Professional photographers know how important are monitors for photo editor is. Your work doesn't just end after clicking a picture via a camera, you will need the best monitor to edit and touch up your photos on. Now you can probably edit just on any app on your phone, and there are dozens out there. But the right monitor is crucial, especially if you work in photography or you’re an amateur starting to go pro.
To achieve the perfect edit and make your photography look its best, you need a monitor that can give you good and consistent brightness, accurate color depiction, great resolution, and a realistic view of highlights and contrasts.
You might be worried about price of the monitor, however let’s face it, tech these days is not cheap. Luckily, everything on this list of best monitor for photo editing under 500, so you can rest assured that you won’t be blowing upwards of $1000 on a pricey monitor. There’s plenty on the market for less, but that doesn’t mean you’re compromising on quality.
Also check out: Best 27 inch Monitor Under 300
BEST MONITOR FOR PHOTO EDITING UNDER 500 REVIEW
1) PHILIPS 278E1A - BEST 4K MONITOR
The Philips 278E1A is an affordable Ultra HD monitor that swaps the usual TN panel for IPS technology, which is better in many ways. The Philips V line wide-angle monitor offers vision beyond limits, great value for money with essential features. Adaptive Sync provides a smooth video display.
Features such as anti-glare, LowBlue, and flicker-free mode for visual comfort. The Philips 278E1A is still a budget monitor, so we can't expect much, but let's see how it performs against similar and higher-tiered competitors.
This 27 "monitor delivers exceptional color fidelity and detail for productivity and multimedia enjoyment at its best. It is capable of reproducing 1.07 billion colors and is pre-calibrated with high precision, which also makes it a good choice for color-sensitive applications like image processing or video editing.
With its narrow rim, the 278E1A is a good choice for a multi-monitor installation. Built-in stereo speakers, many technologies to protect your eyes in the long term, and special functions for an optimized playing experience make it a real all-rounder.
These Philips monitors are equipped with high-performance panels displaying images at UltraClear 4K UHD (3840 x 2160). Whether you are a demanding professional who needs detailed images for their CAD solutions, a financial specialist working on massive spreadsheets, or you use 3D graphics applications, Philips monitors bring your images to life and graphics.
The IPS display of this monitor uses advanced technology that widens the viewing angle to 178/178 degrees, allowing them to be viewed from almost any angle. Unlike traditional panels, IPS displays produce incredibly crisp images with vibrant colors, ideal for photos, videos, web browsing, and professional applications that require accurate color and constant brightness at all times.
SmartContrast is a Philips technology that analyzes the content you view by automatically adjusting colors and controlling backlight intensity to improve contrast. Philips flicker-free technology uses a new solution to adjust brightness and reduce flicker for better viewing comfort. This can be particularly useful if you like everything to look neat or even if you're obsessed with that clean, minimal aesthetic.
What we like about this monitor
2) VIEWSONIC VX2776 - BEST ULTRAWIDE MONITOR
Whether its for photo editing or gaming or office use or home entertainment, the ViewSonic VX2776-4K-MHD takes your viewing experience to a whole new level. With its SuperClear IPS display and sleek bezel-less design, this monitor offers a smooth viewing experience, ideal for multi-monitor setups.
The monitor's design is fused with modern factors like the ultra-slim profile, frameless bezel, and unique triangular stand form a sleek, minimalist monitor. With the Adaptive-Sync technology of this monitor, the screen tearing and jerky frame rates are eliminated to provide smooth rendering and smooth visuals in every scene.
The monitor features an aesthetic design inspired by architecture and infused with modern factors such as a sleek design, a borderless display, and a unique triangular stand. The stunning Ultra HD 4K resolution generates 4 times more pixels than Full HD monitors, which increases the efficiency and level of image detail for a better working or gaming experience.
Two HDMI inputs and one DisplayPort input provide a wide range of compatibility options and give you great connection flexibility for your devices. The monitor's 80M: 1 dynamic range delivers greater picture depth and enhanced user experience, while HDR10 content support delivers vivid colors and a higher brightness level than standard monitors.
