In this article, we will show you the best 27-inch monitors for photo editing. But first you need to know how we picked them. And the criteria we used in deciding the ones that made our list.
How to choose a 27-inch monitor for photo editing
It’s easy to show you the top products we recommend right away. And yes we do recommend some top products we found for this research. Which you will find after this section here.
But what if you don’t like anyone of them. How can you choose among so many other monitors being offered today in different brands, makes, and prices. And still make the right choice that will be ideal for you.
How will you be able to tell if the ones we recommend are actually the best out there.
Well here’s how;
- Size and resolution: A 27-inch screen is very much ideal for photo editing. And since it is our main interest here, I will say it is already taken care of. How about resolution? What is ideal? You might be wondering.
A 2560 x 1440 resolution or higher is ideal. If you can afford a 4k resolution display that offer up to 3820 x 2160 ultra HD (High Definition) resolution, then by all means go for it. Because the higher the resolution, the more detailed, crisp, clear, and vivid in colors images on display will be.
The only issue is that text such as those found on web pages and word documents, will appear smaller on a high resolution screen.
So when you want to make a choice, choose one with at least a 2560 x 1440 resolution or higher. Don’t go below that. Except you are on a tight budget, then you can settle with a resolution of not less than 1920 x 1080 pixels for photo editing.
- Panel type: choose an IPS panel display or a PLS panel no matter what. Because apart from IPS panel and PLS panels, the rest of the display panel technologies are very poor in color reproduction. With a narrow viewing angle range that is not ideal for editing pictures with.
IPS panels are most accurate in color reproduction. They provide the best color quality photos with a wider color gamut range than VA (Virtual Alignment) and TN (Twisted Nematics) panel monitors.
Moreover they offer the widest viewing angle range (up to 178 degrees for both horizontal and vertical view). That makes it possible for you to view images on screen at most other angles than the central point of the screen. Without change in colors nor contrast.
Unlike TN and VA panels that change in colors, brightness and contrast when you view the screen by the side, above, or below the screen. Which might affect the look of your pictures. Giving you a different view other than what is really on display.
So make sure the 27-inch display of your choice is an IPS panel or a PLS panel screen.
- Inputs: How will the display connect with your personal computer and your other peripherals? That is where inputs are very useful. Choose a 27-inch screen with at least a DVI, DisplayPort or HDMI input connection.
Because they provide faster and more accurate transfer of digital images between your personal computer, graphics card, and monitor.
Check also for extra important inputs such as USB ports. And if VGA inputs are available as well (VGA is not so important though). Because they will help for more flexibility and control for you.
- Calibration: choose a display that comes pre-calibrated with integrated calibration tools included. Or one that comes included with a hardware calibration device. But hey that’s on the high side. You will rarely find one with all those features included.
You might find many that come pre-calibrated meaning they have been factory calibrated. But with integrated calibration tools such as a sensor, or a hardware calibration tool included, you might only find them in high resolution displays that cost thousands of dollars. Eizo and Nec brand monitors are a few examples that fit that description.
Just pick a display that you can easily calibrate. With either its integrated calibration tools (if it comes with it), or with an external calibration tool that you can purchase in the market.
You might be wondering why. Because calibration is a very important process you need to be performing on your monitor from time to time. As important as the one thing that needs to be done before you start editing images with it.
Because it helps to color correct a monitor to display accurate colors at all times.
So check the calibration options available in the 27-inch screen of your choice. To see if it can be easily calibrated.
- Color gamut: There are just two major color gamut monitors you need to choose between. Which are a standard gamut and and an extended/wide color gamut. A standard gamut display covers most of sRGB colors. While a wide/extended gamut display covers most of the wider range Adobe RGB colors.
From this definition alone, you can tell easily that a wide color gamut display reproduces more colors. And so should be the best choice. But it is not as simple as that.
A standard gamut display is most ideal for photo editing. At least for now. Because most image editing post processing jobs is mainly for general use in a broad range of devices. Such as for desktop and web applications. Your major desktop tools, software applications, and the internet inclusive.
If you use a wide gamut display for your work, the colors it produces might not be seen and be useful to others. Such as your clients, friends, and colleagues who are all most likely making use of a standard gamut display. Making the colors of your work appear over-saturated or not visible at all on their screen. Due to the fact that their screen does not support wide gamut colors.
