Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024


If you’re editing photos or videos often, a monitor made specifically for this task is important. Only the best monitors for photo editing can deliver excellent color accuracy, wide coverage of key color spaces, and seamless connectivity with your workstation.


UPDATE: 01/05/2024

We’ve updated this buying guide with several new picks for photo editing monitors. Take a look!

What to Look For in a Monitor in 2024

There are many things to consider while buying a monitor for photo editing, but color-related attributes sit at the top of the list. You want a monitor with excellent color performance, meaning it should have great color accuracy and wide coverage of the color spaces you require for your work.

Display panel technology plays a significant role in any monitor’s color accuracy. And among the various LCD screens, IPS panels have the best accuracy. So, it’s a good idea to go for IPS monitors and avoid TN and VA-type panels. OLED panels can also offer excellent color accuracy, but they are still relatively rare for monitors as opposed to TVs.

Among other factors, you would want to consider the size and resolution of your monitor. While a bigger size is typically better, 27 inches offers a sweet spot between the required desk space and viewing distance. But, in the end, it’s a matter of personal preference.

Similarly, while a 4K screen will undoubtedly show images in sharper detail and closer to its original resolution, a 1440p display is perfectly good for editing photos.

On the connectivity side, make sure your computer, whether it’s a desktop or laptop, can be easily connected to the monitor. Laptop owners will certainly appreciate a USB Type-C input with DP Alt mode and power delivery, as it allows a single cable operation.

Finally, of course, your budget is an important consideration. But remember, a great photo editing monitor will last you a long time and will be worth investing extra in. So make sure to keep that in mind while shopping for the monitor.

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BenQ PhotoVue SW272U
BenQ

Pros

Cons

Impressive color accuracy and gamut

Not a true 10-bit color depth display

Factory color calibrated

Expensive

Ergonomic stand

BenQ’s PhotoVue lineup is known for producing some of the best monitors for creative work. If you want the best monitor for photo editing, it’s hard to go wrong with the PhotoVue SW272U.

This is a 27-inch 4K monitor that comes with an IPS screen for superior color accuracy, 8-bit color depth with FRC (frame rate control), and 400 nits of peak brightness. The monitor can display 99% of the AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces and 100% of the sRGB. You also get dedicated, built-in color modes for each color space.

Moreover, you can store three custom color modes based on your calibration. Although the monitor comes factory-calibrated, it supports hardware calibration and third-party calibration software to ensure consistency.

In other highlights, the BenQ monitor has a matte finish to reduce glare and reflection, and the bundled stand is quite ergonomic. You also get VESA mounting holes if you don’t want to use the included stand. Plus, the company packs a wireless hotkey puck that can give you quick access to preset color modes, monitor options, and much more.

You get a wide range of connectivity options, including USB-C with 90W power delivery, allowing you to connect your laptop seamlessly with a single cable.

There is much to like about the PhotoVue SW272U, but it’s a bit expensive, which isn’t surprising given its fantastic features. But if you want something more affordable, consider the company’s PhotoVue SW272Q. It shares several features with the S272U but has a QHD resolution with 300 nits peak brightness and lacks HLG support.

BenQ PhotoVue SW272U

BenQ PhotoVue SW272U

Best Monitor for Photo Editing Overall

$1500 $1600 Save $100

The BenQ PhotoVue SW272U is a fantastic 4K monitor that’s choke-full of helpful features. Professionals will appreciate its impressive accuracy and wide color gamut.

ASUS ProArt Display PA279CRV
ASUS

Pros

Cons

Solid color accuracy with a wide gamut

Mediocre contrast

Tons of connectivity options

Bundled stand is ergonomic

4K resolution for crisp detail

Not everyone can afford a $1,500 or $3,000 photo editing monitor. So, if you have a tight budget, the ASUS ProArt Display PA279CRV is a solid 4K monitor that you can consider for your photo work. It’s a 27-inch 4K display with an IPS panel and, like the company’s other ProArt series monitors, it sports a no-frills design with good build quality and an ergonomic stand.

But more importantly, it comes calibrated from the factory and offers remarkable color accuracy. You also get a wide color gamut with complete coverage of the sRGB color space and 99% coverage of the AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces. Plus, there are different modes for different color spaces. In short, you will have no trouble editing photos.

The ASUS offering shines on the connectivity front and has two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, and one USB-C port with DP Alt mode and 96W power delivery. In addition, the monitor can function as a USB hub thanks to the three built-in USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports. The monitor also works great with Windows and macOS.

