If you're a professional photo editor or content creator, a good monitor is one of the most important pieces of equipment you need to perfect your craft. This lets you accurately edit photos or create content without worrying about the colors looking different on the display than on the final published product. While there are dedicated professional displays with perfect color accuracy, those tend to cost a lot, so if you don't have the funds, the next best option is to get a monitor that's good for photo editing.
While you can realistically edit photos with any monitor, you can get the best performance by getting a monitor with accurate colors and a dedicated sRGB mode, which is important if you work in the sRGB color space. Of course, you can calibrate any monitor to display perfect colors, but that also costs a lot. Besides the color accuracy, getting a monitor with a USB hub and good ergonomics can also improve your workflow, especially if you need to connect different devices or you often share your screen with someone else.
We've bought and tested more than 280 monitors, and below are our picks for the best monitors for photography available for purchase. See our recommendations for the best 4k monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, and the best monitors for video editing. If you need more than just a monitor, check out the best laptops for photo editing and the best cameras for photography.
The best monitor to use for photo editing that we've tested is the Dell U3223QE. It's a 4k monitor designed with content creators in mind, so it's excellent for this use. It has a dedicated sRGB mode, limiting the colors to the standard sRGB space used in most web content, resulting in remarkable color accuracy, meaning you won't have to get it calibrated unless you need absolutely perfect colors and white balance. The 4k resolution is also great for editing because it lets you see more detail in your images, and the 32-inch screen is big enough to view multiple windows simultaneously.
Connecting to it is also easy as it has a massive USB hub with five USB-A ports and three USB-C ports. One of the USB-C inputs supports DisplayPort Alt Mode with 90W of power delivery, so you can display an image from a laptop and charge it using a single cable. If you tend to work in a bright room, it easily gets bright enough to fight glare, but it has disappointing reflection handling, so it's best to avoid placing it opposite a window with direct sunlight.
Consider the Apple Studio Display if you use a Mac computer, like a MacBook or Mac Mini. It's a cheaper alternative to the Apple Pro Display XDR, a monitor meant for professional users, but the Studio Display is still great for content creators. While the Dell U3223QE is still good enough to use with macOS devices, the Studio Display has features you can use only with a Mac. One of those features is its dedicated sRGB mode that results in exceptional accuracy before calibration, and you won't even need to calibrate it for the most accurate image. It also has a high 5k resolution, resulting in an incredibly high pixel density and sharp images.
It's different in a few ways from the Dell because it doesn't support HDR, but that doesn't make much difference if you don't edit photos in HDR. It's available with two different types of stands, but neither are as ergonomic as the stand on the Dell, so it's hard to adjust to an ideal position. However, if you prefer mounting it on a more ergonomic third-party stand or arm, there's a variant with a mounting adapter.
If you don't edit photos with a Mac computer and find the Dell U3223QE and the Apple Studio Display too expensive, check out the Dell U2723QE instead. It has the same 27-inch screen size as the Apple monitor, and with a lower 4k resolution, images aren't as sharp, but the image clarity is still fantastic. It has many of the same features as the U3223QE, as it's essentially a smaller variant. It has the same massive USB hub with five USB-A ports and three USB-C ports, making it easy to connect to any device.
Like the U3223QE, a KVM switch lets you easily control two devices with the same keyboard and mouse connected to the computer. With its Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes, you can also view images from those two sources simultaneously, which is great for multitasking from different devices. Besides that, it's an excellent monitor for content creation as it has amazing color accuracy in the sRGB picture mode. It also displays a wide range of colors in the Adobe RGB color space, which is important if your work requires that space.
If you want something in the lower mid-range price category, you can still get impressive performance if you're willing to make some sacrifices. That's the case with the Dell S2722QC, which is a step down in price and performance from the Dell U2723QE. It doesn't have a dedicated sRGB picture mode, meaning it has worse accuracy, but that's what you must expect when getting something cheaper. That said, the accuracy is still decent with no calibration, as most colors aren't noticeably inaccurate. It also has a smaller USB hub than the U2723QE, with only two USB-A ports and a single USB-C port, which still supports DisplayPort Alt Mode with 65W of power delivery, enough to charge smaller laptops.
It's a great choice if you need to use your monitor in a bright room because it has great peak brightness, enough to fight glare, and the reflection handling is even better than the U2723QE. It has wide viewing angles that are great if you need to share your work with someone next to you. Lastly, the excellent ergonomics make adjusting the screen in different ways easy.
If you're looking for something on a budget, another option from Dell's 4k lineup, the Dell S2721QS, is a good choice. Like other Dell monitors in this recommendation, it's a step-down monitor from the more expensive Dell S2722QC model with fewer features. The main difference is that it doesn't have a USB hub, and you can't use your laptop's USB-C port to connect to it like on the S2722QC. However, it still has DisplayPort and HDMI inputs, so you can use an adapter even if your photo editing laptop doesn't have those ports.
Besides the difference in connectivity, the picture quality is very similar to the S2722QC, as it also has decent accuracy. Still, it doesn't have an sRGB mode, so you may need to calibrate it if you need the most accurate colors possible. There are other budget monitors available with an sRGB mode, like the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV or the Gigabyte M27Q, but those have a 1440p resolution, so you don't get as many details or the same image sharpness as on the Dell.
While you'll need to spend some money on a monitor for photo editing for the best performance, some cheap ones are good enough for amateur editors or as a secondary display. The Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx is a good monitor for content creation that has a smaller 24-inch screen and lower 1080p resolution than the Dell S2721QS. Although this means that you won't see as many details as on a 4k display, the pixel density is still good enough to see decently sharp images.
This monitor is better than other cheap displays for photo editing because it has a dedicated sRGB mode with great accuracy. This mode does lock some picture settings, including the brightness, but even with it on, it's still bright enough for dim or moderately-lit rooms. This monitor also has remarkable ergonomics that make it easy to adjust. This means you can easily turn the screen to show someone else your work, and you can even rotate it into portrait mode if you want to use it as a secondary vertical display next to your main one.
Jun 20, 2023: Replaced the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV with the Dell S2721QS because it has a higher resolution and it's slightly cheaper; added the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx as the 'Best Cheap Monitor'; added the ASUS VG246H to Notable Mentions.
Apr 21, 2023: Moved the LG 40WP95C-W to Notable Mentions because the article focuses more on photo editing; added the Apple Studio Display as 'Best For Mac'; replaced the Dell S2721QS with the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV to give a 1440p option.
Feb 20, 2023: Replaced the Gigabyte M32U with the Dell U2723QE because it's better overall and renamed it as the 'Best Mid-Range Monitor'; renamed the Dell S2722QC as the 'Best Lower Mid-Range Monitor' to reflect its price and performance; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Dec 22, 2022: Replaced the Dell U2723QE with the Dell U3223QE as it has better color accuracy; replaced the Acer Nitro XV272U with the Dell S2721QS because it's easier to find; added the Gigabyte M32U and the LG 40WP95C-W and removed the Apple Studio Display and the Acer Nitro XF243Y to reflect market availability; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors for photography and other types of 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.