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The best monitors for photo editing in 2022

Two photographers use one of the best monitors for photo editing to select images
(Image credit: RossHelen via Getty)

The best monitors for photo editing can make a real difference to your work because of their outstanding colour accuracy and uniformity. Whether you edit your photos on a PC or on a Mac, ensuring that the colours you see on screen are as close to the real thing as possible and that you have a uniform level of brightness makes for the most accurate photo editing. Even if you edit on a laptop and already have an inbuilt screen with good enough colour and brightness for the job, the chances are you'll also want a larger screen to work on. 

For that, we've put together a list of the best monitors for photo editing at a range of price points. We've included monitors that support colour spaces such as Adobe RGB, and monitors that have calibration options (you'll also want one of the best monitor calibrators, and we'd recommend using anti-reflective coating too if your workspace is subject to harsh lighting. If you're unsure of what to look out for in a display, scroll down to the section on what to consider when buying a monitor for photo editing.

We've included a good deal of 4K options in the selection below, but we also have a guide to the best 4K monitors in general if you want more choice. As for video editors, you'll want to see our pick of the best monitors for video editing. Meanwhile, for a tactile screen, take a gander at our roundup of the best touchscreen monitors.

The best monitors for photo editing

Best monitors for photo editing: BenQ SW321C PhotoVueCB

(Image credit: BenQ)

01. BenQ SW321C

The best monitor for photo editing for those with a big budget

Specifications

Screen size: 32 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
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

-
May be too large for some

If you've got plenty to spend, the best monitor for photo editing we recommend is the BenQ SW321C. It boasts 99% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB and 95% P3 gamut coverage. It comes expertly calibrated, although it also offers hardware calibration independent of your computer. 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 view your work in glorious detail. You can also switch between colour spaces rapidly thanks to a separate control unit.

There are plenty of other useful touches. The Paper Color Sync mode helps you create a colour space based on your printer and paper type, for more accurate previewing, while M Book mode makes the screen more closely match a MacBook Pro to allow easy transition between the screens. The monitor supports USB-C with power delivery up to 60W, so you can connect a laptop and get power and data over a single cable.

Best monitors for photo editing: LG 27UL500-W product shotCB endorsed

(Image credit: LG)

02. LG 27UL500-W

The best affordable monitor for photo editing

Specifications

Screen size: 27 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
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 well priced
+
Great entry-level 4K monitor

Reasons to avoid

-
Smaller than other options here

While a lot of this monitor's appeal comes from the price, there's much to like in the specs too. LG displays offer excellent quality and the LG 27UL500-W 4K model boasts some decent specs and even includes a colour calibration tool so you can check that you're seeing what you should on screen, making an ideal monitor for photo editing. It offers 98% coverage of the sRGB space, which is more than enough for many and there's HDR 10 compatibility and AMD FreeSync if you're interested in playing games on your monitor as well. 

LG 32UN880 UltraFine Ergo product shot, side on viewCB endorsed

(Image credit: LG)

03. LG 32UN880 UltraFine Ergo

The best monitor for photo editing if you want control over your workspace

Specifications

Screen size: 32 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
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

This LG monitor has a lot going for it indeed. First off, it's a big 32-inch 4K screen packed with pixels. It offers 95% P3 colour gamut support, HDR compatibility (though the brightness is fairly low at 350 nits), and even, accurate images that look truly authentic. It also boasts great connections, including USB Type-C.

But it's the 'Ergo' part that really sets it apart from us. The adjustable arm 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 actually leaves you more space on the desk too. It's a delight to work with.

Best monitors for photo editing: Eizo ColorEdge CG319X product shot

(Image credit: Eizo)

04. Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

The best photo-editing monitor for professionals

Specifications

Screen size: 31-inch
Resolution: 4096 x 2160
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 

Reasons to avoid

-
Some features unnecessary for non-pros

Eizo trades heavily on a reputation for being the ultimate professional display brand, and the first time you 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 even than most PCs. 

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 colourimeter. 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 quickly move on after taking one glance at the price, the CG319X is a display that’s on another level and is designed for a niche professional audience that needs the best possible colour accuracy – and it certainly delivers that. If money is no object, this is the best monitor for photo editing that you can buy.

Best monitors for photo editing: Dell UltraSharp U2719D product shot

(Image credit: Dell)

05. Dell UltraSharp U2719D

A well-priced photo-editing monitor with superb picture quality

Specifications

Screen size: 27 inches
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Refresh rate: 240Hz
Panel technology: LED LCD
Inputs: 2 x DisplayPort (in/out), 1 x HDMI
USB: USB 3.0 hub, 2x downstream, 1x upstream

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful near-borderless design
+
Good connectivity options

Reasons to avoid

-
Not built for gaming 

Dell’s UltraSharp range always delivers a great image and, while the monitors' designs don't exactly stand out from the crowd, the tiny bezels around this display do make it easy on the eye. Dell makes quality displays with great colours, making them ideal for photo editing. Although this isn't a display designed specifically with colour accuracy in mind, the Dell UltraSharp U2719D is a great all-rounder offering a 4K display that's more adjustable than most – you can pivot, tilt, swivel and adjust the height of your display. The pivot is particularly useful, and the USB hub is a handy extra feature, too. 

Dell UltraSharp UP3216Q product shot

(Image credit: Dell)

06. Dell UltraSharp UP3216Q

Another brilliant monitor for professional photographers

Specifications

Screen size: 31.5 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Mini DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI
USB: 4 x USB 3.0

Reasons to buy

+
Great colour accuracy
+
10-bit IPS panel with 16-bit look-up table

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey

Another option from Dell's UltraSharp range, this 31.5-inch 4K screen is one of Dell's best monitors for photo editing (with a price tag to match). It boasts a large range of professional-grade features that results in colour accuracy that many of its rivals simply can't offer. You get a large 4K screen with support for the DCI-P3 colour spectrum. It 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.

Best monitors for photo editing: Viewsonic VP3881 product shot

(Image credit: Viewsonic)

07. Viewsonic VP3881

The best ultra-wide monitor for photo editing

Specifications

Screen size: 37.5 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 1600
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. 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 as you can view webpages, file explorers and multiple editing applications 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. 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 photo editing

There several things to consider and look out for when you're choosing a monitor for photo editing. Some of the most important are to decide what size monitor you want. There are also minimum requirements you should look for in terms of resolution and colour accuracy. We'll discuss some of those questions below.

What size monitor should I use for photo editing?

The most 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. 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. All in all, a lot of photographers like editing on a monitor that's between 27in and 32in.

What monitor resolution do I need?

Put very simply, the higher the resolution, the better the image quality, but of course, higher resolution monitors are usually more expensive. When looking to pick the best monitor for photo editing, you really need to go for a resolution of at least 4K (3,840 x 2,160) these days. You should make sure that your PC or Mac supports that resolution before you make a purchase (most recent models will).

What else should I consider when buying 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. 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. 

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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.