This is a fairly interesting price range. It neither falls in the affordable/budget range nor does pertain to high performance displays.
Consider this as the lower mid range for monitors. Nevertheless, you can find exciting displays for professional work.
In this article, we will thus have a look at the best monitors for Photo Editing under $300.
Comparison of The Photo Editing Displays Under $300
List of Best Monitors For Photo Editing Under $300
We have selected the following monitors that are suitable in this price range.
- Acer CB271HU – 27 Inch – All Rounder
- Lenovo L27q-20 – 27 Inch – Most Amount of Colors
- BenQ BL2420PT – 24 Inch WQHD with Myriad of Modes
- ViewSonic VX3211-2K-MHD – 32 Inch – 2K – Inch IPS Panel
- Dell S3219D – 32 Inch – 2K – Inch VA Panel
- Bonus – BenQ PD2700Q – 27 Inch IPS Monitor
You may also be interested in: Ultrawide Monitors for Photo Editing
Let us briefly look in to the best monitors for Photo Editing under $300.
1. Acer CB271HU – 27 Inch – All Rounder
Firstly, this is a 27 inch monitor that boasts WQHD resolution on an IPS panel.
IPS panel, as you may know, are the essential panels for any work that requires high color fidelity.
On top of that, this monitor also features an ergonomic stand. Therefore, you can tilt, swivel, rotate and elevate the monitor to your desired orientation.
As far as the colors are concerned, this monitor bears the minimum specs that make it worth photo editing i.e 100% sRGB coverage as well as an 8 bit color depth that produces 16.7 m colors.
The monitor also comes with a plethora of connectivity options however it lacks a USB 3.0 hub (despite what some of the listings claim).
If you are a content creator, photo editor, graphic design, video maker on a budget, then we highly recommend this high resolution and high quality monitor.
2. Lenovo L27q-20 – 27 Inch – Most Amount of Colors
However, while it excels in image production, it does have some drawbacks.
Lenovo L27q-20 is a 27 inch monitor with WQHD resolution and an IPS panel as you would expect at this price range.
The best part about this monitor is that it offers a 10 bit color depth with 1.07 billion colors at your disposal. As such it does cover 100% of sRGB color space.
While this monitor looks stunning with its slim bezels, it is very limited in its adjustability. It does NOT offer an ergonomic stand. It only allows some degree of tilt, but nothing else.
Furthermore, it is also a bit limited in terms of connectivity with just DP and an HDMI port. Also, it is neither VESA complaint nor does it have any built in speakers. Therefore, this monitor offers little in terms of ease of use.
In spite of that, if you are looking for a highly affordable 27 inch option with a 10 bit color depth, then this is one of the best monitors for photo editing under $300.
3. BenQ BL2420PT – 24 Inch WQHD with Myriad of Modes
However, we find that this 24 inch monitor warrants your attention.
For starters, this is far below the 300 USD range, therefore, you can consider this as a fairly affordable option for a professional monitor. This 24 inch monitor features 2K resolution with an IPS panel.
What sets this monitor apart from the rest is that it designed for industrial use. It has specific features and modes that cater to 3D drawing, CAD/CAM and Animation industries.
Therefore, if you are someone who is looking for a photo editing monitor while working in a technical field, then this would interest you.
This monitor not only covers 100% of the sRGB color space, but also supports the Rec. 709 color space which is the standard used in film industry for HD TV. The monitor is fully adjustable and has speakers (albeit they are very weak).
If you need a great value for money and very highly quality 24 inch monitor, then this is one of the best monitors for Photo Editing under $300.
4. ViewSonic VX3211-2K-MHD – 32 Inch – 2K – Inch IPS Panel
When it comes to editing, graphics designing or working on any professional software, larger screens usually take the winning spot.
It is truly a surprise as well as a blessing to find 32 inch photo editing monitors under $300 price range.
Now there are cheaper still 32 inch monitors out there, but they only offer FHD resolution and do not cover the required professional color spaces. ViewSonic VX3211-2K-MHD, however, offers both of that.
This 32 inch monitor offers WQHD resolution, covers 99% of the sRGB color space and offers an IPS panel for color uniformity. It offers other goodies as well such as thin bezels, built in speakers as well as VESA mounting capability.
Be warned that this monitor does NOT offer a high brightness (250 nits) as compared to the rest of the monitor here. For many photographers, a high brightness level is important because you do not want to over compensate on your work due to low brightness of the screen.
The monitor offers HDMI, DP as well as VGA port. However, the VGA port can only support up to Full HD resolution.
All in all, if you are looking for a rather affordable 32 inch option, then this is most certainly among the best monitors for photo editing under $300.
5. Dell S3219D – 32 Inch – 2K – Inch VA Panel
Dell S3219D has the same price point as well as the overall value as the ViewSonic VX3211-2K-MHD above. However, it does have a few pros and cons in comparison.
For starters, this is a 32 inch monitor with 2K resolution and offers 99% of the sRGB color space.
So everything checks out as far as the bear minimum is concerned. However, the difference between this and the ViewSonic VX3211-2K-MHD is that this boasts a VA panel instead of an IPS panel.
Although VA panels offer great color uniformity as well as the highest static contrast ratio of any other panel in the market, they are not perfect for color reproduction. That title is currently held by IPS panels.
While it does not offer an IPS panel, it offers so much more as compared to the ViewSonic VX3211-2K-MHD above. It offers twice as loud speakers at 5W rating, it offers not just one but two HDMI ports as well as a USB Hub and also offers the AMD FreeSync Technology.
