Best Monitor for Photography

One of the most frequently asked questions from our readers and friends is related to picking a good monitor for photography needs. It seems like the market is over-saturated with all kinds of choices, whether you visit a local store or browse through an online catalog. There are all kinds of monitors for different budgets and some models might leave you wondering why they are so expensive compared to others. Since there is no simple answer to this question, I decided to write a detailed article with my personal recommendations.

Currently, there are three main types of monitors that are being offered by manufacturers:

  1. CRT – the oldest type of monitor that has been almost completely phased out and replaced by newer LCD/LED technologies.
  2. LCD – currently the most popular and the most widespread monitor type.
  3. LED – future technology that will replace LCD.

Dell U2410 I won’t talk much about the above, since you can find a lot of useful information on the Internet that explains the differences. Basically, CRT monitors are almost dead and we are currently in between LCD and LED technologies. LED (OLED) is a new technology and although it will eventually replace the current LCD technology, it is still in its early stages of development and there are not many good products out there for professional photography needs.

Therefore, I will concentrate on LCD monitors and talk about different technologies used in LCD panels, after which I will provide some suggestions on what you should consider for potential investment.

Most people do not know the fact that there are at least four different types of LCD technologies that differ substantially in the way they reproduce colors and tones. Accurate color reproduction is extremely important for every photographer and one needs to have a thorough understanding of these technologies before investing in a monitor, especially if it will be used for professional work.

1) Four LCD Monitor Technologies

When it comes to monitors, they are primarily manufactured in four distinct panel types:

  1. TN (Twisted Nematic) – the most popular and the cheapest type used today by almost all manufacturers. These monitors are great for watching movies and playing games, because they have fast refresh rates. But they have very limited viewing angles and in most cases, cannot accurately reproduce colors. In addition, these monitors can only represent 6-bits of color (they use dithering to display all colors) and therefore they are only capable of displaying a very limited gamut of colors.
  2. IPS (In-Plane Switching) – compared to TN, IPS monitors are true 8-bit (full color reproduction with no dithering), have much wider viewing angles and are capable of accurately reproducing a much bigger color gamut. Some of the older generation IPS monitors suffered from low response times, but most of the latest models offer reasonably good response times/refresh rates as well. IPS monitors are expensive and they are primarily used for professional photography and design. Many of the high-end Apple screens, including the new iPad use IPS displays.
  3. MVA (Multi-domain Vertical Alignment) – sits between TN and IPS, offering good viewing angles and fast refresh rates, better brightness and color reproduction than TN, but definitely worse than IPS. Similar to IPS, MVA monitors are also 8-bit.
  4. PVA (Patterned Vertical Alignment) – an alternative version of MVA, but with a higher contrast ratio. The latest “S-PVA” offers excellent viewing angles, fast response times, 8-bit color gamut and very good color reproduction.

2) What are you using today?

So, do you know what type of monitor you are currently using? If you bought your monitor for less than $300, you are most likely using a TN panel. It is very easy to find out if you have one of those – just stand up about a foot above the screen and look at your monitor from the top and see how much of the picture is visible. If you can barely see the screen content, you have a TN monitor. If you can still see everything but some of the brightness is gone, you might have an MVA or PVA monitor. Either way, I highly recommend checking your monitor against TFT Central’s monitor database to identify the type of monitor you are using. For example, when I typed “214T” for Samsung SyncMaster 214T that I used as a secondary monitor in a dual monitor setup a while ago (it is now kaput, replaced by the Dell U2410), it returned “21” Samsung S-PVA (LTM213U6)”, which means that it is a PVA monitor.

Why is this important? Because if you have a TN or a very old MVA/PVA panel, you need to consider replacing it with an 8-bit IPS or S-PVA/P-MVA/S-MVA monitor (depending on your budget). If you are thinking about buying a new monitor for your photography needs, definitely skip all TN monitors and first consider IPS and then PVA/MVA.

3) Does the brand matter?

No, it doesn’t. While there are some brands such as Eizo that specialize on high-end monitors, most other brands that dominate the LCD market such as Samsung, ViewSonic/Sony, Hitachi and NEC offer all kinds of different displays from TN to high-end IPS models. No matter what brand you look at, the first thing you need to do is pay attention to the type of technology that is used on the monitor. If you cannot find it, simply go to the same monitor database link that I provided above and perform a search. Also try searching for the detailed monitor specifications on the manufacturer’s website and try Google as well.

4) What to look for in a monitor

Here are some of the things you should look for in a good monitor for photography:

  1. Minimum 8-bit colors
  2. Preferably IPS for best color accuracy and reproduction
  3. Widescreen instead of square (because most DSLR cameras produce widescreen images)
  4. Large monitor size of 21 inches and above (preferably 24 inches and higher at 1920×1200 resolution and above)
  5. Wide-viewing angles
  6. Good black depth
  7. Extended color gamut
  8. Good uniformity with minimum or nonexistent color tinting and shifting
  9. Minimum of 1 DVI (digital) connector
  10. Fairly good response time (if it will be used for videography as well)

There are many other things that could be important for you, such as additional USB ports or connectors, so feel free to add more to the above list based on your requirements.

4) Recommendations

It is tough to make specific recommendations, because they vary based on your budget and your needs. I decided to divide my recommendations to three groups:

a) High Budget ($1,000 and above) – for those who are looking for the best on the market.
b) Medium Budget ($500 to $1,000) – for those with medium budgets, looking for a solid performer and a good price/performance ratio.
c) Low Budget (under $500) – for low-budget PVA/MVA monitors and sizes lower or equal to 24 inches.

4.1) High Budget

The best monitors in the industry today, without a doubt, are Eizo’s ColorEdge and FlexScan monitors. Eizo’s monitors have the most color gamut, superb color accuracy and top-of-the-line overall performance. Expect to pay more than $1,000 for their smallest monitors and $4,000+ for the large models. Some of Apple’s cinema displays are also worth noting and they are also superb when it comes to color reproduction and accuracy. B&H carries most of the Eizo monitors with accessories. A good 24″ Eizo monitor like the ColorEdge CG246-BK is over USD $2,200, so it is by no means cheap.

4.2) Medium Budget

For medium budget monitors, I recommend looking at 24″-27″ monitors by Dell, HP, NEC and Asus. My first choice would be Dell UltraSharp U2713H (product link) – it is the cheapest 27″ professional monitor on the market that costs less than $800. If 27″ is too big for you or you want something a little more affordable, then take a look at Dell U2413 (product link), Dell U2412M, HP ZR2440w and Asus PA249Q have all been getting great reviews from a lot of websites. I personally own two Dell U2413 monitors (and two older U2410 monitors) and I decided to go with these after doing some extensive research. These 24″ IPS monitors have short response time, superb color reproduction and 102% color gamut with factory-calibrated presets. I bought both from B&H at around $500 when they had a promotion, so it is definitely the cheapest in the pro category and sits between low and medium budget. These monitors work great for my professional photography needs, so I highly recommend them! B&H also carries some of the higher-end medium budget monitors from Dell, NEC and HP. The Dell U2413 is listed at $435 (as of 06/19/2014), but its price sometimes drops down a little during holidays, when Dell has special promotions.

4.3) Low Budget

When it comes to low budget monitors, you will have to compromise size for a good panel type. Therefore, I recommend to look for sizes of 21″ or lower, as long as the panel is good. There are some monitors at this price range that have IPS panels, so definitely look at those first. There are too many to list, but the brands that have some solid performers are: Dell, Samsung, NEC, HP, ViewSonic and Asus. A good 23″ IPS panel that is less than $300 is Asus PB238Q monitor. Other great 23″ IPS alternatives are NEC EA234WMI at $269 and Viewsonic VP2365-LED at $259. All three are good e-IPS monitors (e-IPS stands for “economic IPS”).

If you are having a difficulty finding a particular monitor for your needs, I recommend checking out TFT Central’s monitor selector tool, which always picks the best monitors based on their extensive research.

B&H carries a lot of different monitors and the list is constantly changing with newer models. Their IPS monitor page lists many different models to choose from.

