A Quick Overview
Our Review of the Best Monitors for Video Editing in 2022
Best overall - Editor’s choice - BenQ SW271C Monitor
- 27 inches screen real estate which displays UltraHD footage (3840 x 2160).
- High color accuracy with top color gamuts, Adobe RGB and DCI-P3.
- Multiple connection options handy for dual monitor setup.
To flag off our product compilation is this BenQ monitor which is certainly one of the best 4K monitors for video editing currently available. The BenQ SW271C is a 27” 4K monitor that runs on a high-end IPS panel. This monitor boasts an impressive color gamut with 99% Adobe RGB and 90% DCI-P3. And more importantly, the monitor comes with a factory calibration that’s Calman verified and Pantone verified; which means it stands at the highest standards.
With an aspect ratio of 16:9, this 27-inches monitor supports HDR10 and performs spectacularly well for color grading. As expected, this monitor displays footage comfortably in native 4K resolution; so you can edit your high-grade footage while viewing on this monitor without any lag or distortion. And in a bid to keep screen glare at a bare minimum, this monitor also comes with a detachable shading hood.
The connectivity of this editing screen is also good with dual HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C all supported. Finally, let’s also mention that this display gadget also supports hardware calibration, which means you can install your preferred LUT calibrations using any compatible calibration software.
Best ultrawide monitor for video editing - MSI Prestige PS341WU
- Wide screen size at 34” and a resolution of 5K2K, Wide UltraHD.
- Built-in picture-by-picture display for multiple simultaneous windows displayed on screen.
- Super fast connectivity options including Thunderbolt and DisplayPort.
The Prestige PS341WU by MSI is the next product on our recommended list of monitors for video editing. From the product description, “best ultrawide monitor for video editing,” you can probably guess that this product is well worth its length (not weight in this scenario). Standing at an impressive 34” screen size, the Prestige PS341WU monitor is not a mere 4K screen but wider with an aspect ratio of 21:9 and a resolution rated 5K2K (5120 x 2160).
Not to worry, the screen displays 4K beautifully and you get way more details displayed and visible. This monitor works on a Nano-IPS panel and can handle HDR10 footage. And yes, the preset factory calibration delivers just-right saturation and contrast ratio. It’s also color accurate covering up to 98% of the DCI-P3 gamut.
There’s also the advantage of the extensive screen real estate on this monitor. So, it can be conveniently used to run simultaneous windows while you’re busy chipping away at your video editing tasks. And if the monitor size is a bit too much for your space, you can decide to hang it on a mount, as this product is VESA compatible. As a wrap up on the MSI Prestige PS341WU, the connectivity of this monitor is in the top echelon of video editing screen as it has Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, USB-C, and two HDMIs.
Best wide monitor for Mac users - BenQ PD3420Q Ultrawide Monitor
- Ultrawide 34” screen size with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
- Smooth color grade with high accuracy.
- Dedicated M-Book mode for enhanced Mac display.
For video editors who use Macbooks, their operating system can be pretty selective in terms of compatibility with other gadgets not within the Apple ecosystem. But in terms of screens, the BenQ PD3420Q works seamlessly with Macs for video editing tasks.
As an ultrawide monitor, the BenQ PD3420Q stands at a wide 2K resolution, 3440 x 1440, so it displays 4K source material only with mild distortion. But yes, you can certainly edit your video frames using the details displayed on the monitor. And as a plus for Mac users, this product comes with a special M-Book mode designed to enhance display from a Macbook.
Like most new-age monitors, this BenQ also runs on IPS and covers 98% of the DCI-P3 color support. Other notable features include HDR10 support, USB-C connectivity, eye-care design for long hours of work, and dual view support for running screen space across two windows.
Best for connectivity - Dell UltraSharp U2720Q
- Native 4K screen resolution for more accurate view of high-resolution videos.
- Good color accuracy of 97% DCI-P3.
- It supports multi display and can be easily connected through the USB hub.
The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is our pick for the best 4K monitor for video editing with the most versatile connectivity options. This monitor has HDMI, DisplayPort, a USB hub including two USB-C and three USB 3.0, and then an audio jack for external audio output. A feature like this is most appealing to video editors who need to display footage across multiple screens, maybe for team or crew members to view.
