The best monitors for photo editing in 2024

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Three of the best monitors for photo editing on an orange background

(Image credit: Future / BenQ / Dell)

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1. Best overall: BenQ PD2706UA
2. Best premium: BenQ SW321C
3. Best cheap: Dell S2721QS
4. Best professional: Eizo CG319X
5. Best 8K: Dell UP3218K
6. Best Apple: Apple Studio
7. Most ergonomic: LG 32UN880
8. Ultrawide: Viewsonic VP3881
How to choose
How we test
FAQs

Choosing one of the best monitors for photo editing is an important investment that can help ensure accurate results. Even enthusiast photographers can benefit from good colour coverage and accuracy, and if you're a professional photographer handing work off to clients, these factors are crucial.

Below, we've picked out our choices of the best monitors for photography based on our own hands-on reviews, recommendations from photographers and a thorough comparison of specs, including colour coverage and accuracy along with any useful special features for photo editing. We've included screens at different price points to provide options for enthusiasts as well as professionals. Some of the more expensive monitors come with calibration tools, but those that don't will benefit from regular use of one of the best monitor calibrator tools.

Most of the best monitors for photographers today are generally 4K (UHD) screens, especially those who also work with video. Most of our recommendations here offer UHD resolution, but we also have a specific guide to the best 4K monitors if you want more options. We also have a guide to the best monitors for video editing and the best touchscreen monitors (some photographers find a tactile screen useful for making selections).

Quick list

Best monitor for photo editing overall

The best monitors for photo editing in full

Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The BenQ PD2706UA is one of the best monitors I've usedCB

(Image credit: Future)
The best monitor for photo editing for most people

Specifications

Screen size: 27 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Colour coverage: 95% P3, 99% Rec.709, 99% sRGB
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 1x HDMI 2, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x USB Type-C (DP1.4), 1x Audio Out (3.5 mm), 1x USB-B (upstream), 3x USB-A (downstream), 1x USB-C (downstream)

Reasons to buy

+
Great balance of price and specs
+
Good connectivity with USB hub
+
Ergonomic design with C-clamp

Reasons to avoid

-
Few special features for photography

Many of BenQ's monitors are good options for all kinds of visual work, but we think the PD2706UA is the best option for photo editing for most people's needs. Costly professional photo editing monitors like the BenQ SW321C and Eizo displays below have better specs, but they represent an unncesssary expense for most people. We think that with this monitor BenQ got it just right in terms of the balance between price and specs. 

We loved the ergonomic design of this display with its C-clamp and ergo arm, which saves space on a desk and allows it to be positioned as desired. We also found connectivity needs well catered for with HMDI 2.0, a DisplayPort 1.4, and a USB-C port that can charge a laptop. There's also a USB hub with three USB-A and one USB-C. 

With 4K resolution and 350 nits of brightness, the display is sharp and crisp and bright enough for most people needs in photo editing. Colour coverage is solid, with 95% P3, 99% sRGB and 99% Rec.709, and our test results showed a Dеltа Е score of less than 3, reflecting accurate соlоur rерrоduсtіоn, which is one of our biggest priorities when choosing a monitor for photo editing.

Read more in our full BenQ DesignVue PD2706UA review.

Best premium monitor for photo editing

The BenQ SW321C, one of the best monitors for photo editing, on a deskCB endorsed

(Image credit: Michelle Rae Uy)
The best professional monitor for photography

Specifications

Screen size: 32 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Colour coverage: 99% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB and 95% P3
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI
USB: 2 x USB 3.1 USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
4K detail and excellent accuracy
+
16-bit look-up table and hardware calibration
+
Good connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive and may be too large for some

We rate the BenQ SW321C as the best monitor for photo editing for those that have a bigger budget. It's quite a lot more expensive than the BenQ monitor above, but you get a little more colour coverage with 99% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB (you'll probably know if you're a professional who needs that extra 1%), and you can quickly switch between colour spaces thanks to a separate control unit. The screen comes expertly calibrated and rocks calibration hardware of its own.

We've found the colour precision and uniformity across the 4K display to be close to faultless. There are plenty of useful features too. For photographers who print their work, the Paper Color Sync mode helps you create a colour space based on your printer and paper type for more accurate previewing. There's also M Book mode, which makes the screen more closely match a MacBook Pro to allow easy transition between screens. Like the monitor above, this one also supports USB-C with power delivery up to 60W, so you can connect a laptop and get power and data over a single cable.

See our full BenQ SW321C review for more details.

