The Best Monitors for Photo Editing in 2017
Photographers needing to edit their images have a very particular set of requirements. Those conditions are different to what an ardent gamer might have or even an executive looking for a solution for home or office desktop.
For one thing, they don’t need high refresh rates, or Gsync or a large viewing angle. Viewing big and viewing with a reasonably high amount of detail is, however, an essential requirement.
This review of the best monitor for photographers is a selection of 12 high-resolution monitors which we feel are perfect for photo editing work.
Our Pick: BenQ 27-inch IPS
The Best Monitors for Photographers: Top Picks
1. Dell UltraSharp 27 U2717D 27″
This WQHD resolution powered 27” monitor not only has a large size in its favor but also a high resolution.
The standard display size of most entry level monitors is full HD. That is 1920 x 1080p. This one has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 (WQHD).
IPS or In-Plane Switching is the best when it comes to truer colors and better viewing angles.
Though you are likely not going to look at your computer from an angle of 160 ˚ or beyond, and thus acute viewing angle support isn’t a requirement, better color accuracy however certainly is.
The monitor also supports 99% of the sRGB color gamut. 16.7 million colors to be precise. For publishing on the internet, your Flickr account or social media channels, sRGB is what you would be using.
The monitor comes factory-calibrated, though it does not imply that you won’t have to recalibrate it later on.
Aspect ratio of this monitor is 16:9, which is not an ultra-wide angle monitor. But for photo editing and all practical purposes, you don’t need an ultra-wide angle monitor. The display is coated with an anti-glare coating.
Connectivity is yet another aspect of choosing a monitor. The Dell UltraSharp 27 U2717D has both USB and HDMI ports along with mini-display ports.
The ability to adjust the height and viewing angle of the screen is also important. Not everyone sits and likes to work from the same perspective. Thus the ability to tilt the monitor in a preferable angle helps in getting a favorable view of what’s being edited.
2. NEC PA272W-BK 27″
16:9 IPS Monitor
Another ISP display powered 27″ monitor with a screen resolution of 2560 x 1440. There is not much to choose between the Dell UltraSharp 27 U2717D we discussed above and the NEC PA272W-BK 27″. They both have the same contrast of 1000:1 and same 178 ˚ of viewing angle.
The aspect ratio is the same as well, 16:9. Having said that the NEC PA272W-BK 27″ supports 1.07 billion colors covering 99.3% of the AdobeRGB color space and 146.4% of the sRGB color space.
Printing high-quality images would require you to work in AdobeRGB color space, which is almost entirely covered. For web work, however, sRGB is the preferred color space which is also fully covered.
The NEC PA272W-BK 27″ has a range of USB and HDMI connectors for enhanced connectivity. Refresh rates and response times are not exactly traits that you would look in a photo editing monitor.
For gamers, both are paramount as it improves the smoothness of the gaming experience and playing performance due to the faster response of the screen. None of those are necessary for photo editing. Thus, I have refrained from referring to any of these features in the monitors that I have listed here.
3. NEC PA272W-BK-SV 27″
16:9 IPS with SpectraView II
The PA 272 W-BK-SV is yet another 27″ entry from NEC in this review of the best monitor for photographers.
This one too has an AH-IPS technology with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. High-resolution display, at least anything larger than full-HD is desirable because it allows you to get a larger view of a high-resolution image when editing.
A good thing about the NEC PA272W-BK-SV 27″ is that comes equipped with a calibration tool. Even if a monitor is pre-calibrated before it is handed over to the customer, it needs to be re-calibrated from time to time.
This calibration tool ensures that the colors displayed on the monitor are accurate which is critical for editing purposes. The built-in calibration tool thus is a welcome addition.
The NEC PA272W-BK-SV 27” covers 99.3% of the AdobeRGB color gamut making high-quality printing work and final proofing much easier for making prints at home.
The monitor also supports 146.4% of the sRGB color gamut, which means you can alternatively choose to make smooth rendering (though slightly less contrast) web-ready JPEGs which will appear uniform across most web-ready devices.
Connectivity to the monitor is via an array of regular and mini display, 10-bit HDMI and USB.
4. BenQ SW2700PT 27″
Widescreen LED Backlit QHD Monitor
The BenQ SW2700PT 27” is a 27” monitor powered by IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology. It has a display resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels (109 ppi) and a contrast ratio of 1000:1.
