Having one of the best monitors for photo editing is vital for professional or amateurs to produce excellent shots – because great photos aren't made solely in the camera.
You can edit on anything, but if you want to work with precision and accuracy, a monitor built with photo editing in mind will help you reach the high standards you've probably set for yourself. They give you colour accuracy, crucially, but also will be designed to give you even and uniform levels of brightness across the whole screen, so you can make sure your contrast is perfect.
And as you step up to the next level, you may be looking to work in different colour spaces for different projects, and the best monitors for photo editing will make this easy, and may include their own calibration options. If you want to ensure total colour accuracy, check out our guide to the best monitor calibrator tools.
We already mentioned even lighting, but they'll also need to be a good brightness level overall while doing it, to ensure that you can see highlights and contrast with realism. For photos, we don't need displays to be as bright as the best monitors for video editing, but they need to be able to beat reflections – and will likely have some kind of anti-reflective coating, too.
Our picks here cover a range of resolutions, sizes, and prices. If you'd like to see broader options for displays, see our guide on the best monitors overall. You may also be interested in our guide to the best laptops for photo editing or the best tablets for photo and video editing should you need more portable hardware.
Monitors for photo editing: Today's top deals
$649 $599 at Amazon
Save $50: The 27-inch BenQ SW2700PT is a great value buy. The smaller screen size and reasonable price don't translate to a dip in image quality — it boasts a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and 99% AdobeRGB coverage.
Acer ProDesigner PE320QK:
£899.99 £790 at Amazon
Save £109: The versatile Acer ProDesigner photo editing monitor also works well with games. It boasts a 32-inch colour-accurate 4K display and 4ms response time. Games-loving photographers (or photo-loving gamers) take heed but hurry up as stock is limited.
The best monitors for photo editing available now
The BenQ 27-inch SW2700PT display is a more affordable colour-accurate monitor for photo editing than some of the 32-inch behemoths on the market. It requires less desktop space to boot, but without sacrificing a high standard of image quality – making it one of the best monitors for photo editing you can get right now. It features a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution using the same 14-bit look-up table and offering the same 99% AdobeRGB coverage you find on displays from other manufacturers that can cost more than twice as much.
Similarly, you get hardware calibration support and it comes with a nifty shading hood to eliminate glare from ambient light. While it may not support 4K resolution, the image quality is very good for digital photography. The SW2700PT is an excellent purchase if you want a professional display without the high prices of larger 4K screens.
Want a photo-editing screen that makes no compromises? This BenQ offers 99% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB and 95% P3 gamut coverage, and comes expertly calibrated, though it also offers hardware calibration independent of your computer. You can switch between colour spaces rapidly too, thanks to a separate control unit. The colour precision and uniformity across the screen are near faultless, and when combined with the detail of the 4K display, there's no better way to really study your work in detail.
It's full of useful touches beyond these, ranging from the ‘Paper Color Sync’ mode (which helps you create a colour space based on your printer and paper type, for more accurate previewing), to M Book mode (which makes the screen more closely match a MacBook Pro, for easily moving between two screens), to its support for USB-C with power delivery up to 60W, so you can connect a laptop to it and get power and data over a single cable.
The Asus Designo Curve MX38VC is a stunning ultra-wide monitor for photo editing, which makes it one of the best money can buy. This is thanks to its exemplary color accuracy. Add in its high resolution, and wide 21:9 aspect ratio (most other monitors on this list are a standard 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio), and you've got easily one of the best productivity monitors money can buy right now.
Not only does it pack some great tech inside its body, but it also has some brilliant features, like Qi charging built-in, and it benefits from Asus' formidable build quality.
However, while this is undoubtedly one of the best monitors for photo editing money can buy right now, it won't be for everyone. First of all, this is a very large monitor. That's great for having loads of apps and photos open at once, but it also means you need a lot of physical desk space. It's also one of the more expensive monitors on this list.
This monitor has so many merits, from being a big 32-inch 4K screen packed with pixels, to offering 95% P3 colour gamut support, HDR compatibility (though the brightness is fairly low at 350 nits), to even and accurate images that look totally authentic, to great connections, including USB Type-C.
But its the 'Ergo' part that really puts it over the edge for us – this monitor comes with a full adjustable arm for positioning it however you want in terms of height, rotation, tilt and how far forward you want it. The pillar support all this clamps to the back of your desk, so it actually leaves you more space on the desk too.
