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Output laptop to editing monitor?

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by Valley Ally, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Valley Ally

    Valley Ally Active Member

    I want to start printing my photos using the local photo lab and it's becoming clear to me that I need to upgrade my computer setup, however I am on a very limited budget. So - I am wondering whether to start with, I can run my laptop to an external monitor which I can then calibrate correctly for editing using the lab's print/paper profiles.

    I know ZERO about computers. For those that do and can advise me - These are my current specs:

    ------------------
    System Information
    ------------------
    Time of this report: 10/20/2018, 15:16:36
    Machine name:
    Machine Id:
    Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit (10.0, Build 17134) (17134.rs4_release.180410-1804)
    Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
    System Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
    System Model: Inspiron 5767
    BIOS: 1.2.3 (type: UEFI)
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-7200U CPU @ 2.50GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.7GHz
    Memory: 8192MB RAM
    Available OS Memory: 8090MB RAM
    Page File: 5974MB used, 4217MB available
    Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
    DirectX Version: DirectX 12
    DX Setup Parameters: Not found
    User DPI Setting: 120 DPI (125 percent)
    System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)
    DWM DPI Scaling: Disabled
    Miracast: Available, with HDCP
    Microsoft Graphics Hybrid: Not Supported
    DxDiag Version: 10.00.17134.0001 64bit Unicode

    ---------------
    Display Devices
    ---------------
    Card name: Intel(R) HD Graphics 620
    Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
    Chip type: Intel(R) HD Graphics Family
    DAC type: Internal
    Device Type: Full Device (POST)
    Device Key:
    Device Status: 0180200A [DN_DRIVER_LOADED|DN_STARTED|DN_DISABLEABLE|DN_NT_ENUMERATOR|DN_NT_DRIVER]
    Device Problem Code: No Problem
    Driver Problem Code: Unknown
    Display Memory: 4172 MB
    Dedicated Memory: 128 MB
    Shared Memory: 4044 MB
    Current Mode: 1920 x 1080 (32 bit) (60Hz)
    HDR Support: Not Supported
    Display Topology: Internal
    Display Color Space: DXGI_COLOR_SPACE_RGB_FULL_G22_NONE_P709
    Color Primaries: Red(0.646984,0.338391), Green(0.316906,0.614758), Blue(0.157727,0.044445), White Point(0.313977,0.329602)
    Display Luminance: Min Luminance = 0.500000, Max Luminance = 270.000000, MaxFullFrameLuminance = 270.000000
    Monitor Name: Generic PnP Monitor
    Monitor Model: unknown
    Monitor Id: CMN1738
    Native Mode: 1920 x 1080(p) (60.008Hz)
    Output Type: Internal
    Monitor Capabilities: HDR Not Supported
    Display Pixel Format: DISPLAYCONFIG_PIXELFORMAT_32BPP
    Advanced Color: Not Supported


    So - can I do it and will it work? Can I get a monitor for less than £300?! Monitor specs?

    Thanks for the advice all :)
     
  2. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Here's a different question - how many test prints can you do for less than £300 to understand how what you view on screen comes out at the printers?

    And end to end calibrated workflow including the monitor is useful if you want to sell prints to people for a lot of money. An end to end calibrated workflow including the monitor is less useful if you just want the prints for yourself and friends and family.

    I don't have a calibrated workflow, and I'm delighted with prints from Loxley. I had to tweak the first few so I knew what I was getting back and most of the prints I send I raise the exposure by about half a stop, but otherwise, they're great and it cost me about £5 to get right.

    My advice is get some prints before you worry about whether you need to fork out for more hardware.
     
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  3. Valley Ally

    Valley Ally Active Member

    Oh I've tried, every time I think I've got it down I try a different image and have to start all over again. The soft proofing just bears no resemblance and I am definitely using the correct profile. If there is a way to save £300 I'll be very happy but sadly I've tried this one already.
     
  4. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Ah okay. What is it that's off when they arrive? Colour balance, contrast, exposure?

    Have you tried other print labs?
     
  5. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Here's a specification list for the Dell 5767: https://www.cnet.com/products/dell-...6-gb-ram-2-tb-hdd-english-i57676370gry/specs/

    If you look down the page for "CONNECTIONS & EXPANSION" you'll see it has a HDMI output. If you have a TV with HDMI input you could for the price of a HDMI cable connect the laptop to the TV and see whether that helps. On a good quality TV you may find you get better colour fidelity and it should cost less than £5. It's certainly a lot cheaper than buying a monitor. I have an Apple computer attached to our Panasonic TV and the results are very good (at least for my needs).
     
