EIZO are known for their class leading monitors, and an EIZO monitor is a common sight in pro labs and studios across the globe.
Their monitors cost substantially more than most other decent IPS screens from mainstream manufacturers such as Dell, so the question is, what drives creative Pro’s to spend almost double if not triple on a monitor like the CG279X?
In short, it’s the monitor’s uniformity, accuracy and build. It’s been designed from the ground up for professional creative use on a daily basis and the quality of the screen and profile features are designed to make life easier for creative professionals. If you’re looking for a monitor for home and occasional creative use then this monitor may be a little overkill.
There’s a depth to the screens colour, tone and contrast that you don’t get with other monitors.
It also has a built-in monitor calibrator that ensures colour and illumination is always right.
Aimed at professional and semi-professional videographers and photographers the CG279X is all about accuracy and for that, you pay a price.
But, once you add everything up and include the extras such as onsite replacement if anything goes wrong, extended warranty, hood and built-in calibration it all starts to seem slightly less expensive. Actually, £1500 is still expensive but then this monitor is designed to last for years.
If your working in a professional capacity then doesn’t mess around, your monitor is one of the most essential pieces of kit you can own. Set the EIZO CG279X as your first purchase of the year and start fresh with a bright outlook for the year ahead.
Eizo monitors have long been the choice for imaging professionals, or for that matter anyone who needs a monitor that displays accurate colour, tone and contrast.
The EIZO CG279X has been designed for video and stills pros with a host of features that tailors the monitor to their exact needs.
What makes it so different from other monitors of this size and resolution is the accuracy and consistency of illumination. It also features it’s own monitor calibration technology that ensures that the monitor always displays the correct representation of the image.
Build quality is exceptional, this monitor is made to last for years, and this is reflected in the long extended warranty and onsite monitor replacement service if something does go wrong.
EIZO is one of the few companies that also spend a great deal of time on their software offering. ColorNavigator helps you to ensure that your machine and monitor are always finely tuned and everything stays in sync.
It all sounds impressive but these days does paying so much more for a monitor of this class pay off?
I have to say from the outset I was impressed, there’s just something about the clarity of the image that stands out and switching between the CG279X and three other monitors it was easy to see what this monitor was really about.
Before I get into the how the monitor performs let’s look at the features beyond the specifications.
Checking out monitor features can be a frankly dull task, does it resolve the image at the resolutions that you need, what are the refresh and contrast ratios? Below is a list of the key points and the full list of specifications can be found by clicking the link through to the product page.
Key EIZO CG279X specifications
- Monitor type: IPS
- Size: 27-inch
- Native resolution: 2560×1440 16:9 aspect ratio
- Pixel pitch: 0.233 x 0.233 mm
- Pixel Density: 109ppi
- Brightness: 350 cd/m2
- Wide Gamut Coverage: Adobe RGB: 99%, DCI-P3: 98%
- Contrast Ratio (typical): 1300:1
- Connection: USB-C, Display Port, HDMI, DVI-D
A full list of specifications can be read here: eizoglobal.com/products/coloredge/cg279x/
Outside of the specs list the features that make this monitor unique are:
As you’d expect from a pro monitor, it’s built solid, and this means that it is a little more weighty than cheaper models. It weighs in at a respectable 11kg, that’s 2.8kg less than the 2277 that it replaces.
On the back of the monitor is a well-designed grab handle. This makes the monitor exceptionally easy to use especially if you’ve set up on set or a temporary studio.
Monitor stands are something that are often manoeuvred once and then left, here the flex stand enables easy positioning with 155m of adjustment.
Pro monitors work hard and as such get hot. The standard way to cool things inside is to use fans, and indeed in the past on some EIZO monitors, this is how things have been done.
Here however the fans have been replaced with better heat dissipation to ensure a cool quite monitor, an essential for pro videographers.
I’ve mentioned the on-site warranty, and this is something special. It’s for 5-years and offers an onsite replacement for your monitor while it’s being repaired, that’s if anything goes wrong which hopefully it won’t.
As the monitor is aimed at imaging professionals, there’s also a six-month bright subpixel warranty. So, if you spot one give EIZO a call within the six months and they’ll replace the monitor.
A monitor calibrator is built in, and this calibrates the monitor hardware rather than the computer. This means that whatever Mac, PC you plugin to it the monitor will always be calibrated the same.
To do this a built-in calibrator at the top of the monitor’s screen pop’s down, reading from a small top portion of the screen. If you want to force calibration or check the monitor’s configuration at any point, then EIZO has the ColorNavigator Software.
As well as the built-in calibrator you can also use your own DataColor or X-Rite device, and current models are all fully compatible with the ColorNavigator software.
The monitor itself can be connected through HDMI, DVI-D, Display Port or USB-C.
The USB-C features power delivery to MacBook Pro models up to 15w which is a nice touch. 15-inch MacBook Pro users will still need to connect their Mac’s to power for charging.
The monitor also features additional USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports so can be used as a USB dock, especially useful for MacBook users.
The EIZO CG279X is from the outset a monitor designed for the creative pro of today. But, there are many other monitors out there, and while it looks good on paper, it’s only when the packaging is stripped away, carefully, that the full potential of this monitor can be seen.
