Last updated on 11th February, 2018
Dell U2711: one of the best monitor for photo editing
As a photographer or photo editor, if the display on your PC or laptop does not render colors accurately. And even after calibrating it, it is still way too cool. And does not work well for your photos, you need to change your monitor.
Or perhaps you are looking to buy a new monitor for photo editing. Then all you need is a guide like what we have here. That will help you choose the best.
The best monitor for photo editing is not a fancy display with lots of awards. It is a color accurate display that offers true-to-life reproduction of photographic images. With additional features to make your work easier.
Before we head to the next section where we show you the ones we recommend, you need to be aware of the most important features of a display for photo editing.
But if you are in a hurry and need to see the best products right away, you can go ahead and check them out
Size and resolution: ideally, you should choose a 27-inch screen. With a 2560 x 1440 resolution or higher. But if you are on a tight budget, a 24-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution or thereabout is ok. But don’t go below a 23-inch screen.
Panel type: choose an IPS or a PLS panel display no matter what. Because IPS panels offer the best color quality with a wide color gamut range than TN or VA panels. And you can view them at wide angles of up to 178 degrees (viewing angle). Without change in colors nor contrast.
Connectivity: choose a display with at least a DVI, DisplayPort or HDMI input. Because they help for faster and more accurate transfer of digital images.
Calibration: choose a display that you can easily calibrate. With either its integrated calibration tools or with an external calibration tool.
Dell UltraSharp U3014 wide color gamut display
Color gamut: Choose a standard gamut display (one that covers most of sRGB colors) if your work is mainly for general use in a broad range of devices. Such as for web and desktop applications.
But choose a wide gamut display (one that covers most of Adobe RGB colors) if your work will be converted to physical media such as fine art prints. Or if your work will only be displayed on devices that work with wide gamut colors.
Color coverage: choose a monitor that covers at least 95% of sRGB color space.
Screen finish: choose a matte screen display over a glossy screen type. So as to avoid the effects of reflections known with glossy screens. Which can alter the look of colors on display.
Backlight: choose an IPS panel LCD monitor with a LED backlight. Because they consume less power and provide brighter lights that are free from toxic materials. They also allow for a thin and sleek looking display in terms of design.
Adjustment options: choose a monitor that has a wide range of adjustment options. Such as tilt, swivel, pivot (rotate) and height adjustment. It helps so you will be comfortable working at any position you want.
Response time: choose a display with at most 12ms and below response time. Because at that range, there will be no motion blurs nor image distortions.
Contrast: choose a display with a static contrast ratio of 1000:1. Because at this ratio, images on display will be very clear and vivid.
Brightness: the ideal brightness settings of a monitor is 100 cd/m2. Or a range between 80 to 120 cd/m2. But if your work environment is too bright, you need to choose a monitor with a high maximum brightness. Such as one of 300 cd/m2 or above.
Cost and budget: the best you can get will depend mostly on your budget. Top range displays cost more than ,000. While budget displays cost less than 0.
These ones in this section cost about 0. And less than 0. But if your budget is less than 0, there are cheaper ones that cost less than 0 in our The cheap ones are not the best for you. Choose them only if you are on a very tight budget.
Asus PA248Q is a 24-inch professional grade IPS panel display. With an array of great features that makes it ideal for your photo editing needs.
Asus PA248Q is ideal for color critical and color sensitive purposes. Such as photo editing, photography, graphic design, video editing, etc.
Viewsonic VX2770 is a 27-inch widescreen SuperClear IPS panel display. With a frameless design.
Viewsonic VX2770 is ideal for color critical purposes such as photo editing. And for home entertainment use. Which is very useful if you intend to play games and watch videos or movies with it as well.
ASUS PB278Q is a 27-inch professional graphics WQHD LED-backlit PLS panel display. That is currently the number one best seller in Laptop replacement screens category on Amazon.
Asus PB278Q is most ideal for photo editing and for gaming as well. Because it is actually made for both work and play.
Watch this YouTube video below of the ASUS PB278Q to see how well it performs when in use;
Here is a comparison table below that compares the top features of these products mentioned above.
Hint: Click on the Next button below the table to see more features
Remember: if they are above your budget, you can check out the
Or if you prefer to see more top products in this category that are less that 0, such as Dell U2412M, ViewSonic VP2365-LED, Dell U2410, and more, .