Unfortunately, it has a mediocre contrast ratio, given its IPS panel, and it doesn’t get bright enough to deliver a satisfactory HDR performance. But these aren’t dealbreakers for photo editing work.

ASUS ProArt Display PA279CRV

ASUS ProArt Display PA279CRV

Best Budget Monitor for Photo Editing

The ASUS ProArt Display PA279CRV has everything you want in an affordable monitor for photo editing. It delivers excellent color accuracy and has near-complete coverage of the AdobeRGB color space.

Best 4K Monitor for Photo Editing: BenQ SW321C

BenQ monitor on blue and purple background
BenQ

Pros

Cons

99% AdobeRGB and 95% DCI-P3 coverage

Limited supported printers in Paper Color Sync mode

Great screen uniformity

Palette Master Elements software is buggy

Excellent out-of-the-box accuracy

The SW321 is the best monitor in BenQ’s PhotoVue lineup and perfect for anyone looking for a 4K display for photo editing. It comes with “Calman Verified” certification for out-of-the-box accuracy, and there is support for hardware calibration to help you keep the color accuracy at an optimal level.

It also boasts excellent color space coverage with 100% sRGB, 99% AdobeRGB, and 95% DCI-P3 coverage. Plus, there are 14 color modes, of which you can program three to the included hotkey puck for a quick switch.

Screen uniformity is another area where the BenQ shines with less than 6% brightness variance and a Delta E of less than 1.7 in color deviation.

In other highlights, you get a bundled shading hood to minimize glare, GamutDuo Mode to compare a picture in two different color spaces side by side, and the Paper Color Sync mode to preview how an image will look in print.

BenQ has also packed two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DP 1.4. Plus, there is a USB-C port with DP Alt mode and 60W power delivery for a single cable connection with a laptop.

As you can expect, all these features add up in terms of cost. But thanks to the monitor’s solid color accuracy, uniformity, and coverage, it’s still a good value for professionals. The only gripe you may have is the buggy Palette Master Elements calibration software from BenQ and the limited selection of printers and paper in Paper Color Sync mode.

BenQ SW321C

BenQ SW321C

Best 4K Monitor for Photo Editing

BenQ’s SW321 is the 4K monitor to beat for photo editing. It covers 99% of the AdobeRGB color space and has helpful features like Paper Color Sync mode.
 

Best Ultrawide Monitor for Photo Editing: LG 40WP95C-W

LG Ultrawide monitor on grey background
LG

Pros

Cons

5K2K resolution gives tons of screen real estate for multitasking

Doesn’t get very bright to counter glare

Thunderbolt 4 support

Factory calibrated and complete coverage of sRGB

Curved screen helps with physical fatigue

The LG 40WP95C-W is an excellent ultrawide monitor to replace your dual-display setup. It features a 5K2K resolution, essentially 4K but with 33% more horizontal space. This will undoubtedly come in handy while multitasking.

Besides being ultrawide, the LG monitor is also curved with a 2500R curve radius. It’s a gentle curve but helps keep most, if not all, of this 40-inch display in your field of view without turning your head.

Built for creatives, the 40WP95C-W comes factory calibrated and covers the entire sRGB color space. You also get 90% of AdobeRGB and 95% of DCI-P3. Plus, you can use LG’s Calibration Studio software with a calibrator to keep the colors accurate.

Connectivity options are solid, and you can pick from two HDMI 2.0, one DP 1.4, and two Thunderbolt 4 (TB4) ports. The second TB4 allows you to daisy chain a second monitor if needed. And the TB4 ports support 96W power delivery to keep most connected laptops fully charged.

The monitor has a clean design, and the included stand is fairly ergonomic. You can adjust height, tilt, and swivel. But like most ultrawide monitors, there is no support for a pivot to portrait mode.

The only aspect of this monitor that may trouble some people is the brightness, mainly those working in very bright environments. Otherwise, the 300 nits or so brightness the LG monitor offers is enough for most people.

LG 40WP95C-W

LG 40WP95C-W

Best Ultrawide Monitor for Photo Editing

$1399 $1800 Save $401

The LG 40WP95C-W is an impressive ultrawide monitor that comes factory-calibrated for accuracy and an expansive selection of connectivity options.

