The Best Monitors for Photo Editing in 2024

The post The Best Monitors for Photo Editing in 2024 appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

The best monitor for editing your photos

A good monitor is one of the most important components of an editing workflow, but which monitor is best for photographers?

With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of choosing the perfect photo-editing monitor; however, some models do stand out from the rest and should be at the top of your list. There are also some key features to look for on any monitor you plan to purchase, as well as some qualities to ignore or avoid altogether. Regardless of your skill level, workflow needs, and budget, you have plenty of great options at your disposal – and this guide will help you find the right one for you!

The best monitors for editing photos
When editing images, you need a monitor that can keep up with the brilliant colors, bright whites, dark shadows, and fine details in your photos.

How to choose the right monitor for editing photos

While some monitors are designed to suit a variety of use cases – such as gaming, word processing, graphic design, and 3D modeling – these are a bit like all-in-one printers/scanners/copiers. They’re average at a lot of things, but they don’t stand out in any particular way. In other words, they’re not ideally suited to any single given task.

Monitors designed for a specific purpose work much better when used for that purpose, and photography is no exception. Anyone considering a monitor for photo editing should take the following features into account:

Physical size: The saying bigger is better doesn’t necessarily apply to monitors designed for photo editing. You don’t want a monitor that’s too small, but you also don’t want to edit photos on a gigantic screen that takes up your entire wall.

Pixel density: This refers to the size of the individual dots, or pixels, that the monitor can display. Mobile phones have very high pixel densities; as a result, text, graphics, and icons appear so smooth that you can’t even see the individual pixels. While high pixel densities are increasingly common in monitors, you can still find some inexpensive options with low pixel densities. These make your photos, and everything else on screen, look blurry and slightly out of focus, so you should be sure to avoid such models when making your choice.

The best monitor for editing your photos
Photo editors need monitors that can keep up with the demands of modern digital photography. The best editing monitors show intricate details and display tack-sharp images.

Color gamut: This refers to the range of colors that a monitor can display. Some less expensive monitors are simply not capable of displaying a broad range of colors, and while they might be fine for documents, email, and browsing the internet, they are not ideal for photo editing. When choosing a monitor for photo editing, look for one with a high color gamut. High sRGB values such as 99% are great, but if you can get a monitor that has a DCI-P3 color gamut, you will likely find it to be much better suited for photo editing.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best monitors for photo editing that you can buy today:

1. The best monitor for professional photographers: Apple Pro Display XDR

Working professionals who demand the highest performance and whose livelihoods depend on the images they create with their cameras need look no further than the Apple Pro Display XDR. It has nearly every feature a professional could ask for – and, as you might expect, it has a high price tag to match. It’s designed specifically for photo and video editing, and it boasts an ultra-high pixel density of 218 PPI and an extremely wide viewing angle so you can see images clearly, even when looking from the side.

The best monitor for editing your photos

At 32 inches, the Apple Pro Display XDR is not only one of the best displays for professional photo editing but also one of the biggest. It has an incredibly wide color gamut, which means it’s capable of displaying a massive amount of colors so professionals can see all the subtle details in their high-megapixel images. It’s even offered with a special coating designed to minimize glare, which is very useful in bright environments or offices with overhead lighting.

The biggest drawback of the Apple Pro Display is the cost: Its $5000 price tag doesn’t include the anti-glare texture option or even a monitor stand. For professionals, the price might not matter, but for everyday shooters, this monitor is simply overkill.

Pros:

  • Anti-glare option makes a big difference in bright environments
  • Extraordinary color reproduction
  • Tru-Tone feature automatically adjusts colors for any viewing environment

Cons:

  • Very high price tag
  • Does not ship with a stand
  • Overkill for all but the most demanding professional photographers

2. The best monitor for amateur photographers: Dell UltraSharp U2724D

Dell might not be the first name that comes to mind in terms of monitors since the company tends to cater more to business and enterprise clients with excellent laptops and reliable desktops. However, Dell’s monitors are highly regarded among the photography community – and with good reason. The UltraSharp U2724D has many features that amateur photographers will appreciate, and the price tag won’t break the bank. It does a great job at color reproduction, has an LCD panel designed to give you deep blacks and bright whites, and is big enough to provide plenty of space without taking up an entire desk.