Top products that are above 0 in price
Here below are actually those of the highest quality among monitors for photo editing in the market today. Any one of the top products below is of excellent quality. And you can be rest assured that they are the top performers in terms of quality and product features.
Dell U2713HM is a 27-inch IPS panel LED-backlit monitor with a WQHD resolution. That was actually made to make you see every detail of your pictures in brilliant and sharp colors.
Dell U2713HM is ideal for photo editing and for most other office and general use applications. Because you get to maximize comfort and convenience with it. And because it is easy and convenient to use for work and entertainment.
Eizo CG247 is a 24-inch wide gamut hardware calibration LCD display. With a special calibration feature that is automated with outstanding color reproduction.
It is very much ideal for any color critical purpose photo editing inclusive. And other graphical and photographic applications. Grab this monitor if you have the budget for it.
Nec PA301W is a 30-inch widescreen professional graphics wide color gamut display. That is considered to be the ultimate LCD display for professional graphics and photography applications. Because it can handle the most demanding of color-critical projects photo editing inclusive.
It is recommended for color critical applications including photo editing and graphic design.
Here is a comparison table below that shows the top features of these high quality products on above 0 price category.
Hint: Click on the Next button below the table to see more features
Need to see more top monitors for photo editing that we recommend? Like the Dell U2711, U3014, Viewsonic VP2770, VP2365, Dell U2412M, U2410, Apple thunderbolt display, Samsung S27B970D, and more,
Factors that should determine your choice of a monitor for photo editing.
Size of a monitor’s screen is measured diagonally. Image source: Wikipedia
Generally speaking, the bigger the screen, the wider and better the view. The we recommend is at least 24-inch.
If your budget can get you a size bigger than that. Say up to 27-inch or more, then by all means go for it.
Because it will be ideal for a more detailed view. But bear in mind that it usually cost more in terms of price as the screen size goes up.
Most common screen resolution of displays. Image source: Wikipedia
This has to do with how detailed images displayed on the screen will look.
simply means the number of picture elements (known as pixels), a monitor can display horizontally and vertically.
For example, if resolution is said to be 1920 x 1080p. It means it can display 1920 of picture elements horizontally. And 1080 pixels vertically.
It is good to go for a high resolution display. And the ideal value we recommend is a 2560 x 1440p or higher resolution.
Because at that value or higher, you get to see images in more minute details. And they will be very clear and vivid in colors.
If you are on a tight budget, choose one with at least a 1920 x 1080p resolution.
Color gamut. Image source: Wikipedia
has to do with the limit of colors a given technology such as a monitor is able to produce. Within the color space coverage it is provided with.
For example, if a display is said to cover 99% sRGB. And 96% Adobe RGB, it means it can cover/produce 99% of all the colors in the sRGB color spectrum. And as well cover/produce 96% of the colors in the RGB color spectrum.
Note that is a smaller color space. Compared to Adobe RGB that has a higher color space range.
The ideal color gamut we recommend is one that covers at least 95% of sRGB. If it is a standard gamut display. Or at least 96% Adobe RGB if it is a wide color gamut display. So it can support most of the colors contained in your photos.
But bear in mind that you only need to choose a wide gamut display if you work with wide gamut colors. Such as is the case with fine art prints. That are mostly converted to physical media.
Choose a standard gamut display. Especially if your work is meant for internet users. And for use with desktop applications. Or most other use of a display.
color bits/ color depth
This is a value that gives the number of color bits per color space. It is related to color gamut because it has much to do with the color results you get within a given color space.
The higher the color bit/depth value, the better results you get in terms of color reproduction. The ideal color bits value we recommend is 8-bits. Which is typical of most IPS panels.
If your budget can get you a higher color bit value than that. Such as that of a 10-bit or even 12-bit (typical of Eizo and other high end displays), go for it. Because it will be much better for larger shades of color.
Viewing angles of IPS panels
simply means the many different positions or angles you can view an image on display. Without experiencing any form of distortion. Or a huge change from the normal look of your pictures in color, contrast and brightness.
It is very important because it is what enables you to see pictures the same way they are in colors and brightness. At all times and at many different positions from the screen. Even when you shift or turn sides from the direct view of a display.
So long there is no significant change in luminance and color fidelity, the viewing angle of a display is said to be wide enough.
