Monitors For Photo Editing: The Ultimate Guide

Dell U2711: one of the best monitors for photo editing

Dell U2711: one of the best monitors for photo editing

If you have been looking for a complete guide to choosing a monitor for photo editing, here’s the best we came up with.

Choosing a monitor for photo editing can be daunting at first. Especially if you don’t know exactly what to look out for.

But with this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know.

So when you are done going through this guide, you will understand how we chose the best monitor for photo editing and photography featured here. Which we recommend for any color accurate purpose.


The problem with regular monitors.

Have you ever been in a situation where you just took great and wonderful pictures with your camera or mobile device.

And when you view them on your display for post processing, they look very dull and awful.

Look no further. Your monitor could be the problem.

ViewSonic VX2770SMH-LED 27-Inch SuperClear IPS LED Monitor for photo editing orig3

ViewSonic VX2770

This is usually the case with general purpose monitors that are not meant for photo editing.

They provide inaccurate colors, a narrow color gamut, and poor gamma reproduction. Which are all essential factors for accurate color reproduction.

A good monitor won’t make you a better photographer. But it will help you make better judgements of your pictures while editing them. So they will look much better than the way they were taken.

Moreover a good monitor is necessary because it helps you see the color and tonal differences in your digital images. Which you most likely will not see in a regular monitor for general use.

It will also help you make good post-processing adjustments and decisions while editing them.

Without the right display, you cannot distinguish between subtle shadow details. Nor adjust the curves of your pictures to give your print the necessary smooth tonal transitions.

Because you won’t be able to see those image details and transitions in the first place with a display that is not good enough.

While there are so many product options out there, there are only a few that are ideal.


Click here to see the best monitors for photo editing



Why it is very important to choose with care

Choosing the right display to use for editing photos is as important as purchasing the right camera and lens for your job. Because it determines how the colors of your pictures will be reproduced. And displayed for you to see and edit on screen.

Which is the reason why you should not just rely on any monitor. You need to choose with care.

Dell UltraSharp U3014-8

Dell UltraSharp U3014 wide color gamut display

Perhaps you already know that a successful photographic process does not end with the camera and lens.

Post processing and editing your images is the secret to delivering excellent results in your prints. And with the right display (not just any monitor), this process will be easily achieved.

Color accuracy and accurate color reproduction are the most important features you should check for. When choosing a monitor for photo editing.

Because they have a lot to do with the colors that you will be able to see on your screen.

It is also very important because if you are not getting nearly all the colors available in your raw image and digital files, you won’t be able to do a perfect job editing them.


Monitors and Photo editing

As mentioned earlier, producing excellent photos does not end with your camera and lenses. Presenting clients with great pictures involves mastering the techniques of post processing.

Because in this case, it might not matter how good you are in taking great pictures. Nor will it matter much, how expensive and top quality your camera is.

Your photos may be considered as captured by amateurs. If you do not process and edit them very well. Which is why using the ideal photo editing monitor is very important.

Because it will help you edit and process your images very well. To the point where you can proudly share them with friends. And print them out for your clients with confidence.


The type of monitor that is ideal for photo editing

NEC Multisync Pa301w-bk


In case you are not aware, there are different types of monitors. The regular and basic ones are used for web browsing, gaming, and office works.

But for photographers and graphic professionals, our needs in monitors are quite different from that of a gamer or casual user.

We need a display with accurate color reproduction abilities. That will be able to translate what is on screen to print or photo books with the highest accuracy in colors.

And because of that, there is a number of things to look for in a display for you to achieve that purpose.

Your monitor could be the reason why your pictures are not looking great the way it should be. Even after editing and post processing them.

Click here to see the ones we recommend.



Features to look for in monitors for photo editing

Choosing a monitor for general everyday use such as for office and home use is quite easy. But in order to make the best choice of a monitor for photo editing, you need to take your time to consider the following most important factors necessary for photo editing.


  • Size and Resolution

A monitor’s size and resolution helps to determine how efficient it can render colors on it. The size of a monitor screen is measured diagonally in inches.

Monitor size

Monitor size is measured diagonally across the screen

A big sized screen is better because it enables you to see more of what you are working with such as your pictures in greater details. With an increased screen real estate, you get more workspace available on the screen to work with. Your workflow will definitely be enhanced with better image visuals and minute details.

Check to make sure the size of a display you are interested in is physically big and wide enough for your view. The larger the screen size of a display, the better.

But it does not mean that you should go for the highest in size. Consider your desk and your workspace as well as your comfort. For example, if your work space will not contain a 32-inch display, it will not be useful to own a display of that size.

Cost is also another factor. You have to determine and decide the size that will allow you to work comfortably without spending too much. Because of course the higher the screen size, the higher the cost of the product.

And the difference in amount when you go higher in size say from 24 to 27 inches, is almost double the price of the monitor. Because of that, consider your budget. My advice is that you go for the highest that you can afford and that you will have space for at your working place.

For this, we recommend a 24-inch and above screen. Monitors of a 24-inch and above screen allow you to view photos at a good level of magnification. And as well be able to view all the necessary toolbars and software tools you will need to work with while editing pictures.

Monitor screen size

Size matters: A 21.5-inch display in this picture is not enough for photo editing

Except you are on a tight budget. Then you can opt for a 23-inch display. And that’s the minimum size you should consider for photo editing.

While checking for size, always consider if your workspace can accommodate a big sized display. And if you will be comfortable working with it at that size.

If you are going to be working very closely to the screen, you might not need a display to be that wide and big in size. All you need is a display with a high resolution even if the screen size is not that big. Resolution is what makes you see the many details of a picture on the screen completely.

The higher the resolution, the clearer and sharper images on display will be. And it helps so you don’t have to scroll too much to see what is on display.

A higher resolution will as well provide you with more content that can fit the screen with superb graphical details.

More pixels available due to a high resolution means you will have to zoom out less often when working with RAW image files of modern digital cameras that are up to 30 and higher megapixels. So pay attention to resolution as well when you consider the size of a display.

The most common display resolution you will find with most monitors is a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Which is known as full HD video resolution with a screen ratio of 16:9. The closest to that is an above HD resolution of 1920 x 1200 with a screen ratio of 16:10.

Monitor screen size

Size matters

Which is preferred to work with for photographic purposes than the HD video resolution. Because it is much closer to the sensor ratio of most DSLR cameras. And because it provides a slightly more real estate to work with images on display.

If you choose to get a big sized screen such as a 27-inch or higher, check the maximum resolution for that product. Because a bigger screen does not always mean a greater resolution. It is not worthwhile that you have a big sized screen with just an average resolution.

There should be a corresponding increase in resolution as well. For example you may find a 27-inch display that is cheap. But when you look closely, the resolution is 1920 x 1080. Which is just 2 megapixels. Consider that your camera might be up to 30 megapixels or more.

