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Monitor Resolution

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by willie45, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member


    I have been wondering about the question of monitor resolution lately. Does it really really matter what resolution you use for editing pics? I ask because monitors are now using increasingly larger resolutions and things appear smaller and smaller on screen.

    I wonder if there is a particular resolution you would not drop below to edit pics. The only time I can imagine it might matter is if you're sharpening your image. Otherwise, I suspect it really is a case of whatever you're happy to use.

    I would welcome your thoughts

  2. Benchmark

    Benchmark Well-Known Member

    It really depends on the size of your monitor.

    A resolution of 1024 x 768 is more than adequte for a 14 inch laptop screen, and is often adequte for a 17 inch CRT desktop screen.

    However, bigger monitors tend to have (and need) higher resolutions, without which images would look rather lumpy.

    Resolution is clearly important, but for photographic editing colour fidelity and dynamic range is probably even more so.

    Monitors work at comparatively low resolution compared with photographic printing processes, so each pixel on screen actually represents many more pixels from a typical digital image, so there is no point trying to find a monitor with the same pixel count as your camera or scanner.

    At the same time, a good sized monitor with high resolution will usually provide the best quality for image editing, although personally, I still use a 19 inch Iiyama CRT monitor for most of my Photoshop work, as I find it provides better colour fidelity and dynamic range than TFT monitors.

    If you have the space, a large CRT monitor still provides excellent quality and at a very competitive price.
  3. martinch

    martinch Well-Known Member

    Not really - just set it to something your eyes are comfortable with and forget about it. :) Cranking the resolution up just makes everything smaller, so you can fit more on the screen. Dropping it down makes everything bigger, and slightly pixellated. I run my 17" CRT and 19" TFTs at 1280x1024 ...

    Just one note - if you're using a TFT monitor (rather than CRT), you should really run it at whatever its "native resolution" is, otherwise it interpolates (guesses) pixel values (Windows has the ability to make icons and text bigger if your eyesight doesn't agree with this setting).
  4. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Thanks both for your advice. Could you clarify though.

    If I view an image at 100% does that not mean that each image pixel is represented by one pixel on screen?

    If this is not the case then I don't understand why it is important to run TFTs at their native resolution as each of their pixels will still be giving only a rough representation of a few image pixels and the screen will be guessing anyway?

    I might be a little confused here and if so please excuse my ignorance.

    Is the native resolution the highest resolution available? I run my display at a lower resolution than its maximum one for ease of use though maybe I should stop doing this.

    thanks again

  5. martinch

    martinch Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's a 1:1 mapping.

    Funny things can happen when you run them below their native resolution - desktop furniture (icons, etc) can look smeary. It really depends on the model of the monitor, though.

    Generally, yes, although the manual should say (note: the native resolution thing applies for TFTs only). What model monitor is it?
  6. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    If you run a LCD at something other than it's native resolution you will, when viewing pics at 100%, end up with 1 pixel from the image displaying across several pixels on screen. Often you get 1 image pixel on screen with the surrounding pixels being half way between that image pixel and the next image pixel...net result is nothing looks sharp (or at least doesn't look sharp to me on the monitors I've tried).

    You can run CRT monitors at varying resolutions but LCD (or any other digital display I've seen) needs to be run at the native resolution for best results.

    I set my monitor to the native resolution then adjust font and icon sizes to suit...as per the others :cool:
  7. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    I'm getting clearer. Thanks chaps.

    Martinch, I am using Two monitors.

    One is a Dell cheapo desktop monitor (the E1777FP). Its an LCD, I believe TFT and, rather surprisingly for me :eek:, an Apple MacBook Pro 15 inch laptop. The Apple monitor is considerably better quality but due to its size tends to make higher resolution menus etc look a bit too small for comfort. I have used it at a lower resolution for general work and for picture editing have turned it up to maximum.

  8. martinch

    martinch Well-Known Member

    Same here, but mine are identical ;)

    That's often the case with laptop screens, IMHO.
  9. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    You're probably right about laptops. I will grin and bear it and just use the highest resolution for critical editing work while keeping it lower for general use.

    Thanks again

    Willie :)

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