It is usually indicated in ratios of vertical and horizontal degrees. For example 170/160. Which means 170 degrees viewing angle range for horizontal view. And 160 degrees viewing angle range for the vertical view.
The ideal value we recommend is one that has a 178 degrees vertical and 178 degrees horizontal viewing angles. Which is the maximum obtainable from IPS panels.
Any value less than that might result to distortions and color shifts. Which is typical of TN panels that feature very narrow viewing angles. Which is not good for our purpose here.
Contrast ratio is a ratio that defines/measures the difference between the brightest color (being white) to the darkest color (being black) in a display.
In other words, it is a ratio that defines the brightest white and the darkest black a monitor can display. Another point of view defines it as the difference in brightness between the white colors and black colors you see on a screen.
It can be confusing if you don’t understand the concept. But understand it simply as a ratio that defines the difference between the brightest image and the darkest image a screen can display.
This difference is usually expressed as a ratio known as contrast ratio. And is derived by dividing white brightness by black brightness.
i.e White brightest/black brightest=contrast ratio.
For example, if a monitor can output 10 (ft-L) on a white screen and 0.010 ft-L with a black screen, it is said to have a contrast ratio of 1,000:1.
The higher the contrast ratio, the better for our purpose here. Because a higher contrast ratio produces better display qualities such as clear and vivid images.
The ideal value we recommend for photo editing is a constant contrast ratio of 1000:1.
Although there is another way the contrast ratio of a display is quoted. Which is known as dynamic contrast ratio. It is better to stick with the constant contrast ratio.
Because it is more accurate and it serves as a better standard to compare with other products.
Refresh rate of a fast moving image compared
Refresh rate is a measure that shows how many times per second, images change or refresh on a screen.
For example if the refresh rate of a display is said to be 60Hz, it means that the screen is capable of changing or be redrawn sixty times per second.
The higher the refresh rate, the better. It helps so you will not experience any form of lagging. That will be so significant as will be noticeable when editing pictures.
The ideal value we recommend for our purpose here is a refresh rate of at least 60Hz. Because any value less than a 60Hz refresh rate might result to images on display.
It can also cause eye fatigue, eye strain, as well as headaches. Which is a common experience with people that spend a lot of time on screens with a less than 60Hz refresh rate.
Response time of a fast moving image compared
Response time is the time in milliseconds it takes for a picture element (known as pixel) to change from black to white (and back to black in some definitions), in reaction to an input from a computer.
Simply put, response time indicates how fast each pixel on a display reacts to a command from a PC. In other words, it is the amount of time it takes a pixel to change from one color to another to execute a command or task.
Lower response time means faster changes/transitions. Which helps to eliminate any form of image distortion.
On the other hand, a higher response time results to motion blurs. That is easily noticeable with very fast moving images. Which is not ideal for viewing rapidly moving images.
Response time is usually quoted in the Gray-to Gray time measure in milliseconds. The ideal value we recommend for our purpose here is a response time of 6ms (milli-seconds) or there about. And maximum 12ms Grey-to-Grey response time.
Because at that range, you will not experience motion blurs nor image distortions.
Image source: Wikipedia
Aspect ratio is the proportional relationship between the width and height of a screen or an image.
It is a term that is used to describe the dimensions of a screen or an image by comparing the width to its height.
Simply put, it is the ratio of the width to the height of a screen.
It is usually expressed as two numbers separated by a colon to represent a width to height format. Where the first number represents the width and the last number represents the height
In this example where the aspect ratio is 16:9, it means that if the width of a given screen or image is 16 units, the height must be 9 units in proportion. So as to avoid over stretching the image when resized.
It is an important concept that helps to avoid stretching graphic pictures and images out of proportion when resizing them. The higher the aspect ratio, the better because it allows for more viewable image areas. And it provides a wider view.
The ideal value we recommend for our purpose here is an aspect ratio of 16:9 or higher.
Available connections in a display
This is important. So look very closely to make sure you get the most out of a manufacturer’s’ product.
Because it is what will determine how you will connect a display to your personal computer. And it will enable you to easily plug in and use external devices such as cameras, memory cards, gadgets, memory card readers, USB devices etc.
You should look to get at least a DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort connection available in the display of your choice. Along with USB ports.
If you can get one with additional options such as a mini DisplayPort, D-sub (VGA), thunderbolt connecting ports, the better.
All depends on what you need and require for yourself. Just check to make sure the input connection you need is available in the product of your choice.
