Photographers demand a lot from their monitors. The best monitors for photo editing must have broad color ranges, rich contrast, and high resolutions for working with small details and multiple windows. We’ve done the dirty work to find the top 7 monitors for photographers and photo editors of all levels. No matter your budget or requirements, there’s a monitor on our list for you.
Important Features to Consider
Your monitor is the vital middle step between snapping a photo and publishing it. You want the image to look the same at every step whether you do web or print work. For that sort of meticulous color work, you need one of the best monitors for photo editing.
Many features come together to get the flawless image reproduction you need. Keep these key factors in mind when shopping for the best photo editing monitor:
- Gamut. A monitor’s gamut determines how much of the visible spectrum it can reproduce, and therefore how true to life an image is. Wide gamut monitors are considered those which exceed 100% sRGB, including monitors with significant Adobe RGB or DCI-P3 coverage.
For beginners, 100% sRGB is all you really need to get started. It’s wider than most standard computer monitors, and if you’re uploading images to the web they’ll be converted to sRGB anyway. Professionals and prosumers will need at least 99% Adobe RGB for print. If you also do video editing, consider the best monitors for photo editing with significant DCI-P3 coverage.
- Resolution. Photo editors can easily find their monitors cluttered with multiple windows and toolbars. Higher resolution means you can fit more on any monitor, regardless of size. Higher resolutions also improve the detail you can perceive in a photo without zooming in. Get the largest monitor with the highest resolution you can afford for a more organized workspace and a more detailed display.
- White Point. This is one feature which sets the best monitors for photo editing apart from the rest. Having a wide gamut is great, but can be ruined by monitors without a perfect 6500k white point. Many standard monitors have cooler, bluish whites which distort true reproduction. For perfect color, be sure the monitor you choose has solid, bright whites.
Whichever monitor you choose, it’s always an excellent idea to test and calibrate colors using a colorimeter or calibration software. The best monitors for photo editing save calibration settings to internal hardware as opposed to your computer, meaning you can use the monitor across multiple photo editing computers without recalibrating every time.
Best Monitors for Photo Editing Top 7 Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Monitors for Photo Editing
Look no further than the BenQ SW320 for all your photo and image editing needs. This monitor was designed for professionals to produce the clearest, most detailed and color accurate images in both sRGB and Adobe RGB. This monitor even produces 87% of DCI-P3 and includes a Cinema Mode preset, meaning you can confidently perform video editing.
That’s only the beginning of this 31.5” UHD monitor’s features, though. It uses a truly amazing 14 bit LUT and 10 bit color for the smoothest, most realistic color transitions and gradients. Keep your colors tuned perfectly using the included calibration software, and be safe in the knowledge that your settings are stored straight to the monitor itself.
The BenQ SW320 was made with your comfort in convenience in mind as well. You may tilt and pivot this monitor on its industrial strength stand. The included detachable shading hood can be adjusted to fit no matter if you’re monitor is in landscape or portrait position. A hotkey puck on the stand also allows you to easily switch between gamut settings without opening a single menu.
At the height of display technology and professional convenience, the BenQ SW320 is our top recommendation for photo editors and color workers who demand unwavering excellence. This photo editing 4K monitor will deliver beyond your expectations.
For a lot less than the SW320, the BenQ SW2700PT offers many of the same great features. If you’re willing to compromise on a few features, this monitor is a smart alternative to our top pick. Let’s start with what this monitor does have in common with the more expensive unit. First, it offers the same amazing 14 bit LUT and 10 bit display across up to 99% Adobe RGB for seamless images with no banding.
The SW2700PT also comes with the same color calibration software and internal calibration hardware as the SW320. This monitor includes the hotkey controller as well, and the tilt and swivel stand with matching shading hood. It comes with everything you need for ultimate color reproduction no matter your environment or computer settings.
Of course, there are some differences. The SW2700PT is a 27” monitor with 2560×1440 widescreen resolution. If you’ve been working with a standard sized monitor until now, this monitor will feel like a big extension of your work space. Considering its price, this monitor is an unbeatable value for professionals and hobbyists alike.
When you’re just starting out, your money may be better spent on a better DSLR camera or other hardware rather than a monitor. For beginners, a monitor like the Acer G257HU is the perfect starting place for a quality display at an affordable price.
Featuring superior 2K resolution across a widescreen 25” display, the G257HU is the perfect size for any computer desk while still giving you the wide work space you need. Incredibly, this monitor only weighs 7.7lbs with the stand. That’s in stark contrast to the heavy professional best monitors for photo editing that are heavier and more difficult to mount.
Using the full 100% sRGB gamut, this monitor is ideal for web content. You’ll want to calibrate using trusted photo editing software or a colorimeter, and there may be some backlight bleeding along the edges. This is probably since Acer went out of their way to make this monitor with an “edgeless” design. If you can live with this small issue, however, the G257HU is an excellent investment for beginners and casual photo editors.
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