The monitor gives 99% coverage of the AdobeRGB color space. AdobeRGB, as has been hinted above, has a higher color gamut than sRGB.
A built-in calibration tool using the image processing chip is a better and more reliable method of keeping the display honest. Also, the monitor comes with a proprietary calibration application.
Though not a huge advantage for photo editors the response time of the monitor is 5 ms. What, however, is of advantage, is the support for 1.07 billion colors.
A monitor is not always used as a photo editing resource. In fact, it rarely has that privilege. Thus, it is frequently switched from photo editing tasks to browsing and even for gaming.
There is this quick ‘mode-change’ option named OSD controller that allows you to make that change whenever you want to use your monitor for anything other than photo editing.
A feature of the BenQ SW2700PT 27” is the detachable hood. This hood is a nice touch, especially for users who might be sitting in areas where controlling the ambient light may not be possible.
5. Samsung UE590D 23.6″ / 28″
Widescreen LED-Backlit UDH Monitor
The Samsung U24E590D 23.6” combines a smaller screen size (compared to the 27” screens we have seen thus far), with a UHD resolution. 3840 x 2160 pixels to be precise. The Samsung UE590 is however also available at 28″ at a price of $379.00 .
The details are more, the images are sharper, and you get to see a high-resolution image in a much larger dimension than on standard full-HD monitors. But the underlying technology of this UHD monitor is the Plane to Line Switching technology. PLS is brighter, better and less power-hogging than older IPS technology.
100% of the sRGB color gamut is covered by the monitor. This ensures better color reproduction and a workflow that will produce results that are uniform across a variety of display units.
This screen should appeal to both photo editors as well as gamers because of a host of features. Gamers, though, are not the focus of this review. Here we are looking for the best monitor for photo photographers.
6. ASUS Designo MX27AQ 27″
16:9 WQHD IPS monitor
The ASUS Designo MX27AQ 27”16:9 WQHD IPS is an In-plane Switching panel technology powered monitor with a display resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. The ASUS Designo is a 27″ monitor.
Aspect ratio of the monitor is 16:9 with a contrast ratio of 100,000,000:1.
The monitor supports 100% sRGB color gamut giving you full control over the web color compatibility of your images. It supports 16.7 million colors. Connectivity includes both HDMI and USB ports.
7. Eizo ColorEdge CG318-4K 31.1″
The Eizo ColorEdge CG318-4K 31.1 is a 31.1” IPS technology powered monitor with a resolution of 4096 x 2160 (4K). The contrast ratio of the monitor is 1500:1 which creates a truly large screen experience with the equal pixel count for maximum resolution.
You would be able to display your images in nearly 1:2 ratio for a larger viewing experience when editing them.
A larger screen allows you to view an image in larger size, and correct errors or faults that may be hidden when you view the image on a smaller screen or smaller resolution screen. More resolution equals more detail.
The monitor covers 99% of the AdobeRGB color space. Ideally, a high coverage of AdobeRGB color space means that a larger color gamut is available. The final JPEGs will look contrasty.
But on the flip side, they will appear less contrasty when displayed on different monitors. This is because most browsers display units are calibrated to display sRGB.
When you print, however, AdobeRGB will be an advantage. The monitor is capable of displaying 1.07 billion colors. USB and HDMI ports are available for connectivity.
A feature of the Eizo ColorEdge CG318-4K 31.1 is a self-calibration sensor that is housed within the top bezel of the monitor. This is an advantage as you don’t need an external calibration tool for calibrating the monitor. When calibration needs to be done, the sensor can be swung down over the screen.
8. HP Z27s 27″
Widescreen LED Backlit IPS
The HP Z27s 27″ is a widescreen LED backlit IPS monitor has a display resolution of 3840 x 2160 (UHD).
A larger resolution along with a larger screen helps to view an image to a great size. That helps in proper editing and identifying issues and errors that would be easily overlooked otherwise.
In-plane switching technology has a better viewable angle of 178 ˚. Plus, 1000:1 contrast ratio helps in getting truer blacks.
An array of connectivity ports including HDMI and USB are available to connect your laptop or USB devices. The colors support sRGB and up to 1.07 billion colors are supported. Other features include tilt and height adjustment and swivel.
9. Samsung S27D850T 27″
850 Series QHD Business LED Monitor
The Samsung S27D850T 27″ 850 series is tagged as a business series monitor. It has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 (QHD).