Best cheap monitor for photo editing

Product shot of Dell S2721QS, one of the best monitors for photo editingCB endorsed

(Image credit: Dell)

03. Dell S2721QS

The best cheap monitor for photo editing`

Specifications

Screen size: 27 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Colour coverage: 99% sRGB
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI
USB: 2 x USB 3.1 USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptionally priced
+
Great entry-level 4K monitor
+
98% sRGB coverage

Reasons to avoid

-
Dated looks

If stunningly specced BenQ or Eizo screens represent too much of an outlay for where you are in your photography career (or hobby) at the moment, Dell has some great value budget monitors with very good colour coverage. We think this one is the best fit for beginner photo editors.

The Dell S2721QS covers 99% of the sRGB space, which is the colour space you're likely to be using if you only edit images for general digital displays such as for web or social media. Coverage is lacking in other colour spaces, and we found contrast to be fairly mediocre, with blacks looking gray in a dark room. However, at under $400 / £400, this is very reasonably priced.

Best professional monitor for photo editing

Eizo ColorEdge CG319X review

(Image credit: Eizo)
The best premium monitor for photo editing

Specifications

Screen size: 31 inches
Resolution: 4096 x 2160
Colour coverage: 99% AdobeRGB, 100% Rec.709, 98% DCI-P3
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 2 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI
USB: 3 x USB 3.0

Reasons to buy

+
Unrivalled image quality
+
High-end specification 
+
Colour management software and built-in colour calibrator 

Reasons to avoid

-
Some features aren't necessary for non-pros

Eizo has a reputation for being the ultimate professional photo-editing monitor brand, and the first time you see the clarity, vivacity and brightness of an Eizo display, it’s immediately obvious why – and why its photo-editing monitors are so much more expensive than those of competitors.

The latest version of Eizo’s flagship 31-inch professional monitor, the Eizo ColorEdge CG319X boasts an unmatched 24-bit look-up table for 10-bit colour depth, supporting 99% AdobeRGB, 100% Rec.709 and 98% DCI-P3 colour spaces. It also supports a slightly wider 4K resolution of 4096 x 2160, conforming to the professional DCI 4K standard used by some professional studios.

It has a unique built-in hardware colour calibration tool that pops down with a click every time the monitor is power cycled, ensuring the colours remain in sync without needing to use a third-party colourimeter. And new to this generation are hybrid-log gamma and perceptual quantisation for working with HDR video – something that will be of most interest to studios and freelancers working with high-end imagery. The ColorNavigator 7 colour management software can be used by teams to ensure accuracy across a project.

The CG319X is designed – and priced – for a niche professional audience that needs the best possible colour, and when we tested it for ourselves, we found that it certainly delivers, offering phenomenal colour accuracy and excellent features in a solid, sturdy, if not particularly exciting-looking build. Most of us will skip this option after taking one glance at the price, but if money is no object, we think this is the best monitor for photo editing you can buy, only placing at number 3 because of the cost. 

See our full, in-depth Eizo ColorEdge CG319X review for more details.

Best 8K monitor for photo editing

Product shot of the Dell Ultrasharp 8K PremierColor, one of the best monitors for photo editing

05. Dell UltraSharp UP3218K

The best 8K monitor for photo editing

Specifications

Screen size: 31.5-inch
Resolution: 7,680 x 4,320
Colour coverage: 100% AdobeRGB, 100% Rec. 709, 98% DCI-P3
Refresh rate: 60hz
Panel technology: IPS
Connectivity: 2x DisplayPort 1.4, 3 x USB 3.0
USB: 3 x USB-A

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible detail in images
+
Display can rotate
+
Great colour coverage 

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs powerful-enough hardware
-
2 Display Port connections needed 

With more cameras now providing 8K video recording some people looking for a monitor for photography may want to stretch to an 8K monitor. One of the few available so far is the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K. It carries a high price tag, although it's not the most expensive monitor on this list, but when it comes to detail, it really does stand out. Just note that since it was made before HDMI 2.1 and its 8K support arrived, it requires two(!) DisplayPort connections to power all those pixels. 

It's specialist product, but it's not just the number of pixels that have impressed us with this display, it's what they can show. The display covers 100% AdobeRGB, 100% sRGB, 100% Rec. 709 and 98% DCI-P3 coverage, making it a dream for photo editors that need great colour support. We thought it was well-built, and the full ergonomic adjustment options work well. And at 31.5 inches, it's not a ridiculous size.

Best Apple monitor for photo editing

Apple Studio Display, one of the best monitors for photo editing on a desk in an office

(Image credit: Future)
The best monitor for photo editing for committed Apple fans

Specifications

Screen size: 27 inches
Resolution: 5120 x 2880
Colour coverage: 100% sRGB
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: USB-C only
USB: 4 x USB-C (including input)

Reasons to buy

+
Competitive price for a high-end 5K screen
+
Built-in reference modes for media
+
Non-reflective nano-texture glass option

Reasons to avoid

-
Underwhelming webcam
-
Need to spend extra for height adjustment

If you're an Apple user and want the perfect-looking companion to your MacBook Pro or Mac mini, you may well be tempted to go for Apple's own monitor, the Studio Display. When it comes to editing photos, we found the 5K display to be decent choice. It offers great clarity, and colour and brightness are consistent, which are the main priorities when it comes to photo editing. 

