The 6 Best Monitors for Photo Editing [2021 Updated]

Our Top 5 Pick’s (Comparison Table)

pros
Cons
Spec
#1 Best Choice
The 6 Best Monitors for Photo Editing [2021 Updated]
Dell UltraSharp 27
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pros
+ Wide connectivity options
+ Bundled colorimeter
Cons
– Expensive software
– Low brightness
Spec
Display:
27 inches IPS

HDR Support:
No

Refresh Rate:
60 Hz
#2 Best Budget
The 6 Best Monitors for Photo Editing [2021 Updated]
Asus ProArt Display
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pros
+ Superior brightness
+ Supports variable refresh rate
Cons
– Doesn’t support Adobe RGB color gamut
– Needs a thorough color calibration
Spec
Display:
27 inches IPS

HDR Support:
No

Refresh Rate:
75 Hz
#3 Best Price
The 6 Best Monitors for Photo Editing [2021 Updated]
BenQ SW27OC 27
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pros
+ Color space switching tool
+ Sd card reader
Cons
– Expensive
– Difficult to set-up
Spec
Display:
27 inches IPS

HDR Support:
Yes

Refresh Rate:
60 Hz
#4 Best Design
The 6 Best Monitors for Photo Editing [2021 Updated]
Pro Display XDR
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pros
+ 1600 nits peak brightness
+ HDR 1000 support
Cons
– Ludicrous pricing
– Average refresh rate
Spec
Display:
32 Inches IPS

HDR Support:
Yes

Refresh Rate:
60 Hz
#5 Best Value
The 6 Best Monitors for Photo Editing [2021 Updated]
Dell U4021QW
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pros
+ 40-inch curved display
+ Wide color gamut
Cons
– Expensive
– Heavy to position on the desk
Spec
Display: 40 Inches IPS

HDR Support:
No

Refresh Rate:
60 Hz

Monitors appear as a simple choice unless you want to narrow down a product that matches your work profile. Not every monitor is a jack of all trades and unless you find one, I suggest you go for a monitor that serves its purpose. For photography, the expectations and feature sets vary drastically as they have to be more precise at determining color to its finest detail.

Now finding the best monitors for photo editing is great trouble, one which I don’t want you to experience. I have searched for the ultimate photo editing monitors that will help you in sprucing up your photos while not allowing you to miss a single detail. In this post about the best monitors for photo editing, I will elaborate on the following topics.

  1. Which are the best monitors for photo editing?
  2. Detailed Comparison and Review of best monitors for photo editing.
  3. What are their pros & cons?
  4. Which are the best monitors for photo editing that you should buy?

Excited? So Let’s Get Started.

Features of a Photo Editing Monitor

Before abruptly rushing to buy any monitor that claims to be built for photo editing, have a look at the features that should be present in it.

Resolution: Any photography professional is cognizant of the role of resolution in the photos. The same applies to the monitor for photo editing as well, the higher the resolution, the more details are unraveled within a photo. While many would advise you to go for a 1080 pixel panel, my advice would be opting for a 4K panel instead as it has twice the pixels and will serve your purpose for quite some time.

Size: For a monitor suited for photo editing, you shouldn’t go for 21-inch monitors. That’s like buying a mini-sized, good-for-nothing display. It is imperative to buy a 24 inch or above display as it allows to cover a lot of ground and reduces the trouble of switching tabs and applications or excessively zooming in.

Color Space: For photo editing, sRGB and Adobe RGB color gamut play a vital role as it is widely used in print media color determination. So pickup w photo editing monitor that has at least 90 percent of the sRGB color space and more than 70 percent of the Adobe RGB, which is a broader spectrum of color space.

Brightness: The brightness of IPS panels is more than good if you are selecting a photo editing monitor. Always check the peak brightness as sometimes you can have a source of natural light close by and high brightness can combat it.

Plane Technology: IPS is the king of the present monitor industry but there are VA and TN panels available as well. The contrast and color production differ with each panel type which is why IPS is preferred by most photo editing professionals.

Response Time: Unless you intend to game on the monitor, response time is not an issue while selecting a photo editing monitor. That being said, you still should factor in a monitor with a response time of 10 milliseconds or less.

Viewing Angle: Viewing angle is the ability of the monitor to maintain color identical color output even at different angles. Opting for a monitor with viewing angles of 120 degrees is advised while selecting a monitor.

Calibration Support: A photo editing monitor needs competent calibration software that can help with manual calibration by the user. Default calibrated monitors are available but nothing tickles the fancy like having the option to tweak it yourself.


