Best Monitor for Photo Editing and Photography 2015

If photographers to digital, you will need a computer and a monitor to see your photos, in order to evaluate or retouch them. And if you want a job well done, as often happens in photography, you can’t rely to a monitor any but you have to choose with care.

Does this mean to know how to decipher new mysterious acronyms and compare technical characteristics that seem to be made to be covered only by an engineer.

Of course, you can find monitor extremely costly, designed for professionals who can give background to pockets more capacious, and luckily, there are affordable alternatives that are, in any case, a leap in quality compared to the monitor based on a laptop or a desktop computer.clip_image001

In this article I introduce the main features to consider in the allocation for a monitor for photography and Photo Editing.

Vade retro portable

The purchase of a new monitor you will be particularly useful if you use a portable computer, as happens to many people today. Reading the characteristics which follow, you’ll discover how laptops concentrate all the negative aspects.

In addition, a good monitor for the photograph must be calibratable. Well, calibrate the monitor on a laptop is usually more difficult and sometimes we do not do so precisely.

What are the characteristics assess in the choice of the monitor

As is the case for any technology product, if you start delving deep into the technical specifications for computer monitors, to like confetti in endless lists, and luckily, however, the number of features to keep in mind for photographic use is limited.

Then we go to see them one by one.


This is a feature easy-to-understand, certainly, the larger the monitor is better, but the difficult part is deciding which is the minimum size that allows it to work comfortably not spending too much.

From what I’ve read, and according to my personal experience, I would recommend you not drop below 24 inches if your budget is very tight you can settle for a 23 inch.

Monitor of this size are large enough to justify the expense. Furthermore, allow you to view your pictures at a good level of magnification and simultaneously hold a video all the toolbars and panels typical of photo editing software and post-photographic production.

In particular, these dimensions relate to screens with proportions of 16:10 the old 4:3 i believe are no longer available while the 16:9 favor too the width compared to the height and can make awkward access to functionality of the various programs.

The monitor 16:10 but fits perfectly into pictures taken with the landscape orientation and also leave a generous amount of space for the various toolbars arranged vertically in many image editing programs.

Finally, this is the dimension that at the moment it offers the best price/performance ratio.

TN or IPS?

The Twisted Nematic (TN) is a very well known form of technology and it is also considered to be the oldest as well. Its best feature is that is gives short response times, which is why it is great for gaming platform, but, unfortunately, is not good for a photographic use. When combined with LED lighting, a Twisted Nematic monitor can provide a lot of brightness and use less power than other technologies of its kind.

However, TN also has features that are not as advantageous. For instance, it has color distortions that happen when viewing wide angles. These monitors have six bit color technology. They are not able to show all colors of the 24 bit color range that most video cards can show you, which are around sixteen million colors. Also, there are huge differences in certain products. But the ones that are on the low end will have a color for just the medium range angle changes. You will be able to recognize a Twisted Nematic monitor because of such color modifications, if you are looking at the picture from the top or from the sides.

In Plane Switching (IPS) is a contemporary technology that uses other types of technologies such as S-IPS, AS-IPS, H-IPS and E-IPS. The main reason that you want to use IPS panels is because they are either 8 or 10 bit technology. They produce a minimum of one hundred and twenty five percent of the colors that are available in the NTSC gamut. Also, these colors are not distorted when you look at them from various angles. The majority of them can be viewed way beyond one hundred and seventy degrees. Previously, the only problem had to do with emphasizing the black colors, which usually meant that there were going to be some problems with the contrast. Also, IPS panels tend to be pricey and they are also slow at first.

Manufacturers have begun to produce Super IPS panels, but at cheaper prices. The response times have been reduced a lot and the contrast has been greatly enhanced. Also, the color display and the selections to calibrate the colors are a lot better than other panels of this kind. There is no distortion, even when you are viewing at shaper angles.

IPS monitors have not really been affordable, but the gap is starting to close. Just one year ago, most IPS monitors were three times expensive than the regular TN monitors. However, the 23 inch screens can be bought for around three hundred dollars these days. If you want professional graphic monitors that utilize IPS technology, you will have to still pay about a thousand dollars for it.