5) Monitor Purchase Guide

Ever since I published this article, I received a lot of feedback from our readers, so I decided to create a very easy to use monitor purchase guide. I went through a number of different monitors offered by different manufacturers and picked the best ones based on features, color reproduction and price. Obviously, most of the monitors I recommend are IPS panels that are designed for photography work. I constantly update both this article and my purchase guide whenever something new comes out.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below!

Last Updated on 06/19/2014.


  1. 1) wasz
    February 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Here is another link to find a monitor’s panel type:

  2. 2) Avaz Ibragimov
    February 18, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I still use 19″ CRT monitor, and it definitely displays colors better then LCD ones.

    • February 19, 2010 at 1:22 am

      Avaz, it depends on what LCD you compare it with. Try comparing your CRT to a quality IPS panel and you will clearly see the difference…

  3. February 20, 2010 at 10:51 am

    How about laptops?
    I know Fujitsu laptops screens are pretty good, but the laptop itself a bit clunky and old fashioned.

    Would you recommend any laptop brand over another for photography?

    Something for sub-$1K price range and something for $1-2K range.

    I think a separate article with comparisons and suggestions would be a great idea.


    • February 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Mukhsim, that’s a good idea…I should probably write about laptops as well.

      Obviously, the top pick is going to be Apple laptops (Most professional photographers use Apple desktops/laptops for processing photographs), due to their nice screens and optimized Photoshop/Lightroom experience.

      When it comes to PCs, I’ve heard a lot of good things about “HP EliteBook” and some of the Dell Precision laptops that have great monitors. Obviously, the bigger the monitor size, the better, so a 17″ laptop screen with 1920×1200 resolution is optimal. But big monitor size also means large and heavy laptop and I just don’t see the value in those. Many photographers showcase their work on laptops and I think the new Apple iPad is going to replace laptops as showcase instruments very soon…

  4. 4) Len
    April 8, 2010 at 3:54 am

    When i connect my Sony HDR-CX520E camcorder directly to LG HDTV fullHD to view still photos and videos, the results blew me away. However, when i play them back on my Lenovo T61p, the results are only 30% of what HDTV could achieve in terms of color, sharpness and etc.
    My question is, will any current IPS monitor by Eizo or Apple product beat HDTV?

    • April 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm

      Len, laptop displays are not the best for photography and your TV might be over-saturating colors to make everything look very vivid.

      Without a doubt, a good IPS monitor from Eizo or Apple will give you a much more accurate color than an HDTV would.

    • 4.2) Betty
      July 17, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      I think you are confusing saturation, brightness and contrast with accuracy.
      They are not the same thing.

  5. July 23, 2010 at 11:37 am

    A very useful article. You’ve saved us hours of research! Thank you.

  6. 6) Susan
    August 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Changing from PC to Mac for photography. Debating on the MacPro 15 0r 17 or iMac 27. I can also get the 24inch Apple LED Cinema Display with the laptop to dock in. I am writing a book also so that is why I was leaning towards a laptop plus if I need to eventually upload photos on site (not doing that yet). Is the Apple a good monitor for photography or am I better off with the Dell Ultrasharp. Was trying to save some money. Just don’t know which is the best way to go.

    • September 2, 2010 at 1:01 am

      Susan, Apple monitors (especially the Cinema displays) are superb, much better than the Dell Ultrasharp. If you are converting to Macs, I would stick with the Apple displays – they are worth every penny.

      • 6.1.1) Sheila
        November 11, 2011 at 10:04 pm

        I’m finally giving up on my iMac 24″ because what I see on the screen is not what I get when I print on my Epson photo printer. I have done everything I can think of: calibrating, dimming, printer controls color, no color managment, Elements controls color, research on the internet, calling Apple support, Epson support, my old darkroom buddies–but I have spent more time struggling with the #@^%$& computer than producing any photos, while my husband is doing just fine with his workhorse Dell. One of my biggest complaints about the monitor is that it is too bright. I tried dimming it with DarkAdapted, but that made it hard to see color. It seems to me that the iMac is made for producing images that look great on the computer, but not on paper.

        I appreciated your article. There is way too much information out there so I’m grateful to you for figuring some of it out.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          November 13, 2011 at 9:50 pm

          Sheila, I have heard mixed things about the iMac monitors. Some swear by them and others like you have problems with calibration. I personally use a custom PC that I built and I use two 24″ Dell IPS monitors as shown in this article. I do not have any problems with prints…

          • MikeZ
            March 22, 2012 at 8:51 am

            Nasim – Great article and website. Very helpful. I am curious as to why you use two monitors? Do you keep one set at sRGB and one set for AdobeRGB? I will be sharing my wide gamut monitor between a work PC and my photo editing PC. My assumption is that I can change the profile to sRGB for work stuff and then switch it back to AdobeRGB for Photoshop and Lightroom. Thoughts?

            • Betty
              July 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm

              Mike Z, you are clearly very confused about colour management.
              What you are saying is utter nonsense.
              You do not ‘set’ a monitor to anything and certainly not sRGB or AdobeRGB.
              You calibrate and profile a monitor so that when it displays image files tagged with sRGB or AdobeRGB correctly.
              Most consumer monitors happen to display approximately the sRGB colour space and wide gamut monitors can display approximately the AdobeRGB colour space but the colour gamut of the monitor has little or nothing to do with its profile.

              Some people use two monitors in order to separate the software interface (say Photoshop or Lightroom) from the actual image they are working on.
              That way the image gets maximum monitor ‘real estate’ and does not have to compete with all those palettes, tool bars, etc..

            • MikeZ
              July 21, 2014 at 10:12 am

              Betty – I am shocked by the rudeness of your comments. I thought Nasim’s site was to share ideas and learn. As a newbie to color management, I asked a legitimate comment in reference to the monitor that I am using which is an Asus PA 246Q. This monitor does have modes for sRGB and Adobe RGB within its user menu.

            • Betty
              July 21, 2014 at 11:50 am


              I admit I do have an unfortunate tendency to be a bit too direct at times.
              If you found my comment rude, then of course you have my apology.
              I apologise.

              Nevertheless, having a ‘mode’ for sRGB or AdobeRGB should not lead you to think you have a calibrated monitor.
              Such modes are simply factory set defaults which, even if they are accurate on a brand new monitor (which, unless your monitor is pro-grade, is unlikely), will not stay so for very long.
              Hence the need for periodic calibration and profiling.

            • Mike Z
              August 3, 2014 at 6:00 pm

              Thanks for your note Betty. My bruised ego is feeling better now. :) So, the Asus monitor in question would be considered a pro quality monitor similar to the HP that Nasim mentioned above. It is a wide gamut monitor and I do calibrate it every 2 months. Interestingly enough, I have been having trouble matching my PS colors to the output of different browsers. After hours of work and reading today, I discovered that IE9 and Firefox will use my calibrated monitor profiles. However, Safari and Chrome do not. Hence the differences in colors. So I set PS to sRGB working space and assigned all profiles as sRGB and results were better. However, IE9 and Firefox were still showing oversaturated colors. I then used the monitor setting on the ASUS to simulate sRGB and the problem was 99% solved. I found some posts about this problem and am sharing here. Apparently,some if not all wide gamut monitors (EIZO included) will oversaturate when asked to display an embedded sRGB image. It seems that the best way to overcome this dilemma is to use Chrome or Safari – then you will see what most of your clients will see. So much for buying wide gamut. I have also found that many commercial printer profiles don’t support it either.

            • Betty
              August 4, 2014 at 6:28 am

              @Mike Z
              Mike I think you are still very confused about colour management – as are a lot of people.
              First, are you just calibrating or are you also profiling your monitor?
              If you are using a hardware device like a ColorMunki or i1display, then your are carrying out both these tasks simultaneously.

              Practically everything you have said in your post is wrong or misunderstood.
              Unfortunately I do not have the time or space here to explain more fully.
              Monitors, least of all Eizo Monitors, do not oversaturate colours.They just use the profile they have been assigned to display what they are given to display.
              However, the main point of wide gamut monitors is headroom for photographic editing – not web display.
              The problem lies with web browsers – not all browsers are color management savvy and some do it incompletely or in a flawed way.
              Unfortunately, many browsers either do/do not read the image profile, do/do not treat untagged files as sRGB and/do not use the monitor’s profile for final display.
              It is a mess.
              The best currently are Firefox and Safari.
              Firefox does it pretty much 100% right all the way.
              (Incidentally, Safari and Chrome do read icc profiles).
              All I can advise is never use sRGB as your main working color space, since it’s smaller than most digital camera color spaces, leading to unnecessarily clipped colors. Work in a bigger color space like Adobe RGB, or preferably ProPhotoRGB, and convert to sRGB only on output when preparing images for the web.
              If you make your PS working space to sRGB you are throwing away the majority of the data you carefully captured with your super digital camera!
              What you are doing is bodging aimlessly which leads to completely unpredictable (and always inaccurate) results.

