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10 Best Monitors for Photo Editing (Top Picks 2022)

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Today, we’re going to take you through the best monitors for photo editing, from budget-friendly to high-end. We will also discuss what to look for in monitors and how different monitors affect your work.

When printing out your photos or sharing them online, you’ve probably noticed they look different on your monitor. It might be because you don’t have a monitor suitable for photo editing. Or maybe your monitor needs calibration.

By the end of this article, you’ll hopefully have a new monitor in mind to buy or learn what the best monitors for photo editing offer!

A home office desk with a laptop and monitor

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The Best Monitors for Photo Editing

Here are our recommended ten best monitors for photo editing. We have looked at the resolution of displays, ports, and price (among other details) to determine the best monitor for editing photos.

10. LG 32UD99-W (Low-Range)

  • Screen Size: 32 inch
  • Resolution: 3840×2160
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Price: $

The LG 32UD99-W is a 32-inch IPS ((In-Plane Switching) monitor with a resolution of 3840×2160 (Ultra HD). Its high resolution means a detailed image. That comes in handy when you are editing images with a lot of detail. Landscapes, product shots, black and white portraits are just a few examples.

In terms of brightness, the LG is standard (350 cd/m²). And it has a 5ms response time. Sure, there are faster monitors out there. But since we are talking about the best monitor for editing photos and not gaming, you won’t need anything faster. The monitor supports DCI-P3 95%—a broader color spectrum than sRGB.

The refresh rate is 60 Hz (hertz) is enough for photo editing. Being a gaming monitor, it also has a few cool features. AMD FreeSync technology is designed to tune the monitor’s refresh rate with the frame rate output of the graphics card. The faster your card, the faster the refresh rate.

You get HDR (High Dynamic Range) capabilities as well. That means you get much-better detail across the dark, medium, and bright tones. There are several connectivity options, but the one that stands out is the USB-C port.

Strengths:

  • Big screen
  • HDR

Weaknesses:

  • Slower response time
  • Does not handle reflections well

LG 32UD99-W 31.5 inch monitor for photo editing

9. Dell UltraSharp UP3216Q (Mid-Range for Color Accuracy)

  • Screen Size: 32 inch
  • Resolution: 3840×2160
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Price: $$

Dedicated to working professionals, this Dell Ultrasharp monitor is mainly renowned for its incredible color accuracy. It offers a comprehensive color coverage—100% sRGB and 99.5% of the Adobe RGB color space—and a color depth of 1.07 billion colors.

As a 4K monitor, it offers an ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angle. The contrast ratio is 1000:1, and the refresh rate is 60 Hz. The 6ms response time makes it suitable not only for photos but also for video editing.

It also comes with 87%  support for the DCI-P3 color spectrum. And you can fine-tune your colors using the Custom Color mode of the device. This monitor also incorporates IPS technology, making it worth its higher price (but still affordable).

Strengths:

  • Color Accuracy
  • 4K resolution

Weaknesses:

  • No pivot capability

Dell UltraSharp UP3216Q monitor for photo editing

8. ViewSonic VP 3268-4K (Low-Range)

  • Screen Size: 32 inch (31.5 inch viewable)
  • Resolution: 3840×2160
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Price: $$

The ViewSonic is a larger screen than most on this list, with a 31.5-inch diameter. The resolution is similar to the other 4K screens listed here. You still get supersharp image quality on a broader screen than most.

I am a big fan of its HDR mode and its excellent 1300:1 contrast ratio. But, there isn’t an Adobe RGB preset mode, and this ViewSonic monitor can only cover 77% of the Adobe RGB range.

Despite negative reviewer comments about its size, the extra few inches go a long way. We love seeing our images as big as possible as photographers. It may be hard to return to a smaller monitor when you start editing on a big screen!

Strengths:

  • Big screen
  • High 1300:1 contrast ratio

Weaknesses:

  • Brightness uniformity
  • 77% Adobe RGB coverage

ViewSonic VP 3268-4K best monitor for photo editing

7. NEC MulitSync EA271U (Mid-Range)

  • Screen Size: 27 inch
  • Resolution: 3840×2160
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Price: $$

The NEC MultiSync is a monitor worth buying if you have other NEC devices. It features “cost-saving device management,” allowing you to control all connected NEC devices from a single location.

