What is the best monitor for photo editing? Colour-accurate monitors offer true-to-life reproduction of photographic images, but price and performance varies. We’ve tested 10 of the top models available to see which monitor is best for photography.
Choosing a monitor for photo editing can be a daunting proposition, especially if you need it to be better at one particular task than at any other.
In this roundup we want to find the best monitors for photo editing, so we’re looking for great colour reproduction and vibrant, bright displays.
This depends on the technology used – newer ‘IPS’ LCD panels have better colour reproduction than their older ‘TN’ counterparts, so this is worth looking out for in the specifications. All the panels here are IPS LED backlit displays.
The viewing angles are also far better with IPS screens, so if you ever sit at your computer and show someone else photos they are a must.
Screen size is important too – make sure your display is physically big enough for the work you want to do (we recommend 24-inch as a minimum now and that’s the smallest here).
Also, while most of the monitors here are height-adjustable, not all displays have the same level of fine-tuning, so do watch out for that.
When buying a high-end display, it’s important to make sure your computer’s graphics hardware is up to the task of displaying the high resolutions some monitors are now capable of.
You’ll need to research the capabilities of your own machine to do that. If you’re going to be connecting up a laptop, especially, make sure it has a good level of graphics capability.
Best monitor for photo editing: 01 Apple Thunderbolt Display 27-inch
Price: £899, $999
Buy it: www.apple.com/uk/displays/
This 27-inch display costs as much as a pro-level one, yet doesn’t have significantly more features than some of the cheaper displays on test – it won’t even tilt or pivot.
On the plus side, it does have a built-in 2.1 sound system and webcam.
It also has Apple’s fast Thunderbolt connection, which enables you to daisy-chain devices. That’s great if you’ve got a Mac, but PC users won’t want it.
Images look terrific and there’s a 2560×1440 pixel resolution. Apple is great with design, so this looks fantastic (SEE ALSO: iPhone 6 camera – 8 things photographers need to know). If you already own a Mac, it will be tempting.
Pros: A no-brainer for Mac owners who love Thunderbolt.
Cons: Expensive compared to others such as the Viewsonic.
We say: A trend-setting display, but too expensive.
Best monitor for photo editing: 02 Asus ProArt PA248QJ 24-inch
Price: £374, $463
Buy it: www.asus.com
This 24-inch monitor may have a more standard Full HD 1920×1080 resolution and a utilitarian design featuring push buttons, but it’s brilliant for the money, with excellent colour reproduction.
We were awed by its performance, and loved its ability to tilt and swivel. The input selection is terrific, with HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI and even VGA.
There are also four USB ports. What’s more, the package includes a calibration hood plus Spyder4 Express Calibrator (it is pre-calibrated, too).
You’ll be hard pressed to get such a brilliant, high-end display for this money.
Pros: Great clarity and colours with calibration tools, too.
Cons: Screen size is the only reason why you wouldn’t buy it.
We say: Our value choice; we loved the Asus’ performance.
Photoguard – specialist insurance provider
When will you think about insuring your camera and equipment? After you’ve read this? Or after you’ve dropped your beloved camera potentially smashing or damaging it? Photoguard – here for photographers before things go wrong. Receive an online insurance quote in seconds.
Best monitor for photo editing: Apple Thunderbolt Display; Asus ProArt PA248QJ
Best monitor for photo editing: Eizo ColorEdge CX271; NEC MultiSync PA242W
Best monitor for photo editing: Samsung Series 9 971; Viewsonic VP2772
Best monitor for photo editing: Dell U2711; Samsung SyncMaster S27B970D
Best monitor for photo editing: NEC MultiSync EA273WM; Eizo ColorEdge CG243W
10 things you need to know about choosing a monitor
Monitor calibration made easy: how to get the most accurate colors possible
Best photo editing tips for beginners: 18 quick fixes to common image problems
Lightroom vs Photoshop: why you should be using Adobe Lightroom
9 photo editing cliches (and how to avoid them)
Best photo editing software: 7 top Photoshop alternatives tested and rated