With a sizable 27” screen size, the Dell U2720Q has a 4K resolution and displays a dynamic color range, thanks to the IPS panel, and a color accuracy of 97% DCI-P3. This monitor is lightweight and doesn’t take up desk space. It’s a great choice for video editors looking to purchase a portable quality screen while working on a running project across different sites.
Best for beginners - LG 27UL500-W Monitor
- A 27 inches and 4K resolution display which runs on an IPS panel for quality display.
- HDR10 compatible and covers standard gamut.
- Connectivity via HDMI and DisplayPort.
We’ve reserved the last spot on our list of top video-editing monitors for the LG 27UL500 monitor. This product is a 27” 4K IPS equipment with about 98% sRGB accuracy. The main edge of this monitor being its relatively low price. You get to view your 4K footage on this cheap monitor without any hassle. The screen is also HDR10 compatible and can be connected to through HDMI and DisplayPort. This product is designed for quick setup and can also be easily calibrated using on-screen settings. It meets the bare minimum requirement for newbie video editors.
Things to consider before choosing a monitor
Before deciding on a monitor for your editing works, other equipment like a video camera and a computer system for editing must have been in place. It’s based on the capabilities of these equipment that you should make a choice of a compatible monitor for your video editing.
Here are some of the qualities to which you should pay attention:
- Video feed quality. The video resolution and file type of your source material for editing affects how much you can do even with any video editing setup. For example, if you record 4K videos, a 1080p screen won’t do justice to the picture detail you have. Whereas, a full HD video would display on a 4K screen but in a windowed space. Cameras that record RAW and log gamma also need higher-resolution monitors for optimal post-production.
- The editing computer. To run a high-end monitor at full capacity, you need a PC or a computer set with fast CPU, high graphics card (GPU) rating, and also compatible connection ports. This is why a handful of professional video editors prefer to put together a computing system that matches their preferred processor specifications. You can learn all about that from our articles on the best motherboard for video editing and best CPU for video editing.
- Budget. In getting the right monitor for editing your videos and film projects, you should have a budget in mind. This is necessary so you can lookout for the key features you need in a monitor for thorough editing. This could be high resolution, screen real estate, or other features like HDR compatibility. With the right features in mind, you can get the most value for your money.
- Desk space. Before deep-diving into the market to buy the biggest and baddest monitor for your video editing journey, you should also give a thought to where you’ll set it up. Some ultrawide screens can span up to 40″, and would potentially fill up a chunk of your workspace. So, you might have to consider alternatives like table or wall mounts. And for professionals who want a dual monitor setup, it’s advisable to go for VESA compatible monitors for easier mounting.
How to choose the best monitor for video editing
Once you’ve figured out what type of monitor would be most suitable for your video editing process. Then, it’s time to pick a product. The goal here remains to get the most value for your money. And by value, I mean how efficient the screen makes your post-production process to be.
So, let’s go over the most important features to consider in picking the best monitor for video editing:
The resolution of a monitor determines how the pixels forming each frame is displayed on the screen. So, higher resolution means image details are more visible. But like we said earlier, a monitor’s resolution is only as potent as the resolution of the source material as well as the computer processor and graphic card.
Knowing well that more and more cameras can record videos in native 4K, it only makes sense that befitting 4K monitors are deployed for editing. Even though you can use a 1080p screen to edit 4K video by proxies, it just won’t clinch the needed display for proper color grading.
Recording in high resolution takes up more system space. This is why equipping yourself with the best hard drive for video editing and the best SSD for video editing you can find, can help improve your post-production experience.
The size of a monitor, also called screen real estate, determines how you perceive each frame on screen. While the resolution points to the pixel details shown, the screen size determines the pixel density. For low resolution images on a big screen, you would get a grainy view. But for high resolution frames on a proper screen, you get a popping image quality.
