32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

Started Jun 17, 2019 | Discussions
Katonda Forum Member • Posts: 64
32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor
4

Hi all,

I'm looking into getting a new 32" or 34" non-curved 4K monitor with good sRGB color accuracy. I've spent the last week looking at reviews and am down to a few models. I'm hoping to get some critical feedback on any of them, especially if you have had experience with multiples. Here they are in increasing order of price (German Amazon prices, Q2 2019):

  • BenQ PD3200U
  • HP Z32
  • LG 32UD99
  • Dell U3219Q

The panel should be under 850 euros, preferably in the 700 range. I don't need USB-C connectivity as I'm not using any Apple products or similarly limited hardware. I also have external speakers so any embedded within the screen will be superfluous. My job is in IT and photography is my main hobby. I do some gaming, but nothing that requires more than 60hz. My current display is an Asus VS24AH, so whatever my next monitor will be, will be a significant upgrade.

If you can recommend any other 4K IPS panels with good sRGB colors that are 32"+, I'm all ears.

Just quick breakdown of what I've read and seen pertaining to each of the above-listed monitors:

BenQ PD3200U

~ €670

Oldest of the 4, this monitor has been a favorite in the semi-professional community for quite some time. As I am not a design professional, I won't be using the CAD, Animation or Dark Room modes, but the 100% sRGB and KVM switch are definitely a bonus. It's a sturdy and well-built monitor that weighs 12.5kg, with a brightness of 350cd/m², a 4ms GtG response and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. It comes with a 3 year warranty. Only downside is that I've read about issues regarding flickering, bleeding and unequal colors. How common are they?

HP Z32

~ €785

I've had a hard time finding reviews on this monitor but its specs look good. Again, it's a sturdy and well-built monitor. It weighs 12kg, with a brightness of 350cd/m² and a slower 14ms GtG response. However, it has a higher contrast ratio of 1300:1 with 99% sRGB coverage. I had trouble finding the warranty for this monitor, but I think it's only 1 year. Only drawback I've read about is that you need to deal with HP's business division for any issues as this isn't classified as a consumer product. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

LG 32UD99

~ €800

This one is popular in a lot of places, but also has some mixed reviews regarding light bleeding. This one only weighs 8.4kg, with a brightness of 350cd/m² and a 5ms GtG response. It has a wide color gamut (100% sRGB) and a similar contrast ratio to the previous one, namely 1300:1. Apart from the light bleeding, this monitor seems to only come with a 1 year warranty which I find suspect.

Dell U3219Q

~ €880

The newest and most expensive model looks beautiful and has some great specs and reviews. This one weighs in at 9.1kg with a relatively higher brightness of 400cd/m². It also covers 99% sRGB. While it does have good reviews, I have a hard time justifying the extra cost when compared to the other three.
So that's my initial run-down. I'm hoping that my little summary and, more importantly, your feedback will help people making a similar decision in the future.

ppage
ppage Senior Member • Posts: 2,099
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor
3

I appreciate the info. you've shared. I don't have much to contribute other than a few thoughts of my own on the matter. I have a 24" NEC PA241 that has served me well but I now need something much larger and have been very frustrated in my search.

One of the problems as you know is that no one has these better quality monitors on display so we're obliged to make a choice based on published specs and various reviews from sources that may or may not know what they're talking about, may or may not be be paid for writing a favourable review, or may be reviewing a monitor from the point of view of a gamer or video maker rather than that a landscape photographer for example.

My specs are similar to yours, but I want 10-bit colour depth so that eliminates the HPZ32 and I don't think I should have to settle for anything less than 100% sRGB. Many monitor manufacturers now seem to favour CDI-P3 which I gather is a better colour space for video.

BenQ monitors seem to have quality control issues, so I haven't ruled BenQ monitors out but I'm a bit nervous about them; perhaps without reason. The BenQ SW320 looked good on paper but I gather it's already been discontinued though it's not a very old monitor. There is a BenQ PD322OU listed at B&H which I think is a successor to the BenQ PD3200U but it's not available here in Canada (yet?)

I'm also looking at the Asus PA329Q and I haven't quite ruled out the Viewsonic VP3268-3 but I haven't found much information about that one.

I also have some concerns about trying to do noise removal when editing images at 100% on a monitor with the very small pixels found in 4K monitors.

I've actually decided to let the matter go for now and resume searching in the fall when more information should be available on newer monitors like the BenQ PD322OU. I've come to accept that I will have to spend more than I'd intended but I certainly can't afford an Eizo ColorEdge CD319X or something similar and I'm very disappointed that NEC seems to have lost interest in this segment of the market.

Best of luck in your search. I'll be following this thread with interest.

SwissSwiss Contributing Member • Posts: 594
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor
1

Same boat as you for last 6+ months. Add to the mix the updated new version from BenQ-

BenQ PD3220U

OP Katonda Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

Thanks for the feedback ppage. I hadn't thought of noise reduction on a UHD panel being an issue, but now that you mention it I can see how having very small pixels could be a drawback. However, the idea of getting a 43" monster makes my neck preemptively hurt with strain.

