Finding the right monitor for editing high-end landscape photography isn’t an easy task. Today, I am reviewing the BenQ SW320, a 31,5″ large monitor with a 4K IPS panel that covers 99% of Adobe RGB color space.
My aerial photo projects are shot with some of the highest resolution cameras out there. I use a 102mp medium format camera to cover as many details in my photos as possible. Those details are super important for me as I usually step really far away from the scenery, like when I was flying across the Arctic Ice Sheet last summer. Having those details makes you to explore the image on a deeper level. When it now comes to editing my photos, a high-resolution monitor like the BenQ SW320 with a native resolution of 3840 x 2160px makes it comfortable to view high-resolution files in full size and to tell whether an image is technically perfect.
But first, let’s step a little back. When I unpacked the SW320, I noticed that it’s a rather large monitor and with the monitor hoods attached, it appears to be a little bulky. Before, I was using a 27″ IPS panel monitor and another 27″ monitor for my toolbars. The difference between 27″ and 31,5″ is quite significant. Now I did change my work setup from two 27″ monitors to a notebook 15″ as my machine and a 31,5″ monitor as my main editing monitor.
I also needed to change to this setup since my computer didn’t support 4k video transmutation with 60Hz. At first glance, this was a little frustrating since it’s nowhere mentioned that you need rather new HDMI ports to get the monitor running on it’s full resolution. Connecting the monitor with DisplayPort to a Mac didn’t work for my side as well. I was contacting BenQ support about this and which responded that the monitors are not 100% compatible with Mac OSX. This is a point I can’t fully understand since it’s a standalone output device that should work independently from any operating system. Anyway, I now got it running with a new MacBook pro.
Apart from that, the monitor setup is quite easy. The built-in control panels let you change the brightness, color mode and other elementary settings. I shoot on my camera in Adobe RGB and have my entire workflow based in Adobe RGB. Adobe RGB is a larger color space than the standard sRGB which basically means you have more colors available to work with. The BenQ SW320 monitor from the PhotoVue professional series covers 99% Adobe RGB, which is an excellent color performance. If you are doing high-end landscape photography and do fine art printing of your work, I highly recommend basing your workflow on Adobe RGB to get the best results.
The monitor comes with an out-of-box calibration which is a very nice service, but I wouldn’t trust, so I did a hardware calibration with the Spyder 5 pro to ensure color accuracy. If you are printing your work, I highly recommend this step. After a view test-prints, I was happy with the results and had the monitor set. That being said, I noticed on my sample a slight but noticeable brightness shit towards the top left corner. In real-world usage, this is very minor and not really noticeable, so I can get along with it.
What I love about the monitor is that it comes with a detachable shading hood that significantly reduces screen glare from ambient lighting, ensuring color and brightness accuracy to all edges. Also, it’s flexible design makes it easy to rotate the monitor to vertical orientation in one step. The shading hood can be used in both portrait and landscape orientations. Shading hoods are a great add-on, especially when you have another light source around your workspace and with this monitor, they come in the package.
BenQ has also added a hardware tool „Hotkey Puck „which lets you switch between Adobe RGB, sRGB, and Black & White modes easily. The buttons can also be customized to map other modes or OSD settings, such as brightness and contrast to bring added convenience to photographers. Since I have my monitor most of the time at the same setting, it’s a nice feature but I fond myself not using it very often.
If you are a photographer or shooting video, it’s really worth having a 4k monitor and a large screen in one. Viewing your work in 100% on the screen and having some toolbars open at the same time makes it very comfortable to work with. If you are looking at a large scale monitor with a good value for money and you can put up with compromises, it’s a good choice.
