Screen test: how to choose the best 4K monitor for you

If you work in broadcast or film production, a professional reference display is a must. Find out which 4K monitor is best for you…
A computer in a video edit suite with two HD reference monitors.

A high-quality reference monitor is a necessity when working in professional video.

A high-quality reference monitor is at the heart of the video production and post-production process. Whether you're shooting for film or broadcast, being able to analyse your captured footage and accurately view the final output is vital. With sizes ranging from 17 to 31 inches, and full support for PQ and HLG, Canon's Professional Displays more than meet the requirements of today's diverse 4K HDR workflows.

Canon's 4K reference monitors have been designed to deliver high luminance and faithful colours, with an innovative Matrix Array backlight control system ensuring uniform colour across the full display. "This Matrix Array consists of multiple backlights directly underneath the panel to reproduce the brightness of the entire scene," explains Matthew Koshy, Product Marketing Specialist at Canon Europe. "By using this system, Canon's professional display products are able to display images with a higher contrast ratio than a typical LCD monitor."

Contrast and brightness levels are, of course, critical when it comes to HDR grading, and in addition to the Matrix Array technology, all of Canon's 4K reference displays offer a consistent level of brightness from edge to edge. Rather than specifying the peak luminance in one specific area of the panel, Canon's displays are rated by their total brightness across the screen.

"In order to accurately understand the brightness information of HDR video, it's important to be able to display the maximum luminance across the entire screen," Matthew confirms. "If, for example, only the peak luminance reaches 1,000 or 2,000 nits, but the maximum luminance that can be displayed decreases as the area of high-luminance increases, the image intended by the creator and the image displayed on the monitor will be different."

A computer in a video edit suite with two HD reference monitors.

All of Canon's 4K Professional Displays can be incorporated into a studio setup and are compatible with other production equipment. © Ollie Kenchington, Senior Colourist at Just Grade It

Easily integrated into your studio

Another benefit that's consistent across Canon's professional reference range is the ease with which each of the monitors can be integrated with other production equipment. Every 4K display – from the Canon DP-V3120 to the Canon DP-V1830 – supports all the major formats and HDR EOTFs, including PQ, HLG and Log formats from Canon, ARRI, RED and Panasonic.

So, what's the best 4K monitor from Canon for your needs? To help you make an informed choice, here's a guide to four popular products from the Professional Displays range, with expert insight into their key features from Matthew.

The Canon DP-V3120 monitor in a studio setup.

The Canon DP-V3120 is the largest HDR monitor in the range and offers exceptional brightness and Native 4K.

Canon DP-V3120

With its incredible 2,000 nits of full-screen brightness, 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio and comprehensive High Dynamic Range monitoring functions, Canon's flagship Professional Reference display is a compelling choice for 4K HDR productions.

"The Canon DP-V3120 represents everything you need from a professional monitor in this day and age," Matthew says. "It's 2,000 nits bright, meaning it more than satisfies the criteria for HDR. It's also equipped with 12G-SDI for connectivity and has a large screen to work off in the form of 31-inch diagonal."

With its combination of exceptional brightness, high contrast ratio and Native 4K 4096 x 2160 resolution, the Canon DP-V3120 monitor delivers an exemplary image, with accurate reproduction of shadow detail and brighter highlights. The innovative, Canon-designed backlight system enables it to maintain a high continuous luminance level even at 2,000 nits, with a newly developed cooling mechanism ensuring quiet operation when it's being used for long camera recording or grading sessions.

The largest monitor in the Canon 4K range also features an extensive suite of HDR monitoring functions, including a built-in HDR waveform monitor, HDR-SDR split-screen, HDR false colour and HDR histogram.

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The Canon DP-V2411 monitor.

This brilliant 24-inch Native 4K reference monitor offers superb results with accurate colour and detail.

The rear of the Canon DP-V2411 monitor, showing the removable carrying handle.

The Canon DP-V2411 weighs just 12kg and features a removable handle for portability.