You will only be advised to choose a wide gamut display if your work will be converted to physical media such as fine art prints. Or if your edited work will mostly be displayed on devices that work with wide gamut colors. And most importantly if you really know what you are doing and you are sure you need to work with wide gamut colors.
So the 27-inch monitor of your choice should ideally be a standard gamut display. Except you are sure of what you want to achieve, then you can choose a wide gamut display.
Color coverage: Color coverage has a lot to do with the colors a display can support. IPS panels support and reproduce a wider range of colors than TN panels or VA panels. It is one of the most reasons why IPS panels are recommended for image editing.
When it comes to making the right choice of what will be ideal for editing pictures with, check the specifications of a display you are interested in. To make sure it covers at least 95% of the sRGB color space. Above 97% is most ideal. While 98% and above color coverage is excellent.
It is important you check for this because it will determine to a great extent how many colors will be reproduced for you to see on screen and work with. If the display of your choice does not cover enough colors, you might not see and work with all the colors contained in your pictures.
So remember that a color coverage of 95% and above is what you should go for.
- Screen finish: You will need to make a choice between a matte/non-reflective screen, and a glossy/glass looking shinny screen.
A matte screen display is most ideal for editing pictures than a glossy screen. Because matte screens do not reflect light close to how glossy screens do with anything in front of them. Which can affect how you see the colors of your pictures displayed on screen.
Glossy screens tend to reflect light a lot. Including shapes of anything in front of their screens. Even when you use them indoors. That’s just their major disadvantage. But they are a huge attraction to end users and display fans. Because they make colors and contrast look more vibrant on screen than matte screens.
Glossy screens are ideal for entertainment purposes. Such as for videos and movies. But they can be a major disadvantage for photography and color sensitive work. Because of their reflective nature. And the fact that they tend to make colors of images look over-saturated on screen.
Matte screens also known as anti-glare screens, on the other hand are non-reflective. Making them more ideal for photo editing. Because you won’t have to deal with light reflections when using them.
Moreover you can calibrate a matte screen more accurately than a glossy screen. Because of their non-reflective nature. Unlike glossy screens whose reflective nature can interfere with the calibration process.
So choose a matte screen display over a glossy screen type.
- Backlight: Backlight has to do with the technology that illuminates or produces light in a display. Most displays in the market today are either made of the old CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps), or the more recent LED (Light Emitting Diode) backlight technology.
Which is better? LED is better of course because it consumes less power. And provides brighter lights that are free from potentially hazardous toxic materials such as mercury. Moreover they allow for a thin and sleek looking display in terms of design.
LED backlight technology also support a wider color gamut range than CCFL. Which makes them able to reproduce much more colors than CCFL.
So the 27-inch monitor of your choice should be powered by a LED backlight. Except in some rare cases where top professional photo editing displays made use of CCFL instead of LED. But has every other features that is ideal for image editing. Such as some high quality NEC monitors that I’ve seen. Then you might consider them.
- Adjustment options: Adjustment options which is sometimes referred to as the ergonomics of a display has to do with how a display can be adjusted to meet your needs. An ideal monitor can be adjusted in a wide range of options. Such as tilt, swivel, pivot (rotate), and height adjustment.
Not all monitors offer all of these adjustment options. Some offer just a few of these adjustment options. While some others only offer them at minimum adjustment ranges.
It is very important that the display of your choice offers more than enough in the range in which you can adjust it. Because it will help so you will be comfortable working with it at any position you want.
Say for example maybe the height is a bit shorter that the level you will like it to be. So as to meet your eyes directly. You adjust the height accordingly. Or maybe you will like to view a web page without scrolling down too much, you rotate or pivot the screen.
If these options are not available in the display of your choice, it won’t be flexible enough to adjust to your needs. Especially when you consider the fact that you might be working for long hours. Bad posture due to poor positioning could be a possibility.
So choose a monitor that has a wide range of adjustment options. That will include swivel, tilt, height, pivot or rotate adjustment. So you can position it anyway you want for a more comfortable experience.
- Response time: Response time has to do with how quick and fast a display can respond to a programs command. In photo editing terms, it is how fast a picture element known as pixel can change colors in response to a software programs command. Which is measured in milli-seconds (ms).
