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Whether you are a professional photographer, or you’re just looking to touch up some vacation photos, one of the most important factors for a good photo is a good monitor. There is nothing worse than printing off a bunch of photos, or sending them to your client, just to discover that the colors are wrong because your monitor couldn’t display them properly. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get a decent monitor for photo editing, even some basic models have accurate colors and great color gamuts.
We’ve reviewed 58 monitors, and below you’ll find our picks for the best ones for photo editing.
LG 27UK650-W: The best monitor for photo editing
The LG 27UK650-W is the best monitor for photo editing that we’ve tested so far. It has a great 4k resolution and a large, 27” screen that allows you to see more of your work at once. The image remains accurate when viewed at an angle, which allows you to easily show off your work to your colleagues or customers without having to turn the screen.
It has excellent coverage of the s.RGB color space, but unfortunately, it has limited coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, which isn’t ideal for professional photo editing. The 27UK650 also has nearly perfect gradient performance, so you won’t get any artificial banding in your photos.
Unfortunately, the 27UK650 doesn’t look as good in a dark room, as it can’t produce true blacks and has mediocre black uniformity. It also has limited HDR performance, as it can’t get very bright in HDR and doesn’t have a local dimming feature. Overall though, the 27UK650 is a very good monitor for most uses, and it should please most people.
LG 32UD99-W: The best large monitor for photo editing
If you like the LG 27UK650, but would prefer a larger model with a bit better connectivity, check out the LG 32UD99-W. The 32UD99 has a slightly larger screen than the 27UK650, making it easier to see small details in your work without having to zoom the image.
It has slightly better connectivity, thanks to the addition of a USB Hub, great for quickly connecting peripherals like a drawing tablet or high precision wired mouse. It also has a USB-C port that supports power delivery, so you can display your laptop on the monitor and keep it charged at the same time, with only one cable.
Unfortunately, like the 27UK650, the 32UD99 doesn’t look as good in a dark room, and it has limited HDR capabilities. Overall though, it is a very good monitor that should please most people.
Acer Predator X27: The best monitor for professional photo editing
If you will mainly be using the monitor for professional photo editing, the Acer Predator X27 has the widest color gamut of any monitor we’ve tested. The X27 is an impressive 27” monitor with an excellent wide color gamut, great HDR performance, and wide viewing angles.
It has nearly perfect coverage of both the s.RGB color space, and the Adobe RGB color space, which is great for professional photo editing with SDR content. In HDR, it has the best color gamut of any display that we’ve tested so far, including TVs.
Unfortunately, like the other monitors on this list, the X27 doesn’t look as good in a dark room, as it has disappointing native contrast and bad black uniformity, even with local dimming enabled. Although it doesn’t come cheap, if you need the absolute best, the Predator X27 won’t disappoint.
Dell U3818DW: The best ultrawide monitor for photo editing
If you prefer a larger aspect ratio for easier multitasking or for design work, the Dell U3818DW is the best ultrawide monitor for photo editing and media creation that we’ve tested so far. It has a large, 38” screen and impressive 3840×1600 resolution, so you can easily work on large projects without having to constantly scroll around.
The U3818DW has a unique set of connections that allows you to see and work on two computers at the same time, even with just one keyboard and mouse. This is especially useful if you have a laptop and desktop computer.
Unfortunately, like the other monitors on this list, the Dell U3818DW isn’t as well suited for dark room editing, as it can’t produce deep blacks, and has disappointing black uniformity. It also isn’t as well for watching videos, as there is significant overshoot that causes noticeable motion smearing. Overall, it is a good ultrawide monitor that should please most people.
Dell U2518D: The best budget monitor for photo editing
If you want a decent monitor for occasional photo editing, the Dell U2518D is the best budget monitor for photo editing that we’ve tested so far. It has excellent accuracy out of the box, an excellent SDR color gamut, and outstanding gradient results.
Like most Dell monitors, the U2518D has a great stand that can be easily adjusted to an optimal viewing position. It gets bright enough to easily overcome glare in a bright studio, and has good reflections handling.
Unfortunately, although it supports HDR, this doesn’t add much, and it has disappointing black uniformity. It also doesn’t cover the Adobe RGB color space very well, which is limited for professional photo editing. Overall, it is a decent monitor for most uses, and although it is a bit smaller than the other monitors on this list, it is a good choice for occasional photo editing.
This guide may have been updated. To see all measurements and the current recommendations for photo editing and media creation, please go here.
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