have an extraordinary depth of knowledge.

If you would like to keep using your current Eizo CG241W with macOS Big Sur or Catalina, you might consider using basICColor display 6 which can be used to hardware calibrate your current monitor, among other things. It is available from Chromix and is compatible with macOS Big Sur and your CG241W. The product page at the basICColor website has a link to email them for a demo license. It also works with a wide range of measuring instruments, including the Eizo monitors with built-in auto calibrator.

There is a pretty comprehensive review of basICColor display 6 at PhotoPXL. They also have a review of basICColor display 6 Pro as well. I'm sure the folks at Chromix would be happy to discuss these options with you. Even if you're using the Eizo or NEC calibration software with your monitor, there may be advantages to incorporating basICColor display 6 alongside them.

I can certainly empathize with products that you like becoming End of Life (EOL) and no longer supported. My Chromix ColorThink software is no longer supported in the later versions of macOS, though I can upgrade to the Pro version at additional cost. Loss of compatibility and support is something I've been through now multiple times with various OS versions, hardware, and software. Likely, I will again... sigh. Oh well, better loss of compatibility and support with the hardware and software in my life than the people in it!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2021, 11:58:00 pm by TechTalk »
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TechTalk

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2021, 11:55:11 pm »

Interesting - just checked my supplier's website: "Unfortunately, NEC Spectraview Reference monitors are no longer available". Perhaps this is true for Europe/Germany only, but AFAIK this dealer had to reshape his whole business model, as those monitors were one of his mainstay of sales.

"NEC Spectraview Reference monitors are no longer available". That's correct. The NEC SpectraView Reference Series is discontinued. "Reference Series" branded models like the SpectraView Reference 322UHD, the Reference 301, the Reference 241 are all discontinued and the "Reference" series branding retired. Perhaps the fact that the term "reference monitor" has a specific meaning in the film and broadcast industries, which would not include the previously mentioned NEC models, was a factor in dropping "reference" from the branding convention being used.

These are the current models from NEC. They are listed as "Professional Display" models instead of "reference models". Your supplier appears to be offering the current models for sale. Perhaps his "whole business model" didn't have to be reshaped as much as you believe.
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MichaelKoerner

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2021, 02:48:39 am »


Your supplier appears to be offering the current models for sale. Perhaps his "whole business model" didn't have to be reshaped as much as you believe.

Thanks for clearing up! Seems to be another example of misleading hearsay :-)

John Hollenberg

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2021, 11:28:18 am »

B&H lists the PA271Q with spectraview as available and the PA271Q without spectraview as discontinued.
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Louie

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2021, 08:53:09 am »

If you would like to keep using your current Eizo CG241W with macOS Big Sur or Catalina, you might consider using basICColor display 6 which can be used to hardware calibrate your current monitor, among other things. It is available from Chromix and is compatible with macOS Big Sur and your CG241W. The product page at the basICColor website has a link to email them for a demo license. It also works with a wide range of measuring instruments, including the Eizo monitors with built-in auto calibrator.

Thanks, I read the review and took a look at the Basiccolor web site. So this seems like a pretty good option which I will probably need anyway since I anticipate keeping the CG241W as a second monitor.

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MichaelKoerner

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2021, 12:10:43 pm »

Thanks, I read the review and took a look at the Basiccolor web site. So this seems like a pretty good option which I will probably need anyway since I anticipate keeping the CG241W as a second monitor.

+1

I recommend the Pro version - it's "white point editor" is priceless for getting multiple monitors to match. "Homogeneity check" is a must, too. And if you like to tinker with different measurement devices (as I do), "sensor correlation" is a nice tool as well.

Louie

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2021, 08:29:35 am »

+1

I recommend the Pro version - it's "white point editor" is priceless for getting multiple monitors to match. "Homogeneity check" is a must, too. And if you like to tinker with different measurement devices (as I do), "sensor correlation" is a nice tool as well.

Thanks for the additional tip.

-louie
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TechTalk

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2021, 08:35:46 pm »

With regard to availability of the NEC PA271Q, B&H now lists this model as discontinued. It is also listed as "no longer available" at Adorama. However, NEC still shows this model in their current offerings. The Eizo CS2731 is readily available from B&H and Chromix as well as others.

