Price: 706 . 791 . 970
Pros: Great picture quality for price; fast response rate; flexible input for video pros.
Cons: Version with calibrator is overpriced.
The 324 LCD Monitor is aimed more at motion-based creatives than print designers and illustrators. Its specs are less high-end than the rest of LaCie’s range, meaning it’s less expensive even than the company’s 20-inch 320 LCD Monitor. This is great as most video editors, compositors and motion-graphics artists working with HD are going to want two.
To help integrate the 324 into video post-production set-ups, the monitor includes two HDMI connectors and a standard DVI-D port (plus a VGA port). The DVI-D port is the core input for your computer, but the two HDMI ports allow connection from a capture card such as Blackmagic Design’s low-cost Intensity Pro board, from many modern decks, or directly from your camcorder. The inclusion of two ports saves you having to swap cables.
Considering its price, the 324 offers very high-quality output. It has 10-bit gamma correction, so smooth shades are preserved, and highlight and shadow detail aren’t lost. This is less powerful than the 12-bit correction offered by other pro monitors, but is good enough for most video work. The response rate of 6ms is great for working with video.
Most creatives will prefer the £791 version, which adds a hood to reduce glare on your screen and the Blue Eye software, to the £706 base model. The Blue Eye software now works with a variety of calibration devices, rather than LaCie’s own calibrator. The £970 bundle with the calibrator is expensive, as LaCie’s calibrator is a rebadged Eye-One Display 2, which costs only £125 plus VAT on its own.
Aside from this slight quibble, the 324 LCD Monitor is a excellent monitor for professional video creatives and animators.