An ideal 27-inch display should have a 2560 x 1440 resolution or higher. Some even have up to 3820 x 2160 4k ultra HD resolutions. So it is not ideal that a screen is as big as a 27 or 30-inch and yet has a resolution as low as a 1920 x 1080. Because naturally it is capable of a much higher resolution.

In fact it is better you get a small sized screen with a high resolution than choosing to use a big sized screen with a much lesser resolution. It’s just that text on a high resolution display is usually smaller which some might find harder to read if the size of the screen is not big as well.

And because of this and a few other reasons, many still argue that a higher resolution is not necessarily better. Although images and text appear smaller with a higher resolution, you can still adjust it the way you want. To be lesser or higher according to your needs.

But bear in mind that monitors are meant to be used at their native resolutions. Meaning if you set it to other resolutions aside from the native resolution, images, text, and lines will look less than ideal. Due to change in pixel count, pixelation and interpolation effects.

Choose a big sized monitor if you can afford it. And then along with size, choose one with a high resolution. Except you are on a tight budget. Then you might not concern yourself too much about resolution if size is most important to you.

So which size and which resolution should you choose? Ideally, you should choose a 27-inch or above screen with a 2560 x 1440 resolution for your display.

Screen resolution

Most common screen resolution of displays. Image source: Wikipedia

Dell’s Ultrasharp U2713HM is one of the best option for a 27-inch screen with high performance. If you are a Mac user however and price is not your concern, Apple’s iMac with Retina 5K Display is a perfect fit of a display with high processing power and resolution.

But if you are on a tight budget, a 24-inch with 1920 x 1080 resolution or thereabout is still ok.

There are many very good ones as well in the high range that are 30-inches or more in size with a 2840 x 2160 Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) 4k resolution. But they cost way more than average 24-inch monitors for photo editing with a 1920 x 1200 resolution.

These days high end displays offer up to 4k (2840 x 2160) and higher resolutions. 4k resolution was initially targeted at cinematographers that make use of 4k video sources.

Photographers find it appealing too because it is a lot more closer to the resolution of RAW image files that cameras shoot out these days.

4k resolution is usually 4096 x 2160 pixels across the screen. You will find them with many 30-inch and above screens. As well as some 27-inch and a few 24-inch displays.

If you are on a very tight budget, you shouldn’t go for a less than 23-inch 1920 x 1080 HD resolution display. Consider that a 1920 x 1080 resolution is just 2 megapixels.

resolution and aspect ratio

Resolution and aspect ratio

But you might be using a 30 megapixel camera or even higher. You can see the huge difference between them. That is why a higher resolution is always better.

Consider as well a screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio over that of a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Because most pictures in landscape orientation fits perfectly into a 16:10 aspect ratio. And leaves you with enough space to view completely the various toolbars of image editing programs.

No matter what you choose, just remember the following about size and resolution;

  • Resolution is as important as the size of a display. Because it determines how much details of a picture you are able to see on your screen without having to scroll about the screen. It is actually a number that tells you how many pixels you have across a display. So the higher, the better.


  • Resolution is not determined by the size of a monitor. And for this reason, don’t expect a huge leap in resolution when you see a monitor with a large screen size.


  • It is always recommended to use a screen with its manufacturer specified resolution (native resolution). Meaning you cannot really use a display above or below its specified resolution for optimum performance.


  • Most times, it is better to have a small screen with a high resolution. Than a big screen with a much lesser resolution. Although text on it will look smaller, they will be more detailed and crisp.

With that said, if you to choose a 24-inch screen or thereabout, make sure it has a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 or more. Or at least a 1920 x 1080 HD resolution. And that’s the minimum we recommend.

Of course if you decide to go for a bigger screen such as a 27-inch or more than, you should expect a higher resolution. So look also for that as well.


As a photographer, if you find yourself spending much time in front of a display retouching and editing images, it is wise that you invest in a quality display.

Click here to see the best monitor for photo editing that we recommend for any color sensitive and image editing jobs.



  • Screen size and aspect ratio

A monitor’s screen size can be determined in two ways. Either diagonally across the screen. Or in terms of the screen ratio being the ratio of the width to the height of a display.

Bigger is not always better because not all sizes can fit your workspace or desk. In terms of screen ratio, a 16:9 screen ratio is very common which is good especially for movies.

But a 16:10 screen ratio is most ideal for photo editing. Because it is in line with the image ratio of cameras.



  • Pixel density

In addition to resolution, you need to take note of the pixel per inch (PPI) value of a display. Which is also known as pixel density.

Pixel density is a measure of how crisp images on a display will look. It is measured in pixels per inch (PPI).

Monitors for general use usually have a PPI value of 72 PPI. But those meant for working with high resolution photos and videos have up to 82 and higher PPI value.

So consider if the pixel count is high as well.



  • Panel types: TN, VA or IPS panels


TN panels

TN (Twisted Nematic) panels are one of the oldest monitor panel technologies. They are the cheapest type of LCD monitors when you compare them to others.

A TN vrs an LG IPS panel monitor; the difference

A TN panel compared to an LG IPS panel monitor; the difference

They are known to offer short response times which is great for movie watching and game playing. Response time of TN panels range between 2 to 6ms which is very useful to provide smooth motion. And to reduce ghosting for videos and games.

When combined with LED lighting, TN panels consume less power and are brighter than most other panel technologies. All of these makes TN panels very appealing to consumers in the display market. In fact most laptop and desktop screens meant for general use are made of TN panels.

But they are limited in terms of viewing angles and accurate color reproduction. They vary in color and brightness when you view them from different angles.

They look darker or lighter depending on the angle you are looking at the screen. Meaning contrast and luminosity suffer a lot at different angles.

You will notice color shifts and distortions a lot with TN panels when you view the screen from wide angles. Such as around the edges and at extreme angles.

They are also lacking in terms of panel homogeneity or what is known as panel uniformity across their panels.

 Maintaining the same colors, contrast and brightness in a display is a very important factor for an accurate photo editing experience. And that is what TN panels lack on the most part. All of these makes it difficult, frustrating and inconsistent to edit images with them.

To identify a TN panel display is easy. Just view what is shown on the screen from the top or from the sides of the screen.

If you notice color and brightness changes from what they look like when you view them directly in front of you, it is most likely a TN panel.

Another one huge flaw with TN panels that photographers should take note of is that TN panels are limited to only 6-bits of color depth.

Which means they are not able to display all colors of the full 24-bit color range (about 16.7 million colors) that most video cards are capable of. Instead the technology in TN panels simulate these full range of colors by interpolating other colors. They do it with limited success though.

Most TN panels are only capable of about 30% of the NTSC color gamut. And the colors on them are only accurate when viewed head-on. All of these makes TN panel monitors not good enough for photo editing.

