Tried and Tested: BenQ SW320 LCD MonitorEditor - 8th August 2017
Pixel recently got hands on with one of BenQ’s newest products; the SW320 LCD monitor. Here in our August issue, we feed back on our thoughts
First of all, initial setup is as easy as can be with the BenQ SW320 LCD monitor. The SW320 is the latest offering from BenQ; a 4K UHD monitor with 99% Adobe RGB and 100% SRGB colour and support for HDR10 makes this the ideal monitor for the professional photographer. The 7-step quick start guide takes approximately ten minutes to complete; including the optional shading hood and peripherals (headphone / USB / SD card / Hotkey puck). I chose to connect with the included HDMI cable however users can choose from HDMI, DP and USB 3.0 input. With a gross weight of 20KG the SW320 is on the heavy side and the stand’s carrying handle is required to lift the monitor into place. I found the shading hood to be a very useful feature for photo editing where colour accuracy is key – the hood blocks out the “yellow” lights in the room so I was adjusting photos according to what is on the screen without having to adjust for the yellow glare that appears on other monitors without a shading hood. The SW320 is infinitely adjustable with a pivot of 90 degrees and 150mm of height adjustment; along with an adjustable viewing angle this monitor can be positioned for the most comfortable viewing experience.
The option for a VESA wall mount (not included) means it can be mounted on a monitor arm allowing more adjustability if required. I have quite a tight work space and usually a monitor this big would be too high up (even with adjustment) but the SW320 works well in any work area although if I was using this monitor long term I would invest in a wall mount.
The 3840 x 2160 resolution gives plenty of work space and the support of HDR10 lets you bring your photos closer to what you would see with the human eye, allowing photographers with an eye for detail to produce the most realistic images. I found the high resolution to give a much clearer idea of how my photos would look in prints as well, especially when compared to a laptop screen. The 99% Adobe RGB is perfect for photo editing work and delivers accuracy that will satisfy the most demanding of photographers. Use of the hotkey puck gives a seamless switch between display modes and the advanced black-and-white mode lets you preview your photos in both colour and B&W, a great feature for people who shoot in both. This feature not only saves time, but means you can quickly see how your photos look in both formats without having to constantly change the photo saturation. The ease of which this is done means that the SW320 ideal for creating fine art photography.
The 99% adobe RGB provides vivid, accurate colours and ensures that what you see on the screen is also what you will see in a print. These features are amplified by the inclusion of a shade hood – which can be used in landscape or portrait mode. Although I rarely shoot in portrait, the fact that the monitor can be turned a full 90 degrees to allow for portrait editing is a very interesting feature and one that will come in handy for a lot of professional photographers.
Overall, the SW320 is the flagship model from BenQ and at £1500 it does not disappoint. A high resolution coupled with very good colour accuracy makes this monitor ideal for professional photographers. The inclusion of an SD card slot and choice of input connections as well as support for HDR10 and three colour modes allows photographers to create high quality; accurate images and is perfect for producing prints in both colour and black-and-white. Overall I highly recommend this monitor, the high level of features; adjustment and colour-accuracy means it will satisfy even the most demanding of photographers.