        • Matt
          November 21, 2011 at 1:23 am

          what i would recommend is using either a spyder or eyeone printing a colour swatch through your printer (ie 912 colours) using the ink and the type of paper and creating a colour profile specifically for that printer and paper scanning them into your computer and setting your room luminance to 90 (dull lighting, just a note also the colour of your walls also can add a colour cast in your screen giving you false indication 18% grey walls with a matte finish will help thats also) or turn your monitor down to 3 of the 16 squares, that would be a good start also dont forget to apply the colour profile in photoshop for your profiles to be used when printing this may take a wee trail and error first time around :) hope that helps there are also more steps i could mention if you need more help with colour profiling just ask.

          • Betty
            July 19, 2014 at 5:13 pm

            Matt, iMac screens basically cannot be accurately calibrated because they lack the controls.
            Attempting to dim the screen or calibrate it through a 6 or 8 bit video card quickly eats up the 256 levels available at 8bits resulting in all sorts of post calibration artefacts.
            Any attempts to produce printer profiles from an inaccurate monitor will inevitably result in failure.
            In essence the iMac is a rotten screen for photographic editing.
            Marvellous for gaming, smurfing the web or going on Facebook but not much else.

        • Betty
          July 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm

          You are right to give up on your iMac screen – they are rubbish for photographic editing.
          They, like most consumer screens are orders of magnitude too bright and contrasty and lack the hardware controls to make the necessary adjustments to make calibration and profiling a realistic proposition.
          As you have found, when you try to reduce the brightness you end up with banding and all sorts of horrid artefacts.
          And if your screen is too bright, your prints will forever come out too dark.
          See my comments below… and get yourself an Eizo or NEC.

  7. 7) rieza
    September 20, 2010 at 1:09 am

    How about LED display? is it good for photography? how about samsung PX2370?

    • October 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

      Rieza, there are no true LED screens available. All of them are backlit.

  8. 8) Ron
    September 22, 2010 at 2:37 am

    I’m debating between the Dell 2410 and HP 2475 for photo editing. I’ve read many negative reviews about the 2410 and few about the 2475… Any suggestions as to which one is better?

    • October 4, 2010 at 11:03 am

      Ron, I have two 2410 monitors and I love them. I had one of the monitors replaced recently though, since it started fading a little after 2-3 months of heavy use. The second monitor has no problems though.

      The biggest complaint on the Dell 2410 is its QA – some batches are terrific, while others have issues with image fading and other problems. The HP2475 seems to be better in that regard.

      • 8.1.1) MikeZ
        March 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

        What about the PA246Q? The reviewers give it a lot of credit over the Dell, but I am worried about the brightness and warranty from Asus.

  9. 9) Larry Lawrence
    September 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Thank you for the article and info. It’s very helpful. I need a new monitor for work, (standard business apps.), and I also enjoy photography. I am considering LG E2250T-PN (22″), Samsung BX2440X 24″, and Acer S243HL bmii 24″ Do you have any recommendations between these or any other monitor in the under $300 category? Thanks much!

    • October 4, 2010 at 11:05 am

      Larry, there are too many monitors under $300 category to compare. Both LG and Samsung monitors are great, I would personally go for the latter, since I have been using Samsung for the last 10 years and have always loved using their monitors.

      • 9.1.1) Jorge Luis
        May 28, 2013 at 7:29 am

        Thanks Nasim for your interesting review. Since you wrote this article there have been many changes in monitor technologies. e.g. Samsungs’ Super PLS. You mentioned you have been using Samsung for the last few years. Do you have any recent recommendation for a 27′ monitor of this brand?

  10. 10) Mads Færch
    September 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm


    I just came across this blog looking for an IPS monitor.. Aaaand I couldn’t help but notice that you say that LED-lit monitors is an entirely new category of displays.

    They’re not.

    LED monitors are still LCD panels, and I can’t emphasize this enough(!!!), they are just backlit by Light Emitting Diodes (LED) instead of CCFL as we’re used to.. It’s not a new type of display – nothing’s really different. What’s lighting the monitor is just more efficient, brighter and doesn’t need to warm up. Don’t believe all the marketing BS retail stores are shoving down your throats!

    OLED on the other hand – now THAT’s a new type of display technology… But you can google that yourself.

    Sorry if I came across as some know-it-all-guy.

    • October 4, 2010 at 11:08 am

      Mads Faerch, I did not say anywhere that LED-lit monitors are entirely new category of displays, I just said “LED”, which is basically “OLED” in today’s terms. LED-backlit monitors are still LCD and they are definitely not OLED, as you have pointed out above.

      Thank you for your feedback, I truly appreciate it and please do not be sorry – this is very important for those who are looking at LED-backlit monitors, thinking they are much different from LCDs.

  11. 11) Andy
    October 29, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Out of about 50 website reviews I found this one covered many points clearly and concisely. The only problem is that things change in a matter of months :-)
    Anyway, now I know what to look for when I go shopping – thanks.

    • November 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm

      Andy, that’s true – it is hard to keep up with all the new stuff that comes out pretty much on a daily basis :-)

    • 11.2) Betty
      July 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      Just get an EIZO or NEC.
      They blow everything else out of the water.

  12. 12) Nitin
    November 3, 2010 at 6:57 pm


    I want to purchases new monitor. I am professional graphic designer, & color is most important for me. you say above that IPS panel is good for about colors. I want to buy 22 inch monitor. I am looking Dell UltraSharp U2211H. Is it good for me or can suggest other monitors in 22 inches. One other thing I want to tell that I also play games. so its also good for games or not ? dell website say its 8ms (Gray to Gray). its good for all game or not ? and i don’t understand properly mean of 8ms. & what is the different between 8ms & 5ms. hi is 8ms or 5ms create major difference. what is (Gray to Gray). some lcd say that ( black to white), what is that ?

    Color is most important because of my profession & then for game. Will you suggest Dell UltraSharp U2211H for my profession & for games.

    PLz help me, I am so confused, can you reply me fast because of I am looking monitor & purchasing with in 2or 3 weeks.

    So plz fast


    • November 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm

      Nitin, yes, an IPS panel is what you want if you want good color reproduction. Look at the monitor database link that I provided in the article and search for the monitor you want to buy. If it says IPS, it should be a safe buy.

  13. 13) winsig
    November 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Excellent article Nasim… I wish I had run across it two weeks earlier, my
    research to replace my 19″ CRT monitor with a quality photographic type
    display would have been so much easier. I too came to the same conclusion as
    you that the Dell U2410 seems to be a very good monitor. I noticed it has great
    specs and some extra features that are unique (Picture-in-Picture and
    Picture-by-Picture Multi-Views ) plus a good price, especially when on sale.

    I would just like to make a couple of comments if I may:

    As far as i know, HP seems to have a very real problem with customer support.
    They make good products but they apparently do not stand behind them.

    Also, Eizo monitors are excellent ( and very pricey) but they seem to have a
    very slow refresh rate. I think they are excellent for stills but I have no idea how they might be for videos.

    And, as # 16 mentioned, OLED is not LED. From what I’ve seen in my recent
    research, if a screen is OLED the retailer is more than happy to say so. The same seems to be true for LED backlit LCD screens.

    Thanks for a great article….

    • November 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      Winsig, thank you for your feedback.

      You are right about OLED not being LED. I have just read a technical document that shows differences between the two. Seems like “LED” is a name for a product that sits between LCD and OLED, so it is basically a hybrid display.

  14. 14) Walter
    November 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Ok I’m looking at the possibility of either the Eizo SX2462W,or the Apple 27″ LED both are IPS monitors. This monitor will become the primary monitor in my photography studio. Which one would you recommend and why?

