The best 8K monitors: supersize screens that go extra, extra-large on resolution

The best 8K monitor
(Image credit: Future)

8K cameras like the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) and Fujifilm X-H2 (opens in new tab) show the future of video capture, but to make the most of it, you really need the best 8K monitor on which to view and edit your footage. Trouble is, even as 2022 speeds past us, there's still only ONE true 8K monitor you can actually buy - the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K. Back in January 2021 ViewSonic teased us (opens in new tab) with its first 8K monitor offering, but nothing ever came of it.

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What is 8K?

8 is twice as big as 4, right? Well when it comes to 8K video/screen resolution, that's only partly true. 8K resolution most commonly equates to 7,680 by 4,320 pixels, which is twice the horizontal resolution and twice the vertical resolution of 4K (3840 x 2160). But as all you math geniuses may have already calculated, that results in a 4x increase in total pixels. Imagine four 4K screens positioned in a quad arrangement and that's what an 8K image looks like - quite simply, HUGE!

We've already seen a number of 8K TVs come to market, and while these would make for a stunning 8K playback display, actually editing 8K footage on a screen this gargantuan really isn't a practical prospect, unless you position your desk about 20 feet away.

So with only a single 8K monitor to chose from right now, it costing a small fortune, and requiring one of the best desktop computers (opens in new tab) costing another small fortune to run it, the question is:

Do you really need an 8K monitor?

Well, if you just want to stay ahead of the curve and future-proof yourself, yes, of course you do! But for the rest of it, the answer is: probably not.

Not only are 8K cameras very rare, so too is pre-recorded 8K footage, so actually finding content that will need the full res of an 8K monitor will be tricky. 8K content is also much larger in file size than even high frame rate 4K video, requiring significantly more local storage space, or a mighty fast internet connection to stream, further restricting 8K's practical appeal at the moment.

Given these limitations, settling for a 4K monitor looks a whole lot more appealing. A 4K monitor will still display 99+ per cent of the video content available today, there are plenty of color-accurate panels out there, and even a big 32-inch 4K screen will still have a pixel density tight enough for images/video to look super-crisp at a typical viewing distance. Oh yeah, and there's the small bonus that some of the best monitors for video editing (opens in new tab) can cost as little as one tenth the price of Dell's 8K monitor.

(Image credit: Dell)
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1. Dell UltraSharp UP3218K

Simply the best (an only!) 8K monitor you can buy

Specifications

Screen size: 31.5 inches
Resolution: 7,680 x 4,320
Brightness: 400 cd/m2
Contrast ratio: 1,300:1
Color space coverage: 100% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB, 100% Rec. 709 and 98% DCI-P3

Reasons to buy

+
True 8K resolution
+
Stunning color space coverage
+
Factory color calibrated

Reasons to avoid

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No Thunderbolt connectivity
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Eye-watering price tag

If you’re after a genuine 8K monitor, then the Dell UP3218K is currently your one and only option, but thankfully it’s a good one that impresses in every area. Its headline 8K (7680 x 4320) screen res gives you unparalleled image sharpness - even on a screen as large as this - as it results in an incredibly fine 0.09mm dot pitch, and a whopping 280 pixels per inch pixel density. Then there’s the almost flawless color fidelity: 100% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB, 100% Rec. 709 and 98% DCI-P3 color space coverage ensures your images or video will displayed with complete accuracy, regardless of the color space you shoot in. Factory color calibration ensures each and every monitor displays Adobe RGB and sRGB color spaces to an accuracy of Delta-E less than 2. The 31.5-inch IPS LCD panel is capable of an impressive 400 cd/m2 brightness for displaying HDR content. It’s a pity there’s not Thunderbolt connectivity, but you do get multiple USB ports, and dual DisplayPorts. The latter is necessary though, as you’ll need to use both to enable the full 8K resolution, so make sure you’ve got a might powerful graphics card to connect to this beast.

Read more: 

The best monitors for video editing (opens in new tab)
The best photo editing monitors (opens in new tab)
The best USB-C monitors (opens in new tab)
The best ultrawide monitors (opens in new tab)
The best portable monitors (opens in new tab)
The best monitor arms (opens in new tab)
The best monitor calibrators (opens in new tab)
The best streaming services (opens in new tab)

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Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.