The best monitor for editing your photos

While the 98% P3 color gamut on the Dell UltraSharp U2724D doesn’t match the highest-end monitors available, it’ll work just fine for amateurs who want a good monitor for editing but don’t want to spend too much money. The monitor doesn’t have a webcam but does have a variety of useful expansion ports, and the refresh rate of 120 Hz makes it easy on the eyes even over long periods of editing. (High refresh rates are typically more important with gaming and other fast-moving use cases, but it never hurts to have when editing images!) Amateur photographers will find a lot to like here and will be well-served with the UltraSharp U2724D for many years to come.

Pros:

  • Includes a wide color gamut but is still quite affordable
  • Includes an array of expansion ports for peripherals
  • The high refresh rate can be easy on the eyes, especially for long editing sessions

Cons:

  • Not the biggest screen size compared to some of its peers
  • The simple, somewhat-outdated physical design feels more appropriate for an office cubicle

3. The best monitor for hobbyist photographers: Asus ProArt Display PA329CV

Hobbyist photographers don’t necessarily make a lot of money from their images, but they do take their craft seriously and often want something better than entry-level gear even if it means spending a bit more money. The Asus ProArt Display PA329CV does an outstanding job at meeting the needs of hobbyist photographers and even includes a C-clamp monitor stand to free up space on a desk or table.

The best monitor for editing your photos

Asus has been making high-quality computer hardware and peripherals for years, and its ProArt series is designed to go beyond the boring, drab, featureless monitors common in office environments and store displays. This one has a bright, brilliant display with an impressive color gamut that allows for faithful reproduction of all the intricate color details in any photograph and makes it easy to edit RAW files with precision. While the 4K resolution could be slightly better, especially given the size of the screen, the sheer quality of the pixels on display puts this monitor at the top of the list for any hobbyist photographer.

Pros:

  • Large size with an affordable price
  • The included C-clamp gives you more space on your desk
  • Includes built-in color presets ideal for photo editing

Cons:

  • Pixel density is a bit lower than some of its peers
  • Doesn’t include a webcam; this isn’t necessary for photo editing, of course, but it’s a bit unfortunate at this price

4. The best monitor for casual photographers: LG UltraFine 27UP650

Casual photographers are interested in photography and enjoy editing images but aren’t keen on spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the latest and greatest technology. They want a workhorse that will get the job done but don’t necessarily prioritize 6K resolutions and off-axis viewing angles. The LG UltraFine 27UP650 is a great choice for casual photographers because it is well-suited for image editing as well as a variety of other applications – and it comes at a very reasonable price that’s easy to afford. It’s a workhorse monitor that’s easy to recommend for casual photo editors (and many other people, too!).

The best monitor for editing your photos

The LG UltraFine 27UP650 is all about balance and compromise, but not necessarily at the expense of quality. Its 95% P3 color gamut won’t win any awards, and you won’t find special anti-glare coating or ultra-high refresh rates on this display. However, what you get with this monitor is a laundry list of very good technical specifications on a brilliant 4K screen at a price that’s far below many of its high-end peers. It’s great for casual photo editing, and it can easily handle other tasks such as spreadsheet work, internet surfing, and even gaming. While dedicated photographers might not care about those other things, casual photographers usually do, and that’s why the LG UltraFine 27UP650 is such a good option.

Pros:

  • Outstanding value makes it a great choice for casual photographers
  • 27-inch size is not too small, but it’s also not too large for people with small workspaces
  • Can be rotated 90 degrees, which is great for portraits and not common among its similarly-priced peers

Cons:

  • Color reproduction is fine but could be better
  • No USB ports for peripherals like memory card readers or external storage drives

5. The best monitor for enthusiast photographers: Dell UltraSharp U3224KB

Dell hit a home run with this foray into the high-end monitor market. The Dell UltraSharp U3224KB is a great choice for enthusiast photographers who are tempted by the amazing features of the Apple Pro Display XDR but don’t want to empty their pockets to get it. This UltraSharp’s list of features is long and includes nearly everything a photo editor could ask for, including 6K resolution for clean, crisp details and a 99% P3 color gamut.

