Eizo launched recently a new flagship: the Coloredge CG277. A graphical monitor of 27" which focuses on a small, but very distinct market of professional photographers, prepress companies, specialists in video and all graphical editors. Beside a giant monitor, all accessories and specifications are very impressive. The monitor has also a hood and an automatic calibrator on board. The most impressive figure within the specifications is certainly the Adobe RGB spectrum of 99%. This is an absolute dream for every colour-freak!
Unpacking the monitor is very easy, as it is already fully operational upon arrival in the box. Just carefully remove the protective plastic and connect to your PC, nothing more has to be done. The monitor hood is perhaps the most difficult, but also this part disclaims all by itself. If necessary, you can always read and follow the instructions. The connections are obvious: a power cable, a DVI- or Display port cable to connect your PC and a USB cable for the hardware calibration.
The Eizo CG277 display is calibrated in the factory, but you will need to adapt this calibration to the light conditions in your workspace. It doesn’t make sense to buy an expensive display, if you don’t calibrate to your individual light conditions. To perform this, you can use the built-in calibrator, which is foreseen into the bottom of your screen. It will appear when the system requests. Please note that the software that calibrates your monitor, needs to be downloaded first (check the website of Eizo). The Color Calibration Software Navigator 126.96.36.199 (232MB) is suitable for a wide range of screens and calibrators (see list on the website of Eizo).
Eizo also recently launched the "Color Navigator NX" which has the same functionality as the "normal" version, but which is an additional feature to manage the calibration of multiple graphic screens from 1 place. For me a very attractive tool, however Eizo is advising not to use this feature if not really necessary, reason for which this review is only treating the standard version.
In the next screen, you’ll find some preconfigured photographic and printer profiles. Personally, I prefer to make the profile myself, adapted to my light conditions in my work space. In such case you choose for “Create a new target” in the menu.
The program will ask to configure RGB Gamut, Brightness/White point, Black level and Gamma. For the “RGB Gamut”, you should go for “Monitor Native”. Brightness/White point will be configured with 100cd/m2 brightness (officially 80 would be enough for TFT displays). Your calibrator will determine the White point in function of the ambient light. Black level remains unchanged, as well as the gamma, which stays at 2,2.
The program will ask you to rename the profile. This is entirely free and up to your personal decision, but I prefer to work as follows: [Type display] _ [Brightness] _ [Kelvin values] _ [Gamma] _ [Date], an example: EIZOCG277_100_6500_22_20140601.
Once your target has been made, you can start making a display profile. Select your target and click “Adjust”. Initialize your device again and click "next". The program will start now. It is important that your lighting conditions are not changing during the whole process (like f.i. suddenly change lighting in the room) nor that other programs are opened in the meanwhile.
In the last screen, you’ll see the results of the calibration process with the values you have chosen and the relevant results.
After the calibration process of the display, most photographers think that the job has been done. Quite often they believe that further perfection is impossible. For this monitor however, the real thing only starts here and continues a long way. Indeed, Eizo developed the "Lookup table”, which permits to modify your profile to the perfection and this through a process of really small steps. The easiest way to perform this action is by taking a picture of an extremely colorful object. Make sure that the picture is having at least the following colors: white, black, red, blue, yellow and some rose, pink, purple, … Open the picture on your display and install the object which you just photographed next to the display. Start to verify and eventually change the different colors with small steps in order to obtain exactly the same colors as your object. When you are done, the picture on your display should have exactly the same colors as your object. If you wouldn't be able to find such an object, you should buy a X-Rite Colochecker card (costs about 80 - 100 euro).
The Eizo has two DVI-I connections and one display port. This could be useful when you want to connect two computers with the display at the same time. The display also has a USB hub with 2 ports. Because the 2 USB ports are at the backside underneath, you can’t use them easily. When you use the display, there are always 3 cables leaving your display: a power cable, a dvi / display port cable, an USB cable for the hardware calibration and the USB hub. All cables can be hidden at the back of the display.
The CG277 display uses an IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel. Generally those panels deliver extreme viewing angles and superior quality – a major factor for professional users (f.i. photographers) who work permanently with colors. The disadvantage is the price and perhaps the reaction time which makes this monitor not suitable for video or for gaming.
Positioning the display
The ergonomic rules are really important with these large wide displays. It is important to keep the distance from the monitor to your eyes higher than 50cm. The first time it can feel a little bit strange, but you’ll get used to it and your eyes will be benefit from this position. To determine the ideal height of the display you should follow the official ergonomic rules. You need to be seated on a comfortable chair with your feets flat on the ground and your knees in an angle of 90°. Your chair should support your back and have to look straightforward. The line of your eyes and the top of the display needs to be equal, only in this way you will work correctly. Everything seems overacting, but when you work 8 hours (or more) in the same position, you really need to sit correctly and you should know that the display can be moved easily up- and downwards. Even for tall people, the screen can be placed high enough.
The monitor can be switched in portrait stand (90°). This could be useful when you need to correct a large amount of portrait pictures and want to use a maximum of your display. Although I don’t think you’ll frequently use this function as there is no sensor that detects the picture is in portrait stand. You still need to switch manually the monitor.
It’s really a pleasure that the display is so flexible and so easy to position. Everything can be done upon your desire. You switch and turn the monitor as you wish and you can even plug in a cable at he backside of the monitor without large maneuvers
The CG277 comes standard with a special monitor hood to reduce light from both sides and the top to reach the display. The difference with or without the hood is huge and therefor for me it is something absolutely essential to install. If you do not want to use the internal calibrator and do want to calibrate the monitor, you can hang an external calibrator by sliding a panel at the top of the panel.
Eizo displays are high quality products and you can see this immediately. Each display is calibrated at the factory and an out print of the test results is available in the shipping box. This test includes 25 points all over the display. The difference between these 25 points has to be minimal. Eizo claims that during 5 years of utilization the displays will give the same results as on day 1. Therefor Eizo is willing to provide a 5 years (on site) guarantee.
One of the major advantages of the Eizo CG277 is the wide color range. The display can show up to 99% of the Adobe RGB range. Like many other professional displays, this display can show 100% of the sRGB color range. You’ll find the differences right away by reviewing older pictures. In the past you couldn’t see that much differences in the same color, now you will be able to do so!
Resolution & format
The Eizo CG277 monitor has a resolution of 2560 by 1440 pixels. This is identical to the iMac 27" which I use as second screen + pc. Personally, I think this combination is very suitable and it works perfectly. Within editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom you take much advantage of the widescreen format. Indeed, with this format you'll keep, next to the picture, plenty of room for palettes and other stuff.
The Eizo CG277 is in fact the monitor that every photographer should have. The only real drawback is the high price, but still for 2100 euro (including VAT) you get a super monitor which enables you to watch your pictures as they are meant to be. It is an absolute must for all professional or serious amateur photographers / graphic artists.
Thanks to Eizo Belgium for delivering the screen.