6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 2, 2017 3:33 PM by D Fosse

    Best monitor for photo editing


      I am looking to replace my Apple Thunderbolt 27” Display. 

      I’d like something at least 27”, UHD/4K, and am willing to spend up to around a $1000.
      I’ll be using it with a 2017 MacBook Pro.




        • 1. Re: Best monitor for photo editing
          windy6789 Level 1

          I am looking to replace my Apple Thunderbolt 27” Display. 
          I’d like something at least 27”, UHD/4K, and am willing to spend up to around a $1000.
          I’ll be using it with a 2017 MacBook Pro.


          sorry, I have made a mistake, the text color above is totally white, so I copy it, and  stick it into black, looks more clear.

          • 2. Re: Best monitor for photo editing
            NB, colourmanagement Adobe Community Professional

            Hi windy,


            Although reflective displays (and 4 or 5K displays) are attractive, my advice is to avoid the reflective Apple screens for photo work because its rather hard to view images when editing in all but very subdued light.

            4K? well that’s really a cinema / video thing, you don't need 4K for photo work.


            I work with lots of clients doing photo editing from amateurs to high end pro's, I always recommend Eizo.

            If you can afford it go Eizo Coloredge CG range.

            The Coloredge CG advantage is an almost fully automated *calibration and profiling using the built in hardware calibration sensor, entertianlingly it pops up from the edge of the screen to do its work..

            (*I believe that good calibration and profiling are a strong prerequisite of photo work).


            I've seen to many issues with the apprently tempting BenQ photo displays, unfortunately, so for me it's Eizo all the way.

            If you can't stretch to Eizo Coloredge, their normal desktop range are good quality and value.


            Of course, my advice is that if you get a screen that doesn’t come with a sensor (a colorimeter) then you'll need to factor that in to your budget. A well calibrated screen is a must.

            If you'd like advice on that then please send me a personal message.


            Spend wisely, Eizos have a long warranty. Check it out for your territory


            I hope this helps

            if so, please do mark my reply as "helpful" and if you're OK now, please mark it as "correct" below, so others who have similar issues can see the solution


            neil barstow, colourmanagement

            • 3. Re: Best monitor for photo editing
              thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              I recommend a NEC PA 272w and if you’re interested I can provide some of the technical advantages of this kind of reference display syste.

              • 4. Re: Best monitor for photo editing
                D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Summed up, there are only two serious contenders: Eizo and NEC.


                They are fully comparable in price, features and general consistency of quality. You get exactly what you pay for.


                There is a persistent myth that Eizo is more expensive, but that's because the top-of-the-line Eizos have additional features the top-of-the-line NEC's don't - and as a photographer you probably won't need. Strip these extra features away and you're left with entirely equivalent models: NEC PA272 vs. Eizo CS2730*. They both come in editions with or without calibration software/sensor, just check the options.


                The Eizo CGs have a built-in high quality sensor, convenient, but not necessary if you already have, say, an i1 Display Pro. You can use that sensor. They also have several video/cinema-specific extra features, and a hood.


                *(I have a CG246 and a CX240, and for photographic purposes they are absolutely identical, although the latter 35% less expensive).

                • 5. Re: Best monitor for photo editing
                  bret_linford Level 1

                  If you can't afford an Enzo or NEC, some of the higher end Dell's are nice. But a great monitor is like a good lens. By getting a better monitor you're making a good investment not just a means to an end. I have Eizo's well over 6 years old that still perform  great.

                  • 6. Re: Best monitor for photo editing
                    D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    In general terms, here are some of the things you should look for.


                    The first is panel uniformity. This is an actual photograph of an Eizo CG:


                    And this is a Dell U2713H. Obviously they aren't all like this, but this is what they will pass through quality control as "within specification". You will not get a replacement unit for this (I know, I once got one of these):



                    Then there is black (and white) separation. In a dim room, you should be able to see all the way down to 1 in a chart like this:



                    Viewing angles tend to affect blacks the most as well. Cheap IPS panels have an annoying problem known as "white glow" when seen from the sides. Good panels have polarizing films to correct that, so that black remains black from every angle. This is a photograph of an Eizo CX240 from the side - note the black border around the image:



                    Calibration software is essential, and it should work in high bit depth in the unit's internal processor (known as "hardware calibration"). You should be able to fine-tune all the parameters easily, particularly white point and black point. This is how you visually match the monitor to any printed output, so that "what you see is what you get".


                    In Eizo ColorNavigator you can make as many such targets as you like, and switch between them to match any paper stock or output condition. With an NEC you do that with the separate Multiprofiler app.


                    Fine-tuning the white point:


                    Setting the black point:



                    There's a lot more, but the point is that a Dell or BenQ or Apple display will fail all of these tests. People say Eizo and NEC are expensive and "not worth it". But they are, and this is what you pay for.


                    I've seen prize-winning photographs with horrible and unmotivated color casts in the shadows, as well as other problems, ruining the whole image. I bet they were made, and viewed, on cheap monitors and they just didn't see it...