I would consider the inclusion of the free Eizo ColorNavigator 7 and the overall features and performance when comparing the value for cost ratios of the Eizo CS2731 and NEC PA271Q. I have no brand preference and have been a long time user of both. For most of the last several years, I have generally worked with a combination of two NEC and one Eizo graphics monitors for different purposes in different locations (for example home/tethered capture in studio/office editing). PRAD has extensive reviews of the NEC PA271Q, Eizo CS2731, and ColorNavigator 7.

The Eizo monitor is compatible with current Mac models including the M1. Any hardware issues were ones that affected all brands of monitors and most have been fixed since Apple updated to macOS 11.2. Color issues may still remain with certain cable types like HDMI, but with the CS2731 using USB-C and hardware calibration these are not an issue.

Eizo ColorNavigator 7 and basICColor Display 6 are also fully compatible with all the latest Mac hardware and macOS versions. NEC SpectraView II still has issues to be resolved. As NEC seems to be waiting for Apple to fix the problem, it's hard to say when their Mac M1 issue will be fully resolved. For that reason and since SpectraView II software is an extra cost item, I think basICColor Display 6 might be a better choice for NEC monitor buyers right now.
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digitaldog

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2021, 08:59:53 pm »

https://officewonderland.com/listings/nec-pa271q-bk-sv-27-169-color-critical-ips-monitor/
NEC PA271Q-BK-SV 27" 16:9 Color-Critical IPS Monitor with SpectraView II
Software and Colorimeter included.
$1,589.00

https://pssav.com/product/nec-multisync-pa271q-27-169-color-critical-ips-monitor-with-spectraview-ii-color-calibration/?gclid=CjwKCAjwgviIBhBkEiwA10D2j5wXvtZDCEV2SylPeA0Lsx9OiK3TN6LKodcrv0SQF9Iq22t4V7wWWhoCb28QAvD_BwE
$1,589.00 With Colorimeter and of course software.
There are other sellers out there. At least in the US where I'm searching.

No experience with M1 (with SpectraView or otherwise) but the read me you posted doesn't appear to be of any necessary concern AFAIK.
Quote
This special build avoids this issue by making certain assumptions about the displays in order to detect and communicate with them. It is intended as a temporary solution until Apple fixes the issues in a future macOS update, and it may not work in all cases. Only display models with a USB connection are supported.
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TechTalk

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2021, 12:55:07 am »

https://officewonderland.com/listings/nec-pa271q-bk-sv-27-169-color-critical-ips-monitor/
NEC PA271Q-BK-SV 27" 16:9 Color-Critical IPS Monitor with SpectraView II
Software and Colorimeter included.
$1,589.00

https://pssav.com/product/nec-multisync-pa271q-27-169-color-critical-ips-monitor-with-spectraview-ii-color-calibration/?gclid=CjwKCAjwgviIBhBkEiwA10D2j5wXvtZDCEV2SylPeA0Lsx9OiK3TN6LKodcrv0SQF9Iq22t4V7wWWhoCb28QAvD_BwE
$1,589.00 With Colorimeter and of course software.
There are other sellers out there. At least in the US where I'm searching.

As I said... "However, NEC still shows this model in their current offerings." According to NEC, it is still a current model. No disagreement here.

Of course, all models are eventually discontinued. Even after a model is discontinued, they will generally be available from various retailers for some time afterward.

I might reasonably assume that B&H and Adorama would be happy to offer this model for sale on their website, if they could be assured that they could fulfill orders for them in any reasonable time frame. Given that this model is targeted at photographers, among others, and those are two of the major outlets where photographers purchase equipment, I thought the notices on their websites were worthy of notice—no disrespect to "office wonderland.com" or "pssav.com" intended, or to you either for that matter.

* Regarding price, Chromix is currently selling the Eizo CS2731 for $1,209 (after $30 rebate which appears after adding to cart) and of course ColorNavigator 7 software is free. It's $380 less than the NEC PA271Q + SpectraView II + Colorimeter bundle, if you don't need a colorimeter. If you do need a colorimeter, it's $259 for an i1Display Pro at B&H which leaves a total price difference of $120 less. B&H offers the CS2731 with Eizo colorimeter for $1,359, $130 lower in price. Myself, I would put the savings into a hood for the monitor. And yes, both models are available bundled as a package with software and colorimeter—at additional cost over the monitor alone of course.