According to this HP Z32 Datasheet, the warranty is 3 years, not 1 like I had originally thought. The HP website also claims 10-bit color depth as does BHPhoto . May I ask where you read the contrary?

I'm afraid, while nice, the BenQ PD322OU, Viewsonic VP3268-3 and Asus PA329Q are out of my price range (€1000+). I naively went into this thinking I could spend €500-€600 so €700-€850 is already a stretch.

OP Katonda Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

SwissSwiss wrote:

Same boat as you for last 6+ months. Add to the mix the updated new version from BenQ-

BenQ PD3220U

Have you tested any of them yet or able to order them at all according to your preference?

Charles2
Charles2 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,423
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

ppage wrote:

I also have some concerns about trying to do noise removal when editing images at 100% on a monitor with the very small pixels found in 4K monitors.

Couldn't you view the image at 200% while you do the noise reduction?

ppage
ppage Senior Member • Posts: 2,099
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

According to this HP Z32 Datasheet, the warranty is 3 years, not 1 like I had originally thought. The HP website also claims 10-bit color depth as does BHPhoto . May I ask where you read the contrary?

I just checked B&H photo again and the bit depth for the HP Z32 is listed as 8-Bit+FRC while the colour gamut is 99% sRGB.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1410160-REG/hp_hp_z32_31_5_4k.html

ppage
ppage Senior Member • Posts: 2,099
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

Charles2 wrote:

ppage wrote:

I also have some concerns about trying to do noise removal when editing images at 100% on a monitor with the very small pixels found in 4K monitors.

Couldn't you view the image at 200% while you do the noise reduction?

Unfortunately, noise reduction is really about the image pixels.  I could view an image at 200% but then I wouldn't be seeing the image pixels; I'd be seeing a representation of them, each image pixel being represented by two or more monitor pixels. And that's more or less what I'm wondering about because pixels are discrete and arranged in a grid format.  How is an image pixel represented at 200%? If it's a square of 4 monitor pixels then the image is being viewed at 400%, not 200%. If it's represented by 2 pixels they must be arranged either vertically or horizontally, and that doesn't make sense; if all the pixels were displayed that way the image would be either twice as long or twice as high as when viewed at 100%. So is 1 pixel displayed as a 4x4 square of monitor pixels while one or more other image pixels are not displayed at all?  Anyway, whatever the algorithm is, it seems clear that the image at 200% is not a simple and accurate enlargement of the original image.

How would this inaccuracy affect image processing? Maybe hardly at all; I'm just not sure.    Much as I would love it if some local vendor had a few 32" monitors on display with Photoshop running so buyers can experiment I can see why that's just not going to happen.

OP Katonda Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

ppage wrote:

According to this HP Z32 Datasheet, the warranty is 3 years, not 1 like I had originally thought. The HP website also claims 10-bit color depth as does BHPhoto . May I ask where you read the contrary?

I just checked B&H photo again and the bit depth for the HP Z32 is listed as 8-Bit+FRC while the colour gamut is 99% sRGB.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1410160-REG/hp_hp_z32_31_5_4k.html

I think all of the screens on my list are 8-bit + frc. Are there any true 10-bit under a grand?

OP Katonda Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

My assumption is that at 200% a single pixel would be 2x2 or a square of 4 pixels. 400% would be 4x4 or a square of 16 pixels.

Charles2
Charles2 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,423
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor
1

ppage wrote:

Charles2 wrote:

ppage wrote:

I also have some concerns about trying to do noise removal when editing images at 100% on a monitor with the very small pixels found in 4K monitors.

Couldn't you view the image at 200% while you do the noise reduction?...

How is an image pixel represented at 200%? If it's a square of 4 monitor pixels then the image is being viewed at 400%, not 200%.

My understanding is that percent refers to linear dimension, so 200% means height and width are each doubled, and each original image pixel now occupies the area of four monitor pixels.

In my meager experience with 4K monitors, at that view you can easily see image noise, the ugly blotches of color, etc. -- and how it smooths out upon application of noise reduction.

Before you buy, if you have a tablet or smartphone with similar pixel density, you can get a rough idea for yourself: put a noisy image in the tablet and magnify the view. (In the Display settings for the device, turn off the enhancement setting(s).)

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 15,847
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

Katonda wrote:

... in increasing order of price (German Amazon prices, Q2 2019):

  • BenQ PD3200U
  • HP Z32
  • LG 32UD99
  • Dell U3219Q

You can also get the LG 32UD59 or UD60 for about half the price of the UD99. Oddly, the 32UD59 is higher rated on rtings.com, although price might be part of the equation.

I've never seen a 32UD, but the 27UD is on display at a nearby store and looks great.

Some Dell models support only HDMI 1.4, which means you can't refresh at 60Hz from most laptops. However I think the U3219Q finally has HDMI 2.0.

ppage
ppage Senior Member • Posts: 2,099
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

My understanding is that percent refers to linear dimension, so 200% means height and width are each doubled, and each original image pixel now occupies the area of four monitor pixels.