They are only good for games and movies. As well as for simple office jobs such as word processing. Because of their very fast response times that has no ghosting effect on moving pictures. But not for photo editing.

So avoid using a TN panel display for color critical purposes such as image editing. Even if you are a beginner or you are on a tight budget.

IPS vrs TN panels

IPS compared to TN panels

IPS panels which are the best for photo editing are getting as cheap as TN panels. So there should be no excuse for using a TN panel for photography.

Although there have been lots of improvements with TN panels especially those with LED technology. They are still far from being as good for photography as IPS panels.

After everything that has been said, just remember the following about TN panels;

  • TN panels do not reproduce colors accurately and provide a narrow angle of view for images on display.
  • You can tell if an LCD display is made of TN panels by touching the screen with your finger. If it turns lighter at the point where you touched it, it is most likely a TN panel. You can as well view the screen at different angles or at wide angles to determine if it is a TN panel. Because there will be changes in contrast (color shifts) and brightness at different angles with a TN panel.
  • TN panel monitors have a very fast response time but have a low contrast and a limited color gamut. IPS panels on the other hand have a better color range than TN panels with deeper and richer blacks.
  • TN panels are not good enough for photo editing because they are typically 6-bits in color depth. And they are not capable of a wide angle of view. Meaning colors and contrast change when you change the angle in which you are viewing the screen.


VA panels

VA (Vertical alignment) panels are a better LCD panel technology than TN panels but perform less than IPS panels.

VA panels offer as much in terms of color accuracy with wide viewing angles as IPS panels. They offer up to 8-bits of color depth with a higher contrast ratio and better black levels than TN panels.

They come in different variation such as Pattern vertical alignment (PVA), Multi-domain vertical alignment (MVA) and Advanced super view (ASV).

Many desktop and gaming monitors are made of VA panels. But you will still experience color shifts with them at wide angles which makes them not good enough for photo editing.



IPS panels

LCD monitors made of IPS (In-plane switching) and PLS (plane to line switching) panels reproduce colors very well with a wide viewing angle. Which allows you to see colors of images more accurately even at wide angles.

IPS panel technology

IPS panel technology

IPS panels are the best panel technology for photo editing and photography. IPS panels utilize a technology known as in-plane switching (which is where their name is derived from) to create a wider range of color palettes within the sRGB color space.

IPS panels offer wider viewing angles without distortion or color shifts than TN panels. Colors and contrast remain consistent at any angle you view the screen of an IPS panel. Which is particularly useful if you or somebody else that is beside you is watching the screen from different angles.

Luminosity and contrast don’t change much with IPS panels even when you view them at wide angles of up to 178 degrees. And unlike previous panels, it does not change colors or darken when two or more people are in front of the screen.

Even when you touch a screen made of IPS panel, the image on screen remain stable unlike older panel technologies. Eye strain is also lesser with IPS panels than TN and VA panels.

One of the main advantage of IPS panels over TN and VA panels is that they are capable of true 8-bits of color depth. And even 10-bits and higher color depths.

Most IPS panel monitors offer at least 125% of the colors available in the NTSC color gamut. And they are capable of a wide color gamut covering at least 95% of the Adobe 1998 RGB colors.

High end LCD IPS panels offer ultra wide color gamuts with higher bit depths. Most of which is greater than or equal to the Adobe RGB color space.

Which makes them appealing to gadget manufacturers. Most Apple MacBook Pros, iPads and high end laptops are made of IPS panels. Because of its superior quality technology over other manufacturer panels.

Its IPS panels allows for wide viewing angles

Its IPS panels allows for wide viewing angles

But they are more expensive than TN panels. If you notice price variations between two or more monitors with almost the same features, look closely, the panel type might be the reason. These days they are getting much cheaper. They don’t cost much higher than TN panels with their recent offerings.

IPS panels however are known for slower response times than TN panels. Which makes them not good enough for fast action video games and for watching videos.

But for photographers and graphic artists, this is not an issue. Because what is most important is the ability of a display to deliver accurate color reproduction. So that you get to see more colors across the screen.

Recently there have been improvements in their pixel response time. You can get response rates of about 14ms and less with their improved technologies such as the S-IPS type. Which is enough for videos but still not enough for very fast paced games.

IPS panels are also very flexible in terms of range of options for calibration. However they are not that perfect in terms of panel uniformity.

IPS panels come in different variations such as H-IPS, S-IPS, E-IPS, P-IPS, AS-IPS among others. The reason for the differences is the many development and improvements made on the original panels.

Each of the different variations represent a different stage in their development.

Manufacturers these days produce more of super IPS panels. That have a faster response time with better contrast. And cheaper as well.

You can calibrate them easily and there is no color distortion at sharp angles. You can get a good one for less than $300.

One of the best of them is the AH-IPS technology that was developed by LG. AH-IPS makes use of a function known as advanced fringe field switching (AFFS).

They also provide a better light transmission which helps for a lower power consumption. All of these provides the best performance for small sized screens with high resolution.

Which is most applicable to handheld devices such as Apple’s iPad. AH-IPS technology has not been extended much to large screen displays because the manufacturing cost is still high.



  • E-IPS

E-IPS are the cheapest type of IPS panels because they don’t cost much to produce to compare with the other types. They are lacking in terms of color gamut when you compare them to the P-IPS and H-IPS types.

But they are still much better than what you find in regular displays made of TN panels. They are made of 8-bits color depth with approximately 16.7 million colors. While some of them are 6-bit (with A-FRC) or what is known as 8-bit simulation.


  • H-IPS

Many of the top performing displays are made of H-IPS panels. This technology is based on IPS pixels being arranged in vertical lines across the panel for optimum performance.


  • P-IPS

P-IPS means professional IPS meaning that it has a wider color gamut than the others in its category. Many of them are made of 10-bit with a color palette of about 1.07 billion colors. While some P-IPS products are 8-bits (with AFRC) or what is known as 10-bit simulation.


  • S-IPS

S-IPS type of IPS panel is one of the best performing IPS panels with a very good color gamut coverage. S-IPS panels have the highest color gamut, viewing angles and the most accurate colors. They are one of the best IPS panels for photo editing.


An ideal monitor is very important for post-processing and retouching of your pictures. Where can you find them?

Click here to see the best photo editing monitors and what makes them the best.



  • Calibration

One very important aspect of a display that many overlook is calibration. Calibration is basically making some changes to a display to improve its color and image quality.

It comes with Eizo's special ColorNavigator software for simple and quick calibration

Eizo’s ColorNavigator software for simple and quick calibration

Calibration is very important because it helps to match up the many different color profiles of digital imaging devices.

If you have ever been to a television store where lots of TVs are lined up playing the same program. Then you may have noticed that color, brightness and sharpness vary from one TV to another.