So the IPS monitor is the best monitor for photography mainly for two reasons:

  • Allows you to play a very large number of colors (close to 100% of the color space sRGB),
  • Provides a visual angle very high.

VA is another good technology, but it is not used as much. Similar to IPS panels, this type of technology utilizes a minimum of 8 bit technology, provides good coverage and the colors are not distorted when shown at different angles.

Matte screen or Glossy Screen?

Glossy Screen

Matte screen

Indoors, the glossy can still reflect a great deal of light.

If you make a turn at any electronics store, you’ll notice how the monitors of portable and those for fixed computer screens have glossy screens.

The glossy appearance favors the contrast and vibrancy of colors and is designed for the use of the computer that is dedicated to the entertainment, but unfortunately, as far as sexy may seem, these monitors have several disadvantages that are particularly evident in photographic work.

For example, the glossy screens reflect the sources of light and even the shapes of what lies in front of the monitor, by altering the perception of what is shown, saturation and contrast do not correspond to the content of the photo, especially once it is printed.

The monitor is not glossy are said matte. They are easily recognizable in each case, you’ve worked a monitor of this type.

If you buy on the internet, you can’t recognize at a glance if a monitor is matte or glossy. You should be able to discover by looking between the technical characteristics or possibly looking for on Google the name of the monitor associated with the word glossy.

My advise:

If they will be shown on just one screen, both of them are no problems. If they will be utilized for print, then opt for matte, which will have better saturation as a result of the glossy screens. Glossy is not the same as what you will get with print.

Standard Gamut or Wide Gamut (Extended Gamut)?

RGBAll physical devices have restrictions when it comes to the types of colors that it can provide. An inkjet printer does not have the ability to produce a better shade of yellow than what is provided by the ink cartridge. The shade of red that your monitor shows is restricted by the hardware that is utilized in the LCD panel. This is known as the device’s color gamut.

A majority of monitors have a color gamut that matches the SRGB color gamut. You might already know that the sRGB color gamut does not have as much as the more commonly utilized Adobe 1998 version. Also, a lot of the Adobe colors that can be printed via your inkjet printer are actually not in the range of the SRGB colors. As a result, your camera can provide these colors and they can be printed with your printer. However, you cannot see them on your monitor. Basically, you will view an estimate of these colors because they are restricted by the monitor’s color gamut.

Wide gamut monitors get rid of this issue because what they have is matched up with a bigger amount of what the Adobe 1998 has. You can find this amount in the monitor’s specs. The benefit of this is that you can view colors in your pictures that look brighter than the regular gamut monitor. This gives you the ability to see all of the colors in your pictures.

It is best to have a wide gamut display because this is the way of the future. This is practically what is available right now. To utilize this type of display, you have to know about color managed workflows and possess a display that has the right calibration. You also have to utilize a color managed app such as Photoshop. This is not that hard to manage, but you have to know exactly what you are doing in order to be successful with it.

However, if you really want to use sRGB, then you should buy a display that is available with a sRGB that is programmable. This will restrict the gamut of colors that can be displayed.

LED Monitors

You are entering the market monitor LCD backlit LED. in this case too there are different types, corresponding to different acronyms.

For photographic use, ask attention to buy a monitor RGB LED and not el-wled . The second option does not provide a color reproduction sufficiently faithful.

Coverage of the color space

The digital tools are not able to see all the colors that the human eye perceives. Then, it is important that cover the largest possible portion.

The amount of colors covered by monitor is calculated in proportion to the color space sRGB or Adobe RGB, at least as far as the photographic monitor more accessible.

In regards to this characteristic, then, search monitor that reach at least 95%. You’ll find many who declare a cover very close to 100 %. Not always as stated corresponds exactly to the reality, however, there is often very close.

Viewing Angle

The first LCD monitor for your computer suffered from an angle of view very reduced. What does that mean?

With a reduced visual angle, moving left to right, top or bottom with respect to the central axis of the monitor, the colors are transformed and the contrast changes . You can imagine how it is absolutely recommended in a monitor to use for photo retouching.

