Got the Dell UP2414Q UHD monitor during the President's Day sale

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
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bronxbombers4
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Got the Dell UP2414Q UHD monitor during the President's Day sale
10 months ago

Wow, the resolution (3840x2160) does make photos look different compared to old 1920x1200 monitors. Everything seems a bit more film-like/slide-like somehow, a bit less digital looking, smoother, more natural, like a giant magnified slide table or something almost.

It's quite nice for nature photography since when you have tons of trees you can better make out all the little leaves and bark textures and twigs and such and they don't all blob together as much and even distant wooded panoramas manage to maintain some true leaf and branch detail now so they look more like photos or you are there than a digital blobbing. It also helps quite a lot for this one shot I have of a giant cliff boulder hillside covered in tiny ferns. At full UHD you can finally make out all the little ferns details enough that the image finally works out OK on screen. Fine feather detail in birds, little details in rocky surfaces and lichen covered rocks and so on....

People shots, wow, sometimes it feels like you are right there in the room with them.

Text is much, much more like real printed text in look.

Colors seem to be pretty rich and in the same ballpark as my old NEC PA241W in that regard.
I'm not sure if the color-engine is quite as linear and precise, but it seems to be fairly close in native gamut mode for each monitor.

In sRGB emulation the NEC PA is simply perfect with the ultra-linear calibration and 14 bit 3D LUT, the Dell isn't bad but it's not like you get the 100% flat saturation tracking curves and such of the PA, not too bad though and about what a decentish regular gamut monitor without a fancy 3D LUT would give you and probably a bit better overall than a regular gamut monitor with no internal LUT at all I'd say as those usually have a fair amount of noticeable banding after calibration due to having to calibrate within the 8 bits themselves.

The AG coating doesn't have the sparkle effect and isn't quite so ponderous as on the older IPS AG-coated monitors like the NEC PA241W. I like the new AG coating better for sure.

One possibly terrible thing is that is gives only two calibration slots and, at first glance at least, it seems like there isn't a way to save a calibration and then instantly load it to swap from this to that to that as you can with the NEC PA. I have a horrible feeling that if you need more than 2 you might need to constantly do the entire calibration process again and it takes a LONG time even for the matrix based calibration for some reason. I like to calibrate to native gamut and three different backlight settings and the same for sRGB with sRGB TRC and the same for sRGB with gamma 2.2 which would need nine slots. OK, I get by reasonably well with just two brightness levels for each but that still needs six and I guess I could forget the sRGB with sRGB TRC and just stick to firefox always for web image viewing, fine enough, but that still leaves me needing four slots and there are only two. I hope there is a way around this. I didn't dig too deep yet. If not, I really hope there is a way they could update the software to be able to write calibration to a file and then load it into the screen and that it is not hardware locked and only able to be written directly into the screen during calibration. I might be stuck with just a single backligt choice for wide gamut mode and sRGB mode :(. This might be the only major downside for those not gaming.

I didn't test out gaming yet. A bit fearful there won't be a way to get the GPU to scale 1920x1080 games by 2x. Hopefully it will work.

For TV/movies/videos my CPU/GPU seem to be powerful enough to drive even blu-ray to upscaled UHD so in that regard there is probably no scaling issue, at least not for me.

A few times each half of the screen started rendering at a fraction of a second delay making for bad tearing being the two sides, simply powering off and then on again seems to always fix it. I think it's only happened when messing around changing from calibration to pre-built and other modes a lot, not quite sure what triggers it. The fix seems to be easy enough though for the few times it happened.

Windows scaling is a bit weird. It scales up the icons OK on the desktop and renders the icon text at twice the res in each direction so it's really smooth looking and the proper size and the same for Wordpad and other such programs (although in a few cases some text in some places like message headers in Windows Live Mail is slightly clipped at the top).

Firefox and IE can also be set to scale up text so text on web pages an all appear to physically be the same size on the UHD screen as it was on the old 1920x1080 screen only now it's much crisper and realistic looking since each letter is made out of 4x as many pixels. As for images on webpages, Firefox and IE seem to automatically scale all images by 2x so they appear the same size as they did on the old screen and not like tiny postage stamps (OTOH they don't use simple 1->4 scaling but some sort of interpolation of sorts so the images are maybe a trace less hard-blocked crisp). Not sure yet but Chrome might just interpolate the entire rendering area up including text and screen drawn elements so it doesn't seem to make use of the extra res for anything other interpolation sp it seems to do the worst job of the various browsers.
The borders for Windows folders seem to become a bit larger than necessary, a little strange, but whatever.