It provides basic monitor features, like built-in speakers and touch-sensitive control buttons. But they aren’t the best quality. You do get great connection ports, though, including DP, DVI, and HDMI. And it also sports USB 3.0 capabilities.

Strengths:

  • Built-in speakers
  • NEC device connectivity

Weaknesses:

  • Need to adjust for best results
  • Presets can be off

NEC MulitSync EA271U monitor for photo editing

6. MSI Prestige PS341WU (Highest Resolution for Big Budgets)

  • Screen Size: 34 inch
  • Resolution: 5120×2160
  • Aspect Ratio: 21:9
  • Price: $$$

Are you looking for a giant screen with the highest resolution? You won’t have to look any further than the MSI Prestige PS341WU. It’s one of the best monitors for photo editing boasting a whopping 5K2K resolution and a 34-inch diameter,

Of course, this monitor comes in as one of the more expensive monitors for photo editing. But that’s not too surprising looking at its size and resolution. Its other features also reflect this hefty price tag. The MSI Prestige has an excellent Nano IPS Panel (even better color output and reception), DCI-P3 color range, HDR support, and connectivity to almost any device you can think of!

Strengths:

  • Huge 5K2K resolution
  • Nano IPS panel for excellent color

Weaknesses:

  • Build quality
  • HDR performance
  • High price

MSI Prestige PS341WU one of the best monitors for photo editing

5. Dell UltraSharp U2717D (Low-Range)

  • Screen Size: 27 inch
  • Resolution: 2560×1440
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Price: $

The 27-inch Dell UltraSharp InfinityEdge isn’t 4K—it’s not even 3K. But it’s still more than Full HD. And if you’re looking for USB 3.0 ports, you’ll find four on this one.

This monitor also incorporates IPS technology and a functional anti-glare coating. It gives you a better viewing angle and better contrast, even when used in a brightly lit room.

The Dell UltraSharp comes with a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and supports up to 16.7 million colors. You connect it to your laptop or computer with an HDMI cable.

While a refresh rate of 60 Hz is not for gamers who probably prefer higher rates like 240 Hz, it is perfect for photographers. There are no USB-C ports, only USB-A.

Strengths:

  • Multiple USB 3.0 ports
  • Anti-glare

Weaknesses:

  • Not as high definition as others
  • Uneven blacks

Screenshot of the Dell UltraSharp U2717D one of the best monitors for photo editing

4. BenQ PD3200U (Best Mid-Range)

  • Screen Size: 32 inch
  • Resolution: 3840×2160
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Price: $$

There are two BenQ monitors in this article. They are one of the best manufacturers of photography-oriented monitors. Its brightness level is high (350 cd/m²), and its maximum viewing angle is a wide 178 degrees as an IPS panel. The response time of the monitor is 5ms.

The monitor supports up to 1.07 billion colors, and its refresh rate hits 60 Hz. At this point, there isn’t much difference between this and the LG. The monitor also supports 100% Rec. 709 color space and 100% sRGB color space. Plus, it comes with a 14-bit LUT (look-up table), enabling a much larger color palette than other monitors. This allows for better color accuracy.

You won’t find a USB 3.0 port. But Palette Master Element calibration software is already integrated. You can easily buy an external calibrator and recalibrate your BenQ PD3200U as necessary. On top of all of this, you also get an OSD controller. This unique remote control ensures you can switch between different display settings as and when needed.

Strengths:

  • Big screen
  • 4K resolution
  • Color accuracy

Weaknesses:

  • No USB 3.0 ports

BenQ PD3200U one of the best monitors for photo editing

3. ASUS ProArt Display PA279CV (Best Low-Range Budget)

  • Screen Size: 27 inch
  • Resolution: 3840×2160
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Price: $

The ASUS ProArt Display isn’t the cheapest monitor for its resolution or color range. But, it is by far the most affordable option for a 100% color-accurate sRGB monitor. And it is the best budget monitor for photo editing on our list.

This display doesn’t just use IPS screen technology for producing richer colors. It can display 100% of the sRGB photo space. It can also show 100% of the Rec. 709 video color space (standard for HDTV).

