If you have dedicated your time and money investing in top notch equipment to capture images you should also make sure to have a high-quality monitor that accurately displays colors, details, and tones ensuring precise editing, reliable color grading, and faithful representation of your final work.
This summer I received BenQ SW272U the latest in BenQ’s series of monitors for photographers. Another monitor was also released at the same time, the SW272Q, and the main difference between them is that the SW272U has 4k whereas the SW272Q has 2k and also that the SW272U supports HLG. Until now I have used their SW321C that I have loved working with. However, this new monitor has a number of features that I prefer to the previous one, so I’m happy to stay with this new model to continue working on my images.
Until now I have used their SW321C that I have loved working with. However, this new monitor has a number of features that I prefer to the previous one, so I’m happy to stay with this new model to continue working on my images.
A monitor designed and built for photographers
A monitor is more than just a screen, and there are monitors designed for different purposes. When it comes to photographers, there are certain features that should be considered before choosing a suitable monitor. If you want to know what these are, I suggest you read my article which outlines the key considerations photographers should make before investing in a monitor.
A monitor for photographers – BenQ SW272U
Let’s have a look at the main features of the new monitor SW272U from BenQ.
Some of the main characteristics are similar to the monitor I had previously. It has a 4k resolution, and IPS viewing angle 178°, thanks to AQCOLOR technology it has 99% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB. It has also a USB-C port providing 90 Watt power (vs 60 W previously) so you can easily have your laptop charged while working. Another new feature is that the HotKey Puck G3 is wireless – leaving you with less cables on the table! The HotKey Puck is very handy and lets you control the OSD but also switching from different color spaces and adjust the monitors settings.
The new TUV-certified fine-coated panel eliminates glare and reflections, it gives a matte surface giving the image the impression of being a print. On my previous monitor, SW321C, the matte coating was already TUV-certified, but the other 27” monitors were not so this certification for anti-reflection is among the new features of this new monitor. Thanks to the Paper Color Sync software you can preview a photo without having it printed as the software simulate combinations of printer and paper. This is a great feature if you print your images or send them to be printed elsewhere.
The 3D LUT is the same, 16 Bit 3D LUT meaning that the monitor will be able to reference a high range of colors that are true to life and accurate and banding issues are minimized.
On the back of the monitor there is a very practical monitor handle, its useful if you need to lift and change the position of the monitor. Thanks to its ergonomic stand I can rotate the monitor in different angles to find the angle that is best suitable for me an the working position I have. I have a desk with an adjustable height so I find it very practical that I can adapt the monitor after my position. Moreover, on the base there is also a cable hub, that I use to keep the USB-C cable and the power cable in one place.
Behind, on the sides and under the monitor itself you will find various ports and keys, its nice that they are almost hidden and keep the front of the monitor nice and clean from distracting buttons.
In addition to the new monitors, BenQ has also introduced the latest version of its software, BenQ Palette Master Ultimate (PMU), which is available for free and can be downloaded here. This software provides users with hardware calibration capabilities, allowing refined colour accuracy data to be encoded directly into the monitor’s internal chip.
The newly released PMU has been optimized to work seamlessly with the latest generation of BenQ monitors and is also fully functional with the other SW-line monitors of BenQ. It provides an accelerated calibration and profiling process, reducing the time required by around 50% while significantly improving accuracy – resulting in impressively low DeltaE values.
There is also a shading hood that is included with the monitor, ensuring that you would not get bothered by any kind of light that would prevent any light reflecting in the screen. If you are sitting next to a window, have a window behind you or strong light in the ceiling this monitor hood will be your best friend and let you work in a bright environment but keep the light from reflecting in the monitor. Its very easy to mount on the monitor and with the model SW272U I can also use the monitor with its shading hood while its vertically oriented. The hood itself is made of sturdy and flexible plastic and thanks to the black velvet coating on the side closest to the monitor it absorbs the light. Whenever you need to calibrate the screen you don’t need to worry about removing it as you can easily pass the probe through its designated sliding panel.
Personally, I would recommend the use of the PMU because of its capability for hardware calibration. In general, it’s a good idea to calibrate your monitor on a monthly basis. A calibration device is essential for this, and in this article, I present a comprehensive step-by-step guide to use it.
Also worth mentioning is that when buying this monitor you will get 1 year free of Pantone Connect Premium. This is an offer for all SW- and PD-monitor users and very useful as it includes access to 15,000+ Pantone Colors measure tools etc
BenQ SW272U technical characteristics
Before we look at the features detailed below, here’s a summary of the technical characteristics of the BenQ SW272U monitor and the accessories that come with it.
- Screen size : 27”
- Backlight technology LED backlight
- Panel type: IPS (In-Plane Switching) LED
- Max resolution : 3840×2160
- Aspect ratio : 16:9
- Brightness: 400 nits
- Viewing angle (L/R) (CR>=10) : 178°/178°
- Refresh rate : 60Hz
- Color Gamut 99% AdobeRGB, 100% sRGB, 99% P3
- 3D-LUT: 16-bits
- Display screen coating Anti-Reflection
- Net weight with stand and base : 8,6 kg
- Shading hood (landscape and portrait)
- Individual Calibration Report
- Hotkey Puck G3
Switching from a 27″ to a 32″ was quite an experience, I loved the feeling of almost diving into my images with the big screen, but I have to admit that now when I go back to a 27″ I prefer it over the 32″. It’s a personal preference, but for me, having had the opportunity to work with both, I feel that the 27″ BenQ SW272U gives me a better overview of the image without having to move my head, I can see the entire image right in front of me and that’s convenient. I also like the paper-effect of the image thanks to the fine-coated panel that leaves the monitor with a matte finish.
The minimalist design of the monitor, including the base and stand, is impressive. I appreciate that the base has a rubber finish as it protects the base from scratches. And as a special treat, I got it with my name engraved on it <3
What’s more, no matter what angle I view the monitor from, its Uniformity Technology ensures consistent performance. I find the new Palette Master Ultimate very user-friendly, I like the new interface and it is not only easy, but it takes much less time than before to calibrate the monitor.
The USB-C cable connection works seamlessly, the monitor delivers a robust 90W of power to my MacBook Pro, which I find very practical, and it also allows me to have fewer cables on my desk as I no longer need my MacBook Pro’s battery charger.
With all this in mind, for any dedicated professional photographer striving for excellence in their work and looking for a high-performance monitor for post-production, I strongly recommend BenQ’s latest monitor SW272U. Whether you want to showcase your work digitally or in print, the monitor’s remarkable colour accuracy, uniformity, generous size and matte finish combine to give your images a noticeably ‘printed’ look.
With the SW272U as your creative companion, you can confidently immerse yourself in your work, knowing that your images will come to life just the way you see them. This monitor isn’t just an upgrade; it’s an investment in your art, allowing you to push the boundaries of your creativity and achieve visual excellence no matter how you decide to present your work.