Best Monitors for Photo Editing


Dell UltraSharp 27 – Best Monitors for Photo Editing

Dell UltraSharp 27 is one of the best monitors for photo editing released by Dell for a long time. The monitor has updated connectivity and a built-in colorimeter.

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Specifications:

Response Time5 millisecond
Panel TypeIPS Panel
Refresh Rate60 Hz
Display Size27 inches
Display TypeFlat

Build and Design:

Unlike most monotonous monitor color schemes, the Dell UltraSharp 27 bears a gray-colored body that strikes out. It supports pivotal, swivel, rotate, and height adjustment and is paired with a standard VESA mount. The bezels are kept as minimal as possible.

The monitor is accompanied by a shading hood that can help you to disrupt external light from striking the panel. It comes with a built-in colorimeter that pops up from the bezel to calibrate your display.

Features:

Dell UltraSharp 27 is a 27-inch monitor with a 4K resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. It is a 60 Hz IPS panel with 250 nits of brightness that supports 1.07 billion colors and a 6 ms response time.

Dell UltraSharp 27 comes with an anti-glare coating to keep the reflections at bay and is clearly visible from all angles due to the wide viewing angle of 178 degrees. The monitor is a boon for photo editing as it supports 100 percent Adobe RGB color space, 98 percent DCI P3 color gamut, and 80 percent BT.2020 color gamut, all of which are top-notch numbers.

The Dell UltraSharp 27 comes with a colorimeter that works in tandem with the CalMAN software. You can also schedule the monitor to self-calibrate the display at regular intervals with the color space of your choice. Moreover, it ships with all the necessary cables and doesn’t skimp on basic accessories.

Verdict:

For a moderate price, Dell UltraSharp 27 is a stellar investment option for any photography professional looking for the best monitors for photo editing. The brand even managed to bundle a colorimeter with the monitor, making it easy for the users to calibrate the display.

“Dell UltraSharp 27 is an updated monitor best suited for photo editing.”

9.3Expert Score
Best Overall
Build and design
9.5
Features
9
Pros
  • Wide connectivity options
  • Bundled colorimeter
Cons
  • Expensive software
  • Low brightness

Asus ProArt Display – Best Monitors for Photo Editing

Asus ProArt Display is the next best thing in line for the best monitors for photo editing that comes with support for adaptive sync, a bright IPS panel, and admissible color accuracy.

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Specifications:

Response Time5 millisecond
Panel TypeIPS Panel
Refresh Rate75 Hz
Display Size27 inches
Display TypeFlat

Build and Design:

Asus ProArt Display is a black-colored monitor that features buttons on the bottom bezel which is long lost feature in many photo editing monitors. It weighs around 7.7 kilograms with a stand and isn’t among the bulkiest monitors available for photo editing.

The Asus ProArt Display packs a blend of modern and older connectivity options that include a DVI port too. Kensington lock is also available to secure your system on the desk.

Features:

Like the Dell monitor, the Asus ProArt Display is also a 27-inch affair but bears a quad HD resolution rather than 4K found on the Dell monitor. It has 2560 by 1440 pixel resolution with a 108 PPI that is okay but not close to what the Dell monitor offers.

Asus ProArt Display supports variable refresh rate technology (adaptive sync) and can adjust between 48-75 Hz, which is superior to the Dell UltraSharp 27 display. It supports 16.7 million colors with 100 percent sRGB and Rec.709 color gamut. It doesn’t support HDR but has a fast response time of 5 ms. The monitor is fairly bright and can touch a peak brightness of 350 nits.

Verdict:

Asus ProArt Display is a blend of a great color-rich display with a variable refresh rate technology. It surely doesn’t support all the bells and whistles of the Dell UltraSharp 27 monitor but offers a decent feature set for a moderate price.

“Asus ProArt Display is the best budget alternative for photo editing.”

9Expert Score
Best Budget
Build and design
9
Features
9
Pros
  • Superior brightness
  • Supports variable refresh rate
Cons
  • Doesn’t support Adobe RGB color gamut
  • Needs a thorough color calibration

BenQ SW27OC 27 – Best Monitors for Photo Editing

BenQ SW27OC 27 is also a pretty sweet prospect in our list of the best monitors for photo editing. It packs a great resolution, a shading hood, and a nifty control module to switch between color spaces.