The same can be said about your pictures if you do not calibrate your monitor before editing your pictures. Because you will be misled about the actual colors of your photos.

And your photos will vary in the way they appear on other monitors. Calibrating and profiling your monitor properly prevents this problem. It makes your monitor very accurate in colors.

Some monitors come with in-built calibration sensors or calibration software that you can install to calibrate the display.

While some others ship with an external colorimeter that you can calibrate your monitor with. Moreover, Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems include built-in calibration software that help with the process.

Most high end displays come factory calibrated. Which means that they have already been adjusted to provide the best color and image quality by the manufacturer at factory level. But despite that, you can still improve it the more with external calibration tools.

That is to tell you how important calibration is to your monitor. You need to calibrate your monitor for optimum performance.

For most monitors, you will need to calibrate them before you start to make use of them. And even periodically after. Say every few weeks or few months later. To make some color corrections where necessary overtime.

Most displays when bought new come with a brightness and contrast level that is set too high by the manufacturer.

They usually have a too high contrast, color cast, saturation and brightness settings out of the box. They are just too bright and too blue when you turn them on at first.

And this might interfere with how accurate the colors on your pictures are being shown. The more reason why you should consider calibrating your display before you start to use it for color critical purposes.

Professional photographers look to get an external calibration tool despite what is provided by the manufacturer.

So even if the product of your choice comes with or does not come with a calibration tool or software, you might need to get an external calibrator for your display.

It correlates very well with external calibration sensors like ColorMunki

An external calibration sensor like ColorMunki

Calibration tools that come with top products do help and they work too. But if your work is as sensitive as what puts food to your table, invest in an external calibration tool. Because external calibration tools are more efficient.

Calibration tools uses hardware that measures colors, contrast and brightness and then uses software to make corrections.

What these tools do is digitally read a display and correct its color profiles with high accuracy.

They first show a series of color patches. Then use software to create an ICC profile that will properly adjust the colors.

You can also use a separate ICC profile for your paper type and printer. Then use soft proofing tools such as the ones in Adobe Photoshop to view how your printed images will look on paper.

Calibration tools also allow you to tweak gamma, luminance and white point levels.

White point is a calibration setting in a monitor that determines the color temperature of the brightest white.

Color temperature is either expressed in Kelvin (K) or in a more accurate unit known as the standard illuminant D50 for example.

External calibration tools offered in the market come as hardware tools that you can purchase for a few dollars depending on the quality of the product.

The best options available are the Spyder models that cost as from about $80 upwards. Other good options are the ColorMunki that cost about $500 and the Eye-One LT that cost about $150.

For example the Datacolor Spyder4 PRO and the X-rite Colormunki are the best products available so far. Both are good enough for beginners and professionals as well.

More advanced tools such as the Minolta CS-200 is targeted towards high-end users. Considering the job they do, they won’t necessarily cost you much on the long run. And it will be wasteful if you do not calibrate your high quality screen due to cost or negligence.

If you are in a tight budget, you can calibrate your monitor with available software. Such as the ones that come with a display or the ones offered by popular operating systems.

In fact Apple’s OSX has an inbuilt calibration software that makes the process easy.

First check with the product of your choice to see what they have to offer. And if not enough, consider investing in a market available calibration tool.

Displays that come with calibration tools include a profiling and calibration software. Some even include a hardware calibration device also known as puck as well.

All of which include DDC communication (display data channel) that enables the calibration tools to adjust the hardware settings of a monitor directly.

color calibration of laptop using 220px-Spyder4Elite_calibrating Wiki

Calibrating a laptop screen using Spyder4Elite.
Image source: Wikipedia

Which is different from just adjusting the graphics card. Display data channels (DDC) is a program that can adjust a display’s contrast, brightness, gamma and white point levels through a profiling device and software.

It helps to save time and improve precision when profiling and calibrating monitors. DDC communication preserves a monitor’s dynamic range better than tools that only adjust the graphics card.

Always choose a DDC compliant display for photographic purposes.



  • Gamma and DeltaE

DeltaE and Gamma values are what helps to determine how accurate the images reproduced in a display is. DeltaE is basically a measure of color difference.

The higher the value of DeltaE in a display, the more the color difference from what is ideal. You will not notice color inaccuracies in a display with a DeltaE value of one or a value less than one.

But if the DeltaE value is greater than one, inaccurate colors become visible. But that’s the theoretical aspect of it.

In practice, a DeltaE value of less than two is most ideal. While a value of three and less is still good.

No matter the DeltaE value of a display, calibrating it gives more accurate results.

Gamma on the other hand is a measure of how a display renders luminance in an image. Changes in gamma values can cause bright elements of a display to become more visible while dark elements become obscure and vice versa.

The general standard for gamma in a display is a value of 2.2. It is always good to make sure a display can accurately handle that value. Because even a minor deviation from the standard value of 2.2 can result to considerable changes in the look of a picture.

Take for example when you tweak the gamma settings of a photo editor. The changes are usually quite noticeable. That is how important gamma values can be.

Gamma however is a less important setting than luminance and white point of a monitor. Because most color management photo apps such as the Adobe Photoshop adjusts the settings for gamma automatically no matter the default monitor gamma settings.

Most monitor hardware uses a default gamma of 2.2. Windows operating system uses a native gamma of 2.2 as well. While most Apple operating systems uses a default gamma value of 1.8.



  • Color Gamut: Standard Gamut or Wide Gamut (Extended Gamut) which should you choose?

Color Gamut is the amount of colors a device such as a display, can provide and is limited to.

Most monitors are capable of displaying all the colors available in the standard color gamut such as the colors of sRGB. But many do not offer as much of the colors available in the extended/wide color gamut (which includes Adobe RGB).

Color gamut

Color gamut

sRGB color gamut is a color standard created by Microsoft and HP in 1996 that covers about 35 percent of the colors that is visible to the human vision.

Which is the colors available in what is known as the visible spectrum (about 2.5 million colors). And which is the range of colors most people are used to both on the internet and offline in printed formats.

Adobe RGB however is a color standard created in 1998 that covers much more visible colors than sRGB. They are able to display a bigger range of colors of up to 77% the visible spectrum.

sRGB colors is known as the standard gamut. While Adobe RGB is part of the extended gamut also known as wide gamut.

sRGB is a lesser color gamut than the more advanced Adobe RGB.

And since RAW images are shot at about 14-bit to 16-bits, the desire for a monitor that can display as much of what is contained within each image captured became common. Which is what a wide gamut display is capable of.

Wide gamut monitors are able to provide a palate of over a billion colors. Which is more or less 100% of Adobe RGB colors.

If the monitor you intend to use is not capable of providing colors of the extended gamut, you won’t be able to print out all the colors in your camera pictures.

Because the monitor won’t be capable of reproducing and displaying the colors if it only supports colors of the standard gamut.