A display with good ergonomics and adjustment options
You should be able to adjust a display the way you want at any time for flexibility and comfort.
This really helps especially when you are working for long hours. So as to avoid eye fatigue or eye strain. As well as stress and pains that can result due to bad positioning.
So check if the display you are interested in has more than enough to offer you in terms of ergonomics and adjustment options.
Just make sure you can at least adjust the height and tilt it the way you want. Meaning tilt and height adjustment should be available most importantly.
You should as well go for one that equally rotates (pivot) and swivels smoothly. It helps so you will be comfortable while at work editing pictures.
Calibration simply means to adjust the color, contrast and brightness settings of a display. So that the color you get as output meets the standard which you set it to.
It is one of the most important things you should do before you edit photos with a new monitor. Even after calibrating a monitor for the first time, you might still need to calibrate it from time to time later. As the need arises.
It helps so that the images you print out after editing will look exactly the way it is on screen.
If not, it will be a complete waste of time if your monitor is not reproducing shades of colors the way it should. Which is typical of a monitor that is not calibrated.
Calibrating a laptop screen using Spyder4Elite.
Image source: Wikipedia
If calibration is done properly, the colors of images you see on screen will be exactly the same with the digital form of the image.
It does not matter if a product is of high quality, or is the most expensive with the most features. If it is not calibrated, it may not display colors accurately.
And even if you’ve calibrated a display for the first time, you still need to repeat the process regularly at least once in every few weeks or months. The reason is that changes can occur over time that might affect the color reproduction and accuracy of a display.
Calibration is usually done with a color measuring device known as a colorimeter. Though (factory calibrated), it is hardly enough to use it that way.
Which is why many people recommend going for products that come factory calibrated and equipped with integrated calibration tools. Such as a calibration software, sensors, or even a colorimeter.
But don’t worry too much if a display of your choice does not come factory calibrated. Or come with in-built calibration tools. Because calibration tools and software are available online as external tools you can purchase for your display.
To know more, see .
WHAT ABOUT BRANDS?
Product Brands don’t matter much in my opinion. Because most brands that dominate the market today offer all kinds and types of monitor products. From low technology TN panels to higher technology IPS panels. They are all available with most brands.
Eizo brand logo
Brands such as Dell, Samsung, ViewSonic, Sony, Nec, Eizo etc., all offer what you need. All you need to do is choose any one of them that we recommend . According to your budget and needs.
There are some brands that specialize more on producing specific type of displays. For example, Eizo manufacturers just focus on producing high-end monitors for professional users on a high budget.
But the rest of the other brands produce budget displays as well for low budget needs.
Like I said, the brand does not really matter. What you need to look out for and pay close attention to is the color properties and additional features of a display. That will make your work easier.
Because color accuracy and color reproduction are the most important features of a monitor for photo editing.
How we came up with the top products listed above.
You may be wondering how we came up with the list of the monitors we recommend . And the criteria that we used in determining what made our list.
Well if you know a thing or two about monitors, you will agree with me that there are certain features, factors and specifications one should look out for in a .
Dell U2713: one of the top monitors for photo editing
What we actually did was to compile a list of all the monitors that are said to be the best for photo editing. Next we compare each one of them them based on the top features required for color critical purposes.
We checked their performance with regards to color accuracy and the way they reproduce colors. Next we checked for color gamut and coverage of the Adobe RGB and sRGB color space.
We also took a look at their size, screen resolution, viewing angles, contrast ratio, refresh rate, response time, ergonomic and connectivity options. As well as how well calibrated they are (if calibrated).
Here below are the minimum values we checked for. And as you read further down this page, we will explain our reason for choosing these values.
Asus PA248Q: one of the top 24-inch monitors for photo editing with decent color features & resolution.
We checked for minimum 24-inch and above screens. Except for a few of them that are 23-inch screens. Our reason for this is that anything less than a 23-inch screen won’t be ideal for a good picture display and a wide area of view.
We checked for minimum 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and above. This value and above ensures that images displayed on screen will be as detailed and crisp as possible.
We chose those with minimum 8-bit colors. With color coverage of at least 95% sRGB if it is a standard gamut display. And at least 96% of Adobe RGB colors if it is a wide gamut display. This helps a display to support many colors. And be able to reproduce most of the colors contained in images.
