Best Monitor for Color Grading

We all spot a considerable difference when we put a filter or an effect on the photo. But did you ever think of color grading the photo yourself, step-by-step?

It’s a lot more detailed process that’s very well worth it in the end, but you would need the proper equipment such as a color grading monitor.

There are various attributes to images such as contrast, saturation, detail, black level, and other things that not all monitors can project well.

And if you’ve ever had a problem with image color correction – the chances are that your monitor was the actual problem.

Down below, we’ll show you some of the best monitors for color grading, and how we chose the best ones so you can make your own choice as well!

The difference between a regular monitor and the best monitor for color grading is enormous – so keep on reading! Because once you make the switch – you’ll never want to go back to your old monitor.

Quick Summary

Are you in a rush, or you’re just trying to confirm some of the best choices you had in mind? No problem, here’s a quick summary of what you can find in the article below.

  • BenQ isn’t a stranger to anyone, as they’re among the best monitor manufacturers in the world. SW271 is their 27″ 4K monitor that’s specifically designed to be a color correction monitor. It’s an affordable price point with high dynamic range and hardware calibration that makes color tuning and maintenance at an optimal rate.
  • If you’re on a budget and yet high-end broadcast monitor for color grading isn’t in your reach at the moment – Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is the next best option you can get on the budget. Its sleek design provides exceptional visuals and is packed with features that make the color grading process smooth.
  • If the budget isn’t a problem, Eizo’s CG2420-BK ColorEdge professional grading monitor is a pretty good choice. It’s very well worth the cost since it’s equipped with a 400 cd/m2 brightness and a 1500:1 contrast ratio. It’s an ideal long-term option since it comes with a five-year warranty that shows how serious Eizo is about producing the best display for color grading monitor that will remain color accurate.
  • When you need a monitor that’s on the versatile side and yet can allow you accurate color correction – Asus ProArt is an excellent choice. It features 100% RGB true color separation along with factory pre-calibrated color accuracy, and yet it is compatible with most hardware calibrators.
  • If you’re just getting into color correction, BenQ has a perfect entry model. SW2700PT is a 27″ 2K monitor backed up with an IPS panel for a wide viewing angle. It also has plenty of in-built features, which makes this monitor very well worth its price.

Who Should Get This?

Even though a color grading monitor is something you see being used by graphic artist professionals, it’s also suitable for everyone who’s learning or just getting into color correction.

Standard monitors aren’t the wrong way to get started, but you’ll eventually feel like you lack some crucial features and qualities of color grading monitors.

On the bright side, even the best monitor for color correction featured in this article isn’t out of everyone’s reach, and yet it’s more than enough for professional use.

How We Picked the Best Monitor for Grading?

Size and Resolution

The first and most important thing when it comes down to color grading monitors is the size and resolution.

For the best clarity, you’d want to settle for at least a 27″ monitor with a 2K resolution (or higher). However, we also check the viewing angle, color space, and a couple of other features related to the screen.

Calibration

Most monitors come factory pre-calibrated. However, some monitors can be custom calibrated. Calibration is crucial for professionals, and we did our best to look out for monitors that feature both options.

Calibration increases the professional monitor capabilities and is the core of color accuracy.

Capabilities

The best monitor for color grading will usually include plenty of specific features suitable for color correction, to make the process a lot smoother and better.

Shading hood is one of the most common features. However, we also look out for features such as ambient light minimization or the feature that allows you to preview B&W content in various preset modes.

Best Monitor for Color Correction: Our Picks in 2020

1. BenQ SW271 27 Inch 4K HDR Professional IPS Monitor

BenQ SW271 27 Inch 4K HDR Professional IPS Monitor

BenQ SW271 is well known for its exceptional color accuracy. It is a 27″ monitor that utilizes the IPS panel that offers a 4K resolution.

The monitor comes factory calibrated. However, it also features hardware calibration that allows you to adjust the image processing chip as per your needs.

Along with the appropriate calibration software, this BenQ monitor also features Palette Master Element calibration software that helps tune and maintain the color accuracy at all times, without having to get the monitor calibrated by BenQ.

We were surprised by the sharpened brightness and incredible details thanks to the high dynamic range that works well in combination with an Aqcolor Technology. This technology offers 99% of Adobe RGB coverage.

For convenience, there’s a USB-C port and a shading hood that is suitable for both vertical and horizontal use.

With quick and convenient controls placed at the bottom of the monitor – you’ll be able to find your way through the settings for a smooth color correction process.

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2. Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27 Inch 4K UHD Monitor

Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27 Inch 4K UHD Monitor

Considering the price tag of Dell UltraSharp U2720Q – we were surprised to see a led backlit IPS configuration with the ability to achieve 4K resolution.

But that’s not the only thing where this monitor excels. Its colors are very vibrant, consistent, and it even has a wide viewing angle thanks to the In-Plane Technology. If you like working with multiple monitors – UltraSharp makes it seamlessly easy to be paired with other color grading monitors.