The VX2776-4K-MHD is compatible with the HDR10 high dynamic range imaging standard. Thus colors, brightness, and contrasts are better defined and superior to those of ordinary monitors. While the predecessor was only able to offer full HD with 8-bit color depth, ViewSonic has increased it to 4K U-HD and frame rate control to 8 bit + FRC, i.e., 10 bit.
Using 10-bit (8-bit + FRC) colors, the VX2776-4K-MHD can reproduce a palette of over a billion colors, thus providing richer and more vivid color reproduction, smoother gradations, and more natural transition between shades. The IPS panel offers the usual viewing angle stability of 178 ° and good, if not outstanding, color space coverage. This is calculated at 110% for sRGB and 72% for NTSC.
Unfortunately, information from the manufacturer or measured values from independent tests is missing for the other important color spaces. This already shows that no value was placed on a particularly good result. Nevertheless, the sRGB color space is ultimately better covered than with some more expensive monitors. This monitor is sufficient for home office and professional photo editing and gaming purpose.
What We Like About This Monitor
- Plenty of video inputs
- VESA compatible mount
- Display port and HDMI
- Bright and clear picture quality
- A huge screen
3) ACER NITRO VG270K - BEST MONITOR FOR GAMING
For starters, we think this monitor looks a lot nicer than the Asus VP28UQG above. It has much thinner edges, and its backing looks beautiful and suits the theme of the game. The monitor is equipped with an IPS panel instead of a TN panel.
IPS panels produce much more vibrant colors and offer the widest viewing angles. Therefore, if you are looking for color perfection in your games, then IPS makes more sense. To conclude, this screen supports HDR. HDR improves the screen's color gamut and allows it to expand its colors, contrast, and brightness dramatically. This feature is useful for gamers as well as photographers and designers.
Convenient, the 27 "Nitro VG270K LED Gaming Monitor is equipped with Acer Display Widget. This software allows you to improve the resolution of an image quickly. With this configuration, you enjoy a more display mode suitable for your activity.
Built with an IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel, it features a 3840 x 2160 4K UHD resolution, a1000:1 static contrast ratio, a 300 cd/m² brightness rating, and support for up to 1.07 billion colors. Once it's connected to your system via HDMI or DisplayPort, you can tilt it to your viewing preference. In addition, this monitor can tilt from -5 to 20 ° and has a sturdy three-point adjustable stand, so you can easily put it on your desk. The monitor comes with ZeroFrame design such as AMD Radeon FreeSync and a 1 ms response time for an enjoyable experience.
3840x2160 resolution offers 8 times more detail than standard HD resolution. Everything becomes bigger: the space, the definition, and the rendering, which is impressive for your multimedia content. This Acer monitor, with its various parameters, guarantees you unprecedented realism. Embedded in UHD 4K resolution and LED technology, which ensures an excellent balance between contrast, shade, and saturation. Colors stay true even in bright light.
The IPS technology Zero Frame provides a beautiful image quality in color reproduction level (brighter colors) and the viewing angle. The fineness of the frame is adequate for a perfect immersion. With a refresh rate of 60Hz, this monitor perfectly supports photo editing tasks.
The LED backlighting lights up by zone according to the image on the screen. This process improves image quality (contrast and black level) and product longevity while reducing power consumption.
With a response time of 4 ms, the 27 "Nitro VG270K LED Screen effectively eliminates motion blur and various visual defects. This rapid response allows you to immerse yourself in your editing sessions fully. Also, the viewing angle can be adjusted up to 178 °, a feature that helps you get into the heart of the battle while providing good visual comfort.
What We Like About This Monitor
4) LG 27UK850-W - BEST 27 INCH MONITOR
The LG 27UK850-W screen knows how to distinguish itself from its peers by an optimal comfort, including a very high resolution, ultra HD 4K! This 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution is four times the Full HD resolution! Your content will be displayed in great detail!