    • December 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm

      Walter, I personally like the Apple IPS monitors, since they look cooler than Eizo :)

      Other than that, I do not own both so I cannot make a good comparison.

      • 14.1.1) Billy
        June 20, 2014 at 11:48 am

        With respect that is really dumb advice.
        Do you want to look cool or do you want an accurate display?
        An Eizo monitor will run rings round any Apple display any day of the week.

  15. 15) Walter
    December 21, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Hi Nasim:

    I took a good look at both monitors and I have decided to go with the Ezio. The Ezio worked out to be about a $100.00 USD more expensive, and came with a 5 year warranty. I feel that, 2 extra years is probably worth the 100 bucks. What took me away from the Apple Cinema display was the glossy screen, I have worked on a few laptops with a glossy screen and it drove me a little crazy with me constantly changing my position to look at various parts of screen.

    The Ezio works for me, but I am writing this to thank you for a very helpful Blog.


    • January 6, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Thank you for your feedback Walter, glad you found what you were looking for! Eizo monitors are superb!

    • 15.2) Betty
      July 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      You are exactly right mon ami.
      Glossy screens are rubbish for photo editing especially if you are making prints.
      For photography we are trying to lower brightness and contrast not increase it with glossy screens.

  16. 16) Dave
    January 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks for the info Nasim.

    I’m actually a videographer, but am also looking for a LCD monitor as I do all my own editing (up to now on my macbook pro).

    I’m actually looking for something under 20″ in size as I’ll be driving down to Central America and don’t want too big an item in the car. Plus once I get down to where I’m going, I’ll need to be able to stash the monitor quickly when I go out (for security). I was looking at the Dell 2211H but I’m afraid it might be slightly too big …

    Was also looking at a Dell 1909W but it sounds like the technology in that one is a little behind the time for HD editing.


    • February 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      Dave, I apologize for a late response. The Dell u2211H is a very good IPS panel. You certainly do not want to get something like the 1909W, since it is a TN panel. For your type of work, I would go with an IPS panel for better color reproduction.

      • 16.1.1) Fred
        October 24, 2011 at 11:08 am

        Will the Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24-in Widescreen IPS High Performance Monitor be good for PC gaming?


        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          October 26, 2011 at 12:41 am

          Fred, absolutely! 8ms response time is more than enough for most games out there.

  17. 17) Debby
    January 23, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Your article is great, Thank you! I am doing more in studio presentations of clients animal photo proofs. (The shoots are always on location at clients house/stable.) Can I just get a larger monitor to hook into my laptop? Or, should I get an HDTV or the projectors which I’m guessing is not as ideal anymore…(Right now I have an ASUS 18″(?) laptop I work on. I really don’t want to spend over $2000 and $1,000 would be more in my budget.


    • February 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      Debby, your best bet would be to get one of those nice LED TVs that they sell in Best Buy. You can get a 30-40 inch LED TV for less than $1,000 nowadays – just make sure that it is 1080p, so that your images look good on the screen and that the TV has a VGA/DVI input so that you can connect your laptop to it.

  18. February 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Thank so much. I tried to get my ASUS hooked up to the 1080 tv in the living room and it didn’t recognize it/work. I think I’ll bring it to Best Buy and have them hook it up to a tv in the store. :=)

  19. 19) Avo
    February 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Hello Nasim,

    I’ve done quite a bit of research but I have not been able to decide on the following three monitors:
    1. HP ZR22W, s-ips
    2. Dell U2311H, e-ips
    3. NEC EA231WMi, e-ips

    They are all under the $300 dollar range. I am an architecture student and do 3d rendering/modeling, using systems like CAD, MAYA, Rhino, Maxwell. My thoughts:

    ZR22W size would not be a big problem, I am buying two. How comparable is it to the ZR24W?
    U2311H has been criticized for bad uniformity and not best colors.
    NEC EA 231WMi has great reviews, but is it outdated in comparison to ZR22W?

    Any advice would help, I am having a hard time committing to either of these. Or do you recommend any other within this range?

    Thank you,

    • March 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      Avo, I think the HP ZR22W looks like the best buy in this case.

  20. 20) Paula Brown
    March 13, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I am an amateur photographer and am seriously considering the Dell U2711 monitor. First of all, do you like this monitor and secondly, how do I deal with possible problems as Dell does not have a store front (In Ottawa, Canada). Thanks. I loved your article!

  21. 21) Jodi
    March 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks for all this info. I’m a professional photographer and I’m currently working on a 15″ Macbook Pro. I need a bigger screen so I was considering a bigger monitor that I can hook up to our PC and my MAC as the program I want to use for wedding albums isn’t yet made for a MAC.

    I was looking at the ASUS PA246Q Black 24″ 6ms P-IPS Height/Swivel/Pivot Adjustable LCD Monitor w/2 USB hub, Card Reader & Display port 400cd/m2 50000:1 DCR that I found on but I prefer to spend less and I don’t need all their extra features. I do like that it swivels for the vertical shot but I don’t think I need the USB port as I will be importing all my photos into my MAC anyhow.

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

    • 21.1) Paula Brown
      April 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      I just bought the ASUS PA246Q and so far it is fabulous!

      • 21.1.1) Betty
        July 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm

        Good choice.

  22. 22) Francis
    May 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    What is your opinion on the imac in regards to the glossy glass reflective screen.

    I know most say its personal preference, but is there a legitimate concern with this type of dispay in regards to photo editing that should make someone reconsider the purchase for something else with a Matte finish instead, like dell etc..?


  23. 23) Judy
    May 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I bought a terrific NEC monitor that would not/could not connect with my MACbook for love or money
    (NEC and APPLE both officially gave up after 3 days and multiple downloads, cables,
    Just to be sure, do the monitors you recommend in the mid-range like macbooks? (or more specifically, ‘recognize’ macbooks?)

  24. June 22, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Nasim, I like most of your advice, and I definitely plan on referring to it if/when I buy a new monitor. I would take issue only with one recommendation:
    “Widescreen instead of square (because most DSLR cameras produce widescreen images)”

    Personally, I hate “shortscreen” (because most of the time, that’s what “widescreen” is) – and if you do most of your photography in portrait orientation, as I do, it’s of very little use. Unfortunately, the vast majority of new monitors are of widescreen design, so it’s almost a moot point now. You could rotate your monitor to have the long axis vertical, but that kind of stinks for most other desktop work…I guess the only answer is to have two monitors, one horizontal and one vertical!

  25. 25) JosiahNC
    July 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    My question is this. Many photographers use their Macbook Pro laptops to view the shots as they fire them. I want to utilize this option because my 17″MBP has an amazing screen and it would enable me to instantly know that I got the shot while the lights reset. Is there any way to connect my Canon 7D to my MBP using the MBP as a monitor only?

    And great article! Thanks for breaking down all of the different types.. I couldn’t understand why the differences were so drastic before reading this. Apple cinema displays are quite great for editing. I have to agree with you. I find that I can see the most subtle flaws when editing! Good tools create powerful results.

  26. 26) Jason
    July 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Hello Nasim Mansurov! Thank you for this helpful article. After reading this, I decided to look for a new monitor for my editing . So I just have a minimum wallet to spend on the new monitor. I was looking for a lot of monitor from brands you mentioned on the article and I found NEC EA232WMI-BK . So would u please look over this for me and give me your opinion about this one. Thanks.

  27. 27) Nicks Bahaddarpure
    July 26, 2011 at 10:50 pm


    Ame ziiiing yar

  28. 28) Igor
    August 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Very useful article. Thank you. I am not a professional photographer but too much into it as a hobby. Considering Viewsonic VP2365wb. Mostly for photo editing and graphic design. Any insights with the regards to this particular model. The price of that unit is very attractive, simply hard to believe, considering specs. it has. Thanks.

  29. 29) Christian
    August 8, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Hi all,

    What do you guys think of using the new 27-inch Apple LED Cinema Display as monitor for photography? Would the glossy screen be an exclusion criterion for you?


    • August 8, 2011 at 8:44 am

      Christian, Apple LED monitors are IPS, so they are among the top choices for photography.

      • 29.1.1) Christian
        August 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

        Many thanks, Nasim.