What this means is that a monitor could be the problem if you are not getting all the colors contained in your RAW image files. Especially when you print them out from your inkjet printer.

Because it does not have the ability to reproduce all the colors your camera and printer is capable of.

A wide gamut display does not have this issue because it can provide much of what is contained in the Adobe RGB color space.

With it you will be able to see richer and brighter colors on your screen than what you see in a monitor with a standard gamut. Which also helps when you print them out.

To make the best use of a wide gamut display, you need to calibrate it properly. And use it with a good color management software such as Photoshop.

To know if a display is of the standard or wide color gamut, check with the specs of the product.

To specify the range of colors and gamut a display is made of, manufacturers quote the color coverage in terms of percentages of either sRGB or Adobe RGB color space.

For example, you might find a spec of a product that says it covers 100% of sRGB, and 95% of Adobe RGB.

Manufacturers also quote the depth of colors a display is made of in either millions or billions of colors. Such as 16.7 million for example or 1.07 billion colors.

True colors is very important for imagess on display

Color coverage is very important for images on display

Millions meaning the standard range of colors. While billions definitely means a bigger range as well as a greater color gamut (wide color gamut).

It is quite simple-the bigger, the better. But you might not need a wide gamut display because it may not be useful for you. For reasons we will discuss further below.

Our table of the top products we recommend will help you to know if a display is of the standard gamut or a wide gamut display.

And if a wide gamut display is what you want, check to make sure the product covers at least 95% of both sRGB and Adobe RGB color space.

We have you covered here. Because in the table where we compared the top products, there are specified values of sRGB and Adobe RGB color space coverage.

Despite the advantages of a wide gamut display, it does not come without flaws. Usually they reproduce at least 98% of the Adobe 1998 RGB colors. And up to 110% of sRGB.

But they are not applicable everywhere at least for now. Colors on a wide gamut display appear over saturated after calibration on programs with no color management, compared to when they are not calibrated.

Especially on the internet and with most operating systems. Which you will see on the taskbar and icons of most Windows and Mac operating systems, software and applications. Because Windows and Mac OS do not manage colors very well.

Once a wide gamut display is calibrated, you will see a beautiful display of its colors on a very good color management app. Such as the Adobe Photoshop and similar software programs.

But they will not look so good on programs that don’t manage colors very well. Which means your pictures will look good on Photoshop for example. But will appear to be contrasted and saturated in Windows explorer programs and Mac browsers.

You may be wondering if you should choose a wide gamut display or if you should choose one of a standard gamut.

In fact most people believe that since a wide color gamut provides more colors, then they should be the best for photo editing. And for that reason, they choose to go for a wide gamut display.

But it is more complicated than that. The color gamut you should choose will depend on the nature of your work and what you need a display for.

Just like you don’t really need a 36 megapixel camera, you don’t really need a wide gamut display except you are working professionally with printed images. Which means that you regularly print out your digital images with the use of a high quality printer and graphics card.

It is true that wide gamut displays offer a lot more colors and works very well with programs that support them. But the main issue is that not all programs and applications support the colors offered by extended gamut colors.

It reproduces almost the entire Adobe RGB color space

Color space

Consider for example that most of the colors you see and work with on the internet are mainly made up of the standard rRGB colors. And most browsers displays colors of the standard color gamut.

So most of what we know in the world of digital photography are meant to work with the sRGB color space (standard gamut). This is evident with web pages and what you find on the internet. Web designers and publishers work with sRGB colors.

If you are using a wide gamut display and it is not calibrated properly to view colors in the sRGB range, they will appear oversaturated and seem off color to you.

Moreover, pictures that look good on a wide gamut display will not look exactly the same to someone whose display is in the sRGB color range.

If you are to view the colors of a program that is of the standard gamut on an extended gamut display, the colors could go wild. They may look washed out and become over-saturated while some of them will frequently be shifting.

All of this could be an issue if you don’t manage them well in a wide gamut display.

To solve this problem, many of the wide gamut displays have separate profiles for different uses. And you will need to switch between these profiles depending on what you are working on.

A color managed operating system can also switch between the profiles for you if you set it up properly. To understand this concept fully, you need to learn more about color management.

If most of the editing you do if for posting pictures for use online. Such as to share and publish your photos to the web or through online printers that work in the sRGB color space, then you do not need a wide gamut display.

Because most of what you publish and share online will be viewed within the standard color gamut. So stick with a standard gamut display (sRGB).

But if your job demands for more colors in printed formats (i.e. if your work will be converted to physical media such as fine art prints), go for a wide gamut display (Adobe RGB).

Meaning if your work demands for more saturated colors such as printing out large format prints to demanding clients, then you need a display with a wide color gamut.

Because your work will involve taking pictures of very saturated colors that is out of the range of sRGB colors. Such as solid color blocks without shades.

And you will need a wide gamut display to edit these colors. If not, you will not see all the colors in a regular standard gamut display.

If you do happen to get a wide gamut display, just make sure it has the ability to switch easily between standard and wide gamut colors. So make sure you can easily switch between the two color profiles for web applications and other purposes.

Just remember the following below;

  • Most monitors cover the full range of sRGB colors but most times fail to cover all the colors available in the Adobe RGB range.
  • Though Adobe RGB of the wide color gamut is better than sRGB of the standard color gamut, it might not be the best or even useful to you.
  • Choose a standard gamut display (one that covers most of the colors of sRGB) if your work is mainly for general use in a broad range of devices. Such as the web and desktop applications.

So as to avoid a bad color display applicable with programs with little or no color management. Both for your photos and of others that might not display correctly on your screen.

  • Choose a wide gamut display (one that covers most of Adobe RGB colors) if your job has to do with fine art printing mostly at high quality labs that accept files in wide gamut formats (which includes Adobe RGB or ProPhotoRGB).

And if your works will only be displayed on devices that work with wide gamut colors. And this incudes those that print photos in a high quality inkjet printers in their own digital darkroom or workstations that is mainly for photo processing.

  • If you do not have a solid reason to work in the Adobe RGB color space, it is best to stick with sRGB.



  • Connectivity and available connections

While shopping to buy a display for photo editing, consider how you are going to connect it to your computer.

VGA connecting ports are no longer that relevant these days because they are old in technology. And because they still make use of the old analog technology, it makes them not able to transmit high quality digital image and video details efficiently.


It comes with multiple inputs for comfort and convenience

Multiple inputs helps for flexibility and convenience


Most technologies however are advancing towards digital. In terms of available input connections, check to make sure the display you are interested in have at least a DVI digital connection, DisplayPort or HDMI.

A thunderbolt connection is also good for connecting to your PC if you are a MAC user. Thunderbolt connections are Apple manufacturer specific input/output connecting ports that is used to connect a display to your computer.

If you intend to get a high end display with an ultra-high resolution, choose one with at least a DVI and HDMI inputs. Or one with at least a DVI and DisplayPort connections.

Because they allow for high speed digital image processing with very minimal loss in transmission. And as well help to produce vivid, clear, and sharp images.

Monitors with above HD resolution (1920 x 1080) work best with DisplayPorts. And that should be the connector you should check for in a display if you are to work with above HD resolutions.

Don’t forget too that DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 are the only connectors that works with 4k resolution displays at 60Hz. HDMI 2.0 is still a new and very rare technology though.

It all depends on what you have on your computer as output connections. Just check to make sure what you have on your PC’s output connections, is available as inputs on the display you are interested in.

This is especially important if you intend to plug-in multiple devices to your display. But don’t worry too much if your computer is limited in output connections.

Because these days, adapters are available to make these connections. Which you can purchase to convert most video formats.

More connectivity options are available as bonus from top products for you to easily connect your gadgets. Such as USB ports, media card readers, etc. So check for these as well.



  • Color Depth/bit depth (Grey gradient quality) 6-bits, 8-bits, 10-bits, 14-bits or 16-bits LUT?

Color depth/bit depth is the total number of colors a display’s hardware is able to handle. The color depth of a display also known as color bits, determines how many colors it is capable of displaying.

It is usually specified in bits. Example 6-bit, 8-bit, 10-bit, 12-bit, 16-bit etc.

color bits/ color depthMonitors in early technologies started with a 1-bit color depth. Which were only good for just view back then. Several development over the years improved that to about 24-bits which we are used to today.

A 24-bit display is capable of 16.7 million colors basically. 24-bits color is based on 8-bits for each RGB channel. That’s the reason many monitors in the moderate range are said to be about 8-bits.

The higher the color depth in bits, the more the colors that are possible with a display. But some manufacturers use a process known as dithering to display colors that the hardware of their product is not capable of.

A display’s processor specification is what helps to determine its true color depth.

High end color accurate displays from manufacturers such as NEC and EIZO usually offer up to 10-bits, 12-bits, 14-bits color depth or more.

These higher range of color depths allows for smoother transitions between tone values. It also helps to extend the dynamic range of displayed images.

Which allows for more details to be visible in extremely bright areas as well as for better visible shadow details. They all help when working in wide gamut colors but not with standard gamut colors.

Photoshop for example is yet to support more than 8-bits color depth for pixels in an image.

Bit/color depth is actually the number of bits used to display colors in each of the RGB color channels at each pixel. Which means for example that an 8-bit monitor actually displays 24-bits of colors.

Which in turn means that it can display up to 16.7 million colors. The reason for this is that a bit depth value translates to an exponent of two. Because digital technology makes use of the binary system.

So if for example, a monitor displays 24-bits of color, it means that it is actually showing a multiple of 256 x 256 x 256 colors which in total is about 16.7 million colors.

If your work involves printing out your pictures, don’t go below an 8-bit display.

The transfer of digital photographic files is usually done on what is known as a LUT table. Monitors with 10-bits LUT tables or more provide very good grey gradients. And even many that are 8-bits perform very well.

But avoid that of a 6-bit typical of TN panels because they don’t perform as much. Choose a monitor with at least an 8-bit lookup table (LUT) color depth. Because it will be able to provide color palates of at least 16.7 million colors.

But if you can extend your reach and go for high end displays, you can get a 10 bit and higher LUT monitor. With color palettes of more than one billion colors.

And even at that your graphics card should be able to work alongside it for optimum performance. So check if your graphics card is up to 10-bits or higher for this purpose.

And if not, consider getting one like the NVidia Quadro K2000. It helps you to get a near perfect grey gradient performance.

IPS monitors meant for photo editing usually offer an 8-bit color depth. While TN panel monitors are capable of only 6-bits of colors which you should avoid for photo editing.

High end IPS panel displays offer a 10-bit or more color depth which is also desirable for photographers.

It provides 10-bit simultaneous color display via its DisplayPort input

10-bit simultaneous color display via a DisplayPort input

But color gamut is usually a better indicator of quality than the color depth of a display. So it is good you pay more attention to the gamut of a display than the color depth.

In any case, you don’t have to worry too much about these values. The monitors we selected in our table of the best products are all of very good quality with decent grayscale performance.

And if any of what is mentioned here is your concern, just calibrate it with a good calibration tool. Because calibration helps a display to offer a much better and cleaner grey gradient.

Which will take care of most of these points and reduce any possible defects. Or perhaps just get any one of the high end displays in our top display category and don’t worry again.

Because they display very good colors and shades of grey without color or tone breaks.



  • Screen finish: Matte screen or Glossy Screen?

Whether a glossy screen or a matte screen display is better for photography is still a matter of debate up till today. Glossy or glass looking screens reflect light a lot even when you are using them indoors.

But they are very popular and people like them a lot. Most people even prefer them over a matte screen. Because they make contrast and colors on a display look very good and more vibrant with deep blacks.

Glossy screens also known as shiny screens, are very good for entertainment. But they can be a disadvantage for photographic work. Because of their reflective nature.

Especially if you are working in an environment where there are lots of light around.

They reflect light a lot and shapes of anything that is in front of them. This in turn alters the perception of what is on display. And makes it look like contrast and saturation do not correspond with the original content of images.

You will notice this difference more with printed images.

Matte screens on the other hand are non-reflective. They are also known as non-reflective or anti-glare screens.

If you are shopping to buy online, you cannot easily tell if a screen is matte or glossy. But looking through specs, reviews and a guide like what we have here on this page will help you to know.

In fact in the table where we compared the top products, we specified if a screen is matte or glossy.

At this point let’s discuss which one of them is best for photography.

Choose a matte screen display because they are the best for photo editing. So as to avoid the main disadvantages associated with glossy screens that is not good for color sensitive jobs.

Monitors For Photography

A glossy screen display

But many still argue in favor of a glossy screen due to its few advantages.

What will help you decide is this; if you intend to process everything about your photos on your display without printing them, you may not worry too much if a screen is matte or glossy in nature.

But if you will need to print out your images, avoid a glossy screen. Choose a matte screen instead. To avoid color saturation issues that can affect printed images.

Moreover matte screens can be calibrated more accurately than glossy screens. Because you won’t have to deal with reflections while calibrating a matte screen display.

And because what you get from matte screens are true images without reflections. Which helps to prevent eye strain.

But glossy screens make colors look over saturated. Check with the detailed specs we provided in our top products section to confirm if a screen is matte or glossy in nature.

A good monitor will not only help you work better with your images, they will also help reduce eye strain when you work for long hours.

Click here to see the ones we recommend.



  • Backlight

Latest LCD flat panel screens uses LED backlighting for their IPS panels. Backlight is the feature of a panel technology that provides light to a display.

