BenQ SW320 Monitor Review

Benq SW320 is a promising entry in the world of Color Management IPS Displays for photo editing, video editing and graphic design applications. As soon as you open the box you realize it's a lot of real estate (31.5") and a lot of pixels (3840x2160‎ 4K UHD) to make any image editor happy. I have been using my EIZO CG223W monitor for 4 years now along with a latest edition of 27" iMac in my studio. The BenQ SW320 definitely makes the aging EIZO look like a minion and the iMac 27" also falls short in size. Though you get a brighter 5K Retina display and more pixels with Apple but personally I prefer the colors from a good calibrated display. The BenQ SW320 promises that and much more along with a few tricks up its sleeve.


BenQ SW320 is a monster of a display at 31.5 inches that offers 99% AdobeRGB color with 10bit support in a 4K Ultra High Definition (3240 x 2160) screen, also supports High Dynamic Range (HDR 10) and a 178⁰/178⁰ viewing angle. Shading hoods which are a standard with color management displays are also included in the package along with the required cables to directly work with you Apple ports or HDMI ports in Windows systems. There are built-in USB3 ports (x2) and SD card reader in the monitor.


BenQ SW320 is easy to setup and took me just 15 mins to get it out of the box and ready to use, connected to a MacBook Pro 15. The monitor base is sturdy and heavy to hold up the display with the monitor stand. You can move the display UP or DOWN to adjust the height of the display and Tilt front (20⁰) or down (-5⁰) as needed to align with your viewing position. It also swivels from the base 45⁰ both ways. The monitor can be rotated 90⁰ to portrait view if you need it when working on images in portrait orientation to get the most out of the display area for a much better editing experience.

Though I noticed it was not able to go 90⁰ in portrait view by rotating it directly as the display touched the base in doing so. It required a slight tilt forward to turn, not a major inconvenience but a little longer base would have helped. I did not use the shading hood for my review sample but if your work desk has an overhead light or side lamp its a good thing to setup to avoid any unneeded glare caused by the bright lights. The shading hood supplied with the monitor is of very good quality and feels sturdy compared to the one in EIZO. Make sure your computer hardware is compatible to support the monitors full 4K resolution. I had no issues connecting it to my late 2011 MacBook Pro 15 laptop, the experience was thankfully as simple as plug & play.


In the age of constant innovation and new products launching everyday, the BenQ SW320 is an attractive package for photographers looking for a good monitor for daily image editing work with consistent color output. Editing images on the large 31.5” display is a great experience, the 4K UHD resolution shows images with good clarity and color reproduction from my 24 megapixel Fujifilm XPRO2 and 36 megapixel Nikon D810 camera images. Color rendering is smooth, images are sharp and there is no banding or posterization that I get to see on my MacBook Pro display.

The Hotkey Puck which might feel like a gimmick was fun to use, with one specific feature that I loved. There are 3 dedicated buttons to easily switch between color profiles. Just one click of a button and I could view the image I am working on in Black & White without actually making an edit to the actual image and with another click I can revert back to the working AdobeRGB profile or custom calibrated profile. I always had a b&w copy of most of my images but with this feature I save time of b&w conversion and do it only if I needed. Instead of considering it a gimmick its worth spending time to know and configure the little unit for added convenience. There is a slot to position the Hotkey Puck on the base of the display but it did not feel like a convenient place to access for me and prefer to keep it somewhere around my keyboard or wacom to switch modes quickly.

The other cool feature is GAMUT DUO where you can compare your image side-by-side from one color profile to another. Eg: Working on an image in AdobeRGB and preview it for sRGB output when converting your final edit to upload on web. A quick and convenient way to see the difference between what the output would be when the images are uploaded online on social media platforms.

The monitor comes with a ambient light sensor on top that works automatically, adjusting the brightness as per the ambient light that you are in and increases or decreases the brightness of display as and when needed. I did not see the function in play as my working environment light is consistent.

For Hardware Calibration, the list of supported calibrators are X-Rite i1 Display Pro / i1 Pro / i1 Pro 2 , Datacolor Spyder 4/5. You will need to install the Palette Master Element software which is not provided in the CD-ROM so you will have to download it from the BenQ website. Unfortunately my Spyder 3 hardware was not supported to test the Palette Master Element software but out of the box factory calibration was sufficient for my limited time usage . In general use I would calibrate my work displays every 2 weeks.

I would have preferred if the USB3.0 ports, Headphone socket and SD card reader were located on the side of the monitor instead of the back. It would make it convenient to access the ports which are meant to be used with external media that is plugged in and out frequently.


  • Micro USB (Probably only to connect HotKey Puck)
  • HDMI
  • DisplayPort
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • Headphone Socket
  • USB Upstream connection
  • USB3.0 (2 slots)
  • SD Card Reader

The old fashioned VGA and DVI ports are history.


  • BenQ SW320 LCD Monitor
  • Monitor Stand
  • Monitor Base
  • Shading Hood
  • Printed Quick Start Guide
  • CD-ROM with User Manual and Drivers
  • Factory Calibration Report
  • Hotkey Puck
  • Monitor Power Cord
  • HDMI Cable
  • USB Cable
  • DisplayPort Cable
  • DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable


  1. Big size, 31.5in
  2. 4k UHD Resolution 3240 x 2160
  3. 99% AdobeRGB, 100% sRGB
  4. 14-bit 3D LUT & Delta E ≦ 2
  5. Smooth color gradation, no visible banding on images
  6. USB3.0 Ports
  7. SD Card Reader
  8. Competitive price (compared to similar displays in market)
  9. Works great to take a break and enjoy movies or games


  1. Support for hardware calibrators limited
  2. Access to USB3.0 and SD card slots
  3. No DVI port
  4. Minor magenta color cast on one side (I noticed only when browsing full screen with plain white color of the browser)
  5. Availability (Limited distributors in the region)



Priced at around AED 6500 (approx) this monitor is not for everybody, but at this price range it's a bargain compared to other 32" monitors. Photographers, Videographers & Graphic Designers will appreciate the resolution, size and color output from the BenQ SW320. Even though there are companies coming up with 8k monitors, it would take a few more years for 4K to be the base standard so you can be sure that you will have a display to view your work or other work online in sharp detail and accurate colors for years to come. Hands down an easy investment for 5+ years till something bigger & better may come.


