If you’re serious about making your photos look their best, one of the first peripherals you should invest in is a high-quality, color-accurate photo editing monitor. Whether you’re making fine-art prints or delivering files to a client, nothing screams “amateur” like a set of images that are either inconsistent, or consistently off.
The options below run the gamut from affordable to overkill, but all of them will deliver the consistency professional photographers demand.
BenQ SW2700PT PhotoVue
The BenQ SW2700PT falls into a sweet spot of features, performance and price. BenQ
The BenQ SW2700PT is one of the most popular and affordable photo editing monitors on the market, and for good reason. At only 2460 x 1440, you sacrifice in the resolution department, but this monitor delivers where it counts. The SW2700PT delivers everything you need, and nothing you don’t. The BenQ SW2700PT features 10-bit color from a 14-bit LUT, 99% Adobe RGB coverage, a hotkey puck that lets you switch between preset display modes, a built-in SD card reader, and factory calibration out of the box.
Eizo ColorEdge CS2730-BK
Entry-level Eizo is an oxymoron, but the ColorEdge CS2730 comes close. Eizo
Part of Eizo’s prosumer-grade CS Series of monitors, the ColorEdge CS2730 is a semi-affordable entry into the Eizo family of ultra-high-end displays. Like the BenQ SW2700PT, you’re getting a 2560 x 1440 IPS panel with 99% AdobeRGB coverage. Unlike the BenQ, the CS2730 offers 10-bit color from a 16-bit LUT, includes a calibration sensor in the box, and uses Eizo’s Quick Color Match technology to makes sure that what you see on the screen is what comes out of your Canon or Epson printer.
BenQ SW271 PhotoVue
The BenQ SW271 is proof that a high-quality 4K photo editing monitor doesn’t have to break the bank. BenQ
BenQ has been releasing some exceptional high-end editing monitors, and the SW271 PhotoVue is a perfect example. This 27-inch 4K UHD monitor covers 99% of both the AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces, uses the same convenient hotkey puck as the SW2700PT, and can be connected to your computer using a single USB Type-C cable.
The kicker? This high-end monitor actually costs less than the Eizo ColorEdge CS2730—it just doesn’t come with the iconic brand name or a calibration sensor in the box.
Dell UltraSharp UP3216Q
The Dell UP3216Q strikes the right balance between performance and price for a 32-inch 4K editing monitor. Dell
The 31.5-inch 4K Dell UltraSharp UP3216Q offers the best bang for your editing buck at this size and resolution. This 4K UHD display delivers 99.5% AdobeRGB and 87% DCI-P3 coverage, comes factory calibrated to ensure accuracy out of the box, and features a Custom Color mode and user-accessible LUT so you can fine-tune your colors. The only downside is the 8-bit+FRC panel, which can’t quite match the 10-bit support found in the rest of the monitors on this list.
Asus ProArt PA32UC
The Asus ProArt PA32UC is an exceptional photo and video editing monitor; the only thing missing is a built-in calibrator. Asus
Take the Dell monitor above and remove all the downsides, and you get the Asus ProArt PA32UC. The ProArt line was designed for photo and video editors, and it shows. This 4K UHD monitor uses a 10-bit panel and 14-bit LUT to deliver 99.5% Adobe RGB, 95% DCI-P3, and 85% Rec. 2020 coverage. Local dimming via 384 LED zones and a peak brightness of 1000 nits allows for HDR-10 support, and the built-in Thunderbolt 3 port means fast transfer speeds and a single cable workflow.
Eizo ColorEdge CG319X
The Eizo CG319X delivers extreme performance for the most uncompromising editors. Eizo
The 31.1-inch Eizo ColorEdge CG319X is our most extravagant pick. It’s for those photographers who want the best-of-the-best and don’t mind paying for it. This 17:9 aspect ratio display features true Cinema 4K 4096 x 2160 resolution, 99% Adobe RGB and 98% DCI-P3 coverage, and 10-bit color from a 24-bit LUT. It also features a built-in calibration sensor that can be set to automatically recalibrate your display at designated times, and comes equipped with HLG and PQ curves for displaying and editing HDR video.