The lower the response time, the faster the pixels change. And generally the better because it minimizes streaking and ghosting effects in fast changing and moving images.
Response time is very important for playing games and watching videos. Because both are characterized by fast moving images.But for photo editing, it is not so important.
In fact IPS panels that is known to be ideal for image editing do not feature very fast response times. But rather TN panels are the display type that is known to feature very fast response time that is ideal for games and movies.
Even though photo editors do not require response time that much, it does not mean we will ignore it completely. A response time that is not more than twelve milli-seconds (12 ms) is ideal.
So when its time for you to choose a 27-inch monitor for photo editing, check to make sure it is within the range of 12 ms and below. Because it will help to make sure there will be no motion blurs nor image distortions.
- Cost and budget: the best you can get in a monitor will depend mostly on your budget. Top quality displays that feature almost all of the features described above cost more than $1,000. While budget displays cost less than $500 for the best 27-inch monitor for photo editing.
In the next section where we featured the 27-inch monitors we recommend for photo editing, you will find those for both budget and high end displays. That cost less than $500 for the budget ones. And more $1,000 for the high end ones.
There are a few more features to consider when choosing a 27-inch monitor for editing pictures. But they are not as important as the ones we described above. If you care to know more, then see our detailed article here that discusses all the features of a photo editing monitor.
Best 27-inch monitors for photo editing: the ones we recommend
- Dell UltraSharp U2713HM
Dell U2713HM is a 27-inch AH-IPS panel LED-backlight standard gamut display. With an array of features that will enable you see every detail of your pictures in clear, sharp, and brilliant colors.
It comes factory calibrated to deliver accurate and consistence colors out of box. With cinema-like clarity.
More features include;
- WQHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels that enables it deliver very crisp and vivid colors
- Multiple inputs that include DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA (D-sub), and USB 3.0 ports
- Color coverage of 99% sRGB that makes it support and reproduce up to 16.7 million colors
- Screen type is matte/anti-glare that helps it to avoid reflections
- Full adjustment options that include tlt, swivel, pivot (rotate), and height adjustment that will enable you to position it anyway you want for a more comfortable use
- And more…
- ASUS PB278Q
Asus PB278Q is a 27-inch PLS panel LED-backlight professional graphics standard gamut display. That offers precision to the finest details in accurate colors. With impeccable lifelike visuals that will make your pictures look perfect on display.
More of its features include;
- WQHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels that provides extra wide view for multitasking
- Multiple inputs that includes DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, and VGA (D-sub) to enable you connect easily with your PC and gadgets. No USB ports however.
- Though not factory calibrated, you can easily calibrate it with external calibration tools
- Color coverage of 99% sRGB and 78% Adobe RGB enables it to support and reproduce up to 16.7 million colors
- Screen finish is matte with light anti-glare coating to prevent light glares from interfering your work
- Ergonomics include tilt, swivel, pivot/rotate, and height adjustment for flexibility and control over how you want it to position for your personal comfort
- And more…
- ViewSonic VX2770SMH-LED
ViewSonic VX2770 is a 27-inch widescreen SuperClear AH-IPS panel standard gamut display with a frameless design. That is ideal for photo editing and entertainment.
This monitor offers true-to-life picture depth clarity and color quality that will enable your photos display with deep and rich colors.
More of its features include;
- HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Which is the minimum that we recommend. Though more would have been better
- Connectivity options that includes DVI, HDMI, D-sub (VGA), for a faster and more accurate transfer of digital images. No USB nor DisplayPort inputs however.
- Factory calibrated to reproduce and display accurate colors out-of-box
- Color coverage of 100% sRGB that enables it to support and reproduce all the colors contained in pictures
- Matte screen with 3H hard coating to prevent light glares from interfering with your work
- Adjustment options is limited to only tilt adjustment however
- Apple Thunderbolt Display MC914LL/B
Though the Apple Thunderbolt display is a glossy screen, if offers a lot of other features that makes it ideal for picture editing.
It includes a Thunderbolt technology that provides impeccable speed for transferring data between devices (twenty times faster than USB).
With a built in FaceTime camera/microphone. As well as built in speakers.
This monitor does it all so to speak. Because among so many other features it has, it provides excellent brightness, resolution, and wide viewing angles.
More about the Apple Thunderbolt Display MC914LL/B Here.
