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Best Monitors for Photo Editing in 2020 (Top 10 Picks)

If you regularly edit photos using software like Lightroom, you need a high-quality monitor. In this guide, we look at the best monitors for photo editing.

A high-quality monitor is essential if you want to get the best results, whether you’re preparing your images for print or using them in a digital portfolio or blog. Having a large screen size and resolution means you can see your photos in crisp detail when editing. And the overall benefit of a top-notch monitor is that you’ll get a more accurate color display, as well as increased clarity.

We have split our list of the best monitors for photo editing into three categories – budget, enthusiast, and professional. This means anyone can find a suitable monitor regardless of their intent or level of editing experience.

  1. ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV (Best Budget Monitor)
  2. Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX
  3. ViewSonic VP2468
  4. BenQ SW270C (Best Enthusiast Monitor)
  5. LG 34UC88
  6. ViewSonic VP3268-4K
  7. BenQ EX3501R
  8. LG 27MD5KL-B 27 Inch Ultrafine 5K (Best Pro Monitor)
  9. BenQ SW271
  10. Dell U4320Q UltraSharp

Best Monitors for Photo Editing – Budget (Less than $500)

Let’s start with a selection of budget options. These monitors all cost less than $500 but still provide excellent quality for photo editing. If you are just testing your editing skills or occasionally use post-processing software, this category of monitors could be the best option.

1. ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV

ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV

Best Budget Monitor for Photo Editing

This monitor offers some impressive tech specs at a fraction of the cost of high-end competitors. The 24.1″ screen is perfect for casual editing.

Technical Specifications

  • Size – 24.1-inch
  • True Color – 100% sRGB, 100% Rec.709
  • Refresh Rate – 75hz
  • Resolution – 1980×1080
  • Connection – DP, HDMI, USB 3.0

The ASUS ProArt PA248QV is a great budget option and has some strong technical specs. Firstly, it has color support for 100% sRGB, and 100% Rec.709.

This is complemented by a 1080p resolution and a decent refresh rate of 75Hz. Also, the monitor is pre-calibrated to ensure accurate color representation. It has a high color fidelity of ∆E < 2 which means you can see your photos exactly as they should look without inaccuracies.

ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV 24.1” WUXGA (1920 x 1200) 16:10 Monitor, 100%...
ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV

Review

As one of the best monitors for photo editing, this ASUS product also has a good design and great connectivity. It can be wall-mounted, but also has tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustments. This means you can work comfortably and position the monitor to suit your workspace.

Also, it benefits from four USB 3.0 ports, and a host of other ports to provide flexibility when connecting the monitor to your devices.

Pre-calibrated for optimum color accuracy
Various adjustment options
Only 24-inch

Check Price of ASUS ProArt PA248QV

2. Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX

Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX

A great option for those looking for a larger screen size on a budget.

This monitor offers stunning color accuracy and supports a generous range of color gamuts. It also offers 4K resolution and an HDR display, perfect for any editing enthusiast.

Technical Specifications

  • Size – 27-inch
  • True Color – 100% AdobeRGB, 100% sRGB
  • Refresh Rate – 60Hz
  • Resolution – 3840×2160
  • Connection – DP, HDMI, mDP, USB 3.0

This affordable monitor from Dell has a color depth of 1.07 billion colors. It also has support for HDR content playback – this allows you to see an excellent depth of colors. This is complemented by gamut support for 100% AdobeRGB, and 100% sRGB.

It also has been calibrated to provide color accuracy of ∆E < 2 which means your photos will look fantastic. The refresh rate is solid at 60Hz, and it has a response time of 5ms.

Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX 27-Inch WQHD 2560x1440 Resolution IPS Monitor with Infinity...
Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX

Review

We like the borderless display of this sleek monitor. It looks great and is highly functional. The 27-inch screen is supported by a fully rotatable stand and it also has an optional wall mount. The height is adjustable to 130mm, and it has a pivot angle of 90 degrees clockwise and anti-clockwise.

The combination of a brilliant color display and ergonomic design make this a top budget choice and one of the best monitors for photo editing.

4k resolution with a good 5ms response time
Able to playback HDR photos
Slower refresh rate of 60Hz

Check Price of Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX

3. ViewSonic VP2468

ViewSonic VP2468

Complete connectivity and an IPS display at a low cost.

This is a great monitor for photographers wanting an accurate display to edit photos with. It offers excellent ergonomic designs for comfortable viewing.

Technical Specifications

  • Size – 24-inch
  • True Color – 100% AdobeRGB, 100% sRGB
  • Refresh Rate – 60Hz
  • Resolution – 1920×1080
  • Connection – DP, HDMI, USB 3.0

The ViewSonic VP2468 is a great budget monitor that has some excellent tech specs. It has a full 1080p HD display and a refresh rate of 60Hz. It can display an amazing color range with 100% support for AdobeRGB, and sRGB. This provides a color accuracy of ∆E < 2.

This monitor also benefits from a color uniformity functional that keeps colors and chromaticity consistent. In total, this monitor can display up to 4.39 trillion colors.

ViewSonic VP2468 Professional 24 inch 1080p Monitor 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT...
ViewSonic VP2468

Review

This monitor has a sleek IPS panel and features a borderless design. There is no unnecessary space taken up by the monitor frame. It also has a decent selection of connections included 4x USB 3.0 Type A ports, and 2x HDMI ports.

The stand is VESA compatible and can be adjusted in height, swivel, pivot and tilt. The maximum tilt angle is 5 degrees forward, and 21 degrees backwards. This provides great flexibility.

Color accuracy of ∆E < 2
Borderless panel design
Multiple USB 3.0 ports
Only 24-inch

Check Price of ViewSonic VP2468

Best Monitors for Photo Editing – Enthusiast ($500 – $1000)

Moving on, we have our mid-range category. These monitors cost between $500 to $1000 and are suitable for enthusiasts. We are not quite at the professional level, but for those who edit photos often and don’t want to shell out too much, this category of monitors provides the best options.

4. BenQ SW270C

BenQ SW270C

Best Mid-range Monitor for Photo Editing

This is a great monitor for those looking for high viewing accuracy across the board. The generous screen size is perfect for the hours spent editing your photos.

Technical Specifications

  • Size – 27-inch
  • True Color – 99% AdobeRGB, 100% sRGB, 100% Rec.709
  • Refresh Rate – 60Hz
  • Resolution – 3820×2160
  • Connection – DP, HDMI, USB 3.1 USB Type-C, Card Reader

The superb tech specs of this BenQ monitor make it our best enthusiast choice for between $500-1000. It has AQCOLOR technology which means colors are effectively represented exactly as they should be displayed. This is helped by gamut support for 99% AdobeRGB, and 100% sRGB, and Rec.709.

It also has a 10-bit color depth and can display over 1 billion colors. The monitor also comes pre-calibrated and the display quality remains accurate across all areas of the screen.

BenQ SW270C PhotoVue 27 Inch QHD 1440P IPS Photo Editing Monitor | HDR, 99% Adobe...
BenQ SW270C

Review

This monitor has HDR10 support and displays HDR photos with exceptional accuracy. It also comes with a detachable monitor hood that can help reduce outside interference and light pollution.

The monitor looks great and has a fully adjustable stand. The BenQ SW270C has several connectivity options including DP and a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port. This is an excellent monitor and a great option for photography enthusiasts.

Great color gamut support
AQCOLOR technology for exceptional color representation
HDR10 Support
Slower refresh rate of 60Hz

Check Price of BenQ SW270C

5. LG 34UC88

LG 34UC88

A stunning wide-view display!

This monitor is perfect for people who want high quality and a large workspace. Offering a 34-inch display, users will not be disappointed.

Technical Specifications

  • Size – 34-inch
  • True Color – 99% sRGB, 98% AdobeRGB
  • Refresh Rate – 75Hz
  • Resolution – 3440×1440
  • Connection – DP, HDMI, USB 3.0

The LG 34UC88 has an ultra-wide display that is great for editing wide-angle shots and panoramas. It has a 3440×1440 resolution which gives an HD aspect ratio of 21:9. This is effectively 2.4x larger than a standard 1080p HD monitor.