Even though we listed it as a budget option due to its price – Dell’s quality at this price point surprised us.

And not only the colors are accurate, but there are plenty of ports available, along with features such as tilt, pivot, swivel, or even VESA mount.

Dell promises 99% sRGB color gamut, and judging by the monitor’s performance – we believe that this monitor offers such color gamut.

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3. EIZO CG2420-BK ColorEdge Professional Color Graphics Monitor

EIZO CG2420-BK ColorEdge Professional Color Graphics Monitor

When the money isn’t a problem, and you’re browsing professionals options – EIZO CS2420-BK ColorEdge is color grading monitor you might have seen being used by professionals in the industry.

It’s a wide-gamut LED IPS display that comes with a built-in color calibration sensor. Such a sensor makes this monitor suitable for anything from professional photography to print and post-production.

Even though it’s slightly smaller than the average color grading monitor, it’s very efficient. It’s a 24″ monitor and even though we’re used to seeing 27 “+ monitors – EIZO made the right decision here because the monitor offers a correct 16:10 aspect ratio.

When it comes down to the color, it provides 400 cd/m2 brightness, 1500:1 contrast ratio, has a 10 ms response time, and has 99% Adobe RGB coverage.

There are a couple of ports that increase the compatibility, but what we like the most is the 5-year warranty with an available 24/7 support.

Along with the quality features, you even get the ability to mount the monitor using the VESA mount, which is pretty convenient.

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4. Asus ProArt PA329C 32″ 4K (3840 X 2160) HDR10 DisplayHDR600 Monitor

Asus ProArt PA329C 32" 4K (3840 X 2160) HDR10 DisplayHDR600 Monitor

Asus ProArt PA329C is well known for its affordable price and yet 32″ size, which comes with features that every photographer or graphic designer wants and needs.

This monitor can project 4K resolution, and at this size – every single detail is visible. Combine this with a 100% Adobe RGB and 100% RGB True Color Reproduction systems – and you’ll be blown away with the immersive picture.

But the best thing where Asus ProArt excels at is the color calibration. The monitor comes factory pre-calibrated. However, it also features a simple yet efficient ProArt calibration. This calibration software comes with a look-up table in combination with a uniformity compensation capability.

This way, almost anyone can ensure that this monitor’s calibration is correct – and if the calibration is off, you won’t have to send it back to the factory.

The most useful thing about this monitor (that will speed up your work) is the hotkeys available. These hotkeys allow you to save color parameter profiles directly to the monitor.

We’ve also noticed technology that isn’t always available in color grading monitors, such as flicker-free and technology that lowers the blue light. Such technology makes the monitor’s visual power easy for our eyes, no matter how long we spend staring at it.

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5. BenQ SW2700PT 27 Inch QHD 1440P IPS Photography Monitor

BenQ SW2700PT 27 Inch QHD 1440P IPS Photography Monitor

We believe that this is the perfect entry-level monitor model suitable for everyone who’s just starting, has a bit of experience, or is already doing advanced color corrections.

It’s a very affordable monitor that comes from the world’s known monitor manufacturer. Yet, it’s surprising with features that often come with the most professional color correction monitors.

This 27-inch monitor provides a 2K resolution with a wide viewing angle since it utilizes the IPS panel.

The colors are very decent since the monitor features AQcolor advantage technology, minimization of ambient light, advanced black & white colors, and the ability to preview B&W colors in various color presets.

The monitor comes factory calibrated, but we were surprised that BenQ still left users to custom calibrate the monitor with the help of master element calibration software.

Even the shading hood comes inside the package, which is excellent, considering the price and available technology provided by this monitor.

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Useful Tips & Resources

When testing the contrast of a monitor, you’d want to adjust the contrast to a medium value, somewhere around 60-70 percent, and keep a meter distance between you and the monitor.

Such setup is the ideal setting and position to check whether any color distortion or extreme sharpness is happening.

Brand new color grading monitors don’t need calibration as they come pre-calibrated by the factory. However, if you have any special photography needs, calibration can be done manually with most monitors.

But unless you know why you would need to re-calibrate your monitor, it’s not recommended.

As you could notice, almost every monitor mentioned in this post is IPS LED monitor, and there’s a reason behind this.

Even though it can be tempting to go with a newer monitor technology, OLED displays aren’t as good as LED IPS monitors when it comes down to color correction.

OLED displays tend to desaturate the brightest parts of the image due to the white-emitting OLED subpixels, which can result in inaccurate color.

Conclusion

The truth is that color grading monitors can be costly. And if you need the best monitor for color correction out there – you’ve been probably getting ready to invest a large sum of money.

However, in this post, we’ve listed everything from the ideal entry-level models to the highest-end model that won’t break your bank.

The choice will depend on your needs and how each of these monitors will help you solve your problems and do your job efficiently.

If you still need any help and have no idea how to make a choice – there’s nothing to stress over! We’d appreciate it if you would leave a comment. We’ll do our best to help you out!

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