I mention this because some automatically assume that Eizo models aren't competitively priced due to the more expensive CG series. The CS2731, in my opinion, offers a good value considering its exceptional performance. Both are excellent monitors. As always, people should buy what makes them happy—not someone else.

No experience with M1 (with SpectraView or otherwise) but the read me you posted doesn't appear to be of any necessary concern AFAIK.

Except, perhaps, for the part that says... "and it may not work in all cases". Also, "released as a temporary workaround for compatibility issues" is not a confidence builder. The part that says "It is intended as a temporary solution until Apple fixes the issues" doesn't lead one to the conclusion that they believe that it's their issue to fix for customers and are busy working on a permanent solution.

Actually, the read me which I linked to, I personally would not find all that reassuring as a potential buyer—if I were intending to use SpectraView II software to calibrate my display with an M1 Mac, now or in the future. Fortunately, basICColor does offer an alternative solution that works.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 05:39:38 am by TechTalk »
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digitaldog

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2021, 08:42:18 am »

Please, no FUD necessary” Except, perhaps, ”:
“and it may not work in all cases. Only display models with a USB connection are supported”
Do you have am M1 and have you are do you know anyone who can't run the display under these conditions?
And yes, one can get a PA272q for what appears as far less $$ than the unit with “free software” with software 😀 and it may not work in all cases. Only display models with a USB connection are supported
« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 09:01:04 am by digitaldog »
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TechTalk

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2021, 10:17:36 am »

Please, no FUD necessary” Except, perhaps, ”:
“and it may not work in all cases. Only display models with a USB connection are supported”

What FUD? Here's the entire statement for clarity, rather than chopped out portions. "Mac M1 Special build - This build of SpectraView is being released as a temporary workaround for compatibility issues occurring on the new M1 based Macs such as the MacBook and Mac mini. As of at least macOS 11.2, the OS does not provide full information about the connected display monitors to applications. This prevents SpectraView from being able to detect displays correctly. This special build avoids this issue by making certain assumptions about the displays in order to detect and communicate with them. It is intended as a temporary solution until Apple fixes the issues in a future macOS update, and it may not work in all cases. Only display models with a USB connection are supported. Older NEC display models without a USB connection will likely never be supported on M1 based Macs." Individuals can read it for themselves and decide what that means or contact NEC support for clarification.

It's all compacted into one paragraph in the read me that I linked. I read it as...

"This special build avoids this issue by making certain assumptions about the displays in order to detect and communicate with them. It is intended as a temporary solution until Apple fixes the issues in a future macOS update, and it may not work in all cases." One statement, followed by...

"Only display models with a USB connection are supported. Older NEC display models without a USB connection will likely never be supported on M1 based Macs." This I read as an additional statement regarding no forward looking or current M1 SpectraView II software compatibility for older non-USB models, which have been supported on Mac hardware until now. In other words, I read it as USB equipped displays might communicate, but non-USB will definitely not. You can string the sentences together in the way you wish and come to your own conclusions.

What they do not say is: any "models with a USB connection" will communicate with SpectraView II software and M1 Macs—or that "Older NEC display models without a USB connection" are the only cases where "it may not work" with the software. They are definitely telling me that the non-USB equipped NEC wide gamut display with SpectraView II software that I'm using right now, will not communicate with new M1 Macs—now or in the future. I'm OK with that (not happy, but OK), there are alternatives and I've had it a long time. I'm used to things becoming obsolete over time.

I linked what NEC stated in their "temporary workaround" read me file. Read it anyway you see fit, but you may keep the insult. It wouldn't matter from someone else perhaps, but I have some respect for you. Of course, you're under no obligation whatever to return it; but I won't reply in kind because of that respect.
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digitaldog

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Re: New Monitor for photo editing and print proofing
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2021, 10:29:11 am »

The FUD=“except perhaps.”  "temporary workaround“ what's the issue?
FUD=
Quote
I personally would not find all that reassuring as a potential buyer—if I were intending to use SpectraView II software to calibrate my display with an M1 Mac, now or in the future.
Did the OP say he's got an M1? Nope.
Does NEC SpectraView will not run under M1? Not that I see.
Anyway, I've contacted the PM/software engineer directly since it appears, perhaps 😀 neither one of us have any experience with M1 and this build now or in the future.
"Predictions are hard, especially about the future."- Yogi Berra
« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 10:40:04 am by digitaldog »
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