When it comes to photo editing, you can’t use a regular monitor because you want something with life-like images. The best monitors for photo editing comes in many shapes, sizes, and brands. However, it’s not an easy task to choose and review all of them; due to that, we decided to save you time and made a list of the best monitors for photo editing. Note that we took into account professionals, students, beginners, and hobbyists, to make this list.
Visuals are the main thing you’re looking for in a photo editing monitor because of color accuracy, and good contrast and brightness levels. The reason behind that is because when you edit a picture on a monitor with the features mentioned above, the on-screen image will look the same once printed.
Of course, as everyone is different, the right monitor for you may be completely different from someone else’s dream monitor. Due to that, you must consider some things like the size of your desk, the monitor’s shape (curved, semi-curved, traditional), and its resolution (the higher the resolution the pricier it gets, generally, they come in 1080p and 4K).
As a rule of thumb, for photo editing purposes, the bigger the monitor, the better. In that way, you will be able to admire your art and catch more details. If you can’t afford a big monitor, don’t worry, it’s not a big deal, you can still thrive with a regular-sized monitor. Another important thing is color space, your photo editing monitor must meet industry standards; at least it should cover 90% of standard Red Green Blue (sRGB) and 70% of the Adobe RGB spectrum.
With that in mind, here are our top picks for the best monitors for photo editing:
Best Overall Monitors for Photo Editing
Size: 27”. Resolution: 3840 x 2160. Aspect Ratio: 16:9. Brightness: 350 cd/m2. Contrast Ratio: 1000:1. sRGB Gamut: 100%. Adobe sRGB Gamut: 99%.
The BenQ SW271 is considered as one of the best monitors for photo editing in the market. This 4K monitor supports 100% the sRGB gamut and 99% of Adobe sRGB gamut, which means the printed and uploaded photos will match those you see on-screen; in short, color accuracy is guaranteed.
It also comes with the Palette Master Element Calibration Software so you have the best calibration possible. The monitor uses a 14-bit LUT system that creates a wide color gamut, and its 10-bit color deep gives you a billion colors.
Some extras that come with the monitor are a shading hood, and a hotkey puck control dial to switch between Adobe sRGB, sRGB, and black & white display modes.
Size: 27”. Resolution: 2560 x 1420. Aspect Ratio: 16:9. Brightness: 350 cd/m2. sRGB Gamut: 100%. Adobe RGB Gamut: 99%.
The EIZO ColorEdge CG2730 is designed for professionals, serious graphic users, designers, and photographers that want a monitor with accurate color calibration and superior stability.
This monitor is flicker-free and it doesn’t disturb your eyes, which makes it a perfect choice for those who spend hours in front of the computer screen. Like our first choice, this monitor is also 4K with a high contrast ratio. A handy feature is a self-calibration sensor, that can operate automatically if you decide so.
As we mentioned above, this model covers 99% of the Adobe RGB gamut, though, it also covers 98% of the DCI-P3 gamut, which means you can edit videos there too.
Size: 27”. Resolution: 2560 x 1440. Aspect Ratio: 16:9. Brightness: 350 cd/m2. Contrast Ratio: 1000:1. sRGB Gamut: 100%. Adobe RGB Gamut: 99%.
If you consider the price of this monitor and its reputation as a high-end monitor perfect for photo editing, then, you compare it with other high-end monitors for photo editing, you will conclude that it’s an affordable and powerful monitor.
The reason we included on our list is that its price doesn’t compromise quality. You can expect the same 14-bit LUC system, color accuracy, 99% of the Adobe RGB gamut, and superb calibration you find on more expensive photo editing monitors.
This BenQ model has eye care to prevent eye strain and damage, eye care includes a flicker-free screen as well as low blue light filters that eliminate the harmful blue light.
Size: 31.5”. Resolution: 3840 x 2160. Aspect Ratio: 16.9. Brightness: 300 cd/m2. Contrast Ratio: 1000:1. sRGB Gamut: 100%. Adobe RGB Gamut: 99.5%.
The Dell UltraSharp UP3216Q is another 4K monitor for professionals, it has an outstanding color performance, a robust set of features, and a very detailed Ultra High Definition (UHD) image quality. Thanks to its 31.5” of UHD display, the monitor has a superb performance and lots of visual features. This monitor is suitable for those whose work requires extreme colors and grayscale performance.
It’s also important to highlight that this is a 1-in-all monitor, that is, you can use it for photo and video editing, graphic design, animation, and professional photography. That’s possible because it offers a wider color coverage, and covers 100% REC 709, 87% DCI-P3, 100% sRGB, and 99.5% of the Adobe RGB gamut.
