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I am really enjoying my upgraded editing studio with a dual monitor setup. Since I make a lot of educational videos and am also a landscape photographer and general photography and videography professional, I need a top tier editing studio. I used my experience in this upgrade to make a monitor buying guide for anyone else desiring an upgrade.
When shopping for the best monitor for photo editing, there are several aspects to consider, monitor panel types, screen size, curved or flat screen, resolution, color fidelity, and our own budget.
My Editing Studio Upgrade
For my own editing studio, I went with a dual monitor configuration with ViewSonic monitors. A monitor for photography and videography should be very sharp and have excellent color.
ViewSonic monitors have outstanding resolution and some of the most accurate colors available. ViewSonic monitors are capable of showing 4.39 trillion colors! Plus, these ViewSonic monitors are curved screens, which provides a more immersive viewing experience than similar size flat monitors.
I chose two ViewSonic monitors, the ViewSonic VP3881 38” and VP3481 34” curved screen monitors and have them mounted one over the other. Either one would be a fantastic monitor for photography, together, these make an almost perfect videography editing studio.
Since we have several articles on these two specific monitors, for this monitor buying guide we will concentrate on the different monitor panel types.
Monitor Panel Types
There are four different monitor panel types you are likely to find as you shop, IPS monitors, TN monitors, VA monitors, and OLED monitors. They each have their own strengths and are all useful as a monitor for photography.
IPS monitor technology uses in-plane switching (IPS) for adjusting the LCDs used in the display. Without getting super technical in this monitor buying guide, what this means for photographers is that IPS monitors provide better viewing at many different angles, making them an optimum voice for ultra-widescreen monitors.
IPS monitors also give superb color performance. The ViewSonic monitors I chose for my editing studio upgrade are this type. Combined with the curved screen design, one of these could be the best monitor for photo editing for your studio.
Twisted nematic (TN) monitors are widely used by cost conscious users since these monitors for photography editing are some of the least expensive external monitors available. These LCDs have the fastest response time of any of the current LCD monitors, making them very popular for gaming.
Is a TN monitor going to be the best monitor for photo editing? Well, these are very high quality. And you can get a pretty large screen size for a low investment, so for some photographers the answer could be yes.
Here is a ViewSonic monitor in the TN panel type, the ViewSonic Elite XG270Q. It’s very sharp, but color rendition is not as good as the IPS ViewSonic monitors, though it is very good. Also, larger screens viewed on an angle will lack contrast compared to VA and IPS monitors.
Vertical alignment (VA) monitors were designed to address the limitations of TN monitors. They have excellent color reproduction and can be viewed at larger angles than TN monitors.
This monitor panel type is well suited for ultra-wide screen and curved screen applications. These are an excellent choice for lower cost curved screen monitors for use in photo and video editing. ViewSonic ELITE XG350R-C is an example of a large, curved screen with a very reasonable price point.
Organic light emitting diodes are a different technology than LCDs but we included this panel type in our monitor buying guide for a complete picture of what is available. OLED monitors can be found on many high performance laptops as the built-in screen.
An example of a high performance laptop with an OLED screen is the AERO 15 from Gigabyte. In order to purchase an OLED monitor in a large, curved screen style, we would be spending much more money than most of us are willing to invest.
OLEDs work differently than LCDs in that the diodes emit the light themselves instead of being backlit as in an LCD panel. This gives great color quality and extremely rich blacks, but the best LCD monitors such as IPS style panels provide picture quality rivaling OLED, which is one reason why IPS LCD panels exist in the first place.
Monitor Buying Guide
To wrap up, we have 3 basic types of LCD panels and then the OLED panel types as choices for your best monitor for photo editing and videography. Whatever type you choose, an upgrade from our laptop’s built-in monitor is a very beneficial move to make for serious photographers.