There's even a built-in webcam, which could come in handy if you have to take video calls with clients. We were a little disappointed by the 60hz refresh rate and lack of HDR, when we reviewed it, but this will be of less concern to many photographers.  

Read more details are our full Apple Studio Display review.

The most ergonomic monitor for photo editing

Product shot of the LG 32UN880 UltraFine Ergo, one of the best monitors for photo editing

(Image credit: LG)

07. LG 32UN880 UltraFine Ergo

The best photo editing monitor for a flexible workspace

Specifications

Screen size: 32 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Colour coverage: 95% P3
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI
USB: 2 x USB, 1 x USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent picture quality
+
Unbeatable ergonomics and comfort
+
Highly accurate

Reasons to avoid

-
Not bright enough for true HDR

This LG monitor has a lot going for it. First off, it's a big 32-inch 4K screen that covers 95% of the P3 colour gamut, and it has HDR compatibility (though the brightness is fairly low at 350 nits). It also boasts great connections, including USB Type-C. 

We found it provided even, accurate images, and we loved the adjustable Ergo arm, which allows you to position the monitor however you want in terms of height, rotation, tilt and how far forward you want it. The pillar support clamps to the back of your desk, so it leaves you more space on the desk too. We find it a delight to work with, although we recognise that not everyone will use this flexibility.

Best ultra-wide monitor for photo editing

Product shot of Viewsonic VP3881, one of the best monitors for photo editing

(Image credit: Viewsonic)

8. Viewsonic VP3881

The best ultra-wide monitor for photo editing

Specifications

Screen size: 37.5 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 1600
Colour coverage: 100% sRGB
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI
USB: 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Huge amount of desktop space
+
Comprehensive array of colour options

Reasons to avoid

-
Image spec behind other displays
-
Resolution doesn't support 4K

Ultra-wide monitors are usually aimed at gaming or general computer use, so it’s nice to see ViewSonic offering graphic artists a massive 37.5-inch 21:9 display with the VP3881. There are mixed opinions on using curved displays for photo editing, and we recommend trying one for yourself before opting to make the leap. The benefit, of course, is the space to work since an ultra-wide display is almost like having two smaller monitors together without a bezel breaking up the desktop space. That allows you to have multiple windows open at once, boosting productivity as you can view webpages, file explorers and multiple editing applications simultaneously.

We found that image quality isn’t quite in the same league as most of the other displays listed here – it offers 100% sRGB coverage but a slightly narrower AdobeRGB conformity, and the 10-bit colour depth is compensated by frame reference counting. However, the monitor has a complete set of image customisation settings in the on-screen menus that's enough to make the VP3881 a cut above other ultra-wide screens.

How to choose the best monitor for photoediting

There are several things to consider and look out for when you're choosing a monitor for photo editing. One of the most important is to decide what size monitor you want. A larger monitor means that you can see your work at a larger size, and it can also make it easier to see all of your work if you have lots of layers or to navigate multiple windows, which is handy if you're jumping between Photoshop and Lightroom, for example. However, a larger screen takes up more space, so you'll need to decide on the sweet spot for you (we normally recommend between 27 inches and 32 inches.

One of the most important factors in a monitor for photo editing is colour coverage and accuracy. There are no minimum requirements that you should look for in terms of resolution and colour accuracy, and we'll discuss colour spaces more below. If you're editing images for digital use, you will probably be using the sRGB colour space, so the higher the percentage of colour coverage in this space the better. There are other colour spaces for video and print.

How we tested the best monitors for photo editing

We have chosen the best monitors for photo editing based on our writers' experiences when carrying our our own hands-on tests and reviews. We have also taken into account recommendations and feedback from working photographers and customer reviews. 

When reviewing monitors, we conduct a series of benchmark tests to check brightness and contrast levels, colour coverage, accuracy and uniformity. While many manufacturers state specs in some or all of these areas, those are guidelines and our test results sometimes vary. 

We also use the monitors over several days in real-life use cases, including for photoediting in Lightroom and Photoshop. As well as the quality of the display itself, we also evaluate build, ergonomics, connectivity and price. We then seek to identify the best monitor for different needs and budgets.

FAQs

Why do I need one of the best monitors for photo editing?

Screens vary in their brightness, uniformity and level of colour coverage and accuracy, which means images can look different on different displays. If the screen you work on has poor colour coverage and accuracy, your work could look very different on a different screen or when printed out.