AMD FreeSync is a feature that a gamer would find necessary. This syncs the refresh rate of the monitor with the frame rate of the PC to eliminate screen stutter and screen tear.
If you came here looking for a feature rich and affordable 32 inch option, then this definitely is one of the best monitors for Photo Editing under $300.
Read more about: Best Dell Monitors for Photo Editing
BONUS – BenQ PD2700Q
This is an award winning monitor by BenQ that is built specifically for the purpose of photo editing and designing.
Not only does cover 100% sRGB and REC 709 color space, it also offers plethora of modes specifically designed for photography and designing work.
The monitor offers Darkroom mode that enhances the image for post processing environments. It also offers other modes for CAD as well as Animation software.
Furthermore, it offers a high quality 27 inch WQHD screen with a 10 bit panel that has the capacity to produce 1.07 billion colors.
For an IPS panel, it also has fairly quick response time of just 4 ms. This should come in handy should you plan on gaming on it as well.
Other than that, it offers the rest of the goodies such as comprehensive connectivity options, VESA mounting capability as well as eye care technologies.
The only drawback in terms of connectivity is that offers the archaic USB 2.0 hub. You would at least expect a USB 3.0 HUB if not the latest USB 3.1
Again, this monitor costs slightly more than the $300 range and therefore is not suitable for most of the readers of this article, however, this monitor is something that you should keep in the back of your mind.
The more you know, the better informed decisions you can make.
What is a Color Space?
A color space is one of the essential consideration in photography and in any other content creation field that deals with colors.
A color space is basically the spectrum or the range of colors that can be depicted on an image on a certain medium. It is a piece of the entire color spectrum that your eyes can see. Different mediums tend to cover different color pieces of the entire color spectrum and thus have an industry standard to define that spectrum. Here are some of those industry standard
- sRGB: This is an industry standard color space that is used to define the colors that are seen on digital devices like monitors, smartphones as well as tablets.
- Adobe RGB: This standard is highly relevant to color space that the printers use. Therefore, if you create anything in this color space digitally, the tangible/physical printed photograph would look highly uniform and similar in color. Therefore, those who work with printed media, must highly consider a monitor that covers Adobe RGB.
- REC 709: This color space is the industry standard for widescreen HD TVs. So if you are producing video content for HD TVs, then you would use a monitor that covers this color space.
- REC 2020: Similar to REC 709, this one relates to Ultra High Definition TVs.
There are plenty more color spaces. The point is that each media industry has its standard of color space. The cream of the professionals monitors tend to cover most of the color spaces under the sun. This is what generally separates high end professional monitors from low end displays.
The best photo editing monitors under $300 can only cover 100% of sRGB color space. If you want the monitors to cover more color spaces, then they would naturally cost more and would be beyond this price category.
What is the Most Suitable Color Space for Photographers?
One of the most crucial aspect of the selecting one of the best monitors for Photo Editing under $300 is to understand the color spaces.
There are basically two color spaces that photographers use the most: sRGB and Adobe RGB.
As mentioned in the previous FAQ question, sRGB is a color space that is relevant to the colors seen on digital devices. Therefore, if you are photographer who publishes their work online or through other digital medium, then you will most likely use sRGB color space.
Adobe RGB is a color space that is very much close to the CMYK spectrum utilized by almost all of the printers in the market. Therefore, if you are photographer who will be printing their work, then you will benefit from a monitor that covers Adobe RGB color space.
The bottom line here is that there is no hard and fast rule about which color space to use. You could use a $100 monitor that does not cover any color space in its entirety and still produce masterpieces. On the other hand, you could use a $1500 monitor and still find yourself lacking.
These color spaces are there only to help you and guide you.
Here is an expert explaining the difference between Adobe RGB and sRGB
Features You Don’t Need to Worry About
There are few certain features that are great to have for other purposes like gaming, but as a photo editor, you don’t need to worry too much about them.
It is almost impossible to find a professional monitor with a refresh rate that is higher than 60 Hz at least in the under $3000 range. On the other hand, dedicated gaming monitors can easily feature 144 Hz refresh rate within $200 range.
Refresh rate is basically the amount of time a screen refreshes the content on the screen in a second. A higher refresh rate means smoother motions. Therefore, for gamers the difference between an experience on a 60Hz monitor vs a 144Hz is like the difference between night and day.
For photo editors a higher refresh doesn’t mean much. Since photo editors deal with still images whereas refresh rate only improves motion pictures.
Another important feature for gamers is the monitor response time. A faster response time means lower ghosting effect. Ghosting effect is a phenomenon in which an annoying image artifact is left trailing on a moving object. This is quite similar to a motion blur except this is highly annoying.
Photo editing monitors have a slower response time as compared to gaming monitors. This is again due to the reason that response time effect moving objects not still images.
For the best monitors for Photo Editing under $300 selected here, we have really taken a fast response time into consideration. However, that does not mean that these monitors are capable gaming. In fact, the colors of these displays will make your gaming sessions beautiful.
This is yet another feature that affects fast changing frames. There are two issues known as Screen Tear and Screen Stutter that occur when there is a disparity between the screen refresh rate and the frame rate of the graphics card.
Adaptive Sync technologies like AMD FreeSync and G-Sync tend to solve this issue.
As a photographer you don’t need to worry about not having this feature as well.