        I currently have a 23-inch Apple Cinema Display and need bigger screen. Since I am highly pleased with this display, I would like to stay with Apple. I often read that glossy screens would not be the first choice for photographers due to calibration issues. But now, I will go for it.

        Best regards, Christian

        • Betty
          July 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm

          No Christian, don’t.
          Apple screens are too bright and cannot be dimmed enough to permit accurate calibration without running into problems.
          Also they are glossy – a bad thing for photo editing.

  30. 30) gareth
    August 30, 2011 at 2:36 am

    I’m a firm believer that it’s good to learn something new every day and I’ve just learned a valuable amount form discovering your article.
    I’m presently looking for a monitor no bigger than 21″ and I understand now what to look for. You say there are ‘too many to mention’ in the budget section…but could you mention just a couple to get me started?….thanks for your good work.

    • October 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      Gareth, I updated the article with some 23″ IPS monitor recommendations for the low budget. Hope this helps.

  31. November 23, 2011 at 4:45 am


    You have an error in your article — IPS panels can also use dithering. There are different types of IPS panels (P-IPS, H-IPS, S-IPS, E-IPS, etc) which have different features and quality.

    For example, Dell U2412M which you wrote about actually has 6-bit + AFR dithering. It is based on E-IPS panel and while it can work with full 8 bits according to specs, Dell opted to 6-bit + dithering to be able to make it so affordable.

  32. 32) Eugene
    December 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Hi Nassim,

    EIZO monitors can work with both sRGB and Adobe RGB color space (the technical specification). This also applies to Apple Cinema Display monitor and display for the Mac Book Pro laptop? The technical specification of color spaces is not even mentioned.

    Best regards, Eugene

  33. 33) Chad Garcia
    December 5, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Thank you for taking the time to answer all of these questions. I just purchased an LED 1080p television to use as my primary monitor. I am connecting via a DVI to HDMI cable. While the picture is bright and vivid, I am not getting accurate colors. Any photo that I edit looks great on the new monitor but terrible on all others. I have tried to calibrate using the tv menu, the Windows menu, and the graphic card’s menu and I have not come close. Did I make a bad purchase or is there a way to calibrate this HDTV to use as a monitor?

  34. December 7, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Exceptionally well information you have shared here. We really impressed with your great information

  35. 35) Adrian
    December 10, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Dear Nasim,
    I am going to by a desktop + monitor which will be used for Photoshop CS5 frequent working. I am interested in editing but not a pro. Could you please give some advice regarding an optimal solution for this ? You can write about both Windows and Mac. At monitor I am interested in the least harmful for eyes. Thank you very much.

  36. 36) Greg Stanley
    December 15, 2011 at 7:57 am


    Regarding your medium budget IPS monitor recommendations–specifically, the Dell and Asus– do I need to also buy a colorimeter or other calibration device to ensure screen vs printer accuracy? Or, are there enough “controls” on the monitors to get it calibrated/synched with a Canon or Epson printer?


  37. 37) Iliyan Videnov
    December 23, 2011 at 7:46 am


    I am on a very low budget and need a monitor as soon as possible. I am relatively new to digital photography (I have NEX-5n) and I will use the monitor mainly to view photos and apply minor edits. Can You please give an opinion on LG IPS225V? I have also read that it is factory color calibrated and according to some reviews it gets relatively good results. Here are the specifications :

    Series: IPS LED Monitor
    Screen size: 21.5′ (54.61 cms)
    Resolution: 1920 x 1080
    Brightness (nit): 250
    Contrast Ratio (DFC): 5000000:1
    Response Time(ms): 5ms (GTG (σ))
    HDCP: Yes
    HDMI: Yes
    178/178 viewing angle
    Price: £99, $155, €118


  38. 38) Kevin Duane
    January 20, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Thank you; seems this article is still providing good advice. I’m leaning toward the EIZO monitors but wanted to do some research on video cards before I jump into that. After all; the best monitor in the world will be far less effective if a weak video card is selected. Unfortunately I have seen “professional” cards priced from a few hundred bucks to almost $12K. Can you provide any guidence here?

    thanks again,

    • 38.1) Betty
      July 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      The video card is not that important for photo editing – not like for gaming or 3D design, etc..
      Most decent cards are plenty good enough.
      The Eizo does not use the computers 8 bit video card, it uses its own 14bit LUT – orders of magnitude better and more accurate.

  39. February 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Any comments on tablet/monitors such as the Wacom Cintiq 24HD (H-IPS)? The Cintiqs as I am sure you know are designed to be drawn on, as they a fancy tablet. Would you consider them a monitor which I know owners also use them as such? Of course, they are expensive.

    Thanks, Allan

  40. 40) Lyn
    February 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I have many slides to scan. They are all 4:3 ratio. How does this work out with a 24″ monitor? Are there black parts left and right, or will the slides be cut of on the screen?

  41. 41) Kula
    February 20, 2012 at 9:53 am


    Firstly, thank you so much for the article. This is the first time I am hearing about IPS and other monitor types. I am looking for a good monitor for photo editing. Have decided Dell 2410 since you have the same and I wanted to be like you :o). My question is, should my Windows PC have a specific hardware and software config? I have an Intel i5 with 4 gb ram. I think this is sufficient. Should the graphics card matter? If so, what is recommended for graphics card? video ram etc.
    Also, should I calibrate the monitor as soon as hook it up with the PC? Thank you in advance.

  42. 42) Matt
    March 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm


    Great article. I am not a photographer (professional or hobbyist) but I am getting ready to digitize quite a few old photos, slides, and negatives. I am spending most of my modest budget on a new scanner so I don’t have much left for the monitor. I have a Dell 1908fp. I’ve learned here that it’s not a great monitor for this kind of work. The question is, can I make it work? Is it worth it to spend the little bit that I have remaining in my budget to get Spyder 3 Express to calibrate this monitor? If not, bearing in mind that I’m on a limited budget, how is my money better spent?

    • March 16, 2012 at 12:09 am

      Matt, I would get an IPS monitor, even a small one instead of buying calibration software. You will not be able to get much out of a crappy monitor with calibration software…

  43. 43) George
    March 15, 2012 at 6:07 am


    Very informative article. However as you mentioned in it, the technology changes quite rapidly & just wondering if it all still applies today 3/2012? You mentioned above the article was updated but that was posted Oct 2011. As of March 2012 does it all still apply and/or is there something new we should look at. I recently bought a MacBook Pro 15″ after years of Windows.
    There are so many brands to choose from. I do Pro Photography work & now understand my color problems. Anyway, I have a budget of $1,200 to 1,500 US. Any recommendations in today’s market/technology? Should I stick w/Apple or consider other brands. Pro Photographer sites recommend other brands but don’t go into their reasons like you have. Any advice is GREATLY
    Thank you :)

    • March 16, 2012 at 12:07 am

      George, yes, the article still applies as of today. In fact, I went back and added some products that I recommend – the Dell U2710 is now my top choice for photography – it is a large and beautiful monitor with much better specs than my Dell U2410. For your budget, it would be a perfect fit. Any other 27″ IPS monitor from another brand will cost you over $2K…

      • 43.1.1) Roger
        June 25, 2012 at 10:42 am

        Hello Nasim,
        the Dell U2711 is on my list. I recently saw a lot of comments talking about the anti-glare coating. Many people complain that the coating would destroy the image quality of the monitor. What are your experiences with the coating? Is that an issue for you?
        Any advice is appreciated. Keep going with your valuable infos!
        Thank you.

  44. 44) Linda M.
    March 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Your write up here was very informative. I was wondering what you thought of the Samsung monitor?
    I am working with an older Mac powerbook and need a monitor for editing my photos.

  45. 45) Derek
    March 29, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Hi Nasim,
    I am looking at purchasing a monitor to do photo editing from my laptop but connecting and using the monitor as the display. Would this still work and produce the quality colours I need to print professional quality prints or would I need to buy a new PC?

    • 45.1) Derek
      March 29, 2012 at 3:19 am

      If I can still get professional quality colours by using my laptop I, would you recommend me getting a quality 27 inch monitor laptop (under $1000) or goin for a 24 inch better quality monitor.

      PS. Thanks for the information, it has been a great help.

  46. 46) joanne
    April 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    sorry if I’m repeating a question here.