Canon DP-V2411

The Canon DP-V2411 is a 24-inch Native 4K reference display that offers 1,000 nits edge-to-edge brightness in boost mode. "Utilising Canon's excellent 10-bit IPS panel, the DP-V2411 ensures outstanding colour and detail," Matthew says. "Portability is a huge benefit of this model too as it weighs in at just 12kg and has a removable carrying handle."

The Canon DP-V2411's Matrix Array LED backlight has been optimised for the LCD panel, and it delivers a uniform, wider colour gamut for accurate image quality. The monitor supports 4K, UHD, 2K, HD and SD with various frame rates, as well as a wide range of colour gamuts, including BT.2020, BT.709 and DCI-P3.

It was the first Canon monitor to support four 12G-SDI input for four-channel 4K inputs from a variety of sources and, like all of Canon's Professional Displays, it also includes an HDMI terminal. This enables users to not only receive 4K YCC/RGB video signals but also receive and display HDR formats.

The Canon DP-V1830 monitor.

A compact 18-inch 4K HDR professional reference display, the Canon DP-V1830 has up to 1,000 nits of brightness, an all-new processing platform and advanced monitoring tools including waveform monitor, false colour and range check.

The rear of the Canon DP-V1830 monitor, showing the removable carrying handle.

The Canon DP-V1830 has a slightly larger screen but reduced weight and depth compared with the DP-V1711 display (see below), making it an even more portable and compact on-set solution.

Canon DP-V1830

The Canon DP-V1830 is a compact 18-inch 4K monitoring solution, built to meet the increasing demand for HDR workflows in live broadcasting. Its wide colour gamut, plus its portability – it weighs in at just 7.5kg – also make it a reliable partner for on-set monitoring and colour grading.

"The DP-V1830 provides exceptional image quality, HDR performance and connectivity, all in a compact and lightweight form," says Matthew. "The outstanding contrast levels, Quad View capability in up to 8K and plethora of monitoring tools make it ideal for a variety of production requirements."

With 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness, the DP-V1830 is the brightest display in this size range, offering detailed shadows even during high-contrast scenes. "This is achieved without any additional upgrades or modes being applied and is due to the advanced local dimming technology featured in the display," explains Matthew. "It is a significant improvement on previous generation products."

As well as introducing Canon's next-generation processing platform, the DP-V1830 features the same professional input/output and monitoring tools seen in the Canon DP-V2411 and DP-V3120, including waveform monitor, false colour, range check and HDR/SDR comparison. It also supports four 12G-SDI connections for four-channel 4K inputs from a variety of sources and, like all of Canon's Professional Displays, includes an HDMI terminal. This enables users to not only receive 4K YCC/RGB video signals but also receive and display HDR formats.

The Canon DP-V1711 monitor.

This highly portable 17-inch monitor is perfect for working on the go.

The rear of the Canon DP-V1711 monitor.

Four 12G-SDI interfaces can accept four-channel 4K inputs from a variety of sources.

Canon DP-V1711

Designed for filmmakers who require a highly mobile monitor, the 17-inch Canon DP-V1711 has a robust and compact construction and is compatible with EIA 19-inch rack mounts. The IPS LCD panel has 4K UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160, with a full-screen brightness rating of 600 nits in boost mode that can be upgraded to 1,000 nits if required.

"The Canon DP-V1711 has excellent all-round features for productions and workflow that need to be on the move," Matthew confirms. "It is the epitome of portable, with a weight of just 8kg and the capability to be run off a V-Lock Battery. The Canon DP-V1711 also comes equipped with 12G-SDI, meaning connectivity is seamless."

Despite its smaller proportions, the Canon DP-V1711 packs the same industry-leading image quality technology as larger Canon Professional Reference Monitors, including Canon's advanced LED backlight system. The wide 89-degree viewing angle afforded by its IPS panel, combined with the screen's anti-glare coating, ensures the Canon DP-V1711 gives a clear view whether it's being used on set or for monitoring in a studio or OB van.

The Canon DP-V1711 also comes with a rich collection of features to support 4K HDR production, including an HDR capable waveform monitor, HDR range adjustment and a split-screen function that enables an HDR image and false colour image from a single 4K input to be displayed simultaneously.

كتابة Marcus Hawkins

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