So, if color correction and accuracy is the defining factor for your monitor search, then look no further. The ASUS ProArt is the best monitor for color correction. With other capabilities like HDMI, USB-C, and display ports, you get all the great features you need from a top computer monitor.

Strengths:

  • Good price
  • Full sRGB color coverage
  • USB-C port

Weaknesses:

  • Not the brightest sRGB setting
  • Hard to navigate menu

US ProArt Display PA279CV one of the best monitors for photo editing

2. EIZO CS2731 ColorEdge (High-Range – Writer’s Choice)

  • Screen Size: 27 inch
  • Resolution: 2560×1440
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Price: $$$

The 31-inch Eizo ColorEdge is one of my favorites and what I consider is the best monitor for photo editing. This is a professional-grade monitor. Why? Well, it’s down to the accurate color display that is crucial for professional photographers.

It offers complete RGB coverage and 99% of the Adobe RGB spectrum. 10-bit color is supported with a 16-bit look-up table (LUT). And its calibration tool provides continuous color accuracy, enabling you to have incredibly effective post-processing. Plus, the Quick Color Match software automatically adjusts the monitor, retouching software, and printer settings, thus achieving accurate printing.

It is the first in the ColorEdge lineup to feature USB Type-C connectivity, including a DisplayPort signal channel and 60W power supply. This is a perfect display for any kind of photo editing—everything from wedding photography to real estate photography.

Strengths:

  • Industry-standard display
  • Color calibration and accuracy

Weaknesses:

  • Resolution
  • No built-in speakers

EIZO CS2730 ColorEdge one of the best monitors for photo editing in 2022

1. BenQ PhotoVue SW321C (Best High-Range)

  • Screen Size: 32 inch
  • Resolution: 3840×2160
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Price: $$$

This BenQ PhotoVue monitor (SW321C) is impressive and one of the best monitors for photo editing on the market. It supports 100% of the sRGB, 95% of the DCI-P3, and 99% of the Adobe RGB color gamut. This means your prints and uploaded photos will match those you see on the screen in front of you.

It is a 4K display that incorporates IPS technology—reflected in this price range. The aspect ratio of the BenQ is 16:9, the refresh rate is 60 Hz, and the contrast ratio is 1000:1.

The monitor uses a 16-bit (3D) LUT, giving you a wider color gamut than what is possible with other 12-bit or smaller LUT systems. It comes with a USB-C port. It lets you plug in external calibration tools for sustained true-color output and accurate reproductions.

The system comes with the Palette Master Element Calibration Software giving you the best quality calibration possible. The BenQ is the best 4k monitor for photo editing on our list!

Strengths:

  • 4K resolution
  • Good build quality

Weaknesses:

  • Expensive
  • Hard to reach connection bay

BenQ PhotoVue SW321C best monitor for photo editing

What Type of Monitor Should You Choose?

The essential feature is a broad color range if you’re doing photo or graphic work that requires color accuracy. Out of the numerous display types on the market, only one consistently provides these. The technology is called IPS, an abbreviation for “In-Line Switching.”

IPS monitors generally offer excellent color coverage. They often display the full sRGB spectrum and most Adobe RGB color space. After calibration, you’ll get an accurate and full-color display. Plus, they give you wide viewing angles and outstanding brightness levels.

Keep in mind that IPS is mainly for preparing images for print. Most people will only look at photos on the screens of their smartphones and laptops. The appearance of the pictures on these other devices will differ from those you edit with these displays. But with IPS, the outcome of the prints will be more accurate.

A colourful photo editing monitor on a desk

What to Look for in Monitors for Photo Editing?

You should consider the following factors when choosing the best monitor for photo editing:

