One of the best screens for colour grading in 2023

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Up to date Feb 13, 2023 12:44 PM

When deciding on a monitor for colour grading, you’ll need to select a mannequin that may ship correct colour persistently, from undertaking to undertaking, day in and day trip. One of the best choices provide a pointy image with sturdy distinction and may show greater than 1 billion colours. One of the best screens for colour grading let colorists repair issues in post-production and, extra enjoyably, creatively use colour to deliver temper, pleasure, and drama to a scene. 

So what’s colour grading, precisely? Colorists are the folks in post-production who take the footage and use colour and distinction to make photographs pop. Manipulating a shot’s colour can even create totally different emotional moods, heighten drama, and even convey bodily sensations like chilly nights or sizzling days. On the very least, a great colorist fixes issues within the footage ensuing from mismatched lighting or publicity points. All that is known as colour grading. Whether or not destined for the large display screen, a streaming platform, or a social media publish, colour grading provides footage its ultimate polish. 

Clearly, colorists want high-performing screens with some specialised options. These aren’t screens meant merely for spreadsheets or textual content recordsdata. To get essentially the most out of a monitor, it’s important to dig into the physics of colour and lightweight, taking a look at gamut and colour area, bit-depth, distinction ratio, in addition to the LED know-how underlying the show itself. Providing 4K decision is nice, however that’s simply the tip of the iceberg.

It’s not at all times simple to navigate, particularly when many of those screens have surprisingly related specs. We’re right here to assist, so learn on as we discover the nuances that make the perfect screens for colour grading customary tools for video creatives.

How we selected the perfect screens for colour grading

When evaluating the perfect screens for colour grading, we relied closely on conversations with {industry} professionals, in addition to our personal expertise working in movie and TV. We additionally learn commerce magazines and know-how assessment websites and hung out taking a look at on-line impressions to get a way of what common customers thought. We narrowed our focus right down to seven glorious screens that ranged from top-tier skilled models to these geared towards tighter budgets.

Correct and constant colour was a precedence, and a monitor had to make use of IPS LED know-how, have 4K decision, a 10-bit show, and protection of not less than 99% of the Rec. 709 and sRGB colour gamuts with a view to make our listing. And all however our funds mannequin needed to cowl not less than 85% of the DCI-P3 gamut. We additionally paid consideration to assist for Rec. 2020, HDR codecs, and connectivity (making explicit be aware of screens that took benefit of Thunderbolt 3 ports). Lastly, we picked models throughout a spread of value classes. What does that every one imply? Learn on!

One of the best screens for colour grading: Evaluations & Suggestions

Greatest total: BenQ SW321C

Why it made the lower: Excessive colour accuracy and a bunch of options designed to assist colorists and post-production workflow, plus an affordable value, make this our favourite 4K monitor.


  • Display screen Dimension: 32 inches
  • Weight: 20.06 kilos
  • Gamut: 100% Rec. 709; 100% sRGB; 95% DCI-P3


  • 95% assist of DCI-P3 HDR gamut
  • GamutDuo Mode
  • HDR Assist


  • Pricier than another screens
  • Calibration may very well be simpler

BenQ has made a reputation for itself by designing correct screens for photograph and video enhancing and colour grading. With full protection of the Rec. 709 and sRGB gamuts and 95% assist of DCI-P3, the SW321C delivers industry-standard colour efficiency with as much as 10-bit colour depth for clean shading. The 1300:1 distinction ratio prevents particulars from getting misplaced in darker components of the picture, and the corporate’s Uniformity Expertise does a great job of sustaining constant colour and brightness throughout your complete panel. 

When you output tasks for various locations—say, TV (Rec. 709) and Apple screens (DCI-P3)—you’ll love BenQ’s GamutDuo mode. It shows your content material with two totally different gamuts side-by-side for straightforward comparability. You additionally get the pretty customary Image-in-Image (PiP) and Image-by-Image (PbP) modes, in addition to a sophisticated Black & White mode. 

The monitor connects to video sources or your pc through USB-C, a pair of HDMI 2.0 connectors, or a DisplayPort 1.4 port. It additionally has two USB-A and one USB-B ports. BenQ does a great job calibrating its screens on the manufacturing facility, nevertheless it’s at all times really useful that you just do a extra formal calibration when you’ve put in it in your workspace.

The one draw back to the BenQ SW321C is its value. Retailing for practically $2,000, it’s a major funding.

Greatest 4K: Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

Eizo's ColorEdge monitor with the hood attached and the color management tool observing a red box on the screen.

Why it made the lower: Constructed-in calibration sensors and software program assist this feature-rich skilled monitor ship Hollywood-level colour efficiency.


  • Display screen Dimension: 31.1 inches
  • Weight: 18.3 kilos
  • Gamut: 100% Rec. 709 and RGB; 98% DCI-P3


  • Helps 98% of DCI-P3 colour
  • 1500:1 static distinction ratio
  • Constructed-in calibration sensors


  • Extraordinarily costly
  • Not essentially the most aethetically pleasing

Function movies and big-budget streaming packages don’t have room for ugly photographs, which is why screens just like the Eizo ColorEdge CG319X exist. Supporting 100% of Rec. 709 colour and 98% of DCI-P3, this monitor features a built-in color-calibration sensor that eliminates the necessity for third-party calibration instruments or software program. In contrast to many screens, the 31.1-inch display screen shows full DCI 4K decision—4096 x 2160 pixels, as an alternative of UHD 4K’s 3840 x 2160—and helps each HLG and PQ gamma curves for displaying and dealing with HDR video. A static distinction ratio of 1500:1 ensures deep, wealthy blacks, and the 10-bit show can present greater than 1 billion colours concurrently. 

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The monitor consists of some nice instruments to assist with the grading course of, together with a Rec. 709 out-of-gamut warning for whenever you’ve pushed your colours only a bit too far. The Rec. 709 Clipping Mode lets colorists take a look at Rec. 2020 footage and see how audiences will view it on HDTVs. 

An anti-glare panel helps defend towards eye fatigue, as does the light-shielding hood that cleverly attaches through magnets. Use the built-in carrying deal with to move the monitor between work places, and any of the 2 DisplayPort 1.2 and two HDMI 2.0 inputs to plug it into your pc. Sadly, the sensible design selections don’t prolong to the monitor’s aesthetics, that are, frankly, fairly dowdy. The CG319X additionally has zero cable administration, so fill up on zip ties. 

Then again, in case you’re spending this type of cash on a monitor—greater than $5,700—your concern must be efficiency, not appears to be like. And the Eizo is hard to beat in that division.  

Greatest IPS: LG 32UL950-W


Why it made the lower: This IPS monitor strikes a pleasant steadiness between value and efficiency, with broad protection of the DCI-P3 gamut for lower than a few of its rivals. 


  • Display screen Dimension: 32 inches
  • Weight: 13.7 kilos
  • Gamut: 100% Rec. 709 and sRGB; 98% DCI-P3


  • 98% DCI-P3 protection
  • Helps AMD FreeSync for gaming
  • