EIZO CS240 FULL REVIEW -ENGLISH VERSION-
Photographers around the world are investing thousands of dollars in Camera Bodies and Lenses but oddly they underestimate the importance of a good monitor for the processing of their work. Since digital technology has taken the upper hand, the most important link in the chain is the Computer Display. It allows photographs to come alive by first being edited and then printed, published to the internet or simply saved in an archive. Navigating oneself in the jungle of various proposed camera models can be difficult but recently, for professional models, cameras are emerging with IPS panel technology, backlit with wide-gamut GB-R LED. This latest development can be found in the new Eizo CS240. I have wanted to test the Eizo CS240 since its advertisement was first released. Given the number of open discussions on forums around the world, I am sure that I am not the only one. Interest stems from the price and performance expectations.
Eizo knows that proposing a monitor less than half the price (799$ USA / 548£ UK ) of a CG247 can really outperform the competition and convince many photographers and videographers to finally adopt a high-level monitor.
When the SX series went out of production, I believe that the Japanese were left exposed in the midrange; they were able to bridge the gap between the professional ColorEdge, series and the less expensive EV series. I was certain that sooner or later Eizo would fill this gap, however I absolutely did not expect for Eizo to do this with a “mini” CG! In order to allow all photographers to enjoy a professional product, Eizo decided to directly challenge the large group of manufacturers. Now in full swing, despite a previous lack of interest, the CS240 is born with specific intent for the professional sector.
• IPS panel wide gamut GB-R LED
• 1 billion colors (10-bit with Quadro or Firepro card)
• 16-bit LUT 1D +matrix programmable
• 24 inch 16:10 (1920 x 1200) 94 ppi
• 100% srgb, 99% Adobe RGB
• Digital Uniformity Equalizer (DUE) Technology
• 5 year warranty
• Color Navigator 6 calibration software included in the price
It seems for all intents and purposes, the CG247 is trying to slim-down. It specifically loses the colorimeter, the 3D LUT, the monitor hood, the individual control panel and the brightness stabilizer. Consequently this changes a part of the electronic board in order to maintain the same control panel– even if it does not have the polarizing film that improves contrast stability, which is found in the two upper models.
Please Read: This review is based on the Italian version of the display CS240 , accessories , software , equipment and everything else could differ from those sold in other countries. Ask the store of your country before buying this product . The prices reported on this review may change over time , without notice.
When opening the box, I thought I would find a monitor equal to its older brother CG247, and it would only be missing the internal colorimeter, however the CS240 uses a simpler frame that is thin and not comparable to the best of choices, but it still maintains good general stability. They have probably diversified the framework in order to maintain the performance display, but simultaneously held down the price. An advantage of the monitor is that it is made in Japan. It has a matte finish and is slightly rough to the touch, which gives the CS240 a very professional look, consistent with other Color Edge products. Cables are routed through the removable rear ring that you see in the picture, instead of the original vertical support seen in the CG247.
Just like the CG247, this new support allows you to have approximately the same options for positioning the monitor, including the vertical pivot. Once the base is mounted, the whole monitor is very stable; you really can’t complain.
The monitor can be tilted backwards about 40 degrees and the new base of the CS240 allows a vertical range of 130mm.
The Eizo CS240 has a wide-gamut IPS panel with GB-r LED technology; therefore it is fair to expect great results. Tests confirm that the sRGB color space is problem-free and that the CS240’s gamut volume is as high as 176 % sRGB.
Results confirm expectations and just like the CG247, they are impressive! The AH-IPS technology combined with GB-r LED overcomes previous problems regarding WLED by using only two colored diodes (green and blue) and coating them with a red cover. Doing so, the color space increases drastically, reaching where only old fluorescent lamps could, now putting them into permanent retirement.
I will repeat what was said in the review of the CG247: these performances are top notch.
(UPDATED MARCH 2015)
After calibrating the CS240 with ColorNavigator and X -Rite i1Display Pro Probe, I verified the brightness uniformity and white point along the entire surface. A critical point regarding many panels: the center should display a good performance while the edges should not.