Apple

Pros

Cons

Seamless experience with macOS

Available stands aren’t very ergonomic

Excellent color accuracy

No AdobeRGB mode

Extra goodies like a built-in webcam and mic array

While most of our recommendations will play well with macOS computers, Apple’s Studio Display delivers the most effortless experience. You will face no scaling, power, sleep, or other issues with the monitor. In addition, it sports a 27-inch 5K display with exceptional color accuracy and excellent uniformity out of the box.

In typical Apple fashion, the build quality and construction of the Studio Display are top-notch. And while the two stand options may not be the most ergonomic, you can opt for a VESA mount adapter.

You only get a single Thunderbolt 3 port regarding video inputs, but it can deliver up to 96W power to a connected MacBook for charging. Apart from the TB3 port, three USB-C ports are rated for USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds, which you can use to connect peripherals or storage devices.

Additionally, the Studio Display has an ultra-wide camera, a three-mic array, and a six-speaker system that you can use while making video calls. Such features, particularly the camera and the mic, are uncommon on monitors.

Unfortunately, the base Studio Display model has a glossy finish on the screen, which isn’t great if you deal with glare. But you can pay extra for the Nano-texture glass that does a better job of dealing with glare and reflections. The Apple monitor also doesn’t include an AdobeRGB mode. So if you are someone who frequently prints their photos, you might need to look into another option.

apple studio display

Apple Studio Display

Best Mac Monitor for Photo Editing

$1500 $1599 Save $99

Apple’s Studio Display is a beautiful and well-rounded 5K monitor for your Mac. It offers superb color accuracy and has excellent brightness uniformity.

ASUS ProArt Display PA32DC
ASUS

Pros

Cons

Built-in colorimeter for self/ auto-calibration

Expensive

OLED screen

Dolby Vision support

Near-complete coverage of DCI-P3 color space

Video editing professionals will love the ASUS ProArt Display PA32DC. It’s a top-notch 4K monitor with a beautiful 32-inch OLED panel, so you get inky blacks and a near-infinite contrast ratio. Plus, it provides near-complete coverage of the DCI-P3 color space.

One of the highlights of the ProArt Display PA32DC is the built-in colorimeter that promises professional-grade color accuracy. Thanks to this, you can easily keep the display calibrated at all times. Speaking of calibration, the monitor ships calibrated from the factory with a Delta E of less than one.

You will also be happy to know that the PA32DC has true 10-bit color depth, meaning it can display 1.07 billion shades of color without any frame-rate wizardry of the 8-bit + FRC screens.

Moreover, the monitor supports all popular HDR formats, including Dolby Vision, and has comprehensive connectivity options. You get HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C ports.

All these exciting features of the ASUS offering do add up in terms of pricing, and the PA32DC is quite expensive. If you want a more affordable alternative, the Dell U3223QE is a good option. You can get it for under $1000, and it also gives you a 4K display, but it’s an LCD panel, and fancier features like a built-in colorimeter are missing. Otherwise, the monitor has impressive accuracy and a wide color gamut.

ASUS ProArt Display PA32DC

ASUS ProArt Display PA32DC

Best Monitor for Video Editing

ASUS ProArt Display PA32DC is perfect for creative professionals, including video editors, with its 99% DCI-P3 coverage, fantastic color accuracy, and built-in colorimeter.

FAQ

How do I calibrate my monitor for photo editing?

To calibrate your monitor, you can use a calibration kit, such as Spyder X Pro or Calibrite ColorChecker Display Pro. These kits require some financial investment but are worth the money for professionals. If you don’t want to spend the money, both macOS and Windows come with built-in calibration tools, and you can find them in the display settings.

What monitor settings are best for photo editing?

To get your monitor ready for photo editing, you can calibrate it for the color gamut you will use, such as sRGB or AdobeRGB, and make sure you choose the correct ICC profile while editing the photos.

How do I clean my computer monitor?

You can clean your computer monitor with a dry microfiber cloth. But if there are any stubborn smudges or grime, you can spray some distilled water on the cloth for help. Avoid abrasive materials, alcohol-based cleaners, or directly spraying water on the monitor.

How do I measure a computer monitor?

You can get the size of a computer monitor by measuring the screen diagonally. But make sure to ignore the bezels.

How do I connect two monitors to a computer?

You will first have to check whether your computer can support two monitors by contacting the manufacturer. Then, if there are two video output ports on your computer, you can use each to connect a monitor. For example, you can connect one monitor to an HDMI port and the other to the DisplayPort. But if you don’t have multiple video-out ports, like on a laptop, a USB-C hub or dock can also help.



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By John P.

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