Editing photos is ok to do on basic monitors, but if you plan to make a career of it, or what to level up on your photo editing skills, then you’ll need a monitor with color clarity up to industry standards.
There are a few different things you need for a photo-editing monitor. We’ve compiled a list of the best monitors for your editing and answered a few of your questions about what you might need to get the monitor of your dreams. Let’s take a look.
How to choose a monitor for Photo Editing
Standard color isn’t enough. Most monitors now offer 100% coverage for the original color gamut, sRGB, but you’re looking for a monitor with something more. Look for at least 99% of Adobe’s RGB, and preferably a spectrum that includes REC 709 and DCI-P3 gamuts.
It also needs to be able to pull at least 16.7 million colors with 8-bit display though if you can, move that up to 10-bit which handles well over a billion colors. Your calibration should include at least an 8-bit look-up table.
You need a DisplayPort so that you can make full use of your 4k HD. Otherwise, you’re losing resolution through your connections.
Resolution and Size
It’s a good idea to go ahead and embrace 4k. This gives you a full HD resolution since you’re probably shooting with at least 20 megapixels. You should also go for a screen with more considerable real estate so you can view dual programs within the display itself though this can also be accomplished with a second monitor.
You should be able to calibrate the colors on your monitor from time to time. The easiest way is if the monitor comes with its own internal calibration settings. Most monitors with this capability come with a color spectrum that drapes over the display to help you adjust for true to life color.
If it doesn’t, you’ll want to make sure the monitor is factory calibrated and that you purchase a standardizer of your own.
The Best Photo Editing Monitors
BenQ is a fantastic entry level monitor that offers users better photo editing specs than many monitors that come out of the box with a system.
It features HD resolution of 2560 x 1440 for full clarity edge to edge. It has a factory calibrated sRGB rating of 100% for bright colors. It’s Rec 709 certified and technicolor certified, so you know that the file you see on your monitor is true to life color.
You can choose specialized designer modes for different types of processing. You can select from Darkroom editing, CAD/CAM modes, and animation modes to customize settings for certain types of editing. These presets offer you more precision in your editing tasks.
It also has an edge to edge bezel design for the smallest amount of edge and clearer picture. It makes it easier to hook monitors together through DisplayPort daisy chaining for a continuous picture if you need. It has plenty of connectivity so you can receive your media from multiple sources. It has a universal HDMI, DisplayPort connections, a mini DisplayPort, and a USB 3.1 next-generation port.
It connects seamlessly with Mac, PC, and mobile devices.
-full edge to edge bezel monitor with HD
-screen controls are clunky
This 27-inch monitor powered by in-plane switching technology is a full range HD resolution of 2560 x 1440. It has a contrast ratio 1000:1. It has a ten-bit display for the brightest, most accurate color range with smooth gradients and grayscale detail.
It has a 100% guaranteed coverage in sRGB and a 99% coverage for the higher rated Adobe RGB spectrum. It includes a built-in calibration tool to maintain color clarity by using a Palette Master Element calibration. It supports well over a billion colors.
Of particular note is the range of blue and green color gradients, which are perfect for those specializing in outdoor and nature photography. Less detail is lost through these color variations because the monitor maintains unique calibration. Although the monitor has a five millisecond response time, this type of color clarity is still beneficial for photo editing and clarity.
It comes with an attachable hood to reduce glare in environments where it is impossible to control what light hits the screen, and the display itself has an anti-glare coating for further protection.
-a range of blues and greens are perfect for nature and outdoor photography specialists
-attachable hood reduces glare
-99% Adobe RGB rated
-five millisecond response time
Asus’s 27-inch monitor is a 4k, true HD monitor offering 3840 x 2160 resolution with a 178 degree viewing angle.
This monitor comes with Asus’s eye care technology intended to reduce eye strain when in extended sessions. It includes TUV Rheinland-certified flicker-free backlighting to reduce stress and a blue light filter.
It has a 10-bit color display which covers over a billion points of color. It has a smart contrast ration to maintain color clarity and grayscale production, which gives you better detail in shaded areas
It has an edge to edge bezel design, an award-winning frameless style. It has a sundial-inspired base. You can connect your monitor to other devices through a variety of ports including DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB type C. It can also serve as a USB hub with one upstream and two downstream ports.
The two speakers on the back side of the monitor use Bang and Olufson sound technology for clearer native sound and no need for external speakers. It reduces clutter on your workspace.
-eye care technology to reduce eye strain
-10-bit color display
-Bang and Olufson sound technology with included speakers
-cannot be wall mounted
NEC is another high resolution, full HD 4k monitor at 3840 x 2160. It covers over a billion colors for true clarity and is rated at 100% for sRGB.
