The 8 Best Monitors for Photo Editing to Buy in 2018

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If you’re working with digital photos and trying to do serious photo editing, whether for print or the Web, you need a monitor that properly displays the colors you’re working with. While a lot of monitors advertise simple things like their display panel type and the resolution, your run-of-the-mill monitor may not make much fuss about displaying its color gamut or other factors important in photo editing.

There are several different factors you need to consider when getting a monitor for photo editing. An IPS LCD display is pretty much a must, as they offer good color reproduction, decent uniformity, and good viewing angles, so viewing from an off angle won’t drastically shift colors or brightness. Supported color gamuts are another issue, with sRGB, Adobe RGB, Rec. 709 Rec. 2020, and DCI-P3 being a few important standards to consider.

For the Web, you’ll most likely be focused on how much of the sRGB color space a monitor supports. For print, Adobe RGB will be the focus. Rec. 709, Rec. 2020, and DCI-P3 are more TV- and video-focused but can be worth considering if you may do more than just photo work and want highly accurate color reproduction for your intended display medium.

Here, we’ll take a look at an assortment of monitors that offer accurate color reproduction, large screens, and sharp resolutions for your editing purposes.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: BenQ SW320

BenQ SW320

Courtesy of Amazon

If you want a monitor that’s ready for just about any of your photo or video editing needs, check out the BenQ SW320. This monitor features a 31.5-inch 4K display using an IPS LCD panel for wide viewing angles. It also supports HDR10, so you can enjoy video content on it when you’re not busy working with photos.

For the price, you’re already getting a lot of good specs. But, when it comes time to edit, things continue to get better. The 10-bit panel can show over a billion colors, and it supports 100 percent of the sRGB and Rec. 709 color spaces. It also hits 99 percent coverage of the Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color spaces.

There are some handy extras as well. It comes with a light hood so external lights don’t interfere with what you’re viewing on the monitor. A control puck on the monitor stand also lets you easily switch between sRGB, Adobe RGB, and a black and white mode. BenQ’s GamutDuo mode even allows you to view content from two computers simultaneously in different color spaces for comparison.

Best Budget: BenQ GW2765HT

If money is tight but you still want to get a sharp monitor with enough screen space, a high enough resolution, and accurate enough colors to do photo editing, then the BenQ GW2765HT is a good option. It’s a 27-inch monitor with a QHD resolution, so you won’t have to worry about images being too small or blurry to work with.

The BenQ GW2765HT supports over a billion colors and manages 100 percent coverage of the sRGB color space. It’s not rated for Adobe RGB, so it may not be ideal for editing photos intended for professional print, but it should be well suited for editing photos that will appear online.

When you’re not editing photos, the BenQ GW2765HT has a Low Blue Light Eye-Care mode, and height and tilt adjustments will let you position the monitor for comfort and easy viewing. Though this monitor isn’t quite as versatile as the others on the list, it’s very affordable while still offering the features you need to confidently edit your photos for sharing on the internet.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Acer ET322QK

The Acer ET322QK is a massive 32-inch monitor with 4K resolution, so you’ll get plenty of screen space to arrange your images and editing tools while keeping everything sharp.

Despite its budget positioning, the Acer ET322QK keeps the aspects that are important for photo editing. It has a 10-bit panel for over one billion colors, and it covers 100 percent of the sRGB color space. Unfortunately, Acer doesn’t mention how much of the Adobe RGB color space is covered, so it may not be ideal if you’re planning on printing your photos.

The Acer ET322QK doesn’t have the most friendly stand, as it’s not terribly adjustable, but it can be swapped for a VESA mount. Also, when you’re not editing photos, this monitor can come in handy for gaming, with support for AMD FreeSync to smooth out your gameplay from an Xbox One S, Xbox One X, or gaming PC with AMD graphics.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Dell UltraSharp 25 UP2516D

The Dell UltraSharp 25 UP2516D is a QHD (2,560 x 1,400) IPS LCD monitor with a 25-inch screen. That size gives you plenty of space to blow up your imagery, while the sharp QHD resolution will keep the details crisp without the additional cost that comes with the step up to a 4K resolution monitor.

When it comes to color accuracy, the Dell UltraSharp 25 UP2516D hits a great note. It supports over a billion colors, and can reproduce 100 percent of the Adobe RGB and sRGB color spaces. If photo editing isn’t the only thing you plan to do, then you can benefit from its 100 percent coverage of Rec. 709 and 98 percent coverage of DCI-P3. In other words, whichever color space you need to work with, the Dell UltraSharp 25 can help.