The QHD display resolution may appear to be inferior to some of the other high-resolution monitors that we have listed here. However, QHD has more than 70% extra pixels than standard full-HD. That means the display size of the monitor is larger than what you have been used to thus far.
The monitor complies 100% with the sRGB color space. sRGB is the standard when it comes to publishing for the web. If you are interested in only publishing your images on the web sRGB is the standard to go. The viewing angle is 178 ˚.
For any monitor / second display unit, the ability to tilt, swivel and change heights is critical. The height of the Samsung S27D850T 27” 850 can alter as well as it can tilt and swivel allowing you the advantage of adjusting it according to your preference. An array of DVI-D, HDMI and USB connection options are available.
10. Acer H257HU SMIDPX H7 25″
The Acer H257HU SMIDPX H7 25″ is a 25” LED backlit LCD monitor with a QHD (2560 x 1440) display resolution. QHD has 70% more pixels which fit perfectly with a 25” screen real estate.
If you have been used to a full-HD monitor so far a QHD resolution monitor will appear much sharper and with larger detail.
The Acer H257HU SMIDPX H7 25″ has a 100,000,000:1 contrast ratio and supports up to 16.7 million colors. Good monitors have the ability to tilt and swivel. The Acer H25 can tilt forward to adjust the angle of view.
Some the monitor’s features are geared towards a better gaming experience. We are not concerned with those features as they don’t qualify for the best monitor for photographers debate. But it has a low dimming property (dimming all the way down to 15%), anti-glare, blue-light filtering to help photo editors work for extended hours with it without straining their eyes.
11. LG 27UD88-W27″
This 27” monitor has a display resolution of 3840 x 2160 (UHD) and is powered by IPS panel technology. The large size of the monitor coupled with the higher resolution works as a great advantage.
The monitor supports 99% of the sRGB color space, ideal if you are going to use most of your work for publishing on the web. Up to 1.07 billion colors are represented by the monitor.
The device much like the other ones that we have read on this list has a 178 ˚ viewing angle. Several USB and HDMI ports ensure you can plug it to all compatible devices including smartphones tablets, laptops, and standard tower PCs.
Calibrating the device is a breeze. You don’t need external devices and software. Everything that you need has been bundled with the LG 27UD88-W27” allowing you a hassle free calibrating experience every time you need it. Calibration hardware is built-in to the monitor and the software is provided in the box.
12. HP Z27q 27″
The HP Z27q 27″ is a great piece of technology. The 27″ display has a resolution of 5120 x 2880.
You can watch a 14-megapixel image in full resolution giving you an incredible advantage when editing your images.
Larger viewing size and resolution allows for more efficient and easier editing process. This IPS panel technology powered monitor is compatible with the sRGB color space and a total of 1.07 billion colors.
This IPS panel technology powered monitor is compatible with the sRGB color space and a total of 1.07 billion colors.
The monitor can be tilted, swiveled and height adjusted, thus allowing you to complete freedom to set it up to your preferred angle of view.
It also has a series of connectivity points including DisplayPort 1.2 and USB that allows you to connect your monitor to a computer or any compatible USB devices.
Best Monitors For Photo Editing
Comparison Table: Best Options 2017
|Photo Monitor||sRGB Gamut||Inch||Amazon Price|
|Dell UltraSharp 27 U2717D||99%||27″||Buy for $458.90|
|NEC PA272W-BK|| 99.3%
|27″||Buy for $1,416.66|
|NEC PA272W-BK-SV|| 99.3%
|27″||Buy for Check on Amazon|
| BenQ SW2700PT
|27″||Buy for $572.99|
|Samsung UE590D||100%||28″||Buy for $379.00|
|ASUS Designo MX27AQ||100%||27″||Buy for $402.99|
|Eizo ColorEdge CG318-4K|| 99%
|31.1″||Buy for $5,179.50|
|HP Z27s||100%||27″||Buy for $617.93|
|Samsung S27D850T||100%||27″||Buy for $429.99|
|Acer H257HU SMIDPX H7||100%||25″||Buy for $344.19|
|LG 27UD88-W||99%||27″||Buy for $734.00|
|HP Z27q||100%||27″||Buy for $845.80|
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Wanderlust at heart and a shutterbug who loves to document his travels via his lenses; his two passions compliment each other perfectly.
He has been writing for over 6 years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favorite pursuits.
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