The color representation of this monitor is great – it has 99% gamut support for SRGB and 98% support for Adobe RGB. This ensures a consistent level of color accuracy. You can also use the LG split-screen function which gives you greater control over the monitor workspace.

LG 34UC88-B 34-Inch 21:9 Curved UltraWide QHD IPS Monitor with USB Quick Charge
LG 34UC88

Review

The main thing you have to consider about this monitor is that it is wide – it will take up a lot of space in your workspace. However, due to the 21:9 ratio, you can comfortably use this wide-angle monitor as if it were 2 separate displays.

The rear panel features a USB 3.00 quick charge connection – this means you can charge mobile devices from your monitor! Also, it has a simple on-screen control menu that allows you to quickly change color settings and other important features.

Wide-angle 21:9 resolution
2.4x larger than a standard 1080p monitor
LG split-screen functionality
Lacks G-Sync Support
Occasional build-quality issues

Check Price of LG 34UC88

6. ViewSonic VP3268-4K

ViewSonic VP3268

A stunning monitor with a high-quality display

This is a 4K monitor offering a comfortable working area and IPS technology to ensure clear viewing from every angle.

Technical Specifications

  • Size – 32-inch
  • True Color –
  • Refresh Rate – 75Hz
  • Resolution – 3840×2160
  • Connection – DP, HDMI, USB 3.0

Our second ViewSonic monitor is the high-quality VP2168-4K. This is another standout monitor and offers a 4K display with a resolution of 3840×2160. This is complemented by 100% AdobeRGB, 100% sRGB color gamut representation, and a color accuracy of Delta E<2.

It has optional hardware calibration via the ViewSonic Colorbration Kit; however, the monitor does come fully calibrated out of the box. The IPS panel also provides a consistent display for photo editing across all areas of the screen.

ViewSonic VP3268-4K PRO 32' 4K Monitor with 99.67% sRGB Rec 709 HDR10 14-bit 3D LUT...
ViewSonic VP3268-4K

Review

With a stylish borderless design, this 32-inch monitor looks great. It also has a fully adjustable stand that can be tilted, pivoted, swiveled, and height adjusted. It can display 1.07 billion colors, has a refresh rate of 75Hz, and a response time of 7ms.

For photo editing, the combination of excellent color display, and 4K resolution make this a great choice and one of the best monitors for photo editing available.

Excellent screen uniformity
Great slim-bezel style
High-quality stand
Power button is located behind the screen
Menu system is unintuitive

Check Price of ViewSonic VP3268-4K

7. BenQ EX3501R

BenQ EX3501R

A monitor with AI tech to keep your display looking stunning all day.

Hotkeys allow for easy adjustments on this monitor and boast speed and precision. Excellent connectivity and advanced display technology make this a monitor worth considering.

Technical Specifications

  • Size – 35-inch
  • True Color – 100% sRGB
  • Refresh Rate – 100Hz
  • Resolution – 3440×1440
  • Connection – DP, HDMI, USB-C, USB 3.1

This affordable monitor is geared towards gaming, but it is also suitable for photo editing. It supports HDR photos and has 100% support for sRGB. It has a huge 35-inch screen size and a 1440p HD screen resolution.

The HDR support includes a Brightness Intelligence Plus feature which ensures that dark details of your photos will remain crystal clear. Also, the stand has a height adjustment of 60mm, and you can pivot the monitor backward and forwards.

BenQ EX3501R 21:9 Ultrawide Curved QHD Monitor | 34 inch class (35 Inch) | HDR (3440...
BenQ EX3501R

Review

The design of this monitor is excellent. It has a curved display and an aspect ratio of 21:9. You can easily place two or more BenQ EX3501R monitors together to form a smooth and seamless workstation. Also, it has great connectivity with support for USB 3.0.

