Professional photographers or designers must have expertise in photo editing and video reproduction tasks. To perform such high-end graphics tasks, they have to rely on monitors that can help them to edit high quality images or videos to retain the high color accuracy. Such monitors must have a uniform display and wide viewing angles and some other advanced technical features that are explained in this article. Picking the best monitor for photo-editing jobs can be tricky since some specifications can be misleading to confuse the designers or photographers. So, here is a brief discussion about basic features needed in a photo-editing monitor. You will be able to make an informed decision from our hand-picked monitors ideal for Photoshop CS, CorelDraw, Picturescape, Illustrator or similar image editing applications.
Features to look for in Photo-editing Monitors
Monitor Screen Size
It is understood that a large screen size will help designers or editors to analyze their work in depth. A big screen also allows the optimum space for toolbars on the screen that are essential for various editing tasks. I would recommend going for a minimum of 24 Inches screen size while choosing a graphics monitor.
This is one of the vital features that the photo-editors can’t ignore while buying the best monitor. Resolution is defined as the total count of pixels in horizontal and vertical sections of the screen. A lower resolution monitor may not be able to capture the whole view on the screen, even if it is of large size. The screen resolution and quality is improving day by day with constant innovation and research in display technology. The minimum resolutions that can work for you are listed below
- Full HD 1920 x 1080p
- QHD 2560 x 1440p
- UHD/4K 3840 x 2160
Aspect Ratio is measured in terms of the width of the screen with respect to height. In earlier days, 4:3 was the common aspect ratio and TVs and monitors appeared square in dimensions. But now this is replaced by an aspect ratio of 16:9 which gives a monitor the widescreen appearance. Also, remember that different aspect ratios support different resolutions. 16:9 today has become a standard aspect ratio for high definition monitors.
There are three types of screen panels that include TN, VA, and IPS. Among these, VA panels are mostly used in TVs whereas other two are used in manufacturing monitors. TN panels are outdated and are not great for wide angle viewing. IPS panels, on the other hand, are the latest in technology which offers high viewing angles, better contrast, efficient color reproduction and better refresh rates.
Image credit: wikipedia
Color gamut is defined as the ability of a device to produce the different range of colors. The wider the color gamut, the more realistic the colors, a monitor can produce. The standard gamut is sRGB and almost all the monitors or TVs available today cover this range. In order to meet the demand for high levels of colors by professional photographers or photo-editors, Adobe created its own color gamut as AdobeRGB that consists of a wider range of colors. Depending on your needs and budget you can go for higher color accuracy with wider color gamut range.
It is a standard metric that is a measure of the difference between two colors as perceived by human eye. The standard quantifies this difference and compared to the benchmark and calculated the deviation. The minimum the value of this deviation (measured as Delta E), more is the color accuracy.
Apart from the basic VGA port, always look for latest digital ports like DVI or HDMI on monitors. Make sure you have the same ports on your computer system. If you don’t have one, you can always buy the port converter cables easily available online.
Reviews of Photo Editing Monitors
Equipped with IPS panel, BenQ PV270 produces a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels in a large screen with a size of 27 Inches with an aspect ratio of 16:9. It covers 100% of sRGB and 99% AdobeRGB color gamut space that most of the art designers and digital photographers look for.
The monitor is optimized for post-production video editing jobs since it offers Delta E value of less than or equal to 1.5 which means the color accuracy is high. 100% coverage of Rec. 709 is another testament to HD and digital color matching with the colors you have selected.
BenQ PV270 offers both hardware and software calibration to match the images with the originals. The Palette master provides a user-friendly interface to calibrate the color settings that assist the professional photo and video editors to create customized profiles of each job.
The superior ergonomics of this monitor is supported by a shading hood that maintains the consistency of on-screen image by preventing any reflections from the environment. The mounting swivel provides a movement of the screen in portrait as well as a landscape orientation for fine tune the projects in hand.
Highly recommended, this monitor from BenQ is undoubtedly a top-of-the-line product for photo-editing and video reproduction jobs.
This monitor from Viewsonic impresses with its rich colors and multi-connectivity ports. The bezel-less LED screen comes with a rich resolution of 3840×2160 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:9 supporting more than 4.30 trillion colors. This is one of the best 4k monitors that work with both Mac and Windows.
With customizable color profile feature, you can fully utilize it for adjusting the six primary colors for best color effects on your ingenious work. With color gamut coverage of 99% Adobe RGB color space and Delta E ratings less than 2, this is a perfect monitor for professional designers and video editors.
Matching the exact colors with the source is possible in Viewsonic, thanks to its 14-bit 3D LUT (look-up-table) which produces stunning colors needed the most in professional images. Moreover, this monitor is capable of decoding HDR10 video signals for immersive video effects.