It has a fully adjustable stand with a quick release function to make things more comfortable. It has pivot, swivel, and tilt functions. LED backlit monitor is easier on energy consumption an more durable than other types of monitors, reducing the strain on your electric bill.
The monitor also has touch sensitive OSD controls for better control and calibration. They are integrated directly into the bezel.
You can connect through a range of ports including a DisplayPort for 4k connectivity, HDMI inputs, USB, and DVI-D inputs. It connects seamlessly to your PC, Mac, or another smart device. It has a picture by picture function for two on-screen inputs simultaneously, and users can connect up to six monitors through daisy chain.
-picture by picture function
-touch sensitive OSD controls
-not VESA compatible
Dell’s 4k monitor is an ultra sharp, true HD monitor that offers 3840 x 2160 resolution. It’s VESA compatible and can tilt, swivel, and adjust height for the most comfortable viewing.
It’s factory calibrated so that color is accurate right out of the box. PremierColor has 100% REC 709 and 87% DCI-P3. In addition, it has 99.5% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB. This spectrum offers accurate color clarity, so you know the image you see on the monitor is as close to the finished product as possible.
The two new color spaces are rated for industry professionals. They are necessary in addition to Adobe RGB and sRGB. Altogether, these color spectrum ratings are critical for heavy color projects. It comes calibrated to an industry standard of deltaE of less than two.
You can work with the standard calibration or fine-tune color calibration using the standard lookup table. It provides well over a billion colors and has a full spectrum grayscale for contrast even in low light photos.
It has plenty of connections with a DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, six in one media card reader and HDMI 2.0/MHL 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 for complete 4k downloads and multiple media sources.
-two additional color ratings for industry standard editing
-full spectrum media ports
-the stand is somewhat flimsy
This HP monitor is a new release 31.1-inch monitor that features in-plane switching display and 4096 x 2160 resolution. It has 1500:1 static contrast and can finally deliver the clarity you need to edit RAW photos.
It supports 100% sRGB and Adobe RGB, plus 99% of the DCI-P3 gamut, and 80% of the BT.2020 gamut. It supports a range of resolutions and has a brightness of 250 cd/m2. It uses a viewing angle of 178 degrees horizontally and vertically.
It tilts, swivels, and raises to improve visibility and comfort. There’s a full range of connectivity including an AC power cable, a DisplayPort 1.2 cable, an HDMI cable, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, a USB Type-C to Type-A cable, and a USB Type-A to Type-B cable.
There’s a pop up sensor that calibrates color on demand, or the monitor can be set to self-calibrate periodically.
-full 4k HD for true RAW editing
-supports all four color ranges
-huge investment for only a monitor
Asus 32 inch monitor is a full HD 4k display with a resolution of 3840×2160. It supports 100% of the sRGB color spectrum and rec. 709 color support. It is factory calibrated, so it’s ready to use right out of the box.
It uses an in-plane switching display for excellent grayscale and color depth. You can calibrate color with a 12-bit look-up table. There are seven picture presets, plus you can adjust your own brightness, hue, color temperature, and gamma settings. You can also set your own six-axis hue and six-axis saturation.
It features Asus’s unique eye-strain reducing technology with anti- flicker. It has five blue light filters to minimize strain and features a uniform brightness setting for edge to edge brightness.
It has picture in picture and picture by picture settings for multiple inputs. There are HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, and MHL 3.0 ports for smooth 4K/UHD content playback. Also, it has four built-in USB 3.0 ports.
It is VESA compatible, plus you can tilt, swivel, and adjust the height of the included base.
-Asus eye-strain reducing technology
-full-color factory calibrated
-screen controls are located on the back
NEC’s 32-inch monitor is one of the top rated monitors for image and color clarity. It features a 4k, full HD resolution of 3840 x 2160 with excellent grayscale and color density.
There’s a 14-bit look-up table to calibrate your colors, but the monitor comes factory calibrated, so it’s ready right out of the box. It offers 99.2% Adobe RGB spectrum. It has a six-axis menu for hue, saturation, offset for each color, and gamma. There are plenty of other settings for aspect ratio, black level, digital cinema, and others.
It has a whopping ten-millisecond response rate and performs well on the Display Mate 64 step gray-scale test. The slow response time isn’t necessarily a factor unless you’re using this monitor for serious gaming as well.
It has a built-in KVM switch, plus DisplayPort, four HDMI ports, two DVI inputs, two upstream USB 3.0 ports, and two downstream USB 3.0 ports. A USB 3.0 port and a second DisplayPort input located on the right side of the monitor. It’s a huge monitor with a ton of real estate and excellent color variance.
-14-bit lookup table for calibration
-heavy and bulky