    I do some nom-professional photo editing but would still like to get the best product for my needs.
    Currently I’m debating between a 13″inch MacPro (glossy screen) and a Sony Vaio SE23FDB (anti glare screen).

    Any comments on glossy vs. antiglare?
    I’d use the bootcamp on the Mac to do editing in my website since the programs on PC.


  47. 47) Scott
    April 2, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I find your website very interesting and informative, but I am very confused about monitors for use with digital photography editing. A couple of leading photo magazines have been addressing the monitor issues and recommend using a high quality LCD monitor over the LED units saying the LED screens are too bright and too blue. They even advise against the newer Mac monitors due to their brightness and color even though the monitor will be calibrated.

    I am planning on purchasing a new Mac Mini for photo work but now I am confused what monitor to purchase for it. I see in your information here that you are recommending some monitor that use LED assisted lighting, not just LCD.

    Can you clear this up for me?

    Thanks for some great information on your website.


    • 47.1) Lyn
      April 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      The LED’s in a monitor are not good for your eyes, your eyes will be tired very quick. ( I did some research some time ago.)
      I bought a HP IPS monitor and are very happy with it.

  48. 48) Tiff
    April 3, 2012 at 12:08 am

    I am a newer photographer. I don’t have a huge budget–I’ve been saving knowing that my photo editing is lacking greatly due to monitor quality. I am debating between the Dell U2412M UltraSharp 24″ LED Monitor or Viewsonic VP2365-LED 23″ Widescreen LED Computer Monitor–they are currently close in price range. I’ve read many, many reviews on them both. I am leaning toward the the Viewsonic because most people say it’s better calibrated out of the box (need to save longer for calibrating software), but the Dell is a bigger screen. What is the difference in a 23″ vs 24″ monitor, and how much should that factor in my choice? AND should I wait a little longer to get a Dell UltraSharp U2410 24″ Widescreen LCD Monitor when I save more money? What’s different about the 2412 vs. the 2410?

    • 48.1) Benjamin
      April 11, 2012 at 1:00 am

      Tagging-on re: the U2412M vs. Viewsonic…been narrowing down the field for my next monitor and am debating between the two as well. Tiff — as far as 2412 vs. 2410, from what I’ve seen the big diff. is the more expensive Dell is 8-bit while it’s sister is 6-bit…not sure how that translates to color-depth and all that, been hoping to read from anyone who may have or used both.

  49. April 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Do you have any comments on the Wacom Cintique line of monitors? A lot of photographers, designers, and digital artists use these.

  50. 50) Michael
    May 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Ok. When I have my pictures printed, they appear somewhat “dark”. Not underexposed, but just dark. Any suggestions?

    • 50.1) Betty
      August 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      They are dark because your monitor is not well calibrated.
      You can solve this by either really accurately profiling your monitor against a reference print or soft proofing your image and making a brightness adjustment on an adjustment layer before flattening the layers for printing.

  51. 51) Pranab Jyoti Goswami
    May 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Dear Sir,

    After reading your topic in regard to monitor, I planned to upgrade my monitor from Asus VW192T to Asus 23inch LCD Monitor (PA238Q).

    Before I decide to make the purchase, I need some advice from you.
    As you mentioned in “What to look for in a monitor” : 04. # Large monitor size of 21 inches and above (preferably 24 inches and higher at 1920×1200 resolution and above). But the Asus PA238Q has only 1920 x 1080 with 16:9. If I go for Asus 24inch PA246Q I can get 1920 X 1200 with 16:10. As PA246Q have 16:10 aspect ratio. It is better than 16:9 but the price difference is too much. Here I need your advice, would it be better to wait and save for PA246Q or purchase PA238Q. I am waiting for your kind reply.

    Thanking you
    With regards

  52. 52) Jonathan
    May 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    LED is not the same as OLED. With regard to current display technology, LED is only a different back lighting method. An LED monitor still uses an LCD panel but uses LED back lighting. OLED is completely different. OLED will replace LCD, not LED.

  53. 53) Richard Boe
    May 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

    After reading your article on photography monitors I started thinking about my Vizio 32″ LCD tv I’m currently using as a computer monitor, thus photo monitor. To watch tv, I have the settings set to “rich color, hi contrast, extra sharp” and so on. After your aricle I went back and set all of the adjustment settings for the picture to normal or standard, and all the sliders to the middle or 50%. Wow, what a difference re – setting made to my pics, which now appear like they all need exposure added! It’s obvious that the settings on the tv or monitor will affect how I adjust all of the sliders in Lightroom, because the tv makes the photo appear . . . for lack of a better term, psuedo processed. The question then is how do I know where to set the tv / monitor? With the settings I have now even the tv programs look a little flat. What do I do? Thanks in advance for any advice.

    • 53.1) Martha
      May 24, 2014 at 3:39 am

      Did you ever get a response to this? I also have a 32″ Vizio and have the same question.

      • 53.1.1) Betty
        August 10, 2014 at 3:32 pm

        Richard and Martha
        Start reading about colour management and calibration….
        I find it amazing that photographers are producing digital images without the slightest clue about the importance of managing color.
        It’s rather like trying to write a book with no knowledge of grammar.
        The result cannot be good.

  54. 54) James Bartolyni
    June 6, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Hi Nasim,

    “The best monitors in the industry today, without a doubt, are Eizo’s ColorEdge and FlexScan monitors”
    I find the above statement too bold to substantiate. Ever heard of NEC’s ‘SpectraView’ Series? Or the highly reputable (in fashion & broadcast industry) German brand Quato whose ‘Intelli Proof’ series has proved unbeatable at any price point? I think you need to be careful with wording as that could prove misleading to your audience. B&H may not stock Quato monitors BUT that should not be a reason to make them less favourable!!!!

    Many thanks.


    • 54.1) Betty
      August 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Richard and Martha
      Start reading about colour management and calibration….
      I find it amazing that photographers are producing digital images without the slightest clue about the importance of managing color.
      It’s rather like trying to write a book with no knowledge of grammar.
      The result cannot be good.

    • 54.2) Betty
      August 10, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      James Bartlyni

      Well said.
      EIZO are undoubtedly great but NEC are equally good.
      For me EIZO win by offering a 5 year virtually unconditional guarantee as well as supplying you with a loaner screen identical to your own while it’s away being fixed.
      Try that with B&H.
      Sadly Quato have gone out of business and they might just have been the best of all.
      Big dealers tend to stock the lowest common denominator and don’t have much interest in selling low numbers of anything…they want to pile ’em high and sell ’em cheap.
      The more discerning market is smaller and is served by smaller specialist dealers.

  55. 55) John
    June 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Thanks mate, a great post.
    I just got an ips monitor based on your advice, the guy in the shop did not even know what he was selling. Lucky for people like you sharing your knowledge.
    Thanks again

  56. 56) Julie
    June 18, 2012 at 12:30 am


    really love you site
    how can i view in full view mode with a 23″ monitor ?
    i have always a left and right borders :(


  57. June 28, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I’ve been using this excellent article as a buying guide for the lower priced monitors. However, those that are listed (Asus PA238Q, NEC EA232WMI-BK,Viewsonic VP2365-LED) have been replaced and are now hard to find. The reviews of the newer models have not been very good. Can you update your recommendations for low budget end? Thank you!

  58. 58) Danielle
    July 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    This was very helpful, thank you.

  59. 59) Scoot
    July 27, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Thank you for all of your hard work sharing your considerable knowledge with others. I eagerly check your website daily and enjoy the articles. My Dell U2410 display does not display photos with the high resolution and color that the U2410 should. My set up is a U2410/Macbook Pro 13″ 2010 model connected with a hdmi 1.3 version cable and Kandex hdmi to mini display port adapter. Pictures on the MBP’s 1280 x 800 monitor is sharper and has more vibrant and richer colors that the U2410. Eyelashes are considerably sharper on the MBP. The MBP Detect Display function states that the U2410 is being displayed at 1900 x 1200. The video card supports higher resolutions. You have two U2410s. What do you think causing the display problem on the U2410?

    • July 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Scoot, HDMI is not a good way to hook up a digital monitor. Can you try hooking up your laptop with a DVI monitor cable instead?

