Buying a monitor has its own set of rules depending on what the user is most interested in doing. The evaluation of the performance of a monitor is strongly related to these requirements and photo editing has its particular array of demands. Photographers and other graphics artists who need to render what they see on the screen with great accuracy on prints and other real life products have certain expectations from a monitor designed for photo editing. In case you have no idea where to start, here are some of the most important aspects to keep in mind.
Get a large display
There is no way around it. If you intend to get a monitor for photo editing, larger is indeed better. Not only you will need to have a lot of information on screen, but you need one with a larger resolution, as well, so you can get more information per pixel. A finer resolution will help you render the content obtained by using high performance SLR cameras. To get an idea about what we are talking about, a display with a resolution of 1920×1080 is the equivalent of 2 megapixels, which, as you may well know, is not anything to write home about as far as photography is concerned.
The good part is that the larger you want your display to be, the more dense the highest resolution you can use will be, too. The 27 inch monitors for photo editing sold on the market can display resolutions of 2560×1440, and now 4K monitors are coming into play, with outstanding resolutions of up to 3840×2160. Simply said, the highest you can go, the more information you will have on your screen and the more accurate your renders will be.
Select a model with a generous color palette
Color gamut is an important aspect to keep in mind when you are shopping for a monitor for photo editing. Monitors with a color gamut of over one billion colors do exist and they are considered the best by photographers and graphics artists. Processing information from RAW files should be performed with the ability of showing all the fine subtleties captured by high performance cameras. Keep in mind that the monitor you want to purchase should have an IPS panel, so you do not get color contortions while you look at the display from different angles. A technical number that will tell you about the available number of colors is the LUT, or lookup table. 8-bit LUT monitors can show images in 16.7 million colors, while 10-bit LUT monitors can go as high as one billion colors. It serves to know that wide gamut monitors capable of displaying such an incredible number of colors are only created by top of the line brands catering especially to professional photographers.
Do not forget about color calibrating tools
When you setup your monitor for work, you will have some work cut out for you, as you will have to calibrate its colors to suit your purpose. The best monitors out there that are designed for photo editing come with their own color calibrating tools, so you do not have to work hard to get everything right. Combined with software used for printers, these monitors can show you exactly how the colors on the screen will appear on paper. This is very important for professionals, as they need to be as accurate as possible. There are also many software programs that can help you calibrate the colors on your display.
Get a monitor with a light blocking hood
Ambient light can be a real problem for professional photographers and graphics artists, so an additional feature to help them block ambient light really comes in handy. Some models sold on the market come with their own light blocking hoods that help keep at bat the ambient light coming from sides and the top and that can distort the colors showed on the screen.
What to choose between matte and gloss
The type of surface used for the display is important when picking a monitor for photo editing. Glossy surfaces are not a good choice because they tend to show the colors as being oversaturated. Matte displays are preferred by professionals because they show the colors on screen in a highly accurate manner. Basically, the colors you will see on a matte display will be truer than the ones you see on a high gloss screen. The first allow you easier calibration for colors, as well.