Build & Handling
Opening the box and revealing the monitor for the first time highlights the difference between this and cheaper monitors. I often use a 27-inch Dell ISP monitor which was well priced and with regular calibration suffices for the job of video editing and image enhancement.
However, at £500 I ignore the negatives, such as the stand, menu system and need to calibrate regularly etc. On lifting out the CG279X there are no signs of flimsy plastic or anything that is make do, this is solid, well built but by no means overly bulky or weighty.
I would feel happy packing this into a flight case knowing that there was a high likely hood of it working at the other end. From experience, this isn’t always the case and something I may not risk it with a cheaper monitor.
From the ergonomic grip at the back of the monitor through to the solid and smooth adjusting stand the CG279X is well built and reflects the price you’ll pay.
It takes a couple of minutes to set up and plugin, I opted for USB-C which provides a digital scanning frequency (H / V) of 26 – 89 kHz, 23 – 61 kHz.
Once switched on the monitor does a quick calibration check and you’re ready to go. EIZO recommend three minutes for the monitor to warm up, but to be honest, it usually takes me more than three minutes to settle down for work in the morning, so that’s more than fast enough for me.
To make the most of the monitor and what it has to offer you need to install the ColorNavigator software, once installed you can switch directly between the monitors different colour modes, plugin your calibration device and set the monitor up for different working environments.
I switch between video and stills on a daily basis and usually have at least a couple of profiles loaded. Here through the ColorNavigator software this is also possible and enables fast checking and switching whenever you need.
As well as being able to access settings through the software the monitor has the usual direct access features. Again this provides fast and easy access to the different colour modes as well as more traditional adjustment.
When it came to video editing the HDR Gamma support enabled quick and easy switching when using the monitor during the shoot and then later when editing and grading the footage.
During the test period the monitor was used as my primary screen, and now I’m back with the old monitor I can see the difference when it comes to ease of use.
The stand was just that much easier to adjust; I didn’t need to calibrate and switching colour modes for video and still was all just that much easier.
Also having the USB ports on the back, so the monitor couple double as a hub was a handy feature, although the Dell and old Mac 32-inch I use also have these ports.
I use several computers for a variety of tasks. I have a machine for crunching video, one for editing video and stills and for no reason an old workhorse that has been with me for years.
Each, through a switcher, gets plugged into the same set of monitors which is a real issue when it comes to calibration. Each monitor is different, and each represents colour, tone and contrast slightly differently.
Using the DataColor Spyder, I’ve managed to get some type of balance between all machines and monitors, but it’s still not ideal. Therefore I have one machine that I use to check colour and audio if it looks right through that machine then all good.
What instantly becomes apparent with the CG279X is that you only need to calibrate one device, the monitor. All calibration is through the monitor’s hardware, so it doesn’t matter which computer you plugin the colours, tone etc. are always going to look the same and indeed did.
Calibration is a weekly task that I run on one machine a week, any more than that and I despair. I have to say having a monitor that does it for you and still enables you to work is a revelation.
This saves time as there’s no need to stop and think, and even when I did calibrate with the Spyder there was little difference in the result.
What was apparent with the monitor was the uniformity of the screen when it came to luminance and colour. Utilising the DataColor Monitor Rating the EIZO CG279X scored the following with overall score of 4.5/5 the highest I’ve seen for any monitor in the last couple of years.
EIZO CG279X Monitor Scores
- Gamut: 5/5
- Tone Reponse: 5/5
- White Point: 3/5
- Contrast: 5/5
- Luminance Uniformity: 4/5
- Color Uniformity: 4/5
- Color Accuracy: 3.5
- Overall Rating: 4.5/5
The £1500 price tag of the EIZO CG279X is high but all things considered after this test I have to say it is well worth it.
For the money you get a solid monitor with consistency, for me that’s being able to plugin any machine I’m working with and getting pretty much the same colour, tone and contrast out of it.
I also like the adjustability without the wobble that you get from other manufacturers. Once setup it feels solid and if I want to swivel it round to show someone what’s going on it doesn’t feel like it’ll topple over.
The screen itself has that depth that I talked about at the outset, images and video look rich, and the surface of the display helps to enhance the quality of the imagery.
At 27-inch is a little smaller than the 32-inch monitor I use on a daily basis, but it’s the perfect size for video editing and an excellent size for location work.
The quality of the screen itself is good, but it’s the extras that start to build up and show why the £1500 is well worth it.
The automatic monitor calibration saves time, and the ColorNavigator software enables you to switch between colour modes as you need.
ColorNavigator is a great place to keep your monitor and colour workflow in order, but the monitor also features more tradition direct access adjustment. Again the menu’s are easy to follow, and if you do want to switch between modes, then those direct access buttons enable you to do that quickly with the onscreen menu showing you the way.
Overall I was highly impressed with the EIZO CG279X. It was a pleasure to use and helped to cut down on the usual housekeeping tasks that take up so much time on a weekly basis.
If you run a professional imaging business, then the EIZO CG279X is a well worth purchase for video editing or image enhancement.