The BenQ SW271 27-Inch Studio Monitor Is A Color Grading Beast

benq-sw271By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

When it comes to monitors, 2017 can be considered the year where bigger is definitely better. From Atomos’ 19-inch Sumo Monitor, to SmallHD’s 17-inch Billion Color OLED monitor, larger is definitely becoming a must. Even Samsung has a super wide 4K monitor. And BenQ isn’t going to miss the party either, thanks to their new SW271 4K color management monitor, clocking in at a monstrous 27 inches!

Capable of displaying Rec 709 color gamut with native 4K resolution, the BenQ SW271 is desktop sized 27 inches, making it a great option for the independent and corporate video shooter who can cut his projects from his home office.

The SW271 comes with Technicolor’s seal of approval for color accuracy, but many believe that nameplate can be applied much like cameras with Leica designed lenses can put the red dot on their camera even though it isn’t strictly a Leica manufactured lens. BenQ isn’t the only one seeking nameplate recognition with an established brand. Razer recently purchased THX sound and Gigabyte has deployed the Pantone label as an attempt to shore up the color accuracy of their laptop screens.

But BenQ says that that the SW271 is color accurate to the DlogE 2 standard. A rating under 2 is considered “visually indistinguishable from perfect,” so unless you have magic eyes, or just prefer to use your own color calibration tools, there’s a good chance you’ll have an ideal Rec 709 color gamut straight out of the box. But if you’re the type that prefers to calibrate your own screen from project to project, the SW271 supports X-Rite i1DisplayPro, a professional calibration tool, as well as several other, similar devices.

benq-monitor-sw271The SW721 also comes with a feature called dual gamut mode, where two separate connections can be made to the device and display separate color gamuts simultaneously. That means users can compare P3 and Rec709, or even sRGB and Adobe RGB gamuts. The feature requires an HDMI splitter, but the SW271 picks up both color signals and can switch on the fly to show the user two different color options.

Other specs include:

  • 100% Full Rec. 709 and sRGB coverage
  • 99% Adobe RGB Color Space With IPS technology
  • 93% of DCI-P3 color gamut
  • 350 nits brightness
  • HDR10 compatible
  • 27-inch 4K UHD resolution
  • Hardware calibration with Palette Master Element Software
  • USB-C for transmitting data and video signal with one cable
  • 2x HDMI connectors

Some though may find that the SW271 falls a bit short when it comes to DCI-P3 workflows. BenQ does admit that the SW271 only covers about 93% of that space, but that’s not really a lot to fret over, especially since the P3 will save you a ton of preparation when it comes to calibrating in a theater.

MSRP of the BenQ SW271 is around $1100, a bit high considering a few minor feature fallbacks. But I gotta say that the for more independent filmmakers, it could be an investment well worth making. You can pre-order it here, or at BenQ’s site.

Hat Tip: No Film School

About James DeRuvo 801 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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