Friday, 8 February 2013

Building a Home Photography Studio on a Budget

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As I continue acquiring lighting equipment and backgrounds for my home studio the need for a better computer display reared its head. Until recently I was using my home built Intel quad core PC with a 52" Hitachi HD plasma display.
While using a large display was certainly convenient, there were many issues such as colour depth or quality, contrast range and even at times problems with surprisingly the DPI. So I decided I needed a higher quality display on which I can review images immediately using Lightroom and Nikon tether.
This got me thinking and researching the options available to me. The first search online revealed the benefits of an IPS display; while subsequent searches brought to my attention the Dell 24" IPS display. Reading various reviews resulted in mixed messages, while a handful of writers claimed Dell's offering is the next best thing since sliced bread, others were not so complimentary.
My background is in I.T and after working for almost 22 years in the industry I have a relatively low opinion of Dell's manufacturing quality. Bearing that in mind I started searching again and found myself face to face with the details of an LG IPS236V LED display. Further investigation revealed a very high number of positive reviews. The specifications were impressive, and the additional features offered were attractive although not necessarily beneficial.
So to cut a long story short, last weekend I purchased the LG display, and carried it home like a kid with an over-sized lollipop. At home I feverishly unpacked the monitor, pulled off the protective film and powered it up. Initial impressions were good, but once I fired up Lightroom 3, the Wow factor really set in. The detail and colours are stunning, while the esthetic design is simple and attractive.
Well finally to the point of my post. There are many IPS monitors out there, with some of them priced in the $1000's, but as I'm trying to assemble my studio equipment on a budget I chose to buy the LG IPS.
Here in China many people buy online using the Chinese equivalent of eBay called "Taobao". Taobao is great for many things, but I'm a hands on kind of guy, I needed to touch it and feel it, before purchasing it. Through my wife I also have met a very knowledgeable and reliable Chinese computer guy who has done many repairs, upgrades etc for us in the past. Not wanting to risk disappointment I engaged our Chinese computer guy to help us purchase the LG display. The total cost of the display after a little bargaining, which is almost mandatory here in China, 1200 rmb, a little shy of $188. Really quite the bargain in my humble opinion.

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