Monitor backlights are either made of the old cold cathode tube or the more recent LED (light emitting diodes) backlight.

LCD panels used to use cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL) on the most part for its backlight. But not anymore. LED backlights are now in the process of replacing CCFL backlight technology for good reasons.

Among the many reasons LED is better is that they do not emit mercury which is considered a hazardous toxic material. LED backlight technology also allows for a thinner display in terms of design.

They consume less power of up to half the power consumption of CCFL. Also the white light that is provided by LED backlights are from original red, green and blue light emitting diodes.

Which makes the lights brighter and purer than CCFL backlights. LED technology also offer a wider color gamut than CCFLs. They offer up to 120% of Adobe RGB colors which is about 25% more colors than what CCFL technology can provide.

Depending on the technology used by the manufacturer, the backlight of a display could differ in intensity from the center to the edges of the screen. This can be an issue for a display meant for photography.

A good display will have an even and uniform backlighting across its panels to ensure that colors appear the same both at the center and at the edges of the screen.

We discuss more about this when you go further below on our section with the title: Panel uniformity/ homogeneity.



  •  Viewing Angles
No color shift due to its IPS panel and wide viewing angles unlike conventional monitors

No color shift due to its IPS panel and wide viewing angles unlike conventional monitors

TN panel monitors are known to have a poor accurate viewing angle across their screens. You will notice lots of changes in colors and contrast from what you see when you view the screen directly in front of you.

What this means is that if you are to move from left to right or from top to bottom of a TN panel monitor, there will be lots of changes in contrast and its colors will transform.

Which could be a huge problem when editing pictures with them.

You wouldn’t want a display with a less than 120 degrees angle of view. For both vertical and horizontal view. If not, you will notice changes in your images when you move at slight angles to the screen.

Fortunately, IPS panels do not have this issue. Most of them have a 178 degrees viewing angle range for both vertical and horizontal view. Which is best for photo editing.



  • LED or LCD?

Some people are usually confused when it comes to the difference between a LED and an LCD monitor. But the simple answer is that most LED screens you hear of today are actually LCD panels with an LED backlight.

Meaning they are LCD panels that are illuminated by LED lights behind them. Unlike the old technology LCD panels that were illuminated with fluorescent lights, most newer LCD panels are powered by a LED backlight.

Though there are displays that are actually made of light emitting diodes (LEDs) completely across their panels. They are not as popular and widely used as LCDs (liquid crystal displays).

Choose an IPS panel display with a LED backlit because it has several advantages over the old fluorescent lamp backlight technology.



  • Panel uniformity/ homogeneity

Panel uniformity or homogeneity is the ability of a screen to display the same color levels and brightness across its panel.

It is an important aspect of a display so you don’t see different color levels at certain areas of the screen. This is where high end displays from manufacturers such as Eizo and NEC perform very well.

And that is why their high end displays don’t come cheap. Because it is usually expensive to get a big sized screen with a decent panel uniformity across its panels.

And because the higher the size of a screen say 27-inches and higher, the higher the possibility that its panels will not be uniform in colors.

Calibration usually helps with this issue in most cases. But it is not the perfect solution.

Panel uniformity is very important for a display meant for photo editing. Because it ensures that there is uniform illumination across the screen from edge to edge.

LED backlights offer a more uniform illumination than cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL) backlights.

To determine how uniform a screen, just fill the screen with a completely white image. Then check if there are light falloffs at the edges of the screen.

It is always a good idea to purchase from stores where you can easily return a product in case its panels are not uniform in colors. And check with a manufacturer’s warranty policy for this.

As soon as you just bought a display, it is good you check for panel evenness in terms of illumination across its screen. This is very important for accurate color display when working with your monitor.

A simple way to do this is to launch one of your photos in Photoshop. Then move it around the screen to see if it appears darker or brighter at some point when you move it around the screen.

A better and more accurate way to do this is by creating a monitor profile with a profiling software. Then use the ‘validate current profile’ function of the profiling software to measure the side-to-side areas and the four corners of the screen. A spectrophotometer can help as well.



  • Ergonomics and Adjustment options
Ergonomics and adjustment options of a monitor

Ergonomics and adjustment options of a monitor is important

An ideal display for photo editing will allow you to adjust its height and other points to your desired position. Such as tilting, pivoting, swiveling and rotating the display for your comfort.

What you will essentially be doing is reposition it anyway you want for the most comfortable placement at your workplace. It also helps to protect you from the effects of poor posture due to bad positioning.

Pay attention to the ergonomics of a display. Because it will determine how adjustable it is at any position you want it to be.

Check if it can tilt, swivel, pivot, rotate and is height adjustable.

If a display lacks majority of these adjustment options, then make sure it is VESA mount compatible. So that you can use a stand with it. Which you can purchase elsewhere in the market as an accessory.



  • Pixel Response time

Pixel response time means how fast a pixel can change colors which is measured in milliseconds (ms).

The lower the pixel response time, the faster the pixels change. And the better because it reduces ghosting and streaking effects in fast changing and moving images.

A fast response time will ensure that your images on display will be very clear and that there will be no motion blur.

It is a very important feature for playing games and watching videos which TN panels are known for. But it is not that important for photo editing.

In fact, IPS panels which are meant for photo editing do not have very fast pixel response times. Which is ok because like I said, it is not a required feature for photo editors.

What is more important for photo editing is quick screen redraw which is determined by the amount of RAM available in your graphics card and in the image cache level settings.

A response time of about 8ms and slightly higher or lower is ok in a display for photo editing.



  • Contrast

Contrast ratio is a measure of the difference between the brightest white that can be produced in a display and the darkest black.

It is the ratio of the brightest white’s luminance to that of the darkest black that a display is able to produce. The higher the contrast ratio, the better in general.

A high contrast ratio will ensure that dark shades in a display are still visible and very clear. Which is very important for games and movies.

A monitor with a high contrast ratio is also better because it will display more tonal gradations across the screen. And it will provide the most color reproduction between different brightness settings.

But if a display has a contrast level that is too high, it is not always the best for professional photo editing. Because it might result to images appearing too vivid on the screen.

Most top displays offer a constant/static contrast ratio of about 1000:1. Which is good for photo editing.

In fact anything above an 800:1 contrast ratio is good for photography.

They also offer up to 10,000,000:1 contrast ratio in the dynamic range. Which is obtained from the newer LED technology. In other words, they are dynamic contrast ratios.

Dynamic contrast is not an ideal measure of a display’s contrast ratio. Because manufacturers provide unrealistic numbers in that range.

So pay more attention to the static constant ratio of a display. And not the dynamic constant ratio. Because you will see crazy values in the dynamic range that look unrealistic.



  • Brightness and luminance

Luminance also known as brightness is one of the most important settings of a display. It helps for a screen-to-print matching result.