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Specifications:

Response Time5 millisecond
Panel TypeIPS Panel
Refresh Rate60 Hz
Display Size27 inches
Display TypeFlat

Build and Design:

BenQ SW27OC 27 features a quirky control module that is positioned on the stand and is easily accessible. It features tactile buttons that can be used to switch among different color spaces. The monitor comes with a shadowed hood and the whole assembly weighs a little more than 10 kilograms.

BenQ SW27OC 27 incorporates the latest connectivity options in addition to an SD card reader that facilitates direct access to image files from the camera. The stand supports tilt, swivel, pivot, and 90-degree rotation.

Features:

BenQ SW27OC 27 uses a 27 inch IPS panel with 2K resolution identical to the Asus ProArt Display. It is a fairly bright panel as well, and peaks at 300 nits which is the average brightness rating for many photo editing monitors. The monitor comes with a response time of 5 ms and a 178-degree viewing angle.

The color space is way wider than what you get on the Asus ProArt Display. The BenQ SW27OC 27 photo editing monitor supports 99 percent Adobe RGB color gamut, 97 percent P3, and 100 percent sRGB. You can cycle between these three color spaces to see exactly the difference between the three, using the dock.

The monitor supports hardware calibration and is certified by both CalMAN and Pantone. You need an X-rite i1 Display Pro calibration tool, which is among the few supported tools for calibrating the display. The monitor lacks an adaptive refresh rate technology and comes with the standard 60 Hz refresh rate.

Verdict:

BenQ SW27OC 27 isn’t a cheap offering by any means. It is best suited for a professional that has some experience with photo editing and understands the nuances of color space. It is undoubtedly a deserving candidate for our list of the best monitors for photo editing that needs some tweaks in calibration.

“BenQ SW27OC 27 offers the best middle ground for photo editing monitors.”

8.8Expert Score
Best Connectivity
Build and design
9
Features
8.5
Pros
  • Color space switching tool
  • SD card reader
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to set-up

Apple Pro Display XDR – Best Monitors for Photo Editing

Apple Pro Display XDR cannot be omitted from the list of best monitors for photo editing, ever. It would be a travesty to drop this enticing 6K display that has an insane level of brightness and color accuracy.

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Specifications:

Response Time5 millisecond
Panel TypeIPS Panel
Refresh Rate60 Hz
Display Size32 inches
Display TypeFlat

Build and Design:

The Apple Pro Display XDR is the only display that is equally renowned for its design as it is for the feature-packed body. The monitor comes with a magnetic connector that straps onto the stand, thereby restricting the need for fiddling with screws. It is a pretty heavy setup in totality, so make sure you have a competent desk for it

Apple Pro Display XDR supports tilt, swivel, rotate, and pivot along with a feature that allows you to rotate the display only if it is above the required height level. A rather nifty trick for a stand that is priced at 1000 USD. For connectivity, you get the usual USB Type-C ports along with a thunderbolt port as well.

Features:

Apple Pro Display XDR is a 33-inch offering that has a bizarre peak brightness of 1600 nits. It will surely fry your eyeballs and also comes with the support for HDR 1000, a feature that isn’t found on any of the best monitors for photo editing on our list.

The 32-inch display packs a 6K resolution with the option of getting a glossy or an anti-glare display. I would advise you to for the latter or be plagued with reflections all the time. The Apple Pro Display XDR supports a complete DCI P3 color gamut and is the best of the best displays for photo or video editing. It is surprisingly vivid for a LED IPS display and comes close to the quality of an OLED display.

Verdict:

If you can look over the price aspect, the Apple Pro Display XDR is unmatched by any other monitor offerings. It has an outstanding color gamut and brightness with an amazing stand that isn’t a trouble to set up. Apple Pro Display XDR is a monitor designed to stay relevant for a long, long time.

“Apple Pro Display XDR is the premium monitor aimed at creators.”

9.3Expert Score
Best Premium
Build and design
9.5
Features
9
Pros
  • 1600 nits peak brightness
  • HDR 1000 support
Cons
  • Ludicrous pricing
  • Average refresh rate

Dell U4021QW Monitor – Best Monitors for Photo Editing

Dell U4021QW Monitor is the epitome of craft that comes with a curved display, and a screen size that is more than what you get from other best monitors for photo editing.

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Specifications:

Response Time5 millisecond
Panel TypeIPS Panel
Refresh Rate60 Hz
Display Size40 inches
Display TypeCurved

Build and Design:

Dell U4021QW Monitor is a beautiful specimen that is curved along with a smooth silver finish. Both of the Dell monitors on our list features enticing color schemes as compared to the offerings from Asus or BenQ.