Best Budget Monitor for Photo Editing
Size: 25”. Resolution: 2560 x 1440. Aspect Ratio: 16:9. Brightness: 350 cd/m2. Contrast Ratio: 1000:1. sRGB Gamut: 100%. Adobe RGB Gamut: not specified.
If you’re on a limited budget but still want to buy something decent, the Dell UltraSharp U2518D is your best bet. Obviously, it won’t give you the same premium color accuracy than other expensive models, but you will still be able to have the job done without setbacks.
It offers full coverage of the RGB gamut and a quality IPS panel. Regarding contrast levels, the monitor does a good job with 1000:1 of contrast ratio, and 350 nits of brightness for a crystal clear image.
In conclusion, this affordable monitor is perfect for beginners and mid-range enthusiasts on a budget. Its performance exceeds expectations for its price range, but not exceed other models mentioned on this list.
Best Wide Monitors for Photo Editing
Size: 38”. Resolution: 3840 x 1600. Aspect Ratio: 21:9. Brightness: 300 cd/m2. Contrast Ratio: 1000:1. sRGB Gamut: 100%. Adobe RGB Gamut: not specified.
The VP2881 is not only a wide monitor, but an ultrawide monitor for photo editing. Generally, companies create ultrawide monitors for people who like to take advantage of widescreen space for general computer use or to play games. However, Viewsonic decided to launch the VP3881 for graphic designers, photographers, and professionals that love the idea of having two little monitors on the same desk.
With that screen you have plenty of space to boost productivity, in fact, this monitor comes with the ViewSonic feature, which lets you have several tabs open. Note that this isn’t a 4K monitor, but a 1440p one. Image quality isn’t in the same range of other monitors mentioned on this list. However, thanks to its full sRGB gamut coverage, the monitor has a pretty good image set that makes it one the best ultrawide monitors for photo editing. By the way, you can also edit videos and animations with it.
Size: 34”. Resolution: 3440 x 1440. Aspect Ratio: 21:9. Brightness: 300 cd/m2. Contrast Ratio: 730:1. sRGB Gamut: 99%. Adobe RGB Gamut: 78%.
This is another ultrawide monitor intended for photo and video editing professionals who need highly accurate colors, high contrast ratio, and solid ergonomics. Its top feature is contrast, which has a ratio of 730:1. That contrast setup and the default brightness (75%), are the reason behind the monitor’s punchy image quality.
Regarding sharpness, it’s very good for a standard 16:4 1440p monitor, but it isn’t in the same league of a 4K monitor. The color gamut is decent, it has full sRGB coverage, but 78% of the Adobe RGB gamut.
The monitor also comes with outstanding speakers in case you are a video editing professional, and its panoramic view will engage you in an immersive experience.
Size: 35”. Resolution: 3440 x 1440. Aspect Ratio: 21:9. Brightness: 300 cd/m2. Contrast Ratio: 2500:1. sRGB Gamut: 100%. Adobe RGB Gamut: not specified.
This ultrawide curved monitor delivers a high static contrast ratio and immerses users into a crystal clear and engaging image experience. HDR support is something common among TVs, but not PCs; however, this BenQ EX3501R comes with HDR support. While we appreciate the effort, the HDR support doesn’t work well on Windows 10.
Thanks to its contrast ratio (2500:1) the monitor delivers deeper and vivid black tones as well as a notable distinction between the darkest and brightest colors. The screen is complemented with the UWQHD resolution that results in a rich pixel density of 106 pixels per inch. You’ll also have a 178 degree of viewing angles, though, some changes in contrast and brightness may occur in certain angles.
Best Pro Monitor
Size: 32”. Resolution: 7680 x 4320. Brightness: 400 cd/m2. Contrast Ratio: 1300:1. sRGB Gamut: 100%. Adobe RGB Gamut: 100%
The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K is not a regular monitor, in fact, if you aren’t a serious photo or video editing professional, photographer, or graphic designer, this monitor isn’t for you. It’s not a 4K, neither 1080p or 1040p, but an 8K monitor. It’s very expensive too, and if a regular person buys it, most of its features (aimed at editing) will go to waste.
The monitor’s resolution is stunning, it has high-level color accuracy and it covers the full RGB gamut on both standard and Adobe for photo editing. For video editing, it has a coverage of 100% REC 709 and 98% DCI-P3. Regarding color depth, the monitors achieve 1.07 billion colors.
In short, this is a pro monitor for photo and video editing that showcases every little detail on life-like images.
There are lots of monitors for photo editing purposes on the market, though, only the very best will help you achieve great results. On our list of the best monitors for photo editing, we tried to include monitors for every kind of person interested in photo editing.
Students and beginners should aim at monitors with decent features that don’t break the bank, after all, they are just getting started. For professionals and serious enthusiasts of the matter, 4K displays and monitors with robust image sets are the best options.
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