One annoying thing is that Adobe Reader and Irfanview, as Chrome, seem to make full use of the extra res for display IF you set windows to 100% mode, but if you set Windows to 200% mode so everything isn't horribly small, then they seem to use the render to 1920x1080 and then interpolate up 2x in each direction thing so Irfanview doesn't let you view images in 4k glory when you use the 200% mode that makes Windows liveable at 4k. So you have to log off and toggle back to 100% when using ifranview which is rather cumbersome to say the least. I hope they update irfanview to decide to NOT use the 2x interpolation flag Windows sends it for the image rendering. Or maybe it's time for me to finally write my own image viewer (irfanview has this annoyance with UHD, fastpicviewer seems to handle tone curve mapping differently than Photoshop/Firefox/Irfanview/etc., fastone seems to fail at CMS in some important scenarios, etc.).

I'm sure as I try out more programs there will be some that will have the UI become a mess to unusable at 2x scaling.

FastPicViewer works fine no matter what Windows scaling is set to (although I still feel it does something a bit odd with how it's CMS handles tone mapping, it seems to add a bit of contrast and make darks too dark compared to any other color-managed software).

Photoshop handles the images fine no matter what windows scaling is set to and the menu and pop up text are rendered large and crip, almost too large at times, but the control icons and everything is super small, have to lean close at times, but to me it's worth that little struggle. A shame Photoshop Windows didn't get the UHD UI update that the MAC version did before they went cloud, oh well, I'll lean close rather than go cloud (not that cloud Windows has fixed this yet anyway).

Booting up to the old NEC 1920x1200 screen man the desktop looks so ancient, lo-res and grainy and weird after a day on the new UHD screen!

I don't seem to notice any horrible over drive issues like some Dells had back when I last tried a Dell (circa 2006ish???). No dead pixels that I can see. Screen uniformity without the compensation being used appears to vary across the screen from 81cd/m^2 down to 68cd/m^2 and color temp from like 6600K to 6100K (going roughly by memory from 5x5 grid of measurements) so I guess it can hit as much as 20% off, apparently even the new NEC PA242W some copies are hitting 20% luminance variance with the compensator off so I guess that is how it goes with the new LED lit screens in some cases. I didn't measure the Dell after compensation yet. It probably helps a fair bit although I suspect not quite as much as with the NEC. Not really sure yet though. Oddly the screen measurement paper that came with the screen listed almost no variance it had it at 100% in all but one block and that was at 99%. Maybe that was measured in the precalibrated mode with full compensation?

They don't use the special polarizers in IPS screens anymore unfortunately, not since the series before even the older PA241W at least so you get the typical white wash on black at any off angle at all. The Dell may be even a bit worse in this regard than the NEC PA241W especially at the bottom two corners.

The NEC in native gamut mode and with strong uniformity compensation applied hit about 580:1 CR (up to around 700:1 in sRGB gamma 2.2) (higher CR if you turn compensation off in both cases). The Dell with the compensation running (I didn't yet measure to see how strong it is) seems to hit about 700:1 in native gamut mode. But I didn't compare compensation carefully yet so it might not be a fair comparison, maybe the NEC does better in which case it wouldn't be fair to say the Dell hits better CR with compensation on.

I do wish it was 16:10 instead of 16:9, since physically, all images other than very wide ones clearly look smaller on it (even if more detailed) and the extra vertical real-estate can be nicer at times for computer work.

Anyway it's probably not quite as fancy a screen as the NEC PA series, which really do everything completely perfectly from what I've seen pretty much, but it's not bad at all either, and the UHD is pretty amazing, so amazing that I think I will keep the Dell and sell my PA241W. The 2 calibration slots thing will be a mess though.

Didn't try to hook my MAC Mini up yet, that has me a bit worried to say the least, need that to code iphone/pad apps and hopefully won't need to buy a second cheapo little screen and still a bit worried abotu driving games.

I still hold that the monitor is one the single most important pieces of photography equipment, maybe almost the most these days. It's not all about the camera body and lenses. And especially with UHD screen where you can basically see an 8MP all at once on the screen I think ever more so since being honest people only get to ever see a small fraction of the shots they take printed out.

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