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Insights & Thoughts

New Years Resolutions: How Many Pixels Will You Push This Year?

By Anthony Thurston on January 2nd 2016

Welcome to 2016, Everyone! In my first post of the new year, I wanted to take some time to really get to know each of you on a deeper level. Today, we are getting really deep here at SLR Lounge, so let me ask you…

How many pixels do you push?

Joking aside, I was inspired to do this post by the following YouTube video. In the video, Kyle of Awesomesauce Network, takes a look at what resolutions his viewers are rocking into the new year. While his channel, and the resulting video, is skewed towards the gamers out there, it got me thinking about doing a similar poll with our readers.

How Many Pixels Do You Push?

2015 was a big year for me as far as my single monitor resolution goes. I was able to test out a killer Samsung 4K monitor but in the end, I decided that 4K was both out of my price range and I really didn’t need it. So I decided to get a solid Acer 2.5K or 2560x1440p IPS monitor that I have been using for about 6 months now. This was after several years of dual 1080p screens, so the change back to a single monitor was hard at first, but I actually found that it allowed me to focus on what I was working on more because I wouldn’t get distracted by what was on the other screen.

So, Gamers and Photographers both share a love for pixels (and lots of them), but I have a feeling that our numbers may be a little different than what Kyle got in his results. While gamers love pixels, gaming at higher than 1440p these days is still a fairly expensive affair, so most high-end gamers stick to 1440p. Photographers share that love of pixels, but we have businesses and cash flow that provide for business expenses – namely, higher resolution monitors for easier/better post-processing. But I wonder, will my prediction hold true or will 1080 reign supreme here as well?

Please vote in the poll by clicking on the image below.


I posted the poll before I started writing this post so that I would have some preliminary results to talk about, and as you can see in the image above, the early results are fairly inconclusive. About half of the voters have been at 1080, and half have been higher than that (though, let’s be real, 1920×1200 is pretty much 1080). I am really curious to see where the results end up, so make sure to vote, and share with your photographer friends.

How Many Pixels WILL You Push?

So enough looking at the past, let’s take a jaunt into the future. Beyond just what you post-produce on right now, I am fairly curious about how many of you already have plans to upgrade your display resolution in 2016. Are you happy at 1080 or 1440, or whatever resolution you have? Or do you plan to jump into 4K or some other higher resolution display? Vote in our other Straw Poll, here.

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dave Haynie

    I currently use two 2560×1440 monitors for my desktop, with a third 1920×1200 connected when it’s not hooked up to some other device. I got a 4K (well, QHD… we here ought to know the difference) laptop. Not sure there too much of reason for all those pixels on a 15.6″ screen, but it did make me want a couple of those at 27″. Thing is, the laptop has a quantum dot LCD… after you use that, you don’t want a different color technology. So I’ll be waiting on the monitors I think…

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  2. Rafael Steffen

    MAC Images are still top of the line compared to everything else. It is hard to swtich back once you get used to a Retina screen.

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  3. Paul Empson

    I’ve two 1920×1080 monitors for my main work and a very old but still functioning – text / email – monitor 1280×1024.. so three in total and works fine for me.

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  4. Sedric Beasley

    I’m looking at the new IMAC this year. I’m debating on how much more video editing i will be doing vs photography and the SSD drive vs Fushion drive. I think a 5k with external thunderbolt storage and a small internal SSD is the way I’m going. Throw in 32 GB of Crucial memory and I will be good to go.

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  5. Nathan Smith

    You left 5120×2880 off your poll, a popular resolution for anyone of us that bought or will buy a 27″ 5K iMac. I needed a second MacIntosh, was going to spend $3000 on another MacBook Pro, but since I use this with my 23 inch Apple display, I decided instead to get a 27 inch 5K iMac, which not only saved me $1000 on a new computer, but also gave me a brand-new 27 inch 5K display. I am more than thrilled. I can work on photographs now at 800% resolution, and do final retouching. And the color is amazing! Plus, after purchasing the iMac, it made it easy to justify buying an iPhone 6s Plus when I visited California which does 4K video. Now I have a screen I can edit 4K video on !

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    • Dave Haynie

      The problem with an iMac (other thsn their relatively low performance — I do video and CAD on the same PC) is that you’re buying PC and monitor together. I have never had a situation in which the monitor really needed to be upgraded as often as the PC. Though I suppose PCs last longer than they once did these days… work only takes huge jumps in computational load once in awhile… like the move to 4K video editing,

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  6. Hannes Nitzsche

    I just treated myself for xmas and ordered an LG 31MU97 4K monitor as primary work screen. I have been editing on an Asus G75 for the past three years now and the screen is just not good enough anymore. As the hardware is still kicking a@# I will just use the new monitor with the old laptop. I’ve heard many great reviews of this monitor and can’t wait to finally use it. I decided to go for the 4K to be on the safe side, because we never know what happens and when we might need it in one or two years.

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    • Jacob Jexmark

      I use that monitor and absolutely love it.

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    • Dave Haynie

      The 4K monitors are starting to be tempting. My problem is that my graphics card is old enough that its support extends only to 2560×1600. So the cost of a monitor upgrade is a large jump right now.

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  7. robert garfinkle

    How bout this… a different context.

    I am in need of a new PC (laptop) as my 1.5 year old Dell is taking a dump. So, what do I buy. Over the years it has been a desire to see a manufacturer come out with a PC monitor which supports the 3:2 ratio – and now Microsoft does; in their surface pro 4 and surface book.

    Ideally, it’s a perfect photographer’s visual platform, as these units match what a camera produces. and the surface book has a decently robust stand-alone nVidia GPU built in to it’s keyboard base.

    So, imagine, not having to crop an image, maybe do some editing; but ultimately you have a portable unit you can take to clients.

    Even better, is the surface pro 4 and surface book have been tagged as having the best / most accurate color palette, which will make it great for both editing and showing, right?

    I’d say the only drawback to the new surface units is they are cost prohibitive for the average Joe – the 1TB surface book with 16GB ram on an i7 platform, with docking station is $3400.00 (ouch). And, you also cannot service the unit yourself.

    But, if money is not really a major concern then I’d highly recommend one of the two units for the above stated reasons.

    So, I lean more towards the question What is the aspect ratio I push and what is my color accuracy; over pixels

    And with these Microsoft tabs, it’s great as, you can do real editing vs. having to deal with an apple store / android play store version of an adobe product on an ipad / android, because the surface units come with a real operating system…

    as for T.V., pixels; 4k would be great, but not concerned about it today..

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    • Dave Haynie

      The problem I have with tablets or laptops is the tiny screen, relatively weak processor, and especially the memory available. The 16GB in my old PC (replaced in 2014) wasn’t enough for the photo compositing I was doing then. Sure, it’s possible to dock a laptop or tablet. But I’ve had better success with those as secondary devices. The Android tablet I’m typing this on has a 10-12 hour battery life and built-in Wacom digitizer (I think you get that on the Surface Pro too, but not the average PC tablet).

      Its great to live in an age when you can find a device pretty much your ideal for the way you work. I recall the days when the lustre from that new PC was lucky to last a month…

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  8. Joseph Ford

    What I find and possible reason for not rushing to the higher resolutions displays is the display size remains unchanged and supporting content is still unavailable. Designers and editors will benefit from the increased resolution but we are a limited market.

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