For a photographer, purchasing the right monitor is critical. Whether you are a professional photographer or just beginning your photography journey, a monitor will be one of the most important purchases that you make. When it comes to photography, taking a picture with your camera is just one part of the process. Editing the photos in post-production is crucial to achieving your desired outcome and realizing your artistic vision.
Of course, there are countless monitors out there, and the amount of choice can be overwhelming. We have created this guide for that reason — so that you can make an informed and confident decision. We will explore the various characteristics and specifications that a monitor for photo editing should have, ensuring that you can seamlessly edit your photos with your second screen.
What to Look For in a Monitor for Photo Editing
There are several fundamental attributes that a monitor should have, especially if you intend to use it for photo editing. Different monitors have been designed for different purposes, and this means that while a particular monitor may be the perfect choice for someone who intends to use it for one task, it may not be the preferable option for photo editing. By understanding the primary features that your monitor should have, you can easily filter out monitors that wouldn’t fulfill your expectations or requirements:
- Resolution – Generally, a higher resolution will display more details. This means that your photographs will be displayed with as much clarity and focus as possible so that you don’t have to constantly magnify and minimize your photos. A minimum resolution would probably be 1080p, although it is worth keeping in mind that monitors with 4k resolutions are available at a higher price point.
- Aspect Ratio – We recommend purchasing a monitor that is 16:9 or 16:10, as these are the closest ratios to standard photo dimensions. This will ensure that you are utilizing the entirety of the screen. The wider format will provide you with an excellent view of the photographs themselves, as well as the windows and toolbars of your photo editing software. This way you won’t have to constantly switch and scroll between tabs.
- Contrast Ratio – Overall, a higher contrast ratio will provide you with sharper images. The contrast ratio is the difference in luminance between the brightest white and the darkest black that a certain monitor can display. The higher the contrast ratio, the more of a luminance range that a monitor can display, making the images more realistic and natural. Monitors with higher contrast ratios are better for photo editing because they allow for sharper photos and more intricate detail work.
- Compatibility – It is important that you ensure that your chosen monitor is compatible with your laptop or desktop because the performance of your monitor depends upon the capability of your device’s graphic card. If the hardware of your device and your monitor are not compatible, then it is unlikely that you will be able to take advantage of the monitor’s features in their entirety. Compatible hardware will provide you with the resolution, contrast ratio, and processing time that you need for photo editing.
- Panel Type – A monitor’s panel type is arguably its most essential feature. After all, it is the panel that displays the content that you see on the monitor. While all panels are LCD (liquid crystal display), there are different types of LCD panels. There are TN and VA panels, which are quite common panel types. However, for photo editing purposes, IPS panels are highly recommended. They offer excellent color rendering, reduced color shifting, and consistent color reproduction. These features help maintain the color integrity of your photographs.
How to Choose the Best Monitor for Photo Editing
- Flexibility & portability – One important consideration is your lifestyle, routine, and methods as a photographer. For example, you may have to travel frequently and visit various locations in order to take photos for clients. In this case, you would benefit from a monitor that enables you to work from anywhere, regardless of your location. This will ensure that you have the flexibility to edit your photographs even while you’re away from home, optimizing and enhancing your productivity levels.
A portable monitor will be the perfect option for you if you want to edit photographs from wherever you are. The Trio Max from Mobile Pixels is an excellent portable monitor that can instantly transform your single-screen device into a tri-screen piece of technology. Also, since it doesn’t need a stand or cables, it can be easily transported and set up, as the screens magnetically attach to your laptop. Alongside maximum screen real estate and unparalleled portability, the Trio Max also has an IPS panel type that offers superior resolutions for photo editing.
- Touchscreen capabilities – Alternatively, touchscreen capabilities may be one of your key priorities when it comes to selecting a monitor for photo editing. The GLANCE Pro from Mobile Pixels is a monitor that is not only portable but also includes touchscreen features. This is an excellent feature for making quick Photoshop fixes or switching between applications without a mouse. This advanced monitor is a brilliant choice for photographers, designed with a sophisticated IPS panel type and a high contrast ratio.