  6. Valley Ally

    Valley Ally Active Member

    It's the colour, I just can't pin it down. I've worked out how to correct the light/contrast but the colour difference eludes me. I haven't tried a different lab yet, I like it because it's just down the road and they are happy to spend the time with me.
     
  7. Valley Ally

    Valley Ally Active Member

    I have one, I'll try that first then!
     
  8. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Some labs offer complimentary colour correction, which assumes a) there's an obvious right and wrong and b) you trust them. Do they offer that?
     
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Laptop monitors range from OK to poor for editing. To make the best of it you need to be seated so that you are always looking at right angles to the screen. You will find then that, as you move your head, the colours and contrast will appear to change. Some laptops also automatically change the screen brightness according to the background lighting so that you are not looking at the same thing every time you turn it on. Broadly, no matter what it looks like, an image from the camera with minimal processing should print reasonably true. This is because the camera produces a srGB compliant file and a printer will assume this is the case unless a profile is associated with it. Where it all goes wrong is when you make big changes to colour to try to compensate for what you see.

    If you are going to edit and print then it is a good long term investment to buy an external monitor and make yourself a workplace.

    Such services can undo any changes you tried to make and replace them with something worse!
     
  10. Valley Ally

    Valley Ally Active Member

    Is there anyone able to answer my original question? That is, can I connect my current laptop to a monitor and if so what spec should I look for? Thanks all.
     
  11. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    To answer that we need to know what physical connectors the laptop has (hdmi, vga, displayport, mini-displayport, usb)

    Easiest way to know that is if you tell us the make and model of the laptop (e.g. Dell Inspiron 15 or something like that).
     
  12. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I gave him all the info he needs at #5. Reading the posts is part of the forum experince. :rolleyes:
     
  13. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Didn't spot the model name in your first post sorry - went to the Dell website and it's only got HDMI, which means it'll work with any monitor that supports HDMI.

    There's no one answer to which monitor should I get, they're different for everyone, but if you look for a monitor using IPS technology, because they give better colour representation and greater viewing angles (i.e. they're more forgiving if you view slightly from the side).

    My other advice is think about the number of pixels, too many monitors are big, but still don't have many pixels and you're going to end up looking at quite small images, certainly in the vertical direction.

    If I had £300 I would buy something like these,

    https://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/dell-24-monitor-p2418d/apd/210-ampy/monitors-monitor-accessories

    https://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/del...ref=p13n_ena_pdp_vv&c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&s=dhs

    You need HDMI, and I think you should aim for IPS, and you should get higher resolution than HD (go for QHD, but don't worry about the words too much, get something which is at least 2560 x 1440 in resolution, or bigger).

    Caveat: I can't tell you for certain if that laptop will drive a monitor with resolution above, ultimately, Dell should be able to answer that question for you. I think it should, but I can't say for certain.
     
  14. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    That seems a lot! My mac is 1920x1080 and my NEC (small by modern standards) 1680 x 1050
     
  15. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    For me, 1080 vertical resolution just isn't enough.
     
  16. Pecheur

    Pecheur Active Member

    Bear in mind that you need to profile a monitor before you can soft proof with it. Otherwise, the profile that is applied in editing programs such as Photoshop CC or Lightroom is generic (often the system sRGB) and doesn't characterize the monitor - an important component in translation between input and output. If the budget is £300, you'd need to spend a proportion of that on a calibration device if this is a road you want to go down. Unlike a few years ago, it's doable at that price even with an IPS monitor. The alternative, which isn't so bad, is to let the lab take care of everything and forget about the precise match - it may or may not be close.
     
  17. Valley Ally

    Valley Ally Active Member

    Trying not to be irritated here. First of all, my avatar is a FEMALE symbol so there is no excuse for referring to me as 'Him'

    Second if YOU read MY posts you would notice that I replied to your post about the HDMI cable with 'I have one' & 'I will try that'

    I didn't get past the first two posts. Way to mansplain your way to an unwelcoming environment guys.

    Goodbye.
     
  18. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Hopefully the Goodbye isn't permanent, the forum desperately needs new contributors.

    Apologies for any of my posts or behaviour which exacerbated your frustration.
     
  19. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I think it was Andrew (#12) I should have pointed the mistake out as I saw it just after he posted
     
  20. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Let's not spoil a good flounce folks. ;)
     

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