The monitor of more recent production, allow you to move to the right or to the left relative to the monitor without noting obvious changes in the image. Choose a monitor with at least 120° of visual angle horizontal and possibly the same for the vertical.


On this aspect there is little to say, the available resolutions are not a lot, especially, the resolution is also determined by the size of the diagonal.

For a monitor by 23 or 24 inches, the size that I advised before, do not fall under a native resolution of 1920 * 1200. Recalls that LCD monitors should be always used to their resolution, so don’t think you can use a resolution higher or lower than the one specified.

Digital connection

Now all of the monitors should be equipped with a digital connection, HDMI or DVI. Be careful not to buy a fund of magazine that has only the VGA.

Also, check which ports are available on your computer. Don’t worry, however: adapters exist able to convert any format.

Best Monitor recommended for photo retouching

Monitors that incorporate all the features that i listed abut on prices between 300$ to 400$.

With a little patience, however, you can find offers that will make saving a few dozen euros. As I wrote before, if your budget is tight, of the features that I have described can find a compromise on size, but not on the other.

My recommend:

Here are some models that i have identified are looking for a monitor for you.

Model Price and Reviews on Amazon Screen Size/ Aspect Ratio/Type Resolution/ Refresh rate
Pixel Pitch (Smaller is Better)  Color Response Time / Panel Type
Color Gamut Typical Contrast Ratio /Brightness LUT Bit Depth
Price above $500
Apple Thunderbolt MC914LL/B Go to Amazon 27"/16:9/Glossy 2560×1440 @60hz 0.233mm 16.7 million 12 ms/IPS sRGB >99% 1000:1/375 Nits No provide
ASUS PQ321Q Go to Amazon 31.5"/16:9/Matte 3840×2160  @60hz 0.182mm 1.07 billion 8 ms/IGZO 100% sRGB 800:1/350 cd/㎡ 10bit
Dell UP2414Q Go to Amazon 23.8"/16:9/Matte 3840×2160 @60hz 0.137mm 1.07 billion 8 ms/IPS 100% sRGB 1000:1/375 Nits 10bit
Dell U3014 Go to Amazon 30"/16:10/Matte 2560×1600 @60hz 0.252mm 1.07 billion 6 ms/IPS 100% sRGB 1000:1/350 Nits 12 bit
Samsung WQHD S32D850T Go to Amazon 32”/16:9/Matte 2560×1440/60Hz 0.2767mm 1.07 billion 5ms/AMVA+ 100% sRGB 3000:1/300Nits No provide
BenQ BL3200PT
Go to Amazon 32”/16:9/Matte 2560×1440 @60hz 0.276mm 1.07 billion 4ms/AMVA+ 100% sRGB 3000:1/300Nits 10-bit
Price between $200 and $500
Dell U2713HM Go to Amazon 27"/16:9/Matte 2560×1440 @60hz 0.233mm 16.7 million 8ms/IPS sRGB >99% 1000:1/350 Nits 10 bit
BenQ  GW2765HT Go to Amazon 27"/16:9/Matte 2560×1440 @60hz 0.233mm 1.07 billion 4ms/IPS 100% sRGB 1000:1/350 Nits 8 bit
Dell U2414H Go to Amazon 24"/16:10/Matte 1920×1080 @60Hz 0.274mm 16.7 million 8ms/IPS 96% sRGB 1000:1/250 Nits 6 bit
ViewSonic VX2770SMH Go to Amazon 23.8”/16:9/Matte 1920×1080 @60Hz 0.311mm 16.7 million 7ms/IPS sRGB >99% 1000:1/250 Nits 8 bit
AOC Q2770PQU Go to Amazon 27"/16:9/Matte 2560×1440 @60Hz 0.233mm 16.7 million 5ms/IPS sRGB >99% 1000:1/300Nits 8 bit
Price under $200
Benq GW2760HS Go to Amazon 27“/16:9/Matte 1920×1080  @60Hz 0.311mm 16.7 million 4ms/AMVA 94.6% sRGB 3000:1/300Nits 8 bit
ASUS MX279H Go to Amazon 27“/16:9/Matte 1920×1080 @60Hz 0.311mm 16.7 million 5ms/IPS 97.1% sRGB 1000:1/250 Nits No provide


My recommend:

22 Comments - Leave a comment
  1. Roger Brookstein says:

    Most interesting and helpful review, thank you. Desk space is limited so which of your recommendations can be wall mounted please?