  1. Resolution—The higher the resolution, the more content fits on the screen. This means the monitor shows more of the photo or software editing panels. Plus, you see more details when zooming out. Aim for at least a Full HD (1920×1080) monitor for photo editing. You can even get a 4K (3840×2160) IPS panel at a reasonable pricebut there is no upper limit.
  2. Size—Bigger is better. You want to be able to see your photos in their full beauty. Bigger monitors are also better for your eyes. Aim for 23 inches or larger.
  3. Color Space—I can’t stress enough how vital proper color display is. Your monitor should cover at least 90% of sRGB and 70% of the Adobe RGB spectrum. These color spectrums are industry standards. sRGB is the standard 8-bit color space for web display. Anything that gets to the internet is in sRGB. Adobe RGB is a broader spectrum of colors.
  4. Brightness—This factor is not an issue with an IPS panel. Still, keep in mind that having a bright display is helpful. Most of us don’t have complete darkness in our editing rooms.
  5. Rotatability—Many monitors now offer the option of rotating by 90 degrees. If you’re likely to edit a lot of portraits, it’s beneficial. Not long ago, this was a feature of professional monitors only, so take advantage of it.
  6. Response Time—For photo editing, quick response time is not crucial. However, if you’re editing videos as well, keep an eye out for it. Aim for 10ms or less.
  7. Black Levels—IPS screens will never reach the same black levels as OLED. But, there are differences between IPS and IPS in black levels. Aim for the darkest you can find. There’s no standardized measurement for this. You need to look at review sites such as Rtings to check it.
  8. Calibration Settings—If you’re buying a cheaper monitor for photo editing, make sure it offers sufficient options for monitor calibration. On most midrange and professional displays, there is a service menu. It allows for complete 8-bit calibration, from RGB (0,0,0) to (255,255,255). Alternatively, some offer color calibration from 1-100. For most users, that is enough.
  9. Viewing Angle—Make sure to buy a monitor with good viewing angles—at least 160 degrees in any direction. IPS monitors are all great in this respect.

It’s important to note that it is best to buy a high-quality monitor from a renowned manufacturer. These include BenQ, Dell, Eizo, LG, Sharp, and a couple of others. The most important thing is to do your research beforehand and choose responsibly.

Editing monitor on a desk with macbook and external keyboard

Why Color Accuracy is Important in Monitors

Color reproduction is essential to creating or editing any visual piece of art. And, when you’re the one doing it, it becomes even more crucial.

Think about it—if you can’t see the work in its true colors, nobody can. The final result, be it a photo, a movie, or a graphic, will lack color detail. Such differences can alter a photo significantly. A shift to cooler tones may communicate the exact opposite of what you’ve intended.

Having a monitor that can show true, calibrated color accuracy is a must. So, learn how to calibrate your monitor, or ask an expert to do it for you.

A splitscreen image of a home interior edited on an uncalibrated and a calibrated monitor
Edited on an uncalibrated (left) and calibrated (right) monitor

I edited the above photo on two different monitors to show you the importance of accurate color reproduction. The first monitor was oversaturated. Its brightness was turned to full. It was also too warm and had a purple tint. The second monitor was calibrated.

This is an arbitrary example, slightly emphasized to show the point. But real-world monitor issues are often similarly hilarious. The photo edited on the uncalibrated monitor is cold, dark, and lacks contrast. The second one communicates a warmer feeling, in line with my intentions.

You might think—but almost no one has a calibrated monitor, so why should I? The thing is, if you get the image right, it won’t look very different anywhere else. But, if your display is too warm, photos viewed on a cooler monitor will look very cold (and vice-versa).

Why Monitor Dimensions Matter

Another essential factor is the size and resolution of the display.

Small, low-resolution monitors come with issues. You might not be able to see the photo in full detail. Of course, you can always zoom out, but the details become blurred. You have to choose to see either the details or the whole image.

High-resolution monitors can offer the same experience as viewing big prints. You’re able to see the whole image but still look at details. This feature allows you to edit photos to be fuller and more comprehensive.

A good monitor can inspire you. Seeing your images accurately—their scale, color, and detail—will give you more satisfaction and encourage you to create more.

A picture of a desk with devices like a laptop and monitor

Conclusion

If you’re a devoted photographer, you’ve probably invested a significant amount in your gear. Purchasing a high-quality monitor is a wise decision. Using a proper monitor improves the quality of your work.

It is best to buy an IPS monitor from a renowned brand. After calibration, you’ll have a monitor that’s well suited even for professional photographers.

If you’re on a budget, consider the ASUS ProArt. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with the BenQ PhotoVue SW321C or EIZO CS2731 ColorEdge. We hope our article helps you find the best monitor for photo editing—for you!

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to edit your images in Lightroom? Find some great post-processing tips in our Effortless Editing with Lightroom course.

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