With a resolution of 3840 x 2160 and a pixel density of 163 PPI, the 27UK850 is at the top of the range of the monitor! If ever this is your first Ultra High Definition monitor, you are bound to be in awe. Overall, the LG 27UK850 IPS monitor is perfect for anyone who wants a 4K display with HDR, FreeSync, and USB-C.
The design of the display is modern yet simple, with thin bezels, allowing it to fit into any environment. The monitor offers plenty of connectivity options, including DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a USB-C port, a dual USB 3.0 hub, a headphone jack, and two built-in MaxxAudio 5W speakers. A single cable is enough to connect a laptop or other device.
All display connectors also support HDCP 2.2, allowing you to stream content from Netflix, Amazon Video, etc., in 4K UHD. FreeSync works on both DisplayPort and HDMI with a dynamic range of 40-60Hz. The monitor is based on an IPS panel that ensures consistent, precise, and vibrant colors, making this display suitable for professional photo editing tasks.
The LG 27UK850-W 4K display incorporates AMD FreeSync technology, which synchronizes the number of images displayed by the screen and the number of images sent by the AMD graphics card. The result is a smoother image without tearing. Its splendid IPS technology panel guarantees you dazzling colors of realism with a depth of 10bit for photos displayed in the shade of color, an anti-reflective treatment, covering 99% of the sRGB color spectrum, and all with Wide viewing angles (178 ° / 178 °) for your comfort!
It supports 10-bit (8-bit + 2-bit FRC ) color depth, is factory calibrated, and covers 99% of the sRGB color space .The resolution 4K UHD provides amazing clarity of detail with over 8 million pixels on the screen 27 "screen LG 27UK850-W, result in a high pixel density of 163 pixels per inch.
There is no ghosting or motion blur noticeable, even in fast-paced video games, although a 60Hz refresh rate seems very slow if you're used to higher refresh rate displays. However, if you prefer better graphics to performance, 4K more than makes up for it.
What We Like About This Monitor
5) SAMSUNG U28E590D - BEST 4K GAMING MONITOR
Another well-known brand for tech supplies, Samsung offers a best monitor for photo editing under 500, with a billion colors, the display promises realistic and naturalistic images, and the monitor itself is built to please any interior design enthusiast who scorns ugly tech pieces.
The unit has a sleek, matte design with a narrow bezel with metallic trim, and the T-shaped stand also has a matching metallic touch. You also get better viewing angles with the stand. The display as a whole will look great as part of your workspace. The diagonal and 4K resolution will still deliver a crisp, smudge-free image. The brightness is still there with a maximum luminance of 370 bits, which guarantees good lighting and a bright image even in bright rooms.
AMD's FreeSync technology corrects any horizontal tears caused by changes in refresh rate. Among the other features of this screen, we can note the Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture functions and a game mode that increases the brightness when the game is dark.
The edges of the screen are thick and very visible, its support is robust and holds well in place, the screen is VESA 75x75mm compatible so that you can attach it to the wall or a compatible articulated arm. On the connection side, there are two HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 DisplayPort 1.2 port, and a headphone jack. The screen is tilted on an axis -5/20 degrees.
You can also multitask easily, as the monitor comes with a Picture-in-Picture (PIP) 2.0 technology, so you can have a movie streaming in one window while editing a photo in another. A great setting if you get bored focusing on only one thing at a time. The monitor also has an Eye Saver Mode, which adjusts settings, so your viewing experience is far more comfortable.
What We Like About This Monitor
6) ASUS PROART DISPLAY PA278QV
The monitor panel displays the QHD 2560 x 1440 pixels, so its resolution is 108 PPI. The PA248QV benefits from the more specific 16:10 aspect ratio, slightly taller or wider depending on the positioning of the screen, to better visualize documents or elements placed side by side for creators who use several software at the same time.
The ProArt model from Asus will give you a display with a professional 100% sRGB and 100% Rec. 709 color gamut to play with. The monitor displays high color fidelity with ∆E < 2, so you can see exactly what your projects will look like when they’re done. There are also many modes for color-gamut adjustment, so this display can be very useful if you regularly edit photos or videos.
