I have to be honest. When BenQ reached out to me to use and comment on their new BenQ SW2700PT photography monitor, I had never even heard of BenQ. I was quite happy with my 24-inch Eizo display, which had been serving me well for the past two years. I had no reason to test the market for something else and change what was already successful for my image processing. For the professional photographer, the computer display is the critical link between the image, the artist, and his or her interpretation of what that image represents.
Then I did a quick online search on the BenQ SW2700PT and (wrongly) dismissed it out of hand. The retail price was half of what my Eizo monitor cost. How could it even compare? I agreed to accept shipment of the display and used it side-by-side with my Eizo for two months. Here are my thoughts.
BenQ SW2700PT Specifications List
- Product Color: Black
- LCD Size: 27″
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Resolution: 2560×1440
- Brightness: 350 cd/m2
- Native Contrast: 1000:1
- DCR (Dynamic Contrast Ratio): 20m:1
- Display Colors: 1.07 Billion
- Color Gamut: AdobeRGB 99%
- Input/Output Connectors: DVI-DL+ HDMI 1.4 + DP1.2 + Headphone Jack
- Dimensions: H:566.7 x 652.8 x 322.8 – L:445.2 x 652.8 x 322.8
- Net Weight: 8.3kg (without hood)
- Gross Weight: 11.88kg
- VESA Wall Mounting: 100x100mm
- USB Hub: USB 3.0 (Downstream x 2 (side), Upstream x1)
- Other Features: Palette Master Element Software/ 14 bits 3D LUT / HW calibration / Delta E≤2 (avg) /Black and White mode/ Black Level/ Built-in SD card reader
- MSRP: $599 USD
For photographers, the features that really jump out at you are 1) AdobeRGB 99%, 2) 2560x1440 resolution, 3) native contrast of 1000:1, 4) and the nice little feature of having a built-in SD card reader – on the monitor! Yes, this display is built for photographers
Build Quality and Ergonomics
The BenQ SW2700PT is solidly built and very impressive. The ergonomics of this monitor are also top notch. It has a wide range of motion with regard to display height, tilt, and rotation, which should allow all users to find their perfect setting. You can even spin the display 90 degrees to the vertical position. As mentioned earlier, there is an SD card slot on the monitor, a perfect feature for photographers, and four USB ports for plenty of peripherals. The menu buttons are intuitive and easy to navigate. The SW2700PT ships with a shade hood, another nice touch with photographers in mind, DVI, USB, and DisplayPort cables, a Quick Start Guide, a OSD Controller, and a resource CD containing drivers and a User Guide. The menu buttons are intuitive and easy to navigate. The BenQ SW2700PT is covered by a three-year warranty on parts, labor, and backlight.
Color calibration is essential to all photographers and the BenQ SW2700PT includes its proprietary Palette Master Element calibration software. With the use of the software and a calibrator (not included but you can use Datacolor Spyder5PRO or X-Rite ColorMunki Display, (among others) you can tune and maintain the color performance of the monitor at its most optimal state.
WHY YOU SHOULD CALIBRATE YOUR MONITOR
If the question is whether you should or should not calibrate your computer monitor, the answer is yes. If you are a photographer, you should. But why? Learn More >>
Wide gamut monitors like the BenQ SW2700PT can display a much wider range of color than most off-the-shelf consumer displays on the market. Most monitors display a range of colors that approximate the sRGB color space, which is a narrow one as well as the default color space of the internet. The BenQ SW2700PT covers 99 percent of the much wider Adobe RGB color space. In the real world, it means that monitors like the BenQ SW2700PT reproduces deeper, more saturated colors, better renditions of color tones, and better gradations in color as well. This is a tremendous advantage for image processing and printing.
During my trial use of theBenQ SW2700PT, I was involved in professional image editing in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, printing of digital images, and additional work in Adobe In-Design and Premiere Pro. Images in Lightroom and Photoshop were reproduced extremely well on the BenQ SW2700PT. Resolution, sharpness, and clarity were excellent. When soft proofing images for print, the BenQ also offered excellent performance, particularly for a display at this price. Honestly, the performance of this display is what you would expect from a monitor twice its price.
After an extensive trial period, I’ve decided to keep and use the BenQ SW2700PT in my office alongside my trusty Eizo display. The BenQ SW2700PT has proven itself to be solid, professional, consistant performer that will complement my workspace and make my processing tasks easier and professional-looking.
Get yours here: BenQ SW2700PT Photography Monitor