If we look at the connectivity, this photo-monitor is equipped with two numbers of HDMI 2.0 ports, USB 3.1 Type C, Type A and Type B ports, Display port and Mini Display port. For secure content playback, this monitor is also powered by HDCP 2.2 content protection.
With advanced argonic design, 3-year warranty and an optional hardware calibration Kit, Viewsonic is the real beast, you can depend on for your designing standards.
This monitor has a large diagonal size of 34.14 Inches which offers the optimal eye comfort for both work and gaming. In photo-editing and designing jobs you need to work on multiple applications simultaneously and with the picture-in-picture feature, you can manage multiple projects at the same time.
The screen offers a maximum resolution of 3440×1440 (WQHD), the wide viewing angle of 178 degrees, sRGB color gamut covering 99% space with Delta E less than 3 and aspect ratio of 21:9. It is surely the best monitor that offers a cinematic experience that enhances the easiness of video editing or photography tasks.
Dell U3417W comes with multi-connectivity ports that include DP, mini-DP, HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 HUB. The monitor has inbuilt 18W speakers for elevated gaming and video streaming experience. The stand of the monitor is adjustable up to 115 mm with swivel and tilt functionality.
Curved screen minimizes the eye movement by increasing the field of view and creates a uniform focus on the screen. Calibrated for perfection, this curved monitor is highly recommended for work and play. You can also check another monitor LG 34UC80-B 34 Inches IPS-Monitor
BenQ is a known brand when it comes to consumer electronics and tech entertainment products and BenQ PD3200U is one of the popular and trusted products with high ratings. This impressive monitor is equipped with AQCOLOUR technology that not only ensures brilliant colors but also 100% Rec709 and sRGB coverage, much needed for your designs.
This monitor comes with an IPS panel and displays a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels @ 60 Hz refresh rate. Taking into account the eye care of users, the screen has an anti-glare finish and manages to contain the blue light to as low as possible. The flicker free display is another testament to user’s eye care.
The monitor comes with a multi-mode feature that lets you switch between standard, darkroom and CAD/CAM modes. What makes this monitor unique from others is that it lets you work in different modes at the same time without needing two screens. You can open two different projects parallel in separate modes on a single screen. You can also use KVM switch that allows you to connect two computers with a single set of keyboard and mouse. You can read more to choose the best mouse for image editing that is ergonomic, sensitive and efficient.
The BenQ monitor is ergonomically designed and provides flexible adjustments in both horizontal and vertical positions. The connectivity ports include D-sub, headphone jack, DVI-DL, HDMI1.4, line in, DP1.2. Overall, this is a nice monitor for Photoshop, DIT, and photographers.
This is a newly launched budget monitor with premium features. The screen size is 27 Inches and is powered by IPS panel that offers crisp and accurate color reproduction. Fused with ten bit colors, the monitor displays 4K resolution of 3840×2160 pixels and 99% sRGB color space covering (NTSC 72%) gamut.
Other features that need a mention here is freesync that reduces flicking and stuttering of the screen due to any difference between GPU’s frame rate and monitor’s refresh rate. This ensures smooth movement of games, video streaming, and high resolution applications.
The monitor supports PIP (picture-in-picture) mode that allows you to open 4 different projects/apps simultaneously for enhanced work efficiency. The monitor is designed to work not only on photo-editing software like Photoshop, it also offers three different gaming modes to play and work on the same screen.
This anti-glare monitor comes with limited connectivity options. It has two HDMI and one number of display port. The monitor comes with one DP cable that is four feet in length. The LG 27UD58-B monitor has got high ratings from satisfying across the globe.
Samsung S32D850T is a WQHD (Wide Quad High Definition) monitor that produces a high resolution of 2560×1440 pixels. With an aspect ratio of 16:9, it comes with a professional and ergonomic design with flexible height, pivot, tilt and swivel movements.
You can take full advantage of PIP (picture-in-picture) technology and do multi-tasking without losing the resolution. Apart from PIP, this monitor from Samsung also offers picture-by-picture technology wherein you can open the screens of two computers on this single monitor.
At such a reasonable price tag, you get a sRGB coverage of 100% which is commendable of Samsung. Moreover, with a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees, you are able to view a uniform screen from horizontal or vertical positions.
The monitor comes with advanced connections that include DVI-D, DP1.2, HDMI 1.4, USB 3.0 Hub(4-ports) and USB fast charging for mobiles. This monitor is highly recommended for photographers who need side by side and PIP features the most.
Pick the Best Monitor for Photo-Editing Tasks in 2018
Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned player in photo editing profession, you need a top-notch graphics monitor that supports high end photo editing to move ahead in your career. I hope the monitors listed here will reduce your efforts in searching the best monitor that fits your budget, creativity, and job-requirements. All these photo editing monitors have the latest specs and features for quality work to make your customers happy.