The monitor equipped with an IPS panel particularly suitable for image professionals. This panel covers 100% of the sRGB color space, 100% of the REC.709 space and guarantees faithful color reproduction thanks to a Delta E of less than 2. They also have Calman Display certification, a guarantee of additional precision as to their factory calibration.
The PA278QV is more like an intermediate solution between a Full HD and 4K screen, more suitable for videographers who use more advanced file formats. They are equipped with DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI connectors. The PA278QV includes a complementary DVI-D port and the PA248, a D-Sub port. They also integrate several four USB 3.0.
You can also specifically customize your display with the ProArt Palette for a personalized editing experience. This is an artist’s monitor, through and through. The stand is also ergonomically-designed to ensure a comfortable viewing experience.
What We Like About This Monitor
7) AOC U2790VQ 27" 4K UHD Frameless Monitor
AOC’s offering best monitor for photo editing under 500 with over 1 billion colors and a 10-bit color depth for smoother transitions instead of other monitors offering an 8-bit depth. The monitor itself has a 3-sided frameless design, with wide viewing angles. The colors are natural, with over 99% sRGB and 90% NTSC color gamut coverage.
What I like first of all about the AOC U2790PQU is its design. As often, these offer a sober look. A titanium/brushed aluminum color screen, just like its round foot, allows it to pivot easily. The image quality offered by this monitor made a strong impression on me.
In addition, you will have the possibility to configure according to your needs or desires (game or film, or work). For this last mode, we also love the Low-Blue-Light option to reduce the harmful effects of too long exposure. Add to that the anti-flicker option reducing image vibration, and you will understand that you have a perfect monitor to spend long hours on.
In terms of connectivity, the 27-inch AOC U2790PQU screen offers a Display port 1.2, an HDMI 1.4, an HDMI 2.0, and 2 USB 3.0 ports, guaranteeing that you can connect almost anything. As a photographer or videographer, you can get a lot out of this device. It’s also one of the cheaper monitors on this list that is a real powerhouse for what it achieves. A great choice if you’re starting and looking for a budget option that won’t break the bank.
What We Like About This Monitor
8) Dell S2721Q 27 Inch 4K UHD, IPS Ultra-Thin Bezel Monitor
Dell is a pretty reliable tech brand, and this monitor is no exception. Its ultra-thin three-sided border and 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution allow you to enjoy an immersive viewing experience with exceptional sharpness and fine detail, with four times the resolution of Full HD. Support HDR content playback for more realistic viewing experience.
There are four main families of panels, each with its advantages and disadvantages: this Dell PC monitor has an IPS panel . It offers precise colors and very good viewing angles, but with slightly higher response times. It is therefore perfectly suited to amateurs and professionals of videos, graphics and photographers. The IPS monitor influences screen responsiveness and the range of colors it displays. It allows better clarity with images close to reality . Its large pixel surface allows several programs to be displayed at the same time on the same screen.
This TÜV-certified flicker-free display incorporates ComfortView technology that filters out harmful blue light emissions. It has been designed to optimize visual comfort even with prolonged use, for example if you are watching several movies in a row. The monitor has a modern, premium design with wide viewing angles. It has a three-sided ultra-thin bezel design, and the display has four times the resolution of full HD.
What We Like About This Monitor
9) BenQ EW2780U 27 inch 4K Monitor
Finally, an option from BenQ that’s best monitor for photo editing under 500, this is a good pick if you’re aiming a bit higher. It has slim black bezels on three sides, a brown metallic border at the bottom, and a matching square stand that barely takes up space.
The BenQ EW2780U immediately struck me as impressive, with a 4K resolution of 3840 × 2160, sRGB color gamut coverage of 99%, and an above-average 1300: 1 contrast ratio. After using this monitor for a week won me over with its ultra-clear details and vivid, precise colors. In my opinion, it was a pleasure to do editing works and a joy to watch videos.
When it comes to displaying quality, look no further if you're looking for a high-resolution monitor that will be ideal for productivity, video streaming, and casual gaming. The 16: 9 image quality and 99% sRGB wide color gamut will be useful for everything - editing, gaming, or just chilling with a movie.