Common monitor sizes include 19”, 21.5”, 24”, 27”, 32”, 34”, and 40+”. Great 4K screens start from 27 inches, while any screen that is 34 inches or more is considered ultrawide. Ultrawide screens basically have a higher aspect ratio of 21:9, as opposed to the standard 16:9.
The panel of a computer monitor is the functioning unit of the gadget. Basically, it determines how much color is shown, if it shows true black, the refresh rate, the viewing angle, among others. On a broad scale, there are two panel types; LED and OLED. But LED screens come in various types; Twisted Nematic (TN), Vertical alignment (VA), and In-plane switching (IPS). The IPS panel is the most effective of the trio, and largely used in quality monitors. OLED screens boast even better quality but come at steep prices.
For video editors, color is very important. The wider the range of colors a monitor can display, the better it is for color grading when editing. The range of a monitor’s display is measured in percentage of accepted color gamuts (1). These include standards like sRGB and Rec.709, and wider supports like Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, and Rec.2020.
How the supported colors are displayed for each frame is determined by the monitor’s color depth. 8-bits screens won’t give you a proper color rendition on screen. It’s best to opt for a 10-bit screen for video editing, as these have better dynamic range necessary for displaying accurate color intensity across each picture frame.
A monitor with a wide color support yet needs to be color accurate, to display images as they ought to be. For a near-perfect color accuracy, the monitor must be calibrated. This is usually done from the factory when buying a new monitor. However, most high-end monitors come with calibration settings to adjust contrast, saturation, and other functions. This can be done by loading a calibration lookup table (LUT) to the monitor panel via a software. Otherwise, you can get a technician to calibrate your monitor, and just watch how it’s done.
Brightness is another important feature of a computer monitor. New video technology, High Dynamic Range (HDR) allows compatible gadgets to show video frames exactly as they would be perceived by the human eye in real life. This is done by varying localization of screen brightness based on the different color intensity and contrast in the image. In essence, this function requires very high screen brightness capacity for the best display. HDR compatible monitors have a brightness rating of 400 candelas per square meter (cd/m2). Higher dynamic ranges like HDR10+ and Dolby Vision usually require about 1000cd/m2 or more.
Refresh rate is a measure of the number of times that the images on display refresh. As images refresh, they can change, which therefore determines how smooth motion looks on the screen. A high refresh rate means video would play more smoothly on the screen. The standard for video editing sits at 60Hz.
Another feature to take note of from your computing set when purchasing a computer monitor is the connectivity. Although monitors often come with multiple connection options, some are usually faster than others. Some of the expected connection methods include USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt. Some products come with loop-out ports to feed other monitors which can be pretty handy in multi-screen setups. You might also want to look out for monitor audio I/O options which allows you to split embedded sound to external speakers.
Yes, a 24-inch monitor has enough screen real estate for editing up to UltraHD 4K videos as long as the monitor supports viewing images at that resolution. Of course, the monitor screen size is not a standalone factor in choosing a monitor, other features such as we’ve discussed must be considered.
It’s hard to point out one feature to use in making a buying decision for a monitor for video editing. However, the combination of panel type, screen resolution, and color gamut support work together to determine which monitor would work for video editing.
The standard for video editing sits at 60Hz. This is enough to display regular footage frame rate at 30fps without any lag. And also good for capturing image detail when viewing recording in slow motion.
Certainly, selecting a monitor to serve your needs as a video editor is not as simple as it is for regular users. As a professional videographer or an enthusiast, how your footage is displayed during post production determines how the final will look, so it’s important to opt for the best monitor for video editing you can find.
For us, our top choice monitor for video editing is the BenQ SW271C. It’s a 27” IPS 4K monitor with an impressively high color accuracy percentage on Adobe RGB and DCI-P3. This monitor is ideal for color grading and for highlighting fine picture detail. If fits your editing needs, then by all means, do opt for this BenQ monitor.
Which monitor feature is a deal breaker for you in choosing one for video editing work? Let’s know all about your computer monitor preferences in the comments below.
- How-to guide. (2019, January 3) Why DCI-P3 is the New Standard of Color Gamut. Published on MSI Blog. Retrieved from https://www.msi.com/blog/why-dci-p3-is-the-new-standard-of-color-gamut