Photo Editing Monitor Recommendations

I’ve been doing my photo editing on the hi tech monitor of my Dell XPS15. I’ve decided to buy a good photo editing monitor. I’ve done some on-line research, and the range is huge ($5000, $1200, $800, etc.). I’m serious, but not professional. I print in large format.

What do you recommend?

@Matt_Gordon I have used NEC monitors for quite some time. My current one is the 27", PA272W. It’s has a resolution of 2560x1440, and supports 99% of Adobe RGB. It’s plenty big enough for photo editing.

For select NEC monitors, you should consider their SpectraView calibration software and colorimeter. It makes calibrating very easy–it’s basically hands-off one you start it.

There are certainly other makes out there with similar specs. You might also consider a 4k monitor (more expensive).

I hope others chime in with their recommendations.


I’ve been using an HP z27n for about a year. I am really happy with it, 27 inch, 2560x1440 resolution, very accurate and consistent colors. They go for about $400, which I think is an excellent deal. I have been using Hewlett Packard monitors for many years and they have never disappointed me. On the other hand, a few months ago I bought a 24inch BenQ also with 2560x1440 resolution as a secondary monitor and I have mixed feelings about it. The main problem is that I have been unable to get a satisfactory color calibration - the colors are pleasant but not accurate, and contrast is always too strong. I would probably not go for another BenQ. I hope this helps.


That’s helpful. Thanks.

The absolute best bargain out there is the Dell U2415 for $220 right now. I did a lot of research but never bought anything since I’m traveling. If your printer can do a larger gamut than sRBG then you might look at something else, but this will meet the needs of most people.



Hi Matthew,

I use a Dell UP2716D driven with an AMD Firepro card and it works well for me. Once you get it calibrated it has excellent color along with image sharpness. Any of the ultrasharp dells should work fine for you. I’d go with a 27 inch model. The NEC’s are nice too, but much more expensive. Most of the high definition and ultra-high definition monitors are more affordable now as the market is now shifting to 4 and 5k monitors. Unless you have a fair amount of expertise in Windows 10, avoid 4k monitors as they usually do not play nice with Photoshop. You can get them to work with some Windows tweaking in non CC versions of Photoshop. Further info can be found here: …Jim

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Another vote for the Dell Ultrasharp series, Matthew. My first good monitor was an NEC 24 inch and it served me well for years, but I decided to move up in size and bought the Dell 27 inch used from a fellow NPN member. It performs just as well as the NEC. I went with a colormunki calibration system and it has a “match profile” feature that seems to do an excellent job of making both look the same.

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This has been very helpful. Thank you! Matt

What David and Dennis said!
The Dell Ultrasharps are excellent., and go for the 27 inch if you can and have room.
I’d also strongly encourage getting an editing tablet, such as the Wacom. It’s not cheap, and is a little weird at first to use a pen and not a mouse, but the fine control and multiple brushes and tools make editing a joy.
You’ll never edit with a mouse again.

and once you get your new monitor, do research on monitor calibration. I use the i1 Display profiler by X-rite and the color profiles generated for the Dell’s are quite good. …Jim

I will second @Sandy_Richards-Brown’s suggestion for a graphics editing tablet. I have an older Wacom small size tablet (4x5" active area) that makes editing much easier, especially when making selections, using ‘quick mask’ in Photo Shop, and for painting on layer masks.

X-rite makes top of the line calibration colorimeters and software, as @Jim_Zablotny says. Since you do your own printing, accurate and consistent calibration for print/screen matching is critical.

There is a tech web site called AnandTech. They have detailed reviews of many monitors that are worth checking out.

Dell has a new 49-inch monitor out soon.Looks terrific, but probably not ideal for photo editing, with it’s panorama format. Several other new Dell monitors released, as well:

New Dell monitors

I’m a big Asus ProArt fan. Upgraded to the the new 32” 4k - PA329q and love the resolution on 32”. 99% AdobeRGB as well. Works great for color grading too.

They also have really affordable 24”/27” 1080 and 1440 monitors that calibrate well, as long as you stick with the ProArt line

I can’t use blended eye glasses, so I have a special pair of glasses for computer viewing. I measured the distance from my eyes to the screen and had the eye refraction done at that distance. I was using a 24 inch screen and when I bought a new 30 inch screen, I had to move the computer screen farther away from my eyes so that my eyes could take it all in. My computer glasses now were notably less sharp and I had to get a new pair! FYI, I second Preston’s recommendation. I use a NEC that came with the calibration software and colorimeter, and it works well and is easy.

Another vote for the Dell Ultrasharp series. I’ve been using mine for a number of years now and love it. For the money, they’ll be tough to beat. The one David Kingham mentioned is now on sale for $199!


You need to understand your color management workflow.

  1. If you work in sRGB color space from camera capture output to web to print, then find a monitor that covers the sRGB color space 100%

  2. If the bulk of your energy is looking at images on the web, then look for a monitor in the sRGB workspace.

  3. If you output your camera’s image in Adobe RGB format and then work in Photoshop in ProPhoto, then convert and compress color space to send pictures to the web in sRGB. Or print in sRGB, or Adobe RGB, or ProPhoto then consider a monitor in the Adobe RGB color space.

to illustrate:

As you can see the sRGB color is minimal, compact and efficient. Back in the day, it was designed for images to use on the web. It reproduces skin tones well.

The Adobe RGB space expands into the green area, to account for the brightness aspects of green. Some modern browser can render in Adobe RGB, but 80% of viewers still live with sRBG monitors.

The ProPhoto color space does not even fit on this illustration. It is huge. The workflow of serious photographers is in this colorspace. A side benefit is that their work is future proof.

In my workflow, #3) above, I am using a Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD, and the xright i1color profile is plotted against the Adobe RGB color space.

I will be looking to replace an sRBG monitor, and after researching, I keep on seeing pros using NEC or BenQ. Currently,

The acknowledge monitor for photography is the 2.5K 30" NEC PA302W. Exact internal calibration and tracking, accurate, neutral grayscale rendition, no magenta tint as with many LED displays, excellent color gamut, 2560 X 1600 resolution for superior vertical working space. Similar, but smaller the PA242W and PA272W.

I hope that helps…

I agree with the ASUS ProART recommendation . Excellent warranty coverage. Had a 279 PA that failed after 2 1/2 years and they replaced it with a factory refurbished 329PA without charge. The larger 32 inch display is amazing.

I love my NEC wide gamut with SpectraView. The calibration is super and the wide gamut allows 98% of Adobe RGB color space. The size you pick is up to you. I run a 24 inch as my primary monitor and an older Dell 24 inch for the tools and Lightroom previews. Unfortunately, my graphics card only allows me to calibrate one monitor so it is the super NEC.