Its 4k resolution is sure to give you a next-level experience. So apart from photo editing, you can use this monitor for watching movies.
You can customize it to your heart’s content with a bunch of features, and the monitor also has a 5-way navigator and volume wheel for ease of control. It's a monitor with a good price, a compelling display, and a simple setup. Well done, BenQ!
What We Like About This Monitor
10) SCEPTRE U279W-4000R IPS 27" 4K UHD LED Monitor
A mid-range option from Sceptre, this monitor boasts unique color variation and contrast in 8 million pixels. If you happen to be a photographer who’s also a gamer, the monitor has custom display settings for FPS (First-Person Shooter) and RTS (Real-Time Strategy). The tiltable display ensures that your working experience will also be a relief for your muscles!
What We Like About This Monitor
HOW TO PICK THE BEST MONITOR FOR PHOTO EDITING
The features and qualities you should focus on when choosing the best monitor for photo editing are quite different from what you would consider when choosing the general-purpose computer monitors. That's what this guide is for. We've broken down all the important variables so that you can better understand the most important features when it comes to choosing the best monitor for photo editing.
Most modern computer monitors come in different screen styles: Twisted Nematic (TN), Vertical Alignment (VA), and In-Plane Switching (IPS). We have logically ruled out the TN panels from this graphic arts screen comparison, contraindicated for professional use, and the VA panels, which certainly have advantages but remain below the two other technologies that we will discuss below.
IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology:
IPS technology and its derivatives is the one that displays the best contrast ratio and offers viewing angles greater than 170 degrees. Currently, it's the best choice for creators. First, from the price point of view, IPS panels are much less expensive than OLED panels, but these panels offer many advantages compared to TN and VA panels. IPS monitors have the widest viewing angles, offer excellent color reproduction, and also offer quite satisfactory contrasts. If you want to get the best photo editing monitor, the IPS panel is the only one you need to worry about, as they are one of the best monitors for color reproduction.
OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) technology:
OLED panels are extremely promising, but above all, still quite rare and therefore very expensive. OLED technology indeed displays extraordinary performance and has advantages that place it well above other types of tiles. It promises very fast response time (of the order of 0.5 ms on average), infinite contrasts, very wide viewing angles, and color reproduction at least as qualitative as IPS; in short, fabulous prospects.
Extended Or Standard Gamut
Photo processing monitors can be reduced to two categories: standard gamut (sRGB) and wide or extended gamut. Standard gamut monitors typically try to display all colors in the sRGB color space, while wide or wide gamut monitors display a larger gamut, such as that found in the AdobeRGB color space.
Most people immediately assume that "more colors are better" and decide they need an extended gamut screen. However, it is a little more complicated than that. All good displays suitable for photo editing will support sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces. In fact, you don't have to make a choice. You will have access to both. But which one should you use? The sRGB is overall the simplest. This is the default color space for digital devices, and it makes the workflow easier.
Adobe RGB in theory offers more colors and greater saturation, which can be particularly useful for printing. However, without full end-to-end Adobe RGB support, it can actually result in duller colors. The short answer? If you're not sure, stick with sRGB.
Now let's move on to a rather complicated subject, which we will try to make simple. Color depth is how many distinct colors a monitor can display. Theoretically, the more colors a monitor can display, the more normally it can reproduce gradual changes in tonality and the less prone it will be to frustrating "striping" or posterization effects (characterized by very ugly pixelated blocks of color).
Most monitors on the market have one of these two characteristics:
- 8-bit color (native)
- 6-bit + FRC (2-bit) color
The second uses dithering to create colors that are not present, which is theoretically inferior to a monitor that can natively display 8-bit color. A monitor with 6-bit color is more prone to creating banding problems, as previously described.
You might find 10-bit colors but they are more expensive monitors. Keep in mind that a 10-bit monitor can only display its 1.07 billion colors if 10-bit is supported by your graphics processor, software, and video connection.
what is LUT?