      • 59.1.1) Scoot
        July 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm

        Nasim, it was Dell’s Technical support that told me I would get best resolution with a HDMI cable. I will try your DVI cable suggestion. Do you have any recommendation for brand of adapter to connect the DVI cable to to my MBP’s mini display port? This is so because my MBP does not have any DVI port, only a mini display port, Thunderbolt and hdmi.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          August 1, 2012 at 1:02 am

          Scoot, the monitor can take a display port cable, which is probably the best way to connect. Can you see if you can find a mini DP to regular DP cable? I do not have much experience with Macs, so I cannot really be very helpful with the cabling, sorry :(

          • Scoot
            August 2, 2012 at 7:38 pm

            No change with the mini DP to regular DP cable. Any other suggestions? Research on the web indicates a lot of problems with Dell monitors and Macs.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              August 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm

              Scoot, I really don’t have any other suggestions :( I use a PC, so I do not know how well it works with Macs…

    • 59.2) Steve
      August 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Have you try calibrating the display? That may be required as the Mac and PC typically don’t use the same gamma and some other different parameters.

  60. 60) Steve
    August 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Hi Nasim. Interesting article.

    I will be buying a MBP with retina in the next few weeks. I recently had a MBP 2008 and an iMac 27″, and I love to the screen size and quality.

    I’ve been looking for an external monitor to go with it. I was initially tempted by the Apple Thunderbold Display. But I also work from home sometimes with a Windows PC, an would like to have one display for the 2 computers.

    I’ve seen the Dell UltraSharp U2711 in the past, and was very tempted by it. But, if you read the comments on the product link you provided in your article, you will see that some people do not like the matte/anti-glare coating. Since I’m going to use it for photo editing on the Mac, I wonder if you ever saw it in person and can testify it is OK to be use for that task, or you are just refering to the specs?

    Otherwise, which other 27″ high resolution (not those 27″ with a resolution of 1080p, like most 24″) would you recommend?

    • August 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      Steve, personally, I would rather have a matte screen than a glossy one that reflects like crazy. Some people take the matte screen off (you can find videos on youtube) and are quite happy. Also, check out the comments above about Dell/Mac compatibility. You might want to make sure that the screen works with your mac before you buy.

      • 60.1.1) Steve
        August 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm

        Hi Nasim,

        According to some comments on the Dell product page, many tried it with a Mac and it work. I do not see why any display would not work with ay computer if they use the same standard (DVI, HDMI, VGA, Display Port). And the Macabook retina have an HDMI connector, which should be great with the Dell.

        I’m more concern with people that talk about the matte screen preventing them from doing design work and such. It is not that I want a glare screen, but the matte does have to be invisible when working with images.

        But you did not answer a crucial question: have you seen it for real, or you only saw the specs as I did?

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          August 9, 2012 at 1:46 am

          Steve, I have two U2410 at home and the U2711 is my primary monitor in the office. Does that count as “seen”? Both have exactly the same matte screen and I have no problems with them.

  61. 61) Steve
    August 8, 2012 at 8:17 pm
    • 61.1) Tyson Reist
      July 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      I own one. It is superb. The Pa272W which is LED backlit and now retails for the same as the 271 used to is outstanding. You can also use them with a standard i1 profiler along with spectra view software. They have a 10-bit LUT and outstanding edge to edge performance. The panels are the same that Eizo uses before they perform additional optimizations.

      • 61.1.1) Betty
        July 17, 2014 at 3:55 pm

        And why do you think Eizo consider it necessary to carry out additional optimisations?
        You know the answer don’t you?

  62. 62) Aaron
    August 19, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Hello Nasim!

    What about Dell U3011 monitor? Where does it stand? No mention of it on your page.


  63. September 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

    thanks for the good information on monitors.
    I’m in the market to replace my dead 24imac, with mac pro + monitor.
    read several good reviews on the dell u2711 and also found the samsung s27a850D which is in the same price range.
    Curious to know since the origination of this post in 2010 of any other mid-range 27 monitors you might suggest.
    Also any thoughts on the new mac pros and which processor, ram configuration to use.
    Using d700 raw files.
    PS4, LR, autopan pro,nik software
    old imac with 3g ram was stuggleing with the bigger files.
    would ideally like things to process quickly without breaking the bank.
    thanks for any suggestions.

  64. 64) Andy
    November 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Thank You! It was best advice ever I found about photographic monitor!

  65. 65) Steve Hammond
    November 12, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Nasim, or anyone, have seen the new Dell U2713? Is it any good?

  66. 66) frank
    December 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    im considering a new monitor for photo editing. is it ok to use something like the UltraSharpTM U2410 Monitor with my dell laptop?

  67. 67) Georgi Petrov
    December 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Thank you Nasim for all of your hard work sharing your knowledge with others !!!
    I have brief question about UltraSharpTM U2410.
    (Thank you for recommending the monitor,good choice!)
    I shoot in Raw,edit in Photoshop ( Adobe RGB )
    Still confuse how should i set my monitor Preset mode : in “standart”,”Rgb” or “Srgb” mode,during editing
    ? How do you work ,in which mode Nasim?
    Thank you much in advance!!!

  68. 68) Yon
    January 18, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Hi Nasim! I have been referring to your website for purchasing a monitor for my photography use… I ran across TFT monitors. How are they compared to the IPS monitors?? I surfed on line to see what the differences are but what I found weren’t very helpful. I would like your opinion on this. Thank you!

    • June 11, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Please see my article regarding TFT above. If you are serious about colors, don’t buy a TFT monitor.

  69. 69) andre
    February 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Hi all, every time I post a comment I never get an answer but ill try again anyways!!
    I bought the Dell u2711 and the spyder pro 4 based on the recommendation of this website but I am disapointed!! I try to keep the temperature of the monitor around 5800k and the brightness between 10-20%
    I dont mind the grainy look of the anti-glare and I tought this would be a advantage for my vision .
    But god I was wrong. This monitor is so bad on my vision its like im always working to get focus.
    After more than 30 minutes I get Dizzy with nausea and sometimes it last since the morning after.
    Dont get me wrong there is nothing wrong with my eyes I’ve got checked.

    should I have gotten the NEC PA24 … I’ve read on different websites that its the anti-glare that cause headaches ,dizziness, nausea etc… to a lot of people especially if you try to read text with it but I dont I just edit picture. THe NEC also has that anti-glare.
    Some say not to put the brightness so low but between 10-20% is whats recommended for photography and it what my spyder pro4 tells me to do.
    So what should I do, what monitor do I need to edit my picture in the same price range without being being a target to epilepsy.? the resale price is around only 600$ so ill loose money with this …. I just want to get whats good for me the next time so that doesnt happens again!!
    It should be more talked about on monitor reviews that some monitors really causes nausea and dizzyness!!
    Your help will be greatly appreciated
    thank you

    • June 11, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Andre, I use the U2410 and U2711 and I have no problems with dizziness. Perhaps you should look at an anti-glare monitor, but I would first recommend to go to a local store like Best Buy and see if it matters or not. As far as calibration and brightness, my Dell monitors are very solid.

    • 69.2) Betty
      January 27, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      I get dizzy spells too when I mix my Prozac with methylated spirits.
      I don’t recommend it.

  70. 70) vishal
    March 23, 2013 at 1:16 am


  71. 71) Droobs
    July 30, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Hi, I noticed that this article wsa posted last 2010 and is wondering if you have new recommendations. At first I was eyeing on the Dell U2413 but I just saw the LG 27EA83-D, would you think either one is a good option?

    • 71.1) Steve Hammond
      July 30, 2013 at 11:57 am

      I think this article needs to be revisited overall: panel technology has evolved since 2010.

      As for the Dell xx13 series, I heard that they suffer major light leak problems in the corners. A friend of mine bought a 2713HM and was really disappointed. I have not seen the display myself tho…

      • 71.1.1) Billy
        June 20, 2014 at 11:43 am

        P panel technology does not matter one jot if you cannot adust the panel with sufficient flexibility or accuracy….