It’s also a smartly designed monitor. The stand is largely adjustable, with tilt, swivel, and pivot options. It features multiple options for connecting computers, including HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort, and mini-DisplayPort. Plus, it has multiple USB 3.0 pass-through ports so you can have a tidy desk space.

Best 4K: Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

For a serious photo and video editing monitor with a 4K resolution, Eizo’s ColorEdge CG319X is a pro-grade pick. It’s not the standard 4K you see from most monitors and TVs, but actually DCI-4K, which has a higher 4,096 x 2,160 resolution. And its 31.1-inch screen offers a sharp 149ppi, so you’ll clearly see the detail in your imagery while you edit.

The ColorEdge CG319X supports 10-bit color, and it can reproduce 98 percent of the DCI-P3 and Rec. 2020 standards as well as 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color space. So, whether you need to edit photos, videos, or both, you can take comfort knowing you’re accurately seeing the colors as they should appear.

The ColorEdge CG319X also has a number of tools to help you plan your content around output mediums. It can display an outline showing how your content will fit on different display devices, and it can help you predict how colors will appear on different types of devices or in print.

Runner-Up, Best 4K: Dell UltraSharp 32 UP3216Q

Dell UltraSharp 32 UP3216Q

Courtesy of Dell

Dell’s UltraSharp 32 UP3216Q may not be as well suited for video work as others on this list, but it’s plenty well suited for photo, and it’s a lot cheaper. It has a 31.5-inch display with a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution. That’s plenty of screen space to work with sharp, clear images. And, since it’s an IPS LCD panel, you’ll be able to share your view with others without shifts in the colors or lighting.

Where the Dell UltraSharp 32 UP3216Q shines for photo editing is in its full coverage of the sRGB color space and 99.5 percent coverage of Adobe RGB. It also hits 100 percent of Rec. 709, but only 87 percent of DCI-P3. Still, it’s well suited for work on print and online photos. The display has 10-bit color for over a billion colors.

The design is convenient for working as well. It can tilt and swivel, and you’re able to raise and lower the screen. It features DisplayPort and HDMI connections, along with USB 3.0 pass-through and even a six-in-one media card reader, so you can pop your card out of your camera and slide it right into the monitor.

Best Premium (above 4K): Dell UltraSharp 32 UP3218K

Dell UltraSharp 32 UP3218K

Courtesy of Dell

As if 4K weren’t enough, Dell’s UltraSharp lineup includes an insanely premium 8K (7,680 x 4,320) monitor in the UltraSharp 32 UP3218K. With a 31.5-inch panel at 8K, this Dell monitor boasts an incredible 280 pixels per inch. You’ll really be able to see the detail of your photos on this monitor thanks to its 33.2 million pixels.

Like the other UltraSharp monitors, this one is still ready for some serious photo editing, thanks to 10-bit color and a great 100 percent coverage of the Adobe RGB and sRGB color spaces. It also has full coverage of the Rec. 709 color space and 98 percent coverage for DCI-P3. So, whether you’re trying to work with photo or video, you can make sure you’re seeing accurate colors.

The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K also has the handy design of the other models in this line, with tilt, swivel, and height-adjustment options. You also get USB 3.0 pass-through. You’ll need to use DisplayPort on this monitor though, so make sure you have a computer with a graphics card that supports multiple DisplayPort connections to hit 8K.

Best QHD: BenQ SW2700TPT

The BenQ SW2700TPT is not just a good photo-editing monitor, but also a good value. It has a 27-inch, QHD (2,560 x 1,440) display, giving you a big work space and crisp imagery. And, thanks to the lower resolution, it’s quite a bit cheaper than the 4K monitors we’ve picked out. But, in color accuracy, it’s still competitive.

For working with photos, the BenQ SW2700TPT manages to cover 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color space and 100 percent of both the sRGB and Rec. 709 color spaces. That means it’s well suited for editing content for distribution in print, on the web, or on HD TVs. This is also a 10-bit display, for over a billion colors.

Beyond the specs, the monitor has a thoughtful design that can rotate, adjust height, and even switch to portrait. You can even swap it over to a VESA mount if desired. An included controller makes it easy to switch between Adobe RGB, sRGB, and black-and-white modes. Plus, a shading hood is included, so nearby lights don’t interfere with your editing.

Our Process

Our writers spent 6 hours researching the most popular monitors for photo editing on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 40 different monitors overall, screened options from 11 different brands and manufacturers and read over 8 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.