The term LUT (for look-up table) in the context of image editing and screens can be confusing. This is because lookup tables are not only used internally by photo or video editing software to map color spaces. Lookup tables also basically do the same job on the screen, to map the incoming video signal and match it to the actual capabilities of the LCD panel on the screen.
Equally confusing, a LUT must have greater accuracy than the panel itself. For image editing, a 10-bit LUT coupled to an 8-bit panel is the ideal minimum. For smoother transitions however, 12-bit and 14-bit LUTs will do the best job, even with an 8-bit LCD panel.
You'll find that the standard monitors usually have a 16: 9 aspect ratio, which is great for watching movies, but a 16:10 aspect ratio is worth getting if you can afford the expense. This one offers a bit of extra working space vertically and it comes more like a classic 3: 2 ratio used in many photos.
Fortunately, you can easily find the right resolution by comparing it with your screen size. A 24-inch screen should have Full HD resolution as a minimum, while most 27-inch screens typically have a resolution of around QHD. Anything larger than that, like a 32-inch display, should perform best in the 4K range or higher.
Of course, these are just hard and fast rules. Other factors can play a big role in the quality of a monitor, and monitor size relative to resolution is not always equal. Ultra-wide screens can be very useful for photographers, especially if you tend to multitask a lot or work with photos that are meant to be enlarged on a large scale. But you have to be careful when using a curved screen for image editing.
when it comes to gaming or watching movies, curved monitors sometimes tend to produce distorted images. They also make it difficult to collaborate on a project with other creatives. The difference might not be too noticeable for some amateurs or pros, but it's definitely worth thinking about before you let go of any cash on a big purchase.
Higher resolution means more megapixels on the screen. This results in clearer, sharper images that allow for more detailed and precise edits. Obviously, a higher resolution is better, and this is especially true when it comes to the quality of the photos (or videos), but you still have to be aware of your budget in this area.
There are many displays that offer very good resolutions while failing to be the best for editing images. However, a higher resolution will always be fundamentally better than a lower resolution, but the effect it can have on your actual photography may not be that deep.
Look for a variety of output ports like USB, DisplayPort, and HDMI. The more options there are, the more easily you can connect your devices to the screen while leaving room for future devices that will come into your possession. USB 3.0 ports are for charging devices, while USB 3.1 Type-C ports are for charging and listening to music, allowing for easy setup. The ability to link two or more monitors via DisplayPort provides increased flexibility.
Aside from Apple's iMacs, almost all computer monitors are equipped with anti-glare filters for the obvious purpose of eliminating annoying glare. This creates a matte finish on the screen surface. The degree to which this affects the smoothness of the image on the screen varies a lot, from imperceptible to adding a noticeable grainy effect. You can make a comparison with glossy or matte prints; glossy printing usually looks a bit more precise.
The type of calibration we are talking about here does not refer to the use of a hardware device like a Spyder. Rather than storing an 8-bit LUT in your video card, as most monitors do, expensive graphics monitors usually have a high-bit LUT built into their own hardware for more refined calibration. You will still use a calibrator to measure the color of your monitor, but the final color reproduction should be superior.
Expensive graphics monitors often allow you to save and alternate calibration profiles, so you can change settings with the click of a mouse using proprietary software. This is not possible for normal monitors, where calibration data is loaded to the video card's LUT at startup and cannot be changed without your monitor being recalibrated.
Also, you should keep in mind that some of these monitors use 10-bit or higher technology, and require specific graphics cards, and in some cases the DisplayPort connector should be used rather than the standard digital output or HDMI. . If you want to use 10-bit or higher display technology, check with the monitor manufacturer to see if graphics cards are supported.
Yes, a monitor is a bit of an investment for a photographer, but it’s worth it to see your projects on a full, bright display so you can edit and tweak even the smallest things. Also, you don’t have to go all out for a good monitor, as this list will tell you - there are some great ones out there for under $500 from very reputable brands. A good quality display is integral to creative editing, so if you haven’t bought one of these best monitor for photo editing under 500, get on it!