  72. August 30, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I’m a newly professional photographer. I do real estate photography and things on the side. I have only printed a handful of times, using labs like Bay photo and Mpix. I have an old Apple cinema display, that has TN technology. Since I don’t view it from extreme angles, I can’t really notice those deficiencies. I use a spider to calibrate this monitor, and I don’t seem to get any surprises when I print. I do a lot of retouching for my clients though. I noticed a Dell monitor (Dell UltraSharp U2412 24-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor), that had great reviews and an attractive prices. My question would be, would I see a dramatic improvement from what I currently have? Furthermore, out of curiosity, I went to Eizo’s website and cross-referenced their models. I found some models in the 400-700 dollar range. Will these types of monitors give me the performance that reflects this brands prestige? Examples inlcude:

    Eizo Nanao – EIZO FlexScan EV2436W-FS
    EIZO Foris FS2333-BK 23-Inch Screen LCD Monitor
    FlexScan EV2336W 23″ LED LCD Monitor – 16:9 – 6 ms


    • 72.1) Betty
      December 21, 2014 at 5:14 am

      Mike Kojoori
      The viewing angle is not the only consideration.
      TN screens are simply inaccurate out of the box and cannot be properly calibrated.
      You will see improvements if you use the Dell – but not great ones.
      Eizo’s more budget monitors are very good indeed but I would stick with the Flexscans as these have proper hardware controls and can be satisfactorily calibrated. The others are intended more for office/commercial/medical use and not so well suited fot photographic imaging.
      Hope that helps.

  73. 73) Bob F
    September 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I have many slides which I want to scan into digital format. Do you have any reviews of photo scanners or service provider recommendations? I have about 1K slides and think I want to buy my own scanner, etc. Many thanks,

    • 73.1) Betty
      December 21, 2014 at 11:28 am

      If they are within your budget I would buy a second hand Nikon 8000, 9000ED, 5000 ED or one of the Minolta Dimage series – fabulous quality.

  74. 74) Lena
    September 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Bob, I have scanned many slides with Reflecta Digit Dia 5000, software Vuescan and correcting profles by Wolf Faust. You can find also information on


  75. 75) bart
    October 3, 2013 at 8:10 am

    hey what Dell laptop would you recommend?

  76. 76) Eddie
    October 5, 2013 at 7:47 am

    For newest information you have to goo to see the web and on
    web I found this web site as a best web page
    for most up-to-date updates.

  77. 77) GareyG
    January 17, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Hi Nasim,
    I’m just starting out in my business and I’m on a limited budget. My cheap HP monitor (TN display), although calibrated weekly, is producing very inconsistent results with my print lab’s printers. Not surprising at all, but admittedly I was plagued with wishful thinking!

    I looked to your site for help, and found this article. I need help choosing a good, reliable monitor within my budget and to my surprise, I found that the Dell U2410 that you so highly recommend is now priced below $300. I’m seriously thinking of purchasing this monitor based on your recommendation, but since so much time has gone by since this article was written, I thought I’d check in to see if you have any other recommendations that keep me within my $300 budget.
    Note: HDMI is not important to me as my current computer does not have an HDMI output.

    Thanks for all you do!

    • 77.1) Betty
      July 19, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Your printer’s monitor may not be calibrated, in which case he is not seeing what you are sending him.
      Are you sending him tagged correctly files and is his set up recognising and honouring those profiles.
      If not, nothing you send him will ever match your expectations.

      • 77.1.1) Betty
        December 21, 2014 at 5:06 am

        First, I do my own printing and am fortunate enough to be able to use an Eizo monitor and an Epson 4900 Pro prrinter.
        Second, if your printer’s monitor is not calibrated, you should be looking for a new printer.
        It is simply not acceptable or professional and amounts to printing by guesswork.
        So you are right, if the printer’s monitor is not calibrated, he will have absolutely no idea of how the image the photographer sent him is intended to look.
        A great recipe for disappointment and waste of money.

  78. January 23, 2014 at 5:38 am


    Great article indeed. Although I have mixed feelings because now I have to explain to the Secretary of the Treasury why I just spent 400$ on a new IPS DELL last night. Maybe, I’ll just refer her to your article. Or, maybe not she’ll, want one for herself also…….

  79. 79) Billy
    June 20, 2014 at 11:41 am

    “Does the brand matter? No. it doesn’t.”

    With respect, I have to strongly disagree.
    Many so called high end monitors (and Apple is one of the worst culprits in this respect), do not have extensive and comprehensive calibration controls and especially direct hardware calibration. Without that it does not matter how good or high tech the screen is, you are wasting your money.
    Good monitors must have extensive hardware controls for adjusting their picture to appropriate targets.
    Most importantly is a brightness control that can drop a monitor’s display down to a reasonable level to simulate paper. This is where many consumer monitors fail absolutely.
    In addition to a brightness control with sufficient range (ideally anything between about 60 to 200+ candellas should be achievable), monitors must have excellent controls to reach specific gamma targets (i.e. have an appropriate tonal progression from dark to light) and specific colour targets (e.g. white points in the range of about 4500 to 7000 Kelvin) – and even the ability to adjust contrast ratio through setting a specific black point.
    Many cheaper monitors seem to have these controls – but really don’t. Many supposedly ‘good’ monitors simply cannot be turned down enough for photographic use without running into problems.
    When adjustments are made on most monitors (6 or 8 bit) they quickly induce artifacts as only a maximum of 256 tonal levels are available to begin with, and all adjustments during calibration reduces the number of levels. They are doing their adjustments with low bit depth math with adjustments being made to the video card’s 8 bit LUT. Insufficient levels using these controls will induce visible artifacts (banding, tonal compression etc).
    On top quality monitors, all of these physical calibration adjustments are done in the higher bit depth ASICs/LUTs within the panel itself (not by just tampering with an 8 bit video card). The tables in these monitors are typically 10, 12, 14 or 16 bit versus the 8 bit table standard in video cards. This means instead of just 256 levels being available, there are from 1024 to 65,336 levels available. Because the calibration is being done with higher order mathematics, it means the final result is a smoother calibration across the available gamut – particularly noticeable in gradients and deep shadows.The result is much more accurate tone placement and separation. This means no banding and no tonal compression in shadows and highlights. This is fundamental to accurate image display. High bit depth makes a panel flexible and accurate. And high bit depth panels simply aren’t available in consumer brands.
    There is a good reason for top end monitors being expensive – you get what you pay for.

  80. 80) David
    July 19, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Is the ASUS PB278Q 27″ Widescreen LED Backlit LCD Monitor a good option? It’s a PLS (and not an IPS) monitor. Many reviews considers this monitor to be quite close to that of U2713HM but $100-200 less. Does anyone have experience or an opinion to share? (Currently priced at $489.99 at B&H.)


  81. 81) jhony devgru
    July 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    i m planniny to buy “DELL U2413” any suggestions plz @nazim and betty..

    any anti glare coats problem in this model..

    PURE COLOR ACCURACY MY MOTO.. and how abt using HDMI CABLE than dvi r vga.. its realy matter?

    i m proffesional photographer and graphic designer..

    my budget is limit to $600

    from small village in india..

    waiting for SUGGESTION.

  82. 82) Emess Bhagavan
    August 18, 2014 at 12:22 am

    I gained a lot of knowledge about the subject discussed above — relating to the requirements to be sought in a computer needed for photo editing . In the process, I needed to seek learning about the various technical terms used in the discussions, the meaning of which I did not know , thereby enhancing my capability to comprehend critical analysis made therein . Thanks.

  83. 83) Steveie
    December 20, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    try achieving a neutral grey on an apple cinema display, cant be done. will always have a green or purple cast to it. skip the LG made cinema display for photography color accuracy

    • 83.1) Betty
      December 21, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Yep, Apple displays look superb but are not very good for photo editing.
      Too bright, too contrasty and lacking in proper hardware controls.
      I say that with regret as I love their products and use both a MacPro and Macbook Pro – but would never use one of their monitors for serious photographic work.
      There are only two really serious players in that arena – EIZO and NEC.

  84. 84) VG
    January 26, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Nasim which monitor is the best for photo editing i.e Apple VS Dell etc?

  85. 85) Jade
    February 1, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    This blog was so helpful to me that i wrote a brief summary referencing this article to help others

  86. 86) Alaistar Huge
    August 26, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Dell 24 inch LED Backlit LCD – U2413 Monitor coomes with 60.96 cm LED Backlit LCD Display on which you can watch movies in Full HD Display. For more info click here

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