In this article, we are going to take a look at the best monitors for image editing in 2022. Whether you are a creative professional or a newbie designer, these monitors would enhance your editing skills and outcomes.
The best photo editing monitor delivers crisp image quality and it is designed to offer a high standard of color accuracy. For professional photographers, it is crucial to look for monitors that support a diverse color gamut with high resolution.
If you look for feature-packed monitors in the market, you will get hundreds of options but only a few of them are designed for photo editing. Hence, we have compiled this list to help you choose the best monitor for photo editing. Some of these monitors have impressive 4K displays while others come with lower resolutions but at a cheaper cost. Depending upon your current requirements and budgets, you can select from this list of best monitors for photo editing.
As a quick recommendation for content creators who are looking for an affordable option with impressive specs, we have picked ASUS ProArt PA278QV for you. All thanks to its high 138 PPI (Pixels Per Inch), you get to view sharp visuals with nice details. Also, it boasts a large screen real estate with its 27-inch screen, which would allow you to work on multiple windows at once.
Furthermore, the Asus PA278QV comes with great adjustability options and you can view it from different angles without observing any change in the brightness. With its 350 cd/m2, you get to enjoy a stable screen in bright light conditions. The only caveat is that it has a substandard contrast ratio and black uniformity, which might affect the appearance of dark colors in low brightness settings.
If you want to enter the classy ProArt line without breaking your wallet, then the Asus PA278QV is your best bet. It is surprising to see a monitor with top-notch color accuracy and pre-calibrated performance available for around $300, but you can have it all with the PA278QV. This is a promising solution for all creative professionals to enjoy crisp image quality without spending a fortune.
Being a main competitor to the BenQ PD2700Q, the PA278QV is a Calman-certified monitor that assures that you would have exceptional picture quality. This pocket-friendly monitor does miss out on some handy features like USB-C connectivity and a 4K display.
However, having a DeltaE < 2 color accuracy and 100% coverage of sRGB is something that would cater to your basic photo editing needs. This level of color accuracy ensures that you see colors on your screen that closely match the colors your eyes can naturally perceive.
You have to keep in mind that the Asus PA278QV is not the slimmest monitor out there, as it is quite bulky. Luckily, Asus has designed its stand in a way that it only takes up 8.9 inches of depth on your desk. Despite its weight of 17.02 pounds, you can place it on a glass surface without putting any scratches.
Having a 3840 x 2160 4K resolution, the Dell UltraSharp UP2720Q is a 27-inch monitor that is based on an IPS panel. It boasts an impressive 163 pixels per inch (PPI) of pixel density that ensures that you see every visual in precise detail.
The UP2720Q 4K display monitor comes with a price tag of $1,999. This high-end device is mainly for professional editors that pay high priority to color accuracy and picture quality. It comes with a built-in colorimeter that helps you adjust the color accuracy of your device according to your work. The monitor also boasts the Portrait Displays’ CalMAN verified software for superior visuals.
To ensure optimal performance at all times, you can schedule regular display calibrations of the monitor. The UP2720Q comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports that allow fast data transfer to devices you connect it with.
Although you would also find a built-in calibration feature in premium devices by EIZO they come at an extremely high price range. With UP2720Q, Dell has allowed an everyday photo editor to gain access to the calibration of the device. Despite its high price, most professional film and photo editors would be willing to purchase the UP2720Q for its calibration tool.
The UP2720Q comes with a default brightness level of 154cd/m2. While the brightness level might not be enough for gaming purposes, it is suitable for editing work. Luckily, it has an impressive black level of 0.16cd/m2 that ensures that you see darker areas on the screen with full depth. The actual contrast level is 968:1, which is modest but is considerably lower than what Dell stated at 1,300:1.
The SW321C is a 4K display monitor belonging to the PhotoVue series by BenQ. Having a pixel density of 137, this monitor balances the darkest and brightest sides of colors well. This 32 inches monitor provides a decent screen for real estate to designers and creators.
BenQ keeps on coming up with improvements in its new monitor models, and the SW321C incorporates massive feature enhancements. It comes with an anti-glare coating called ‘Advanced Reflectionless Technology’ (ART) and a color stability feature called ‘Uniformity Technology’. Similarly, it has ‘Paper Color Sync’ technology that ensures a well-balanced color tone based on your printing device and paper type..
One of the best things about the SW321C is its color accuracy and brightness levels, which can be compared to that of high-end monitors. The anti-reflection coating ensures that you don’t get distracted by any lights in a bright room.
Physically, this is a very well-built monitor with a number of conveniences that translate into increased operational efficiencies. Moving up to a 32-inch display with 4K resolution will never be a cheap exercise, but BenQ has just made it a whole lot more affordable.
Having a price tag of $1,999, BenQ offers value for money with its top-notch operational efficiencies. Add all those features in a 32-inch 4K display, and it would be difficult for you to find a device within this price range.
The BenQ monitor rests on a well-built stand that has no wobble. You can adjust the SW321C vertically from -5° to 20° and horizontally from -45° to +45°. If you prefer a wall mount, then you can also use it on a 100 x 100mm VESA mount.
While it has become highly sought after because of the affordability factor, the 27UL500-W by LG also packs some impressive specs. With a 4K display on a 27-inch screen, this best monitor comes with a color calibration feature that lets you get the most accurate color delivery on your screen.