Yes you're right.  That hadn't occurred to me but I just tried increasing the size of an image in Photoshop to 200% and that's exactly what happens, the area of the image is quadrupled   So that should work well then for cleaning up noise.  Thanks for clearing that up.

Before you buy, if you have a tablet or smartphone with similar pixel density, you can get a rough idea for yourself: put a noisy image in the tablet and magnify the view. (In the Display settings for the device, turn off the enhancement setting(s).)

Good idea; I'll try that.

ppage
ppage Senior Member • Posts: 2,099
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

Katonda wrote:

I think all of the screens on my list are 8-bit + frc. Are there any true 10-bit under a grand?

Maybe not.  I haven't found one yet,  I've become resigned to spending more money on this than I'd expected.

OP Katonda Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

Thanks for the information. I've read that VA panels (like in the LG 32UD59) are best avoided for image editing. Is that true or is it just the viewing angle that suffers with respect to IPS panels? For a few hundred bucks, I can suffer poorer viewing angles if the direct image is just as good.

Austinian
MOD Austinian Forum Pro • Posts: 10,652
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor
1

Katonda wrote:

Thanks for the information. I've read that VA panels (like in the LG 32UD59) are best avoided for image editing. Is that true or is it just the viewing angle that suffers with respect to IPS panels? For a few hundred bucks, I can suffer poorer viewing angles if the direct image is just as good.

I have no problems using a VA monitor for photo editing; viewing angles are less than IPS, but in exchange you generally get much higher contrast ratios.

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ppage
ppage Senior Member • Posts: 2,099
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

With a larger monitor the viewing angle is a consideration when you look towards the edges of the screen even when you're sitting directly in front of the monitor, unless you're sitting quite far back from it.

If your objective is print then a high contrast ratio is not required as glossy photo papers have a contrast ratio of about 300:1 and matte papers considerably less.

Bill Heiser
Bill Heiser Contributing Member • Posts: 513
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

ppage wrote:

Charles2 wrote:

ppage wrote:

I also have some concerns about trying to do noise removal when editing images at 100% on a monitor with the very small pixels found in 4K monitors.

Couldn't you view the image at 200% while you do the noise reduction?

Unfortunately, noise reduction is really about the image pixels. I could view an image at 200% but then I wouldn't be seeing the image pixels; I'd be seeing a representation of them, each image pixel being represented by two or more monitor pixels. And that's more or less what I'm wondering about because pixels are discrete and arranged in a grid format. How is an image pixel represented at 200%? If it's a square of 4 monitor pixels then the image is being viewed at 400%, not 200%. If it's represented by 2 pixels they must be arranged either vertically or horizontally, and that doesn't make sense; if all the pixels were displayed that way the image would be either twice as long or twice as high as when viewed at 100%. So is 1 pixel displayed as a 4x4 square of monitor pixels while one or more other image pixels are not displayed at all? Anyway, whatever the algorithm is, it seems clear that the image at 200% is not a simple and accurate enlargement of the original image.

How would this inaccuracy affect image processing? Maybe hardly at all; I'm just not sure. Much as I would love it if some local vendor had a few 32" monitors on display with Photoshop running so buyers can experiment I can see why that's just not going to happen.

I've learned from experts on this topic (people who do retouching & high end printing for a living) that this same issue with monitor dot pitch also affects sharpening. e.g. its not possible to do critical sharpening on a 4K monitor. The dot pitch is so fine that it makes images appear sharp even if they're not, and you can't see the individual pixels to properly do the sharpening.

Charles2
Charles2 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,423
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor

Bill Heiser wrote:

I've learned from experts on this topic (people who do retouching & high end printing for a living) that this same issue with monitor dot pitch also affects sharpening. e.g. its not possible to do critical sharpening on a 4K monitor. The dot pitch is so fine that it makes images appear sharp even if they're not, and you can't see the individual pixels to properly do the sharpening.

This logic might apply when one must prepare an image for Web display with an assumption that most people have monitors of 96 - 100 ppi. Although one must ask, why wouldn't it work to do the sharpen while one views the image at 200%?

For prints, what is the logic? After all, if one sends the printer an image at 300 or 360 ppi, it seems an advantage to prepare the image on a monitor of 150 - 185 ppi instead of 100 ppi.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 15,847
Re: 32" or 34" 4K IPS Monitor
1

Bill Heiser wrote:

I've learned from experts on this topic (people who do retouching & high end printing for a living) that this same issue with monitor dot pitch also affects sharpening. e.g. its not possible to do critical sharpening on a 4K monitor. The dot pitch is so fine that it makes images appear sharp even if they're not, and you can't see the individual pixels to properly do the sharpening.

Why don't they just get a large 4K monitor with the same dot pitch as their smaller monitor?

E.g. the LG 43UD79 costs $569 with a dot pitch similar to a 24" FHD monitor. The rtings.com review looks like it would be OK except if used in the dark.

https://www.rtings.com/monitor/reviews/lg/43ud79-b

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