Hotkey controller allows for quick adjustments
Wide choice of connections
Fantastic brightness and color uniformity
The downwards facing ports are a little hard to reach

Check Price of BenQ EX3501R

Best Monitors for Photo Editing – Professional ($1000+)

Finally, we have a selection of professional-grade monitors. If you work with photos in a professional capacity, these are the monitors for you. They represent the best quality but also come at a much higher price.

8. LG 27MD5KL-B 27 Inch Ultrafine 5K

LG 27MD5KL-B 27

Best Professional Monitor for Photo Editing

This is a stunning monitor for pros. Offering 5K display and high color accuracy, your shots will be as true as can be throughout the editing process.

Technical Specifications

  • Size – 26-inch
  • True Color – 99% DCI-P3
  • Refresh Rate – 60Hz
  • Resolution – 5120×2880
  • Connection – USB-C, HDMI, DP

This 26-inch monitor is our top choice for professional usage. It has an excellent quality display and great tech features. With a 99% gamut support for DCI-P3, your photos will look fantastic and exactly as they should be presented.

It also has an optimized color performance and a pixel density of 218 PPI. This means that photos will look much clearer and have greater detail in comparison to most other monitors.

LG 27MD5KL-B 27 Inch UltraFine 5K (5120 x 2880) IPS Display with macOS Compatibility,...
LG 27MD5KL-B 27

Review

The LG 27MD5KL-B is a versatile monitor and a great option for professionals. It has numerous ergonomic design features including height and tilt adjustments. Also, it has a good selection of ports including USB-C, and HDMI.

It has a contrast ratio of 1100:1, a refresh rate of 60Hz, and a response time of 14ms. Furthermore, the IPS panel can display 1.07 billion colors.

Excellent 218 PPI pixel density
Only 26-inch display size

Check Price of LG 27MD5KL-B 27 Inch Ultrafine 5K

9. BenQ SW271

BenQ SW271 27 Inch 4K HDR Professional IPS Monitor |10-Bit with 14-Bit 3D LUT...
BenQ SW271

Technical Specifications

  • Size – 27-inch
  • True Color – 99% AdobeRGB, 100% sRGB, 100% Rec.709
  • Refresh Rate – 60Hz
  • Resolution – 3840×2160
  • Connection – HDMI, DP, USB 3.0, USB-C, Card Reader

This is one of the best monitors for photo editing due to its excellent color representation. It has gamut support for 100% sRGB, 100% Rec.709, and 99% AdobeRGB. This provides great control and ensures that your photos will display accurately.

Each SW271 monitor is factory-calibrated to ensure precise Delta and Gamma performance. The average color accuracy is Delta E<2 across all color spaces. This BenQ monitor also supports HDR images to the HDR10 standard.

Review

Aside from having excellent color representation and accuracy, this BenQ monitor is also ergonomic. You can attach a shading hood to reduce external light sources, and it has a sleek borderless design. It also has an interesting hotkey puck that allows you to switch between the different color spaces and B&W modes in an instant.

It also has an advanced B&W mode if you want to edit photos exclusively in B&W. As well as USB 3.0, and USB C connections.

Easy calibration to maintain accuracy
Built-in card reader
Hotkey puck enables quick color adjustments
Shading hood is required to eliminate screen glare

Check Price of BenQ SW271

10. Dell U4320Q UltraSharp 43-Inch

Dell U4320Q 43 Inch 2160p 4K UltraSharp, IPS Thin Bezel Monitor, HDMI, DisplayPort,...
Dell U4320Q

Technical Specifications

  • Size – 43-inch
  • True Color – 96% sRGB
  • Refresh Rate – 60Hz
  • Resolution – 3840×2160
  • Connection – DP, HDMI, USB-C, USB 3.0

The Dell U4320Q is an absolute beast. As one of the best monitors for photo editing, it has a huge 43-inch display. This is complemented by excellent color gamut support including 96% sRGB. The 5K resolution provides a large viewing area and this is perfect for editing large photos or working with multiple images.

