EIZO ColorEdge CG2700X Review: The Best Monitor I've Ever Used?
Specs and price
First, let’s take a look at the specs. In terms of panel type, the CG2700X is an IPS or ‘in-plane switching’ monitor. In terms of pitch or pixels per inch, it offers 164 ppi, compared to 149 ppi on the 31-inch.
One feature that immediately caught my attention is self-calibration. This makes life so much easier! You can program the calibration software to run whenever you want – it will make the sure monitor keeps its colour and tone perfectly adjusted and calibrated all the time. For me, this is a huge plus – calibrating monitors can be a real pain, and anything that eases that pain can only be a good thing.
Next, connectivity. The CG2700X features a powered USB-C port, which means the monitor can charge up your laptop. Other ports include HDMI, HDCP, USB, and ethernet.
The contrast ratio on this monitor is 1450:1. In terms of luminance, if offers up to 500 candela per m2. I find that 140 works best for me, and some people go even lower (if they’re working in darker environments, for example).
A new feature on the CG2700X is wide HDR gamut support. It also covers 99% of Adobe RGB and 98% of DCIP3. It also includes support for BT.2020.
When I investigated the menu, I found it very user-friendly. It was easy to access and adjust the source, zoom, signal information, colour, brightness and so on. In the advanced settings, I was able to easily alter hue, saturation, and gamut clipping.
This was also where I could set up and run the self-calibration process. It’s extremely simple – very much fire-and-forget!
When it comes to appearance, I think the CG2700X looks great. It’s also literally easier to look at than larger monitors – being that much smaller, I have less of a sense of having to read the screen from one side to the other and from top to bottom.
Also worth noting: this monitor comes with a built-in grip handle for easy transportation. That’s great for someone like me, who frequently takes my monitor home from the studio at weekends. Relatedly, the magnetic hood is easy to attach and detach.
Finally, price. At around £2400 in the UK and $3489 in the US, this monitor is priced quite competitively for an EIZO. (Compare that with around £1600 for an ASUS ProArt, or £1800 for a similar BenQ.) It also comes with a five-year warranty.
The first test you’ll see in the video is a retouching test. How good is this monitor for my post-production work in Photoshop? The short answer is: it’s incredible.
To make the comparison to my 31-inch EIZO fair, I colour-calibrated both to my M1 MacBook Pro. My first impression when comparing the same image on both screens was that the 27-inch monitor looked slightly more neutral to the naked eye (that is, slightly more green, slightly less magenta).
When I used my colour checker passport, it was clear that the neutral greys are more accurate on the 27-inch, and I was just happier overall with the colour it offered.
Retouching in Photoshop
The new monitor also offers newer, better options when it comes HDR. When I looked at the same unretouched image on both screens and zoomed into 100%, I could see that the 27-inch has a finer pitch.
Because it is smaller, the 4K resolution on the 27-inch packs in more pixels per inch. This means the image on this new monitor is slightly crisper, slightly sharper.
I’ve always thought the 31-inch EIZO was incredible for detail, so it was surprising and exciting to realise that this new model actually surpasses it! In terms of image quality, the 27-inch monitor offers truly exceptional results – the word I use in the video is ‘divine’ – and from a retouching perspective, it makes me very happy indeed.
Video editing test
The 27-inch monitor is smaller than the 31-inch both vertically and horizontally, with the horizontal difference being slightly greater.
Though the loss of a few square inches of screen space makes very little difference to me as a photographer and retoucher, it could be more of a problem for video editors, who need that extra real estate for the various tools and windows they need to keep open simultaneously.
To test this theory, I leant the 27-inch screen to Ben, our head of video production here at Visual Education. He compared it with his 2.5K EIZO and 4K BenQ monitors.
Like me, Ben was really impressed with the quality of the display. He saw more bite, contrast, and saturation in the new EIZO monitor. He saw this as a pleasing bonus, less essential for video editing than it is for retouching.
For Ben, the smaller display wasn’t ideal. With so much going on on his screen when he works – timeline, project window, and the rest – he needs every square inch he can get to work efficiently.
The result? Ben is just as happy to take ownership of my old 31-inch EIZO as I am to replace it with the new 27-inch!
Why and How to Shoot Tethered
Tethered shooting test
My final test involved tethering my 100mp Hasselblad camera to the new EIZO monitor to see how it performed during a photoshoot.
As expected, it performed flawlessly. The colour and detail it offered was just as incredible as it was during my retouching test.
Checking the images in the RAW software, I could see every minute detail. This in turn helped me to achieve precise lighting control and pinsharp focus. All in all, from a photographer’s point of view, the monitor’s performance was absolutely fantastic.
The CG2700X performed exceptionally well in all of our tests. I was so impressed, I immediately made it my main retouching monitor.
In my honest opinion, this really is a fantastic piece of kit. It’s one of the best monitors I’ve used, if not THE best. Admittedly, the price may be a bit high for some people. But considering how well it performs, the price point could be much higher than it is.
All in all, I’m all in – even if I can’t seem to shake my lifelong habit of pronouncing EIZO wrong…