The LG 27UL500 impresses us with its 3840 x 2160 resolution on an IPS panel that has a 5ms response time and 60Hz refresh rate. It supports 98% coverage of the sRGB space that accurately represents the colors of the visuals on screen. It is also compatible with HDR 10 and AMD FreeSync, which can allow you a stutter-free gaming experience.
Just like most IPS panels, it features a typical combination of a 1000:1 contrast ratio with a maximum brightness of 300 nits. Having an Ultra HD display on a 27-inch display can create a level of sharpness that can be perfect for photo editing work. However, many professional users would prefer a 4K display on a screen with a length of 32 inches.
Unlike LG 27UD58 which didn’t have HDR 10 support, the 27UL500 is compatible with HDR10 which produces bright and well-contrasted images. However, these are merely marketing techniques by LG, as the monitor doesn’t have any other HDR-related auxiliary features.
With a color accuracy of 2.46, you shouldn’t expect to see colors and shades in their truest forms. Despite a significantly low color accuracy, you would notice stable colors because of its cooler screen temperature.
There has been a recent boom for MSI’s Prestige series monitors that are specially designed for creative and editing professionals. If you are looking for a monitor for photo editing with great aesthetics, then MSI Prestige PS341W might be the right fit for you. This 5K2K monitor has a resolution of 5120 × 2160 pixels on a 34-inch display.
With a 60Hz refresh rate and 8ms response time, the MSI PS341WU is perfect for all the photographers out there. Having a peak brightness of 450 cd/m2, it has a contrast ratio of 1200:1 for superior luminance. It also has a DisplayHDR 600 certification, which means that it can produce a peak luminance of 600 cd/m2 if HDR content is being displayed.
With its high pixel density on a 34 inches screen, the PS341WU proves to be great to photographers because of its picture sharpness. But this high sharp display can result in eye strain for gamers who play for long hours. If you are planning to read ebooks on it, then you might have to configure display scaling for a more comfortable reading experience.
The monitor produces 96% of the DCI-P3 color space, which ensures that you get to see maximum color tones in your photos. However, its Delta E average of 2.5 can sometimes restrict color reproduction in our photo editing work. All thanks to its dedicated sRGB mode, it locks the color gamut for an accurate representation of colors on your screen.
When it comes to buying monitors for photo editing, there are various factors that you have to take into account. To help you make an informed buying decision, we have mentioned some key features that you should look at.
Photographers mostly use LCD panels while graphic designers are more inclined towards IPS panels. There is no denying the fact that IPS panels are superior to LCD panel technologies like twisted nematic (TN) and vertical alignment (VA).
When it comes to editing photos, you might have to work with people on the same project. Under these circumstances, having a wide viewing angle comes in handy. Having an IPS panel would come as a boon for you, as it offers 178 degrees viewing angle on either side.
Furthermore, in terms of color accuracy, IPS panels have no competitors in the market. Having 10 bits color depth, IPS panels can produce accurate color without having to rely on an inferior color palette of 8 bits. These heavy-duty panels cover a wide color gamut, which includes DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB color space.
As far as the screen size is concerned, you need to have enough screen space for opening multiple windows simultaneously. We recommend choosing a photo editing monitor of at least 24 inches diagonal length. Having more real estate would come in handy for you, as you would be working with multiple tools for your project.
For the resolution of your monitor, look for a photo editing device with the highest pixels for additional sharpness. Many novice buyers confuse screen resolution with display size, but they are two different things. Most creative aficionados choose 4K resolution on a 27-inch monitor for excellent picture clarity.
When it comes to the screen surface, you will have two options: matte or glossy finish. Glossy surfaces are suitable for entertainment purposes, such as games and movies. These reflective surfaces enhance the colors and give them a glow.
For photo editing purposes, we don’t recommend glossy displays because they can cause a distraction to your work in a bright area. If you are working on a photography project, then you should opt for matte surfaces. These screens have anti-glare properties that help you see pictures with realistic hues and shades.
If you look at a monitor with low viewing angles, you will observe brightness drop-off and change in brightness of colors. There is a direct impact on the uniformity of colors when you view the screen from a different angle. We recommend looking for photo editing monitors with a maximum of 178º viewing angle on either side.
The aesthetics of your photo editing monitor play a key role in your overall work productivity, apart from the visual appeal. Having bezel-less monitors allows you to enjoy a larger screen space without affecting your desk space. You also get to enjoy an immersive viewing experience when you no more have to view thick bezels.
Similarly, you should also look for ergonomic monitors that can be tilted in various directions. These days, you can even fully rotate your screen up to 180 degrees to get a horizontal display for image viewing.
As a photography enthusiast, you are going to love the best monitors for image editing we mentioned in our article. Using top-notch editing gear helps you get amazing results on the screen. Now is the right time to invest in a high-quality best monitor for photo editing, so that you can enhance your skills. We recommend you opt for an IPS monitor that has the option of calibration of the display.
Our top pick ASUS ProArt PA278QV is an impressive contender for you if you want to enjoy a 4K display for under $300. With its response time of 5 ms and refresh rate of 75 Hz, you will be able to do photo editing smoothly.
We have mentioned the high points in our guide but you might want to do some more research before adding new gear to your photography work arsenal. Figuring out the needs of your clients and your frequency of printing would help you assess the amount you should spend on your monitor for photo editing.
If you are a newbie who doesn’t print much or someone who mainly shares their portfolio online, then you don’t need to purchase a high-end device. On the other hand, for professionals like wedding or wildlife photographers, it is necessary to invest in top-of-the-line gear.