This LG panel’s luminance uniformity, controlled by Eizo electronics and DUE technology, is very good and above average but does not quite achieve the same performance as the CG247. The measurement of the white point deserves a series of subsequent measurements in order to then make an average, but either way, the Eizo CS240 results, based on a single test, are good and in line with those recorded for the CG247.
MANUFACTURE PROFILE ANALYSIS
( UPDATED MARCH 2015)
The Eizo CS240 offers two accessible color profiles from the OSD menu. They are intended to serve those who do not own a colorimeter to calibrate the display; therefore there is Adobe RGB as one color profile, and the other as sRGB. I have verified the following: click on the links.
The results are excellent, allowing you to work best within those two profiles. I suggest that you buy a colorimeter like the excellent X-Rite i1Display Pro because in addition to being able to create custom profiles, over time you’ll have to check and correct even the manufacturer’s profiles through the automatic function that Eizo makes available in the menu.
IPS GLOW & BACKLIGHT BLEED
Monitors with IPS panels like the CS240 can show some typical defects regarding the presence of clear halos coming from the corners (glow) and abnormal points of light coming from the frame (bleed). It is a problem that affects virtually all IPS monitors; in some cases it is really obvious and annoying and it is up to the manufacturer to decide which panels to mount on its display and intervene to stop this from continuing. In this case, our eyes are a good measuring instrument and are able to notice these flashes even while watching a simple movie with a dark background, but bringing tests to the extreme, you would be able to photograph the panel in a dark room while viewing a black picture. Eizo has equipped all ColorEdge series monitors with a technology called DUE (Digital Uniformity Equalizer) that promises to counteract fluctuations in brightness and hue along the area of the monitor. You can set it to two different priorities: uniformity or brightness.
To show this phenomenon, I took a picture at 1/2 second, ISO 1600 and f/3.2, which doesn’t reflect the normal use of the panel because our eyes would not have caught the flashes so well. The bleeding is completely absent, while the light flashes can be seen from the top corners (glow), and a slight red tint at bottom left, the whole thing is very uniform and test went well; on the market there are IPS monitors with light infiltration problems but this is not the case.
COVERING AND LEGIBILITY
I’ve paid particular attention to text readability in order to answer a specific question (MAU from juzaphoto) that I was asked a few days ago. The opaque finishing seems to be the same that was used on the CGg247 and it protects well from reflections and stray-light allowing for very good text readability and in my opinion, without any kind of granularity effect.
The first image was taken at a magnification of 2:1 and 60mm micro lens on the Nikon D800E camera. The second image was taken with the same lens but at a greater distance (not macro).
I’ve already said a lot about this excellent software in previous reviews and in the calibration guide that I made. I am now curious to test the software with the new CS240 given that Eizo decided to provide it free of charge for this model (while it was sold separately at a price of 200 EUR for the previous displays). Once installed on your computer and the calibration function activated, the software takes full control of the monitor by blocking any possible intervention by the OSD menu. There are fewer options compared to the CG247 and the exclusion applies to all of the emulation that is made by 3D LUT, this is absent in the CS240.
To create new profiles, we will have to buy a separate probe; I used an X-Rite i1Display Pro. The software already has three pre-installed and if you need to add more, you can do so by clicking on “create new target”.
This software will change the LUT1D + matrix parameters to 16bit (the same as the one mounted on the CX271) in the monitor, and therefore the calibration will be “hardware” automatically removing Windows color management control. CN6 will also create a neutral profile within the system folder that serves CMS programs like Photoshop in understanding how to mange the monitor. CX241 and CS240 therefore rely on the classic and dependable 1D LUT + matrix. The little difference between them is the built-in self-correction sensor and the brightness stabilization.
The profile validation has provided excellent results, considering that the panel in still breaking in and that the values tend to settle with time.
In a future tutorial, I will explain step-by-step, how to use ColorNavigator6 to its fullest potential.
Through the buttons on the monitor’s bezel, we have access to the OSD menu. The menu has many configuration parameters including pre-installed color profiles that can be used in an “emergency”, if it’s not possible to calibrate the monitor with an external colorimeter (which I always suggest you do). By clicking on “MODE” we will have access to these profiles.