- ViewSonic VP2772
ViewSonic VP2772 is a 27-inch widescreen LED-backlight AH-IPS wide color gamut display. With excellent color capabilities that focuses on delivering very good image quality and color accurate pictures.
It was designed to meet the needs of photographers, photo editors, video editors, graphic designers, design professionals and print departments.
Being a wide gamut display, it might not be ideal for you. Only choose it if you are sure it will meet your needs.
More of its features includes;
- QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 for more detailed and clear images
- Full range of connectivity options that includes DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and USB 3.0 ports
- Factory calibrated to deliver accurate colors out-of-the-box
- 99% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB color coverage that supports up to 1.07 billion colors
- Matte screen with light anti-glare coating for a non-reflective screen
- Full adjustment options that include height, tilt, swivel, and rotate (pivot) adjustments
- And more…
Reasons why a 27-inch monitor is bigger and better for image editing.
In terms of TV’s and computer monitors, the general belief that ‘bigger is better’ is very common.
And it is of little wonder because a 27-inch monitor has a lot of advantages over a 24-inch or a 23-inch display. Such as a wider view. And a bigger screen real estate.
If you are still on the fence and yet to decide if a 27-inch monitor will be ideal for you. Or if it will be better than a 23-inch, 24-inch, or lower screen size, this section covers more reasons to consider upgrading or purchasing a new 27-inch monitor.
- Productivity: A 27-inch screen provides a bigger and wider work surface than 24-inch or lesser screen sizes. When there’s more of work surface and screen real estate available in front of you, productivity is enhanced.
Research has it that larger screens allows people to work faster and be more productive. Because all the tools and applications you will be working with will be within a more clickable range than a lesser screen size. Moreover you won’t need to scroll around too much to see more of your pictures displayed on screen when editing them.
All of which helps you to save more time and be more productive in the process.
- Doesn’t strain the eyes: Many large screen monitors are newer in terms of display technology. Meaning they provide better colors, brightness, resolution, etc.
Due to these advances in technology, viewing and working long hours with a 27-inch monitor won’t strain your eyes as much as it would if it were an old technology lesser screen size display. Such as one with a CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) backlight.
Moreover more information such as text and RAW camera pictures do fit better on a larger screen. So your eyes won’t need to move about the screen too much to assimilate all the information displayed on screen. Since there will be more information available without the need to scroll too much.
- Price drop: Large screen monitors has been on the rise for a few years now. Due to the the advances in technology and the drop in the cost of manufacturing them.
Moreover market competition has forced their prices to drop considerably in recent times. Making them a lot more cheaper and affordable than it were before. In fact some among the ones we recommend like the ViewSonic VX2770-SMH cost a little above $200. While many other budget 27-inch monitors cost within that range as well.
The price drop has made them more reachable to end users who could only afford 24-inch displays before now. And because the difference in price between a 24-inch and a 27-inch display is no longer much, it is more reasonable and economical to go for a bigger screen.
A 27-inch monitor that offers high quality features still do cost a good chunk. Especially those from high end brands such as Eizo and NEC monitors. But the point is that more and more brands such as ASUS, ViewSonic, LG, Dell, etc., all have budget displays in the cheap category.
- More Impressive: A larger screen is simply more impressive and great for view. If you’re a photo editor, graphic designer, or a photography expert for example, your photos will look much more impressive on a 27-inch screen. Than a 22-inch screen for example.
Those are just a few of the many reasons why a bigger screen is always better for editing pictures. Because it will help make your work and photo projects better and faster.
Big screen monitors have become increasingly popular. Especially in the business world.
The prices of big screen monitors has also been on the drop in recent times. Allowing for more people to be able to purchase them even with tight budgets.
As you can see, there are many advantages to bigger screens. If you are able to afford any one of the top 27-inch screen monitors we highly recommend for photo editing, such as the Dell U2713HM, it will be a huge investment to your work and career.
If not, choose a big screen budget display like the ViewSonic VX2770-SMH that cost a little above $200. That we also recommend for photo editing.
Whether you’re a photo editor or a web designer, a 27-inch monitor is a huge upgrade. Look into monitors within your price range and you are sure to find something that fits your needs and your budget. Based on the features we described above.
So go ahead and choose anyone of the best 27-inch monitors for photo editing that we recommend here. With the confidence that they will deliver in performance and features.
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