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EIZO CG 318-4K Display


I have written a number of articles in the past about the importance of a good high quality display.

Because we all work on our images looking at them on a display, the display becomes the de facto reference device. We obviously want the reference device to give us neutral grays, be able to reproduce the full color gamut of a photograph, have the proper contrast, have resolution that is similar to a printer, etc.

Many people assume that their standard computer display is perfect as received from the factory. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Typical computer monitors can only display a very small portion of the color gamut that a printer is capable of reproducing. Furthermore, the vast majority of computer displays come from the factory adjusted to be way too bright, too blue and too contrasty for photography. The typical resolution of a computer high definition display is roughly 1/ 5th of the resolution of , say a standard Epson or Canon printer. To make matters worse, many displays cannot operate very well in the brightness range needed for photography because it is outside of their optimum operating range. They can get “splotchy” and highly non-linear and uneven. Laptop displays are notorious for being inadequate for editing photographs or preparing them for printing. I cringe when I see people editing their work on a laptop.

This is why photographers that care about quality use “graphics grade” displays that are designed for wide gamut and a proper brightness and contrast operating range for photography.

There are many examples of how a standard computer monitor can cause serious issues when editing or printing. A classic example is as follows: If a display is too bright (as mentioned above, the vast majority of computer displays come with a factory calibration that is way too bright, too blue and too contrasty for photography), the user is highly likely to adjust his/her images to look good on an overly bright display. This will make them look too dark when printed. One of the most common complaints of newbies in photography is that their prints “come out” too dark which they erroneously blame on the printer or the printing process. The blame should go to an overly bright display.

There is a lot more to say about displays, but rather than repeat myself, I would encourage the reader to read my article entitled “A Printing Primer” on this website.

Enter the New EIZO 318-4K Display

Over the years, I have tried a number of high quality displays from manufacturers such as LaCie, NEC, EIZO and a few others. A few years ago, I settled on an EIZO 30-inch display (CG 301 W). I liked the color gamut, the software calibration that came with the display, the evenness of illumination, the ergonomics of the stand and panel adjustments, the size, sharpness, adjustability and the fact that its operating range was designed for photography. I was also impressed by the quality control tests that each unit had to pass.

Price alert: Like many things in the digital domain, as size increases, price can increase quite quickly. 24 inch or 27 inch displays can be satisfactory and less expensive, but beware that once you try a bigger display it is hard to go back and the price will be significantly higher. My old 30-inch display had an MSRP of approximately $5,000.00 US dollars. The new CG 318-4K has an MSRP of roughly $6,000.00 US dollars.

I first saw the new EIZO 31.1 inch 4K monitor at Photokina in Germany in September of 2014. The image looked absolutely gorgeous. The word “stunning” kept coming to mind. However, on certain material I started to wonder if the color gamut looked a little narrow. I felt very good about my eyes when I was told that the unit shown at Photokina was a display made for medical applications that did not require wide color gamut. The photography version of the display would be introduced in 2015 and would have a much wider color gamut.

I had been anxious to test this display since I saw it at Photokina. I finally had the opportunity to do so this week when I was allowed to keep for a few days one of the first demo units in the United States, courtesy of Bear Images Photographic in Palo Alto, California.

Full production units are beginning to ship as I write this article.

The Basics

The new EIZO 318-4K display is quite a sophisticated device. It is not only a computer/desktop monitor, but it can also take HDMI signals and display video formats such as 24P, 25P, and 30P @ DCI True 4K. It has inputs for multiple external devices and sports a built in calibration sensor.

One can schedule the monitor to self-calibrate at specific times. Even if the monitor is switched off or not connected to a computer, it will stick to its preset schedule. One can also manually initiate a calibration at any time. In my tests, the calibration procedure was much faster than I have seen with any other product.

The color gamut of the display is very wide. It faithfully reproduces 99% of the Adobe RGB color space and 98% of the DCI-P3 standard used in digital cinema. Colors like sky blues and lush greens that most computer monitors cannot faithfully reproduce are beautifully rendered. With 10-bit simultaneous display technology and a 16-bit lookup table, the EIZO 4K display is capable of showing more than one billion colors simultaneously. Very impressive.

The resolution is 4096×2160 at a fairly dense 149 ppi. The smoothness and resolution of this display is something one does not expect. It starts to come close to what one expects from a print, not a monitor. When compared side by side with a regular HD monitor, the difference is much more dramatic than I would have anticipated.

The contrast ratio is a high 1500:1 which allows the device to display deep blacks much better than a standard LCD monitor.

Visually, the uniformity from corner to corner is the best I have seen to date. There is also little change in color and contrast when viewing the display at an angle (within limits, of course!), thus allowing more than one person to view an image effectively.

The ColorEdge CG318-4K offers flicker-free viewing at all brightness levels to reduce eye fatigue. It was quite evident after a few editing sessions that there was a significant reduction in eye fatigue versus a standard computer monitor.

