Best Monitors for Photographers

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Best Monitors for Photographers

For digital photographers, a well-calibrated and accurate photography monitor is an indispensable tool for a solid practice. Whether you like to print your photos or share exclusively online, a photo monitor you can trust will make a big difference in how someone views your photographs, yourself included. Besides just helping to achieve accurate colors and contrast, a finely tuned monitor is also more enjoyable to work on and contributes to a seamless all-around workflow. When looking for a monitor, you should consider size and resolution as additional variables, with larger screens making editing easier, especially when dealing with multiple images or windows. Here are some of our top monitor picks for photographers.

Apple 27" Studio Display

A high-resolution immersive screen that pays attention to details and aesthetics, Apple’s Studio Display is a 5K Retina (5120 x 2880) screen with wide P3 color coverage, an especially thin bezel, and a sophisticated ambient-light sensor that uses Apple's True Tone technology. Configurable depending on your needs, this screen comes with either the standard glass or the nano-texture glass for increased glare reduction and you can choose from a tilt- and height-adjustable stand, tilt-adjustable stand, or a VESA mount adapter for installation. Besides its resolution and quality color reproduction, this monitor also distinguishes itself with its built-in Bionic A13 chip, which drives a series of advanced features, such as spatial audio, the integrated 12MP webcam, and Center Stage.

Apple 27" Studio Display
Apple 27" Studio Display

LG UltraWide 40WP95C-W 39.7" 21:9 Curved FreeSync 5K2K HDR IPS Monitor

For something a bit different, the LG 40WP95C-W is a 39.7" ultra-wide monitor touting a panoramic 21:9 aspect ratio and 5120 x 2160 5K2K resolution. Compared to boxier 16:9 and 17:9 monitors, a 21:9 monitor can feel like working with two separate monitors without the gap or break between separate screens. This wide, immersive format is great for breaking up your editing workflow and keeping some work on one end of the screen while keeping file navigation, toolboxes, or other applications uncluttered on the other end. Also, the monitor has an integrated USB hub (usable when connected to your computer via Thunderbolt™ 4) for connecting various peripherals or drives directly and enabling transfer speeds up to 5 Gb/s for connected external drives.

LG UltraWide 40WP95C-W
LG UltraWide 40WP95C-W

Wacom Cintiq Pro 27 Creative Pen & Touch Display

Another unique option is the Cintiq Pro 27 from Wacom, which effectively combines one of Wacom's tablets with a large, 26.9" UHD 4K display. This monitor is perfect for those who do significant post-production editing or digital artwork because it offers you the experience of drawing directly onto your imagery. It's no slouch as a monitor, either—with 99% coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, it can be used for accurate color editing, too. Physically, since you'll be working on top of the monitor much of the time, there is a dedicated accessory stand for propping it up at a 20° angle, and an optional wireless ExpressKey Remote helps with intuitive application navigation.

Wacom Cintiq Pro 27
Wacom Cintiq Pro 27

Dell U3223QE UltraSharp 31.5" 16:9 HDR 4K IPS Monitor

For those who rely on accurate color for photo and video editing, the Dell U3223QE is a 31.5" monitor with UHD 4K resolution and coverage for 100% of the sRGB and Rec 709 color gamuts and 98% of the DCI-P3 color gamut for premium color reproduction. DisplayPort, HDMI, and a USB make setup easy. Additionally, the USB-C port can deliver up to 90W of power to connected devices, so you have the option of charging your USB-C-compatible devices while working on the monitor.

Dell UltraSharp 31.5" 4K HDR Monitor
Dell UltraSharp 31.5" 4K HDR Monitor

BenQ SW271C Photographer 27" HDR IPS Monitor

Despite its high price tag, one of the best values available for photographers is BenQ's SW271C. It’s a 27" monitor with 99% coverage of the Adobe RGB color space and 10-bit support for up to 1.07 billion colors and a 16-bit LUT, making it well suited for printing and wider color gamut editing. The 27" size and 3840 x 2160 resolution also suit more detailed and multi-image editing. Additionally, a built-in Hotkey Puck lets you switch display settings easily, from Adobe RGB to sRGB to Black-and-White, depending on your editing needs. If you're looking for a great workhorse monitor with outstanding color accuracy and great build quality, this is the one.

BenQ SW271C 27" 16:9 4K HDR IPS Monitor
BenQ SW271C 27" 16:9 4K HDR IPS Monitor

Dell U2723QE 27" 16:9 HDR 4K IPS Monitor

Another great option from Dell is the U2723QE. It has a 27" IPS display, which is smaller than the U322QE and less expensive, too. It’s a great midrange option that has excellent 100% color accuracy for sRGB or 89% in the Adobe RGB color space. It offers 4K resolution with excellent image clarity and has many of the same features as the U3223QE, such as a USB hub with several USB-A and USB-C ports capable of outputting 90W of power. Purpose-built for creatives, designers, photographers or videographers, the U2723QE is a great midrange monitor that won't break the bank like some of these others.

Dell U2723QE 27" 16:9 4K UHD HDR IPS Monitor with USB Type-C Docking
Dell U2723QE 27" 16:9 4K UHD HDR IPS Monitor with USB-C Docking

What do you look for in a photo monitor? What are the essential features when looking for a screen for photo editing? Let us know about your dream setup in the Comments section, below.

8 Comments

This article is not very detailed or informative. How about explaining what the various features and quantifying their relative value. This reads like a college of cut and pasted marketing material.

autocorrect...collage of cut and paste...

Mr. Petersen, Thanks for the article. I’m interested in Eizo’s ColorMatch capabilities. Do you have opinions on the Eizo monitors?

Thank you,

Eizo sets the standard by which other displays are measured and offers features and control that are not found in most of the above listed units. The most important being internal 10-bit hardware level calibration and brightness mapping of the entire display panel for even illumination. I have been using their CS and CG series displays for over a decade. They come at a premium cost but they are worth it. The CS2740 is probably their best overall value and offers 4K resolution. You can get it with or without a calibration device depending on whether you have your own compatible unit. The only display that probably competes with the Eizo is the Apple Studio Display but it lacks some of the niche features that the Eizo has. That said the Apple displays (based on my experience with their M2 laptops) are impeccably engineered and color calibrated right out of the box. At least on the laptops they offer a number of hardware level calibration presets that are spot on (as measured by an X-Rite i1 pro). Note that the display technology in the laptops is a bit more advanced than in the Studio Display, which does not have Pro Motion. At the moment, it's a toss up between the Eizo and the Apple for me with a slight edge to the Apple (5K being one). The above article is sloppy and not very thorough. At present, I wouldn't buy any of the other displays listed over an Eizo. I prefer the Eizo to the Apple because the Eizo can be customized for special use and calibration settings can be fine tuned for precise color matching. Apple, while offering excellent quality does not allow users fine tune the system to that degree with ease. I am sure that it's possible but with Eizo the capacity is baked into the system. Their Color Navigator software, like their hardware, sets the standard.

Why do I get an email with link to an article that is apparently (according to the comment) over a year old? Do better BH.

Furthermore the focus should be on editing monitors with Adobe RGB above 95% and none below that. Do better BH.

I would be looking for a monitor that is still available.