ASUS PB278Q: one of the top 27-inch monitors for photo editing with wide viewing angles and an ideal contrast ratio.
We chose those with nothing less than a 178 degrees vertical and 178 degrees horizontal viewable angles. With this value, you can view photos at many different positions known as angles. Without the images being distorted. Nor change in colors and brightness.
We looked for those that had a value that is not less than a 1000:1 contrast ratio. Because a contrast ratio of that value and above helps with better image processing and output that are clear and vivid.
We chose those that had a of at least 60Hz and above. With that value and above, images will not flicker on display. It also ensures that eye defects such as eye strain and eye fatigue that results from much use of a screen with low refresh rate is avoided.
NEC PA301: one of the top calibrated 30-inch monitors for photo editing
We first checked for those that are factory calibrated and that come with integrated calibration tools.
And the ones that did not have those features, we checked to make sure they can be easily calibrated with market available calibration tools.
is as important as the first thing you should do before using a monitor for the first time for photo editing.
Because it ensures that the colors you see on screen is exactly the same with the colors of your image in digital format.
And it ensures that what you see on screen is what you get when you print out photos. Meaning when you print out photos, they will be accurate in colors.
We screened out those that did not have an aspect ratio of up to 16/9. Because an aspect ratio of that value and above helps for more viewable areas on screen. It also helps when re-sizing photos so that they are not stretched out of proportion.
Dell U2711: one of the best IPS panel monitors for photo editing with excellent connectivity options.
IPS panels is what we preferred among those we chose. We also chose the top models made of PVA, MVA, as well as PLS panels. Because they perform very well as much as IPS panels.
We checked for those that have at least one DVI digital connection. Or and additionally, an HDMI, DisplayPort and USB interface.
Because they are the standard digital connections being used today for very fast and accurate transfer of images. And is usually the input connection available in most modern computers including yours.
It also helps for plugging in external devices easily. Such as your memory card, your camera, and gadgets.
We checked for those that had adjustment options that include height adjustment, tilt, pivot (rotate), and swivel.
It helps so you can easily adjust a display for the most comfortable experience while working with them. It also helps for flexibility and ease of use.
Since our purpose of use here is for color critical jobs and not for gaming, we checked for those that had a response time of at most 12ms (milli-seconds) and below.
Because a value higher than 12ms response time might result to that will be noticed with fast moving images.
There is a lot more that can be discussed about . And we did cover all that needs to be known in our more detailed .
Our review of the top products.
Well we did not just list them, we also made efforts to review all the product we recommend. Including other top photo editing monitors that we found.
Here below are links to our honest review of most of the products we recommend. On their separate web pages.
Click on anyone of the reviews you are interested in seeing. And it will take you to the corresponding review page.
A few more points
Choose an IPS panel or a PLS panel no matter what. Even if you have to compromise on every other point, IPS panels are a must for photographers and for photo editing.
Consider a multi screen or multi-monitor setup if you have the budget for it. Which means having and using two or more monitors for your editing jobs. It has several advantages that makes your work convenient and economical on the long run.
As a photographer, consider creating color profiles for your camera with the use of tools such as the X-Rite Color checker. What it does is to improve the color accuracy of your pictures to a great extent.
The best monitor for you depends so much on how much you are willing to part in terms of cost. If you have the budget for it, just go for the top end displays. Because they rarely disappoint.
So start with your budget and how much you are willing to spend. Then consider the options available within that range of price. Check the best products available within your budget. Then choose a monitor based on the most important features we mentioned above.
Always buy from a reliable e-commerce portal website such as Amazon and a few others. To ensure you get after sales warranty services. And to cover the risk involved in the fragile nature of some monitors.
And most importantly, to ensure you are covered in case you have any reason to return a product.
Your choice of a product depends on your needs and what you require for yourself. So be sure to check and make sure all you need is provided with the product you are interested in.
If you have been following along, you already know how we came up with the top products for the year 2016, 2015. Which will help guide you in making the ideal choice.
Be sure to check out huge discounts and free shipping opportunities available for the products we recommend .
What do you think? Which one of the products are you most interested in? And why?
Which of them is your favorite monitor for photo editing? And which of them do you think is the best monitor for photo editing?
Do you have questions or suggestions for us? Or any contrary opinion? Have you used or do you own any one of the ones we recommend?
Use the comment button below to ask questions. Or to share your opinion and suggestions with us.
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