In Real World Use

Using this monitor is a delight. In my experience, it establishes a new benchmark in image quality for photo editing. I can see things I never saw before. Sharpening is no longer a trial and error task, because with the increased resolution the image on the screen now shows me details I never saw before and I can judge the edges of elements in an image much better.

Deep shadow reproduction is so good that again, the trial and error process trying to get the shadows right in a print is significantly reduced.

The wide color gamut is immensely helpful in preparing images for printing. However, in spite of the wide color gamut, printers still have a wider color gamut than this display (or any other commercially available display I am aware of). The EIZO CG 318-4K has several choices on how to flag or display colors that are out of gamut. This could be helpful in a number of situations where specific colors that are out of gamut might be important in a print.

If the reader feels that this is a rave review, well, it is. The image quality is simply superb and the functionality and features of the display have been well thought out and implemented.

Alas, as with all things in life, there are negatives. I think the biggest negative of a 4K display is that text in applications, in menus as well as icons, etc. can be very small. Most applications are simply not 4K ready in this regard. Because of this, I found it more comfortable to work with dual screens: My old display on the right with all the Photoshop and CaptureOne menus and tools in the sizes we are accustomed to see and the 4K display on the left with the images. When using Lightroom, the tools on the 4K display were displayed small, but useable.

Summary of Specifications

For those of you interested in specifications, here is a quick summary:

Panel Type

IPS (Anti-Glare)


Wide color gamut LED


79 cm (31.1 inch) (78.9 cm diagonal)


4096 dots × 2160 lines

Display Size (H × V)

697.95 mm × 368.06 mm

Pixel Pitch

0.1704 mm

Pixel Density

149 ppi

Display Colors

Approx. 1073.74 million colors (for 10 bit input)

Viewing Angle (H / V, typical)

178 ̊ / 178 ̊

Recommended Brightness (typical)

120 cd/m2 or less (Temperature: 5000 K to 6500 K)

Contrast Ratio (typical)

1500 : 1 (When “DUE Priority” setting is “Brightness”)

Response Time (typical)

Black-white-black: 20 ms Gray-to-gray: 9 ms

Color Gamut Display (typical)

Adobe® RGB coverage: 99%, DCI-P3 coverage: 98%


Video Signal Input Terminals

DisplayPort 1.2 (HDCP 1.2-compatible) × 2, HDMI (HDCP 1.2, Deep Color-compatible) *1 × 2

Digital Scanning Frequency (H /V)

24.5 kHz to 137.5 kHz (DisplayPort), 14.5 kHz to 135.5 kHz (HDMI) / 22.5 Hz to 71.5 Hz (DisplayPort), 22.5 Hz to 71.5 Hz (HDMI)

Frame Synchronization Mode

23.75 Hz to 30.25 Hz, 47.5 Hz to 60.5 Hz

Dot clock (Max.)

598.3 MHz (DisplayPort), 300 MHz (HDMI)


USB Port

Upstream port × 1, downstream port × 3 (including one port that supports quick charging)

USB Standard

USB Specification Rev. 3.0
USB Battery Charging Specification Rev.1.2

Communication Speed

5 Gbps (super), 480 Mbps (high), 12 Mbps (full), 1.5 Mbps (low)

Supply Current

Downstream: Max. 900 mA per port

Downstream (CHARGE Port): Normal: Max. 1.5 A per port, Charging Only: Max. 2.1 A per port


Power Input

100–240 VAC ±10%, 50/60 Hz 1.45 A–0.75 A)

Maximum Power Consumption

140 W or less

Power Save Mode

9.0 W or less (no signal is input when there is no USB device connected)

Standby Mode

9.0 W or less (no signal is input when there is no USB device connected)



Min. height: 735 mm × 434 mm × 245 mm (W × H × D) (Tilt: 0 ̊) Max. height: 735 mm × 591 mm × 289 mm (W × H × D) (Tilt: 35 ̊)

Dimensions (Without Stand)

735 mm × 423 mm × 65.5 mm (W × H × D)

Net. weight

Approx. 11.3 kg

Net Weight (Without Stand)

Approx. 8.3 kg

Height adjustment

149 mm (Tilt: 0 ̊) / 141mm (Tilt: 35 ̊)


Up 35 ̊, down 5 ̊





0 ̊C to 35 ̊C (32 ̊F to 95 ̊F)


20% to 80% R.H. (no condensation)

Air Pressure

540 hPa to 1060 hPa




Bottom Line

I wish that the applications I use most had a “4K mode”, but they do not. It is probably inevitable that computers and applications will become more 4K friendly in the future, but until then we just have to make do with the current situation.

Working with the new EIZO 31.1 inch CG 318- 4K monitor makes a pretty huge difference in terms of enjoyment, efficacy, accuracy and eye fatigue reduction. It allows me to edit my images better and to arrive at a perfect print in an easier and more relaxed way.

The CG 318-4K monitor is, by quite a margin, the best computer monitor I have seen to date.

For me, there is no going back. I can hardly wait to have a full production unit on my desk as my main monitor.


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