What I like: – Screen size and resolution – 99% Adobe RGB color accuracy – flexible design with easy vertical orientation option – comes with a shading hood – good value for money
What I like: – global brightness varies slightly across the screen – quite bulky (but well, look at the screen size)
Monitor Specs: – 31.5 Inch 3840 x 2160 UHD Resolution – 99% Adobe RGB Color Space With IPS technology – 100% sRGB, 100% Rechnung.709, 99% Adobe RGB – High Dynamic Range (HDR10) – Hardware calibration – 10-bit display
Now it is official: My first photo book HABITAT will be published in October this year. To fund the production costs of the book, I started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. This campaign is an opportunity to pre-order a signed and numbered copy from a limited edition of 300 books and to help me, turning the idea of this project into a real book. You can also buy limited posters editions, fine art prints and some other cool stuff at the campaign. Have a look! 😉
This is a all-or-nothing funding: If this project doesn’t reach its funding goal, the book won’t become real and everyone, who supported in the campaign will get their money back. This is why I need your help and your support. Please support this project by sharing the crowdfunding campaign on social networks and anyone that might be interested in. Your help is greatly appreciated!
I am very pleased to announce my first photo book »HABITAT« which will be published around autumn 2018 through one of the best known publishing houses in Germany. The Book is about my long term project of aerial views that show human intervention in natural spaces – from agricultural areas to road crossings, from open pit mining to waterways.
The photographs are arranged according to superior questions: Where do we mine raw materials, how does agriculture affect nature, how do roads and railways change our habitat? These questions are answered in five chapters with 90 photographs as well as some representative facts and infographics which can be added by overlapping a image.
For updates about the book, please send your Name to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will get a notification about availabilities.
Late last year I did win the DJI Drone Photography Award by The British Journal of Photography and DJI. Last week I’ve been to the exhibition opening of the Award in London. Here is a short snippet of the opening night.
I am doing my first photo Exhibition about my Aerial Photography Project »HABITAT« in Munich. Large Format prints will be displayed on the 7th of December at 7.30pm at Mates Munich. Adress: MATES, Georgenstraße 66, 80799 Munich
Last week I went to a frozen lake to take some aerial shots from the shore line. I was really surprised when I saw the structure of the ice surface from above. I did a visual study of the ice patterns. It looks like some detail shots and they are in a way but of a bigger scale then you might guess. All shots where taken from around 100 meter above the surface. The distance from left the right is about 80 meter.
This year I went on a trip to the balearen islands in the mediterranen sea. It was my first time there and I was really surprised about the beauty of landscape they offer. Now as the days are getting shorter I find time to process to output to a new photo series.
A few days ago I went again hiking in the swiss »Alpstein Gebirge«. I started at 4pm and reached the summit of »Hoher Kasten« just before sunset. Looking down from about 1.800 meter into the valley and across the shieling was a very calm experience.
Today I took my bike on a ride around the north shore of lake Bodensee, Germany and the camera on the back. The greens are very vivid right now and the leaves are light so that a lot of light is going through. Just perfect for capturing some german forest scenery.
On Tuesday I went to the Alpstein region in Switzerland. I knew that there had been the first snow for the winter so I wanted to make my way up to a summit the take photos of the mountain ridge during sunset.
As I got there I recognized that the snow was much more than I expected. The trail up to the summit was completely covered with 40-50cm snow and they took down all the signage. Luckily enough somebody walked my way a day before. Otherwise you would have been just lost. It was quit a hustle to make the 1000 meters altitude and I didn’t make it to the summit I wanted to because the snow was to high and therefore to dangerous. But I went to another hut called „Äscher“ which was located beneath a 120 meter high cliff. The view to the Seealpsee down in the valley was stunning and paid all the effort off.
In August I spent some days in the southern part of Norway. I was mainly traveling along the coast from Bergen to Trondheim and did some detours into the fjords. Weatherwise we got perfect conditions for hiking and camping so we could do some spectacular dusks and dawns in the fjords. I just uploaded a new project „Norway“ with some impressions of the journey.
I just returned from a photo trip to the US. Did a couple of thousand miles exploring some of the finest national parks I’ve seen so far.
There are some stunning projects to come! This one is from Arizona.
I just added a new project to my studio portfolio. It’s all about the aesthetic of sliced vegetables and fruits. I was fascinated by the colour, structure and shape, why I decided to take a series of it. You’ll find this project in the studio section.