The best monitors for photographers can help ensure your photos look the way you expect when they appear on another device or in print. Good colour coverage is especially important if you're doing HSL adjustments and colour grading. Editing on an inadequate screen, or even a good screen that's not been calibrated, can result in images that can be over or undersaturated. 

The best monitors for photography support wide colour spaces such as Adobe RGB and provide accurate colours and uniform brightness and contrast. While you can't guarantee what screen your clients or public will use to see your photos, you can at least ensure that your own screen is allowing you to make the most accurate edit possible.

Which is the best type of monitor for photo editing?

You'll notice that the monitors that we've listed above include two types of display: IPS (in-plane switching) and LCD (liquid crystal display). These aren't two different things, but rather IPS is a more advanced form of LCD. IPS screens solve problems with the accurate reproduction of images from narrow viewing angles, helping to retain brightness, sharpness and colour accuracy at off-axis viewing.

Which is the best monitor for photo editing?

The very best monitor for photo editing in our view is the Eizo ColorEdge CG319X at number three in our list above. We only place it at number three rather than at the top because we've also taken price into consideration, and monitors such as this are simply not an option for many enthusiasts, and even for many professionals. 

We currently recommend the BenQ SW321C as the best monitor for photo editing for those looking for a balance between professional specs and a slightly more accessible price.

What size monitor should I use for photo editing?

One important thing to consider when buying a monitor for photo editing is the size of screen that you want to work on. Many displays come in the standard 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, although a taller screen (or a screen that you can rotate like the LG Ultrafine Ergo in our list above) can be useful for editing images in portrait orientation. 

Ultra-wide monitors will give you a lot more screen space to work on so that you can have multiple windows or panels open, but they aren't necessarily the best for focused work. They also take up a huge amount of space. Generally, we find that most photographers like editing on a monitor that's between 27in and 32in.

What monitor resolution do I need for photo editing?

Very simply, the higher the resolution, the better the sharpness and detail of the  image, but that depends on the size of the monitor – and of course, higher resolution monitors are usually more expensive. When looking to pick the best monitor for photo editing, we would recommend going for a resolution of 4K (3,840 x 2,160) if you can afford it. 

Most of the screens in our list of the best monitors for photo editing are 4K displays (double check that your PC or Mac supports 4K resolution if it's quite an old device), but we have also included an QHD and FHD screen, both much more affordable while still offering the good colour coverage you want for photo editing.

Do I need a 4K monitor for photo editing?

Not at all. We recommend using a 4K screen since it will offer a sharper, cleaner and more detailed image if the screen is large enough, and since 4K monitors have become more affordable, it's not so much of a difficult decision. But if you prefer a smaller screen (less than 27 inches), then you're not going to see much of a difference between 4K and FHD, and the interface scaling may make things too small to be comfortable.

What else should I consider in a monitor for photo editing?

If you're buying a monitor for photo editing, colour is vital and it's a good idea to look for a that display supports colour spaces like Adobe sRGB. You'll also want a uniform brightness across the screen. The best monitors for photo editing include their own calibration tools, but this is not an essential since you can also buy an external monitor calibrator to perform regulator calibration of your screen.

Connectivity is a key issue, too – many monitors have HDMI, but some also support Thunderbolt or USB-C meaning you can have a single cable going to your PC or Mac that powers it and also carries the display signal (see our pick of the best laptops for photo editing)

Whichever monitor your choose, you'll want to make sure you regularly calibrate it using one of the best monitor calibrators. And if your workspace has harsh lighting, you might want to consider applying an anti-reflective coating too.

What colour coverage do I need for photo editing?

In the specs for the monitors above we've listed the colour coverage that each provides. What colour coverage you need for your photo editing will depend on whether you're a professional or enthusiast. Monitor colour coverage can a confusing topic at first because several different colour spaces exist, and some of these contain more colours than others.

A colour space is a specific organisation of colours which, in combination with colour profiling, supports reproducible representations of colour. Looking at the best monitors for photo editing, you'll see that they cover a percentage of different colour spaces – the higher the percentage, the more of that colour space they can produce. Colour spaces include sRGB, Adobe RGB, 

Why it can be confusing is that one monitor might be certified at 100% sRGB, the standard 8-bit colour space for web display, but that still isn't the best colour colour coverage possible. The Adobe RGB spectrum and DCI-P3 are broader spaces than sRGB, thus with more colours. As a general rule, we'd advise choosing a monitor for photo editing that covers at least 90% of sRGB and 70% of Adobe RGB. These colour spaces are industry standards. Professionals, especially those working on projects that go to print or involve working with other photo editors will want higher than this – ideally over 90% of Adobe RGB.

A veteran from the days of the 8-bit ZX Spectrum, Orestis is always interested in the fastest, slickest way to make computers do new and exciting things.
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