Whether you're a professional in the print and marketing industry or an amateur photographer, your project has to look its best. The first step is to have a good monitor with accurate colors. There's nothing worse than printing your project or sending it to your clients only to find the colors are off because your monitor couldn't display them properly.
We've tested more than 90 monitors so far, and below are our picks for the best monitors for photo editing, video editing, or graphic design available for purchase. See also our recommendations for the best 4k monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, and the best monitors overall.
The best monitor for photo editing and video editing we've tested so far is the LG 27UK650-W. It has a 4k resolution that can display every little detail of your work on its 27 inch screen, which can save you a lot of scrolling and zooming. It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy so the colors you see on screen are very close to the colors someone with a calibrated screen will see. You can easily place it in a bright office thanks to its high peak brightness and good reflection handling. It almost has full coverage of the sRGB color space, but the coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color gamut, although still good, might not be enough for professional photo or video editing.
Unfortunately, if you often work with HDR content, this monitor might not be the best choice as it can't deliver bright highlights and lacks a wide color gamut to display the full richness of HDR colors. Also, it can't deliver deep blacks in a dark room due to the low contrast ratio.
Overall, this is a versatile monitor that performs very well in most uses, including photo editing or video editing.
If you want something a bit bigger with better features, check out the LG 32UD99-W. It doesn't have as good an out-of-the-box color accuracy as the LG 27UK650-W, but this 32 inch monitor delivers very similar overall performance. With a bigger screen, it's a bit easier to work with multiple windows open. It also has a few useful features, including a USB-C port which supports power delivery. This is especially great for MacBook owners, as the display can charge your laptop while you work, leaving your other USB-C ports free.
Due to its overall performance, the 27UK650-W is still the best monitor for photo editing and video editing for most people. If you want more advanced features and a larger screen, the 32UD99-W is a great choice.
If you need the most accurate colors for professional photo editing and video editing, check out the Acer Predator X27. This is an impressive 27 inch monitor that delivers good overall picture quality, with wide viewing angles and excellent peak brightness in HDR. It also has two blinders on each side to help reduce glare.
This monitor is the best choice if you work with the Adobe RGB color space, as it has nearly perfect coverage of the entire Adobe RGB gamut. If you work with HDR content, this monitor won't disappoint, as it has one of the widest HDR color gamuts that we've tested so far.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look as good in a dark room, even with a local dimming feature, as it has bad black uniformity and a mediocre contrast ratio. Overall, this is the best Adobe RGB monitor for photo editing and video editing that we've tested so far.
The best widescreen monitor for photo editing and video editing that we've tested so far is the LG 34GK950F-B. This ultrawide monitor has a 21:9 aspect ratio, which is great for work that requires a lot of horizontal space. It has a 1440p resolution to deliver a detailed image and its 144Hz refresh rate keeps motion looking smooth and fluid. It has an IPS panel that provides wide viewing angles and the screen's light curve helps with visibility.
The color temperature is a bit on the warm side out-of-the-box, and there are some minor inaccuracies with shades of gray, but overall, it has an impressive color accuracy. Its coverage of the Adobe RGB color space is excellent and it can also display a wide color gamut. However, due to the IPS panel's low contrast ratio, it can't produce dark and saturated colors well. It's a 10-bit panel with exceptional gradient performance, and although there's some minor color bleed, it shouldn't be noticeable for most people.
Motion handling is outstanding due to the monitor's fast response time and black frame insertion feature. It supports HDR10, but the monitor's peak brightness isn't enough to make HDR content look significantly different from SDR content. If you want to do some gaming on the side, it has a very low input lag and it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. On the whole, this is a versatile monitor that can handle any tasks.
If you're looking for something a bit cheaper, take a look at the Dell Alienware AW3418DW/1900R. Like the LG 34GK950F-B, it has a 21:9 aspect, a 1440p resolution, and a slightly curved screen. Color accuracy is decent and it has good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, but it doesn't support HDR and can't display a wide color gamut. Furthermore, while it can get bright enough for most rooms, visibility can be an issue in very bright rooms. Like most IPS monitors, it has good viewing angles, but its contrast ratio is low and black uniformity is quite bad, with visible clouding throughout the screen. On the upside, its response time is superb and it has a 100Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to 120Hz.
Overall, the LG has better performance, with more accurate color reproduction and better coverage of Adobe RGB, but the Dell is a good alternative if your budget is limited.
The best monitor for photo editing and video editing in the budget category is the Dell U2518D. It's a good 25 inch IPS monitor that delivers good picture quality, wide viewing angles, excellent sRGB coverage, and can display colors accurately with minimal banding.
This monitor can display HDR content, but not with satisfactory results as it doesn't have a wide color gamut. It also has limited coverage of the Adobe RGB color space and might not be the best option if you're a professional in the print or media industry where the need for such color space coverage is more important.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look quite as good in dark rooms. Just like most IPS monitors, blacks look gray in a dark room and black uniformity is disappointing with a lot of noticeable backlight bleed. Overall, though, this is a good monitor that delivers great value within its price range.
If you're looking for a larger alternative, the LG 27GL650F-B is a good choice. The 27 inch screen is slightly bigger with better horizontal and vertical viewing angles, but the 1080p resolution doesn't match up to the 1440p on the Dell U2518D. It has great sRGB coverage and good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space as well for photo and video editors. Although its HDR performance is only decent, it has an excellent color gradient to properly display different shades. Unfortunately, as is the case with most IPS monitors, it only has a decent contrast ratio and disappointing black uniformity, but it has decent reflection handling in bright rooms.
If you're looking for the best budget monitor for photo editing and video editing, the Dell is a great choice. If you prefer something bigger with better viewing angles, consider the LG.
05/01/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
01/06/2020: Added the LG 27GL350F-B as a larger budget alternative.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors for graphic design, photo editing, and media creation currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.