It is measured in candelas per square meters (cd/m2) also known as nits. The recommended brightness settings of a monitor is 100 cd/m2 or a range between 80 cd/m2 to 120 cd/m2.

Most displays offer a maximum brightness level of 250 cd/m2 or slightly more than that. Some even have a brightness level of up to 400 cd/m2.

A brighter screen is not always the best for use. It is ok to have a very bright screen if you are viewing your screen from a long distance.

But if you will be working anywhere close to the screen, it is recommended that you use a lower brightness setting. Because a screen that is too bright can result to headaches on the part of the user especially when used for a long period of time.

You should worry more about the brightness of a display if your working environment is made up of a brightly lit room.

For that reason, choose a display with a high candelas per square meters (cd/m2) preferable 300 and above.

So as to be able to use a higher brightness setting when necessary in a very bright environment. And it gives you much control over brightness because of the higher maximum brightness level.

Ambient light also known as the light of your work environment determines mostly the brightness and white point settings you should use for your monitor.

If your working environment is too bright, then you should use a higher brightness setting. Because the brighter the environment, the brighter your monitor needs to be.

But avoid working in an environment where there is strong sunlight every day that is too bright and that changes continually throughout the day.



  • Monitor Hood
Its self calibration feature works even when it is off

Monitors with hood

If a display comes with a monitor hood, it is an advantage. But in most cases, it comes at an added cost to a product.

Do you really need it? A monitor hood is not really necessary. But it depends on how critical your work is. And it depends on your work environment.

You will need a monitor hood if too much light around your work environment affects the look of your display at different times of the day.

Such as a source of light or several sources of light that is intense in nature. Especially with light coming from the roof, windows and door openings.

A monitor hood helps to block ambient light shining on your display from around it. Say from the top or from the sides of your display.

With a monitor hood, your screen is more concentrated in providing visuals from the screen that an external source of light does not interfere with. With that, it is secured from external light sources.

Monitor hoods are sold separately in most cases which you can purchase along with the display of your choice. Some come with a product at extra cost to the product.

Even if a product does not come with a hood, you can purchase third party hoods available in the market if you need one.

But if a display has a dedicated hood from its manufacturer included alongside the product. Or is available as an accessory you can buy from the manufacturer itself, it’s usually the best. Because it will provide the best fitting and attach firmly and easily.

My advice is this: a monitor hood should not be one of the first things you should check for when making your choice of a display.

Because most products do not include it in their offers. And because you can purchase it anywhere with a few dollars.

But if the display of your choice comes with it as an included accessory, it is a good buy. Which you should take advantage of.



  • Your Computer hardware graphics card

Not all graphics cards are capable of displaying full contents of high end displays such as a 30-inch high resolution display.

So check to make sure your computer’s graphics card is capable of handling the high resolution of any high-end display you might be interested in.

Especially if it is a laptop. You do this by doing a simple check of your PC’s graphics card specifications.

It is applicable and ideal for most professional needs including photography

Bear in mind that some of these top products make use of a 10-bit or higher technology which requires certain graphic cards to work well with it.

You need to check with the product manufacturer to determine the graphic cards that are supported with the display of your choice.

And in some cases displays that use 10-bit or higher technology will require you use the DisplayPort connector. And not the standard digital connector or even the HDMI port for optimum use.

Another point to note is that graphics cards that support high end displays uses lots of power. So make sure your power supply is capable of it.

This is also applicable to those who intend to set up dual monitors. Make sure your graphics card and power supply is capable of a dual monitor or multi-monitor set up.



  • Single screen or Multiscreen

It is a good idea to have more than one display to work with. But do you have budget for it? That is what you should consider.

One screen is enough but multi-screen setups have many advantages. It helps for example to have your images open on your main high range screen. Then have all your tool palettes in Photoshop open in the second screen-the low range display.


If it’s what you want, I recommend you get a high quality display as your main screen. Then don’t go below a 24-inch for the rest of the other displays in your multi-screen setup.

Many prefer to work with two 27-inch monitors. Or one high quality main screen with two other 24-inch or 23-inch screens in a multi monitor setup.

It’s all up to you. And consider if you have enough space for them on your desk.



  • How about Touch screens

Touch screen displays are not that important for photo editors. Because you won’t necessarily need to swipe images on display every now and then.

Though touch screens make using a display easier with just a touch on the screen. Consider the cost of getting one. Because they cost higher than non-touch screen displays.

But if that’s what you really want, then there is nothing bad about them. They definitely make using a display very easy. And will as well make your work easier.

Just bear in mind that you might not need it. As it is not one of the most important features you need.



  • Additional features.

Computer monitors offer more than just a display for you to use. These days they come with additional features that you may find very useful.

Such as USB hubs, built-in speakers, multiple digital inputs, media card readers and more.

Check if a display you are interested in have them as added features. But they should not be the most important things you should look for.

One particular feature that you will most likely find in high end LCD displays is the thin film transistor (TFT) technology. In case you run across the term. TFT technology helps to improve image quality in monitors greatly.



Best monitor for photo editing

We do recommend a few top monitors for photo editing based on the factors we described above about the features of the ideal photo editing monitor.

See the link to our honest review of these products below;

To know more such as our description and comparison of these products that includes all their features, click here.




In this section, we will look at a summary of everything we have discussed so far. So as to pick out the main points and simplify the whole process.

Click here to see a summary of this ultimate guide to choosing monitors for photo editing.


Asus PB258Q image

Asus PB258Q

If you are a professional photographer that have mastered the art of taking great photograph, you will need a display with the ability to show the results of your hard work.

Using a quality display is not only considered to be a must for photographers, it can be said to be a good investment too. Because a quality monitor will display the exact colors of your photos and will last you for many years to come.

So choose and invest in a high quality display that will help you achieve excellent results.

Next you need to calibrate your display for optimum performance.

With a well calibrated high quality display, you get excellent color reproduction at all times. Which will make your pictures look great on a consistent basis for sharing and printing.

On how much you should spend on a display depends really on what you use it for.

Top range displays cost more than $1,000 while budget displays cost less than $300.

But even if you decide to go for the budget ones, they will be much better than what you might be currently using.

And even much more better than regular monitors out there. That are also known as general purpose displays for office and desktop publishing.

See the cheap computer monitors we recommend for photo editing that cost less than $200 here.

The cheap ones are not the best for you. Only choose them if you are on a tight budget.

If you only print pictures occasionally or photo editing is just a hobby to you, you don’t need to spend that much on a display.

But if it is for a business purpose such as if you are a wedding photographer that has demanding clients. Or you print out too often, then consider investing in a quality display that will serve you many years to come.

Click here to see the best monitors for photo editing that we highly recommend for photographers and photo editors.



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 above?


ViewSonic VP2770-LED review image

ViewSonic VP2770-LED

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