Color grading and color accuracy are one of those few professional tasks that actually require some high grade equipment and if you don’t have one, it might affect your productivity. Color grading is basically a method in which you try to improve the quality and colors of a still image or a video to make it more true to color or aesthetically pleasing. And in order to do a professional level top-notch color grading, you need to have a Best monitor for color grading.
What is the role of a monitor for color grading?
Color grading comes down to basically two things only: The software you are using and your skill level in it, and the computer monitor you are using for it.
Here’s an example, just consider that you have a cheap low quality monitor which has very bad color accuracy specs, meaning that the image it shows will not be true to its color. Then how are you even supposed to correct the color of an image if you can’t even see the true colors of it properly on the screen? That’s why the best computer monitor for color grading is essential. Professional editors and photographers are the ones that will benefit most from a high quality monitor for color grading.
Buying Guide for the Best Monitor for Color Grading in 2021
Now, if you are looking for the best monitor in the market for color grading or you want to know how to buy a monitor for color grading, the following are the things you must consider and look for in a monitor before making a purchase:
1. Color accuracy:
This is the most important feature you need to look for in a monitor for color grading: how much color accurate is its screen. There are various color gamuts and ranges for monitors available today especially like the Adobe RGB, Rec 709 and DCI-P3. The wider range of one of these gamuts covered by a monitor, the more true to color it will be. This will highly improve the screen’s dynamic range.
2. Screen resolution:
The higher the screen resolution, the better it is for color grading. A monitor with 4K resolution will show you a crystal clear image without any distortion or visibility of pictures. A monitor with at least an HD resolution is recommended.
3. Screen Panels:
Almost all the high-grade monitors nowadays have IPS panel displays. The benefit of an IPS panel over a standard one is that it gives you better viewing angles and thus is more accurate to color. The brightness might also affect your productivity, so always look for a panel with moderate to high brightness.
4. Custom calibration:
Professional color grading requires a lot of frequent calibration of the screens every time you turn them on. So it is better to have an option of built-in tools for calibration so that you can just load your previous settings without having to go through all of it again.
You can also check out our comprehensive guide for best monitors for graphic designing if you are looking for some budget-friendly options.
Best 4K monitors for color grading – Our top picks
With tons of options available in the market today, it can become quite difficult to search and choose a good quality monitor for color grading which ticks all the requirements for it. We have done comprehensive research and after going through the review of each and every product, we have come up with our top picks for the best monitors for color grading for you down below:
Dell Ultrasharp UP3216Q
BenQ ZOWIE XL2540
If you are in a hurry and want to quickly come to a conclusion, the editor’s recommendation for the best monitor color grading is the Dell Ultrasharp 32″ UP3216Q Monitor. It ticks all the requirements and proves to be the best monitor out there for color grading and accuracy. For a detailed review, see down below.
1. Dell Ultrasharp 32″ UP3216Q Monitor
The Ultrasharp 32 inches monitor by Dell is by far the best 4k monitor for color grading in the market. It is a 32 inches monitor with a resolution of 4k. This means that you will get crystal clear still images as well as very sharp video quality with no pixels insight. It comes factory calibrated, so you don’t have to set it up yourself after receiving it. However, if you don’t like the factory calibration, you can fine-tune the colors using its custom color mode and you can also save your favourite color settings for future use.
The size of this monitor is just perfect; it is not small at all so you will get a wide enough space to work on and you will find it at ease to multitask on a 32 inches screen, however, it is also not too big that you will require more than standard space to place it on your computer desk.
Now coming to the main thing, this monitor is highly color accurate. A very wide range of colors is covered in this screen on the Adobe RGB gamut and 100% sRGB coverage. Which means that the color accuracy on it is simply phenomenal. It also has very deep dark colors so that you can accurately assess the depth of darker areas on the image while color grading.
2. LG 27UK850-W 27″ 4K Monitor
The LG 27UK850-W is the second best monitor for color grading. It also comes with an IPS 4K Screen resolution It’s ultra-wide viewing angles and 4K Display helps you in detailed and in-depth color grading while editing your professional videos. It has the versatility of USB Type-C connectivity, which our previous mention was missing, along with compatibility of HDCP 2.2, which gives you seamless 4K Results from different viewing angles.
Regarding color accuracy and tone, this 4K color grading monitor offers sRGB coverage of around 99%. Also if you are into gaming, this is the monitor to get along with your color grading work as it is also equipped with the Dynamic Action Sync feature that gives you smooth and fluid gaming action.
It has an ergonomic stand which is height, tilt, and pivot adjustable. It has multi-purpose on-Screen Control features, which helps you to control essential functions like Volume, Brightness, Screen Split 2.0, and Dual Controller.
3. Philips 276E8VJSB 27″ Monitor
Philips 276E8VJSB is the best budget monitor for color grading. It comes in different sizes of 22”, 24”, 27” and 32” sizes with a different resolution of the screen. The one we are mentioning is the 27 inch 4K UHD flat screen monitor.
Its crystal clear and bright 4K screen resolution gives you more space and clarity, which helps you to increase your work production. The height adjustable stand makes it very ergonomic for day to day usage. The Flicker-Free and Low Blue light Mode features help you prevent eye strain from the use of long hours, however they can affect the color grading process.
This monitor has an IPS panel display, which along with better screen brightness and picture-quality, gives you extra-wide viewing angles of 178/178 degrees. For color accuracy, it comes with a 10-bit Color (8-bit + FRC) correction feature which provides more life-like depth experience with its color reproduction. And it’s almost non-existent bezels make it perfect to be used in a dual monitor setup, which is also ideal for color grading, and also helps in distraction-free user experience.
4. BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 24.5 inch Monitor
The XL2540 24.5 inches monitor by BenQ is basically a gaming monitor. But surprisingly, it almost has all the features required to be the best monitor for color accuracy. Speaking of its features, it has a mind-blowing 240 Hz refresh rate, which makes your gaming experience seamless. Benq color grading monitor eliminates the flaw of our previous mention; it has adjustable viewing angles which you can adjust according to your preferences.
But how is this gaming monitor good for color grading? The best and most stand-out feature of this monitor is its ability to improve the visibility in the darker areas of the image without affecting the black depth of the image, all due to its equalizer feature. This monitor also allows you to adjust its saturation and vibrance of the screen with 20 different adjustment levels. It has built-in color configurations including RTS, FPS, RPG and many more.
You can also save different screen settings including brightness, vibrance, saturation and other settings and can access them anytime without having the hassle to adjust it all back again.
5. BenQ SW271 27 Inch 4K Monitor
On the fifth place on our list of best computer monitors for color correction is another monitor by BenQ. BenQ is known for their top-notch build quality and use of the latest technology in their monitors. This is the BenQ SW271 Monitor with a screen size of 27 inches and 4K resolution. There are also other options available with different sizes and resolutions in this model, but this variant is the best for color grading and is the most accurate to color. The build quality of this monitor is phenomenal and is meant to last very long.
At the bottom of the monitor, you get six different physical buttons that are used to open and adjust different screen menus and settings, keeping it robust. You get 99% of the Adobe RGB and 100% of the sRGB color spectrum covered, which means that this display is extremely rich in colors and will massively make your color grading more accurate. With this HDRdisplay and amazing color depth, the screen produces almost 1 billion plus colors. And of course, you get all the perks of 4K resolution.
6. ASUS PA329Q 32″ 4K/UHD Monitor
The ASUS PA329Q is a 32 inches monitor with 4K and UHD display. 32 inch screen size with 4K is considered the best combination in terms of productivity, and especially if this combo is used for color grading. The calibration on this monitor is a piece of cake thanks to the ASUS ProArt calibration technology. It offers you color accuracy tuning and uniformity.
The Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (QDEF) technology is used in this monitor which makes this a color rich monitor. It supports 100% sRGB, 99.5% Adobe RGB, 90% DCI-P3, 100% Rec. 709 and Rec. 2020 color spaces. The benefit of covering all these different gamuts of colors is that you get a very diverse and wide range of colors. This is a bit expensive and not for those who are looking for cheaper options. But again, if you are looking to be the best at what you do, you should have the best equipment for it too.
7. ViewSonic VX3276-MHD 32 Inch Monitor
So far the monitors which we have suggested you are the best of the bests you can find for color grading. However, it would be a disrespect to not include the ViewSonic VX3276-MHD monitor in a list of the best monitors for color grading, as it is one of the highest color-accurate monitors I have ever tested. This is a very robust piece of tech which will add so much value to your work.
It is an IPS display monitor, which as we have mentioned, is the best type of panel to go for if your main goal is color accuracy and color grading on the monitor. It also helps in creating an extremely wide-angle view which helps the user to dive even deeper into the true colors of the image. And this too comes at a very low price range. It is probably an affordable monitor for color grading for most of the people and newbies who are just starting.
It is equipped with all the latest connectivity options which are of modern standards and allow the colourist to have a wide range of options to connect multiple devices to it.
8. EIZO ColorEdge CG2730-BK 27” monitor
An honourable mention in the list of best monitors for color grading in 2021 is the EIZO ColorEdge CG2730-BK. It is a monitor which was specifically made for color grading and colour accuracy. The EIZO brings extraordinary quality and true-to-nature colors in reality with its amazing technology. It is a professional-grade monitor which will suit mainly the pros and experts in color grading and color correction.
It has a 27-inch screen size with an LCD panel. This screen offers a resolution of 2560 x 1440 for the finest details while correcting the colors on an image. It offers probably the widest color gamut including 99% Adobe RGB spectrum and 98% DCI-P3 colour space covering. But these extremely important specs for color grading comes at a price. This is an expensive monitor aimed at professionals who are serious about taking their color grading skills to the next level using this monitor.
Another cool feature of this monitor is that it has a built-in integration measurement device for self-calibration. This enables the monitor to calibrate itself automatically. If you value the specs and features of this monitor, it can be a good purchase.
Frequently asked questions – FAQs:
How to calibrate your monitor?
If you are using Windows 10, it is super simple. Just simply search for color calibration in the search bar at your bottom right corner, and you will get the calibration settings. After opening the program for calibration, you can see multiple options including brightness, saturation, vibrance and a few others. Adjust and tweak each one of them and see which one suits you, and then apply the settings.
What is a color correction or color grading?
Color grading is basically a method in which you try to improve the quality and colors of a still image or a video to make it more true to color or aesthetically pleasing.
Whereas, in color correction, your goal is to make the image or the video look realistic. And you require the best monitor for both color grading as well as color correction.
What brightness and contrast settings are best for the eyes?
According to a recent study, eye strain can be caused if your monitor settings are not correct. The ideal contrast settings should be on a high to medium level (55% to 75%), and the ideal brightness level should be around 300 to 500 lux. If it is too bright or too dark for you, adjust accordingly.
Color grading is one of the tasks which require top-notch equipment, software and skills to work with. So make sure you get the best monitor for color grading in the market to improve your productivity and deliver your best every time. We hope that this comprehensive guide has helped you in some way. Leave a comment below if you have any queries or want to share any thoughts.