Zhuo Peng / Commercial Photography
BenQ’s SW2700PT is an industrial-grade consumer display for professionals. It contains a number of features found only in commercial displays. However, this product is targeted at professional photographers and avid photography enthusiasts. After extensive use, I am confident in saying that this product fully highlights my original motivation for design.
An essential component in the photography enthusiasts’ arsenal: The BenQ SW2700PT Professional Display
I have been a professional photographer for more than a decade. I started out as a portrait photographer, later adding commercial photography to my portfolio. Now, I primarily collaborate with automobile companies for a variety of engagements. As my technical knowledge and awareness developed and streamlined throughout my professional career, my understanding of my gear gradually become more rational and precise.
Over the years, professional photographers and avid photography enthusiasts have actuated the rapid development of photography equipment with their endless demand for better picture quality. Amateur photographers and photography enthusiasts followed this trend of development, rationally updating their equipment. Digital cameras (DC) have progressively improved into digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and later into mirrorless cameras, and CMOS sizes have gradually expanded from advanced photo system type-C (APS-C) to full-frame systems. Moreover, lens quality and technical applications are perpetually improving.
Personally, my pursuit of equipment progressively evolved from just owning equipment, to owning the most expensive equipment, and to owning equipment specific to current requirements. At work, I am often asked, “What process is more important, shooting or post-editing?” As a commercial photographer, I am an advocate of post-editing. Photography is an art riddled with regret. However, there is little room for regret in commercial photography, and post-editing is vital to make up for these regrets. Thus, I articulate that shooting and post-editing are equally important. Many of my friends seek my recommendation when purchasing gear. They mostly inquire about camera bodies or lenses, or occasionally the tripod and other accessories, which are all associated with the initial shooting. Interestingly, few people ask me about post-editing gear. I assume that most people associated post-editing with the ownership of a computer, including me when I received my first fashion catalog assignment 10 years ago. I was flabbergasted when I found that the same clothing item has three entirely different colors in the viewfinder, on the display, and on the advance copy. It was not until then that I realized post-editing was also equipment intensive.
The camera in your hand is the essence of the entire photo shoot, and all your ideas are materialized through it. Similarly, the display is the crucial element in the entire post-editing process. Every modification is demonstrated via the display. Therefore, I learned early on how important a quality display is to the final product. So what type of display do I consider a quality display? Let me explain using my current one – the BenQ SW2700PT.
First and foremost, a display that satisfies the needs of professional photographers and photography enthusiasts must contain a well-sized, high-resolution, and wide-angle panel. Only by meeting these requirements can all the details of an image be visible. The SW2700PT 27-inch in-plane-switching (IPS) panel with an effective resolution of 2560×1440 fully meets these criteria. Once you work with a 27-inch display or bigger, not even a 24-inch would satisfy your needs. Of course, not all IPS panels are quality guaranteed. The SW2700PT achieves a 99% Adobe RGB coverage, effectively placing it above all current mainstream professional displays.
You might not use the above-mentioned features and parameters in your everyday workflow. However, a focal aspect for any photographer is color correctness. Remember the fashion catalog disaster I mentioned at the beginning of this article? I later learned that it was caused by my uncalibrated display. The colors presented on my display were different from the actual colors of the image. I was unable to predict what colors I would receive from my edits. The aforementioned parameters are set the moment you purchase a display. Subsequently, color management is a broad, complex, and ongoing process. The SW2700PT uses BenQ’s proprietary Palette Master Element software, coupled with an i1 Color Calibrator to physically calibrate the color on the display and ultimately control the color difference of the display at a Delta E value of less than 2. I have been requested by clients on countless occasions to ensure color accuracy. This has helped me realize the value of color correction and forced me to edit my images only on color-calibrated displays.The hardware calibration function of the SW2700PT stems from the display’s complete color calibration. This function not only enhances color precision but also alleviates strain on the graphics card. With this professional color calibration tool, I can be assured to validate product color using my display, without worrying that the color on my display will differ from the final product.
The on-screen display (OSD) controller on the SW2700PT enables users to conveniently adjust various display parameters, eliminating the need to toggle with buttons on the edges of the screen to switch between display modes. The OSD controller provides three shortcuts to facilitate the rapid switching between Adobe RGB, sRGB, and B/W modes. Whether it is the Adobe RGB mode for vivid and realistic colors, sRBG for on-screen soft proofing, or B/W for rapidly black and white previews, modes can be switched with a click of a button, greatly enhancing work efficiency.
Professional equipment must not only contain sufficient content, but also be pleasing to the eye. Long ago, I noticed that a number of costly professional displays included a shading hood. I purchased several professional displays after that. However, none included a similar hood. I, therefore, concluded that shading hoods are specific to expensive displays. Opening the SW2700PT box, I was so surprised to find a professional shading hood. The hood is lined with black flocking to effectively prevent stray light in the room from directly illuminating the display, effectively enhancing the professionalism of the SW2700PT and creating a clean work environment for users.
For a long time, professional photographers and photography enthusiasts have centered their attention on their camera bodies and lenses during the production of an image. I’m pleased to find that, in recent years, an increasing number of people begin to value post-editing. The demands of this growing group of people have attracted the attention of more and more manufacturers. This trend is the reason for the development of the SW2700PT industrial-standard, consumer-grade display. It contains a number of features found only in commercial displays. However, this product is targeted at professional photographers and avid photography enthusiasts. After extensive use, I am confident in saying that this product fully demonstrates the original motivation for design.