The Dell U4021QW Monitor weighs 13.6 kilograms and is pretty heavy due to the increased size. It supports tilt, swivel, and height adjustment. You cannot rotate the display as it is a curved one. The photo editing monitor has the next-gen connectivity ports but lacks a dedicated SD card reader like the BenQ SW27OC 27 monitor.

Features:

Dell U4021QW Monitor doesn’t skimp on features at all. It is a 40-inch monitor with a 5K resolution and a tall aspect ratio of 21:9. The monitor uses an IPS panel with striking brightness of 300 nits which is slightly lower than the BenQ SW27OC.

Dell U4021QW Monitor doesn’t have a variable refresh rate display and is capped at 69 Hz. The pixel density is improved on this variant and you get 140 pixels per inch which means a lot more detail. The monitor boasts of 5 ms response time which is just right for a photo editing monitor.

The monitor comes with a 100 percent sRGB color gamut, 98 percent DCI-P3, along with a factory calibration report. It however lacks the calibration tool that is present in the Dell UltraSharp 27 monitor.

Verdict:

Dell U4021QW Monitor is the best-curved monitor for photo editing provided you got the moolah to spend on it. It has a vast color gamut, more than what a professional photographer needs along with a 5K resolution display that will never let you miss a single detail. The only obvious flaw would be the expensive pricing that could have been better.

“Dell U4021QW Monitor is the best-curved photo editing monitor.”

8.5Expert Score
Best Curved
Build and design
8.5
Features
8.5
Pros
  • 40-inch curved display
  • Wide color gamut
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Heavy to position on the desk

Sharp NEC MultiSync PA311D – Best Monitors for Photo Editing

Sharp NEC MultiSync PA311D is another expensive offering in our list of the best monitors for photo editing that comes with the best color accuracy.

Specifications:

Response Time5 millisecond
Panel TypeIPS Panel
Refresh Rate60 Hz
Display Size32 inches
Display TypeFlat

Build and Design:

Sharp NEC MultiSync PA311D is chungus, which means very thick in layman’s language. The monitor absolutely discards the practice of slim bezels or tacky sleek designs. It is just there to serve its purpose and not to woo you with its design.

Sharp NEC MultiSync PA311D is a completely plastic build that is still quite heavy as compared to other thinner photo editing monitors on our list. It can swivel, tilt and height adjust but cannot rotate.

Features:

Sharp NEC MultiSync PA311D is 32 inch IPS photo editing monitor that comes with a 4K resolution and a relatively high PPI of 149. The monitor supports 98 percent of the Adobe RGB, and 99 percent of the sRGB, and 97 percent of DCI P3 at the same time. Its color accuracy is unquestionably good and is uniform across the display.

Sharp NEC MultiSync PA311D is only compatible with an NEC branded colorimeter and despite the high price, doesn’t feature a self-calibrating display with an inbuilt colorimeter like the Dell UltraSharp 27.

Verdict:

Sharp NEC MultiSync PA311D is a great option if you are rooting for maximum color accuracy. If it could support the third-party colorimeter as most photo editing monitors do, it would surely dominate our list of the best monitors for photo editing.

“Sharp NEC MultiSync PA311D has a laudable color accuracy.”

8.3Expert Score
Best Color Accuracy
Build and design
8
Features
8.5
Pros
  • Uniform panel
  • Numerous connectivity options
Cons
  • No built-in colorimeter
  • A thick, plastic slab design

Final Words

Dell UltraSharp 27 and Apple Pro Display XDR remain my two top recommendations for any photo editing professional who wants the best monitors for photo editing. If your requirements constitute a large display that is also curved, the Dell U4021QW Monitor is your go-to alternative. Lastly, if you need the ultimate color accuracy, Sharp NEC MultiSync PA311D is a good option as well.

General FAQ

What kind of monitor is best for photo editing?

Dell UltraSharp 27 and Apple Pro Display XDR are the two best monitors for photo editing.

Do I need a 4K monitor for photo editing?

Not necessarily but if you are upgrading from a 1080 pixel, a 4K monitor will be future proof.

Is a curved monitor better for photo editing?

It is more of an aesthetic and personal preference. A few professionals feel that curved displays offer a more immersive experience.

Is an Apple monitor good for photo editing?

Apple Pro Display XDR offers a crisp HDR1000 enabled display that is absolutely the best for photo and video editing.

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The 6 Best Monitors for Photo Editing [2021 Updated]
Abhishek Mishra
I love exploring technology and devote my time to curating detailed reviews and supplying credible information to inquisitive users. I wish I had some spare time to play a few RPGs or clean my desk.

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