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Best monitor for editing photos around $500?


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Hi, can anyone recommend a half decent monitor for editing photos with IPS for around $500?  Is this budget even enough to get me something half decent?  I've read Damien's article on "Which monitor to buy", but honestly my non tech brain just cannot cope with the many options and reading all (and trying to decipher) the specs.  Thanks in advance. 

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Generally, we usually recommend the Dell UltraSharp Line that has an IPS Display Panel. That's the most important thing, it MUST be a IPS-based screen. Here is one such display:

Dell U2722DE

To summarize here are the things to look for:

  1. IPS Display Panel (In-Plane Switching) - IPS Display Panels have better contrast, sharpness colors, etc, from corner-to-corner, and a wider viewing angle than other monitors. This is kinda important for editing photos / videos.
  2. Anti-Glare Screen / Non-Glossy Screen. Some displays have coatings, others have specific glass/plastic that offers some degree of protection from reflections. Some are also labeled as a Matte Screen.
  3. Screen Resolution. A screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 works on displays up to 24". Do NOT buy a 27" Display that has a resolution of 1920x1080. You have to be careful, because these type of displays are cheaper so budget-minded people will gravitate towards them. A 27" or larger display that is 1920 x 1080 looks like complete garbage and you are wasting money. If you want to throw money away, Damien and I take donations. :)
  4. 4K isn't necessary. Especially if you aren't editing Video. If you do go with a 4K Display, that's fine, make sure it's at least 27" or larger. The more resolution you cram into the same physical size, the smaller things become. So if you do get a 4K display, chances are you are increasing the magnification in Windows by 125% or 150% just to compensate.

"I have $500 to spend and I need a calibrator!"

Keep in mind, it's 2023. Things are more expensive across the board. They just are. So if money is tight, keep saving; try to have more than you are willing to spend. That being said, you can sometimes find deals on the used market, so give that a go. Remember, it's IPS is what you are looking for. Look in the technical specs, if it doesn't list IPS, skip it. No matter how cheap it is.

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Thanks Brian.  That's great.  I have the money for a calibrator as well - just thought that if $500 (or less) would get me a decent monitor then that's a bonus! 

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Sorry one more thing Brian, just looking at that Amazon link you posted.  Do I need to be worried about this:  Note: Products with electrical plugs are designed for use in the US. Outlets and voltage differ internationally and this product may require an adapter or converter for use in your destination. Please check compatibility before purchasing
It seems to be much cheaper purchasing on Amazon, than through Aust retailers, but I don't want to get caught out!  
Thanks again. 


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Oh, you are in Australia? I'm glad you said something.

Yeah, that changes things dramatically. So that $500 is A$500?

Your Amazon doesn't have a lot of choices, and Harvey Norman has slim pickings as well. You might have to find something on the used market. Here is what I found, these are OZ Links:

LG 27-inch 4K UHD IPS LED Monitor with USB-C Port

Samsung S6U - 27 Inch 2560x1440 QHD

In terms of "best," those two displays tick off the important boxes, though I'm not happy that OZ has such slim pickings. You should be able to look at those technical specifications and find one yourself if you don't fancy those two.

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Out of the three, I like this one the best:

Dell U2722D 27inch UltraSharp USB-C Hub IPS QHD Monitor

It's the one for A$559.

In reality, any of those three are fine. But I like the U2722D the best as I'm a firm believer in the K.I.S.S. Principe. I want my monitor to be just that, a monitor, not some sort of hub. But that's just me.

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