The 32-inch Asus PA329Q is a 4K monitor with a fairly hefty price tag: it's considerably more than other displays of its size. However, you can see where this extra money goes when you first catch a glimpse of its sumptuous image, thanks to its full support for Rec.709, sRGB and AdobeRGB (99.5%) colour spaces.
It features proper 10-bit colour depth (as opposed to cheaper 8-bit monitors which use trick called frame reference counting to simulate 10-bit colour depth) with a 14-bit colour look-up table. Features-wise, it has a lot to offer as well, with a three-port USB 3 hub, four HDMI inputs, two DisplayPort inputs and full tilt, swivel and rotate capability. Best of all, it has a joystick to quickly navigate through the on-screen menus, vastly speeding up the time to flick through all the different preset colour options or make changes to the display brightness, gamma or contrast. If money is no option, this is, overall, the best monitor for photo editing.
Eizo trades heavily on a reputation for being the ultimate professional display brand. When you first see the clarity, vivacity and brightness of an Eizo display, it’s immediately obvious why they’re so much more expensive than other monitors and cost far more than most of us spend on an entire PC. The latest version of Eizo’s flagship 31-inch professional monitor, the Eizo ColorEdge CG319X, builds upon its predecessor, using 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 colorimeter. New to this generation are hybrid-log gamma and perceptual quantisation for working with HDR video – a feature that, again, will be of most interest to studios and freelancers working with high-end imagery.
Although most of us will take one look at the price and quickly move on, it should be remembered that the CG319X is a display that’s on another level. It's aimed at a niche professional audience where business demands the best possible colour accuracy, and boy, it sure delivers on this front.
If you’re looking for a great monitor for photo editing that fits a more reasonable budget, Dell’s UltraSharp range delivers a great image. This 25-inch UltraSharp U2518D squeezes in under the £300 mark, and although it doesn’t offer the same absolute premium colour reproduction of the priciest displays we’ve suggested, it’s still capable of full sRGB coverage with a quality IPS panel that is accurate to a delta E of less than three.
Contrast levels of 1000:1 are some of the best in this price range, with 350 nits of brightness to product a crystal clear image. The response time can go as low as 5ms, making it great for gaming on too – the U2518D makes a good all rounder display whatever you’re using your computer for. This is the best budget photo-editing monitor you can get.
Dell's 31.5-inch 4K screen is easily one of the best monitors for photo editing on the market right now - but be warned straight off the bat that this is a very expensive monitor. However, it boasts a large range of professional-grade features that results in color accuracy that many of its rivals simply cannot match.
Of course, you also get a large 4K screen, and comes with support for the DCI-P3 color spectrum. It has a specification that hits 99% Adobe RGB coverage and 87% DCI-P3, delivering great picture quality. So, while there are more affordable monitors on this list, if you have the budget, this is a great investment.
The ultra-wide form factor is usually found in displays aimed at gaming or general computer use, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see ViewSonic has stepped in to offer graphic artists a massive 37.5-inch 21:9 display with the VP3881. Ultra-wide displays such as this are like having two smaller monitors together on the desk, without a bezel breaking up the desktop space. It gives you space to have multiple windows open at once, boosting productivity immensely as you can have webpages, file explorers, and multiple editing applications on-screen simultaneously.
The image quality isn’t quite in the same league as 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. But it has a very 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.
Acer’s 32-inch colour-accurate 4K display, the ProDesigner PE320QK, is aimed squarely at people who care about professional-grade graphics work and photo editing. It comes with an anti-glare hood to eliminate ambient light that may affect on-screen colour accuracy. And rated at 550 nits brightness, it supports 10-bit colour, covering 100% Rec.709 and 90% DCI-P3 colour spaces.
Unlike the other photo-editing monitors here, there are a few extra features that may appeal to gaming use as well, such as a 4ms response time, a few gaming presets in the menus and support for FreeSync adaptive-sync technology (which only works with AMD graphics cards, unfortunately.) If you’re a gamer and a photographer, those extra features could be enough to persuade you that the PE320QK is the only display you’ll ever need.
Best monitor for photo editing: What to consider
The best monitors for photo editing come in all shapes and sizes, and so you should think about what size monitor you want to work on. There are ones that come in the standard 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, and there are also ultra-wide curved monitors, which will give you masses of screen space. Of course, these large monitors take up a lot of desk space, so you'll want to make sure you have room for them before you buy.
Monitors also come in a range of resolutions, from full HD 1,920 x 1,080 up to 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution – and sometimes even higher. The higher the resolution, the better the image quality, though higher resolution monitors are usually more expensive.