The CAL2 voice refers to the custom profile created with CN6 and is stored in the monitor’s LUT. It cannot be modified from the OSD menu as opposed to the custom voice that is available to all manual controls.
Clicking on “advance” you can edit additional settings.
The menu offers other advanced settings whose functions are explained in the monitor’s manual.
Selecting “Monitor Info” will tell you the monitor’s actual usage time, which is useful in verifying that the newly purchased monitor is actually new.
Control will be returned to the user immediately after saving the profile in its dedicated slot.
CONNECTIONS AND EQUIPMENT
The Eizo CS240 comes with five inputs and two outputs
- HDMI 1.4
- Display port 1.2
- 2 USB 2.0 in
- 2 USB 2.0 out
In italy it comes with the following accessories:
- DisplayPort cable (mini/regular)
- USB cable
- DVI-D cable
- Power cable
- ColorNavigator6 + manuals and comprehensive guide
- Introductive Guidebook
Attention: The DisplayPort cable provided in italy is actually equipped with a double adapter, including a Mini (photo). The monitor has the standard connector and if your video card has it (photo), you should get a Display to Mini DisplayPort Adapter like this or alternatively a 2m DisplayPort cable with standard connection like this .
In recent years, a screen’s diagonal has grown and consequently, so has the resolution. Eizo uses a resolution of 1920 x 1200, which guarantees a perfect balance between content readability and space to process images. The CS240 is 16:10, which is an aspect ratio best suited for photography, compared to 16:9 and 94 ppi that ensure optimal visual comfort.
When display resolutions are greater, compromises can become too much if the operating system and programs don’t support the scaling. If one side gains the space where images can develop, the other side might not like the quick resize of some content. If it is true that texts can be resized without loss of quality, it is not the same case with raster graphics, such as jpg images. A well-made monitor does not show small-scale raster graphics, like jpg on the internet, as it’s very rarely converted to high resolutions.
The CG247, like the CX271, displays 1.073 billion colors, which is 10 bits per channel, compared to the classic 8-bit (16.7 million). It’s a big leap forward; in practice, it reduces the banding of images with strong gradients, such as landscape photos with high contrast between the sky and foreground. In order to test the 10-bit you can download the fle ramp 10-bit tests or 10-bit 3D by Nec. If you notice any gray bands instead of a uniform gradient, the 10-bit isn’t working properly.
I wrote a full article about 10-bit. To summarize, in order to take advantage of this feature we will need:
• A professional video card like the Nvidia Quadro or any ATI Fire Pro (they start at 150 € and up)
• A display port cable
• A 10-bit monitor
A program that is able to use this feature is Adobe Photoshop (the CS5 version +).
Video cards needed for the 10-bit.
After using this CS240 for hours and comparing it with the two other Eizo models that I own (CG247 and CX271), I can say with absolute certainty, directed towards an audience of photographers, you will never find a more complete and efficient monitor on the market than the CS240 for under 600 GBP / 830 USD
Eizo has responded to competition, blow by blow, without limiting itself by producing a middle-class model. They present a product that is welcomed to join the family of professional displays. If you don’t care for the 27-inch CX271, you now have the opportunity to choose a professional monitor with a low cost, a high performance and a 5-year manufacturers warranty. In order to get the price of a “mini CG247”, with the performances that I described in the review, Eizo has used some cost-efficient tricks and eliminated some components without affecting the foundation of the product. The result is really good but the CG247’s performance remains superior and the differences justify its price (two and a half times more). The two models are therefore not in direct competition with each other because they each have different target markets, consisting mainly of print professionals and videographers for the CG247 and photographers for the CS240.
In conclusion, I believe that a photographer looking for a monitor with a solid performance and a reasonable price tag, but at the same time appreciates the 16:10 format and the compactness of a 24-inch, should seriously consider purchasing a CS240. I give it 5 stars and award it with Best Value for Money; it is the best value for your money.
A special thank you goes to Najo78 user for doing some additional tests.
- CS240 manual (EN)
- Color Navigator 6 software download
- Color Navigator 6 manual (EN)
- Technical Data Sheet (EN)
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