$5000 For A Monitor. What Should I Get?

August 12, 2019

We get a lot of questions about picking a color-accurate monitor for grading. In this episode listen to our thoughts on things to consider.


From The MailBag Episode 73

The Question We Get More Than Any Other!

A quick search of our email inbox reveals that in 2019 we’ve had (to date) 373 unique, separate emails from members asking us what monitor they should buy!  If you break that down that’s 7 emails per week on average asking for help in purchasing a color-critical monitor!

So, yes, it would be an understatement that we get this question A LOT!  To be fair, a lot of times, members are writing in asking about specific monitors, but recently we’ve been getting a lot of emails that have been stating specific budget ranges, with $3000-$5000 being a fairly popular range.

While we tend to just reply to those emails directly, Patrick pointed out it had been a while since we’ve talked about this subject and specifically the price range we’ve been getting in those emails.

In this installment of From The Mailbag, we’re once again joined by Mixing Light contributor Joey D’Anna while Dan is on a short hiatus grading HDR for Netflix on a Baselight!

Things To Think About – Not Really A Direct Answer

One thing we should mention right off the top – as you listen to this episode it might sound like an advertisement for FSI and specifically their DM240 monitor. Sorry! We do love the DM 240.  Of course, there are more monitor companies in the world than FSI.  Sony, TV Logic, Ezio and now even Apple!

As a group, we just have a lot of experience with the FSI product range and that’s why we so often recommend them.

More interesting to the discussion than any specific monitor or company are things to think about when choosing a monitor:

  • Is it a monitor for just the operator? A client monitor? Both?
  • Can you get away with 8-bit precision?  How about 8-Bit FRC?
  • How important is Resolution?
  • Does physical size of the monitor make a difference?
  • Is SDI connectivity absolutely necessary?
  • Can a properly calibrated consumer TVs be considered reference monitors even with all their processing?

We discuss these & other things to consider about buying a monitor and how $5000 can actually buy you a lot these days.

Have A Question For Team Mixing Light?

Remember, if you have questions that you’d like to get an opinion on please use the contact form

Your questions can be aesthetic, technical or even client related. We’d love to hear from you, and your question might make future episodes of From The MailBag.

Enjoy the MailBag!


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