December 28, 2016 at 9:56PM


Questions on Color Grading Options/Monitor

Hi all, I'm hoping somebody on this thread can help me make a decision about my color grading options.

I am an independent filmmaker trying to take my editing skills to the next level. I have just recently learned the importance of having a properly calibrated monitor for color grading purposes. With that being said I am now in the market for affordable color correction options. Unfortunately I am not able to dish out $3000+ for a pro color grading monitor. But from the research I have done it seems that there are some affordable options that are "good enough" to get the job done.

I am currently editing on a 27" 5k Retina display imac and the footage I edit is either 1080p or 4K. I am looking for a second reference monitor or even to be able to just work with what I have if possible.

Below are some questions.

Am I better off just calibrating my 5k iMac with a pro calibrating tool like the spyder or x-rite i1, or should I be looking to get another monitor and calibrating that monitor instead?

If I get a secondary monitor could anybody tell me if these are indeed solid options ( and perhaps one that you would most recommend?

Also this might seem kind of a dumb question but in order to properly color correct 4K footage will I need just a 4K reference monitor as well or are there other variables to consider?

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Looking forward to seeing some of your answers.



You don't need a UHD monitor to grade UHD video. I'd invest in a decent OLED or plasma TV, UHD or not. As for size, you want it to be 26-36 degrees of your field of view. Most important is calibration of the display AND the room. If the room doesn't fit standards, your perception of the screen will be inaccurate and cloud your ability to judge what you're seeing. I use a 50" Plasma TV 2M from my sitting position, cost about $1,000 and does the job well. I didn't bother with UHD because I would have to sit too close to the screen to see the difference.

December 29, 2016 at 4:22AM, Edited December 29, 4:28AM


I would rather go and buy a calabration tool than buying an expensive monitor from Eizo or something.
Yeah, those monitors are nice but obviously come at a high price. The 5K iMac has an exceptional screen and can be calibrated to get some grading and printed artwork done. I'm doing this myself because you pay around $2K for a proper monitor with industry standards.

Also the resolution of the monitor is not realy relevant for it's color quality. It is usefull if you sharpen footage and I have noticed that sharpening with the 5K iMac is much more comfortable and easyer than with a 1080p iMac. But in terms of color a 1080p can represent color as good as a 4K monitor. For less $$$.

December 29, 2016 at 9:32AM, Edited December 29, 9:32AM

Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller

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