Currently available for sale from BenQ headoffice in Dubai, UAE.

BenQ (M.E.) FZE

Office # 511, 5th Floor, Building # East 3 (E3)
Dubai Airport Free Zone
Al Ghusais, Dubai
Tel # +971 4 2991000
Fax # +971 4 2990808
Toll free # 800 2367 (BenQ)

Website :
Email :

The best camera . . . ?

We, as in People, always want the best of everything and that's perfectly fine to expect. Be it life, be it work, be it quality of whatever you buy or just anything that you can think of. I'm here just to write (rant) about the obsession in the photography world for what's the best camera, what's the best lens. And also because it's been a while since I made my previous blogpost, so now is a good time for me to write about something with the usual dose of humor and sarcasm.

It is annoying to read suggestions that mention that CAMERA X and LENS Y is the best. What makes it the best and for what? Almost 99% of the time it's not really a best recommendation, it's just someone's personal opinion and preference irrespective of all the practical reasons that could exist. A top of the line camera with a top of the line pro lens of a particular focal length may not be the best option for a newbie looking to just start digging into photography. Probably a base model with kit lens is best for the person right now, maybe buying a cheaper second hand kit and getting a feel of the tools could work well. Later the person can decide if it's worth spending on upgrade or realizing that maybe photography is not for him/her or the only use one has is for snapshots of kids, pets, social gatherings, etc. Everything is very subjective to the final use. Some gear works great on streets, some shine in studio, some great in sports. Different purpose, different tools.

Some of the brands and their products that I have used or familiar with. 

BRAND A. The "single digit model" with a "single alphabet" right after it (as of now) because it's the most expensive camera in A's lineup. It works wonders in low light, great ISO, awesome AF, shivering FPS. Or maybe the 3 digit model for the highest megapixel count with best DR in their stable. So the best brand A cameras  - Single digit model and the higher three digit model. From three digit lower series and below, you are just a low ballin' scumbag because those are not the best cameras.

BRAND B. The same reasons as Brand A but they also have a "single digit model" with two alphabets and some more, the highest megapixel full frame camera, ever (for now). Notice the pattern in brand A and B, they are incapable of producing a single best camera for all purposes in their lineup and that's a pity. No single camera to do everything that people want. Something of digit 1 performance, 111 sensor and 1111 price, wishful thinking. I just have a crappy desire to have vanilla milkshake with ice cubes made of sugar on the moon tomorrow at 2200hrs #wishfulthinking. Oh but wait a min, brand A and brand B best cameras have mirrors. F * * K.

BRAND C. Wow "alphabet number alphabet" II looks like the perfect best camera. Container load megapixels, out of the world dynamic range, in-body disco dancer image stabilization, no mirror, 4K video OMG OMG OMG. Ah but maybe I will have to use a brand B lens on it because brand C decided to make only the best chip and forgot a lot of other things. WTF.

BRAND D. It does have the 'x' factor and does not have the damn mirror, but ahem… no full frame sensor and such shitty video. It sucks. Technically not qualifying for the best camera even though it carries an impressive line-up of glass and great imaging sensor. 

BRAND E. It's out before it could be qualified. Tiny little piece of s * * t and only half the size of a full frame sensor. Damn it. Compete when you can put 2 of those sensors in one body and call it a day. 

BRAND F. Fanboys - YES. Full frame - YES. Great optics - YES. AF - F * * K. Over and out. Why do we need to kidnap a bunch of people, rip off their kidneys for sale and then get brand F for bragging rights ? Right ? 

BRAND G. Still working on full frame. Not yet eligible. In its defense they do make medium format, but majority of the world does not care about how brilliant it is.

BRAND H. No FF, only MF. Can it be the best one. No, Too expensive. Poor high ISO. Lame FPS. Not the best then. Ok, maybe with a little less money than being a proud brand H owner, we can just buy a civic and pimp it up with sexy alloys, carbon fiber hood and noisy exhaust and roll our a** round town. 

We don't know when FULL FRAME sensors became the must have criteria for the best camera, and a zoom with 2.8 or a prime with 1.4 for the best lens.

Another long list of comment war starts on many forums when you suggest a third party lens to OEM fans (Sigma/Tamron on CaNikon, Voigtlander on Leica, etc) then the reaction can be quiet dramatic like - you are a muslim and you wanna marry a jewish. Now just imagine the reaction of a typical conservative religious family.

For once, if we stopped being unhappy about not having the best camera + lens but concentrate on making "THE BEST PICTURE" then the photography world will have much more inspiration in a positive way. Having the most expensive camera will not make you a better photographer. As the saying goes, "Some people are so poor, the only thing they have is money." Instead practice your craft, learn everyday, enrich your talents and make the best use of the gear you have. If you cannot be happy with what you have right now and not able to use your tools to the full potential then trust me, technology will screw you pretty bad. Nothing will be ever made to satisfy human carvings until and unless the human in question learns to be content with what one has and use it to the full potential. Gear doesn't matter is also not true, it matters but again at a subjective level. It's not the end of the world. "Keep Calm & Carry On."