  2. Robbo says:

    U2713HM is not a wide gamut display, but the U2713H is.

  3. Colleen says:

    What about the HP Pavilion 27xi 27-Inch IPS LED Backlit Monitor
    CDN$ 337.21 Is it better than the BenQ GW Series GW2760HS 27-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor

  4. Craig Burrows says:

    Thank you for a very good review. After spending a long time researching it is this page that was most informative. Now I just hope I made the right purchase.

  5. Adeline says:

    Hi, Thanks so much for this article.
    Dell released new 4K monitor P2415Q, I cant find difference between this one and Dell UP2414Q other then the price.
    I would use it for photography, editing. It is an investment for me but I dont want to waste money on the same result, which one would you vote for?

    • Jane says:

      The UP2414Q has Premier Color; essentially it’s targeted at professional photographers and others that need what’s called a wide Gamut to their color sensitive work, or at least an increased accuracy to the available color gamut range.
      If your not going to be doing important work on the monitor that relies on very accurate color reproduction, go ahead and pick up the cheaper P2415Q without worrying much about it – it will still be a pretty amazing monitor.

    • I’m just returning a Dell 4K UP2414Q, because it CONTINUALLY stays in sleep mode, after only 3 days of trying to get it set up. The reviews I’ve read in Dell’s website are full of this same comment. My 2nd. choice is ASUS 4K PB287Q…but it has a TN panel instead of the IPS that I need for photography and graphics work. I don’t know what to do. I’d try a Dell replacement of the same but with so many like reviews, I hate to take the chance. Ideas?

      • Adeline says:

        I know, I read the reviews and they all say the same. They didnt release an update of the software that does that..
        I really need an accurate color, and the performance.. but anything comparable costs a lot more. And this one is not working perfectly either.. same problem..

  6. Andreas says:


    Appreciate the article.

    Which Dell monitor is better for Photoshop editing: U2713HM or UZ2715H?

    thank you

  7. Shelly says:

    What is your opinion about using a Samsung 32″ 5203 LED TV for editing?

  8. Tobias says:

    Very well done article,it really covered everything I needed to know. I’ve looked around and bought the Dell UP2414Q from your advice since I am limited to 24″ due to space on my desk and it seemed like the best one. Thanks for writing this!

  9. gat says:

    are you sure it’s an ASUS VG248QE not an ASUS PA248QJ? VG is a TN panel, while PA is the IPS panel?

  10. Refit says:

    Thanks, this is useful. However I don’t understand how Dell 2412M is in your list of best buys. It goes against all your parameters – it is 6 bit, uses WLED, and covers only 71% of NTSC colours.

  11. Nuno Oliveira says:

    I really apreciate all these information, acording to your recomendation would you buy the Dell UltraSharp U2412M ? it is not to big, is a 16:10 ratio, 100% srgb coverage and 99% adobe rgb. my only doupt is if the 1000:1/300 Nits are enough.
    I hope you can anwer :-)

  12. Depewmad says:

    Great article Major help in making it easier to find a good monitor

  13. Akshay says:

    I really appreciate this write up. It is very detailed and informative. Very good comparison of different markets that are currently available in market. Thanks for making photographer’s lives easier.

    I will appreciate if you can comment on a monitor I am looking at I loved the features.
    Asus PA279Q 27″

  14. Alain Desgroseilliers says:

    This very interesting article will help me to find the best monitor for my photography viewing

  15. Barry says:

    I am very pleased I can across this article.

  16. miguel Vasq says:

    thank you for such a good article. The technical info is very valuable and make photographers to make better choices.

  17. Jay says:

    Hi, I would like to thank you for such an informative write up. It was exactly what I was looking for. Well done!

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