Review

As a 43-inch monitor, this Dell model is relatively heavy. However, it has a borderless design and the stand is flexible too. The 4K resolution also has a pixel density of 103ppi and enables you to view your photos in great clarity and detail. It also has numerous connection options including USB 3.0 and USB C.

Huge 43-inch screen
Great choice of ports
5k screen resolution
Doesn’t have the best color gamut support

Check Price of Dell U4320Q UltraSharp 43-Inch

How to Choose the Best Monitors for Photo Editing – Buying Guide

We hope you have found this guide on the best monitors for photo editing beneficial. As you can see, there are a host of suitable monitors that will enable you to edit photos effectively.

But how do you choose the right one for you?

In this section, we provide a small buying guide. When purchasing a monitor for photo editing, we suggest looking at the following:

  • Size
  • Resolution
  • Color support

Size is essential. By size, we mean the physical dimensions and screen size of the monitor. In this instance, bigger is nearly always better. Larger monitors provide a larger display. As a result, this means you can see more on your screen. The downside is that the monitor takes up more space. Consider the available desk space you have – what size monitor can you realistically accommodate? Do you need to view multiple photos and have a larger visible working area?

You must also consider the screen resolution. As with size, a larger resolution is usually better. This means more pixels per inch are displayed. The resulting image quality is sharper, and you will be able to edit your photos in greater detail. It is worth noting that a larger screen size, even with a high resolution, will have a lower quality display that a smaller screen size at the same resolution. Striking the right balance between size and resolution is key.

The final component to consider is the color support or color gamut of the monitor. Different monitors can display different color gamuts such as AdobeRGB, and sRGB. They display these gamuts to a percentage – this higher percentage, the more accurate the color representation is. Ideally, you want a monitor that supports various colors, to a 99% or 100% rating.

FAQ

Is a HDR monitor good for photo editing?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range – it is a combination of exposures to form a realistic image. Having a HDR monitor will allow you to effectively edit this type of photo. It will also provide a greater range of color and contrast display – in short, having a monitor with HDR support is a good idea.

What is the best low-cost monitor for photo editing?

We have listed the ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV as the best low-cost monitor for photo editing. This 24.1-inch display combines an affordable price together with great quality and features. It supports 100% sRGB, and 100% Rec.709, and has an ergonomic design.

Is 4K worth it for photo editing?

Yes! A 4K display offers better everything – crisp display, sharper photos, and more accurate color representation. If you can afford a 4K or 5K monitor, the benefit over a standard 1080p monitor is certainly worth the increased cost.

Are gaming monitors good for photo editing?

They can be yes. Most gaming monitors are geared towards faster performance and refresh rates, so FPS ratings remain high when playing games. However, you can find gaming monitors that are also suitable for photo editing. A dedicated photo editing monitor will always offer better quality, however.

What is a good monitor resolution for photo editing?

This depends on the size of the monitor. Generally, 24-inch monitors should have at least a 1980×1080 resolution. Moving upwards, you would expect a 32-inch monitor to have a 4K resolution of 3840×2160. As a minimum, you want 1080p resolution, preferably 4K for photo editing.


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2 thoughts on “Best Monitors for Photo Editing in 2020 (Top 10 Picks)”

  1. Hello Paul,
    Thank you for your display review.
    I am currently using a BenQ PD3200U. I am a fine artist doing large format images. jfriedmann.net
    The Dell UltraSharp 43 4K USB-C Monitor – U4320Q would offer a great solution as far as size. Any idea how it will compare the the BenQ. I work quite close to the screen about 20 inches. I am concerned that since the dot pitch is about double I might find the larger display noticeably less sharp. Also the RGB space is 100% on the BenQ and 96% on the Dell. My final output is to digital print so I do not need a monitor that gives me a broader color spectrum then I can actually print. The Benq does quite well at the moment. My other option is to purchase a second PD3200U and orient one vertically and the other horizontally. Your input would be very helpful as it sounds like you have actually had hands on with the Dell and perhaps the BenQ as well.
    Thanks in advance.
    J Friedmann

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