The best monitor for editing your photos

While this monitor is great for photo editing, it also excels at other tasks like videoconferencing thanks to a high-quality 4K webcam and general daily usage. It has an array of expansion ports so you can hook up other gear like external drives or another monitor, and the built-in speakers sound impressive for their size. It’s a bit overkill for casual and hobbyist photographers, but for enthusiast photographers who obsess over the tiniest details and need a high-performing screen that’s easy on the eyes and lighter on the wallet than some other options, this is a great choice.

Pros:

  • Amazing set of features for all types of photo editing
  • Specifically designed to reduce eye strain, which helps during long editing sessions
  • Huge array of expansion ports for peripherals

Cons:

  • An unsightly camera bump along the top of the display
  • Significantly more expensive than most other options on this list

Monitors for photo editors to avoid

Before concluding this article, I want to mention a few types of monitors that you should avoid for your photo editing. Some of these options may be tempting, but I urge you to go in a different direction.

Ultrawide curved monitors: If you have never seen a gigantic, expansive monitor – some of which are available in mind-melting sizes such as 49″ – you will be shocked the first time you lay eyes on one. Ultrawide curved monitors swallow your entire field of view and let you easily use multiple applications at the same time without constantly minimizing windows. They’re outstanding for lots of use-case scenarios like gaming and even office work, but not great for photo editing.

The best monitor for editing your photos

The main appeal of ultrawide curved monitors is their ability to give users vast amounts of horizontal display space, almost like two or three separate monitors glued together. But they don’t excel at things that matter most to photographers, like color reproduction or pixel density. Ultrawide monitors can display two or three images side by side, but if that’s your goal, I’d recommend just getting two monitors that are better suited for photo editing instead of a single ultrawide.

Televisions: It’s not uncommon for people to use flatscreen televisions as computer monitors. The price-to-size ratio of a television compared to a monitor is tough to beat, but the downside is that televisions are not well suited to photo editing or most other computer-related tasks. Televisions are designed to be viewed from farther away, generally have a much narrower color gamut, and can make photographs appear either oversaturated or washed out. Televisions are fine for PC gaming, but they’re not recommended for photo editing.

Older HD monitors: If you are using a monitor to edit photos that’s more than a few years old, you might be hindering your photo editing without realizing it. Older monitors have lower pixel densities that can make you think your camera or lens is broken, when in reality they simply can’t display fine details compared to modern screens. They also have poor viewing angles, smaller color gamuts, lower maximum brightness, and refresh rates that can lead to eyestrain. Decade-old DSLR and mirrorless cameras can produce incredible images, but if you are editing your files on monitors from the same era, I strongly recommend upgrading your screen before getting a new camera.

The best monitor for editing your photos
I shot this on a ten-year-old Nikon D750, but I edited it on a modern high-resolution monitor. My monitor allowed me to see the tiniest details and all the subtle color variations along with bright highlights and rich blacks.

Pick the perfect monitor for your editing requirements!

No matter what kind of photographer you are, or what type of images you create with your camera, it’s important to have a monitor for photo editing that meets your needs. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a pro-level monitor; as I’ve detailed above, there are plenty of excellent monitors that come with a reasonable price tag and work great for more budget-conscious users.

Of course, if you are a professional or semi-professional photographer and you require the best of the best for your post-processing workflow, there are some great models that’ll really help your business. Hopefully, this article helped you land on the right monitor for your needs!

Now over to you:

What’s your favorite monitor for photo editing, and what qualities do you look for that you think would be important for other photographers to consider? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

The post The Best Monitors for Photo Editing in 2024 appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

The post The Best Monitors for Photo Editing in 2024 appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth. A good monitor is one of the most important components of an editing workflow, but which monitor is best for photographers? With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed…

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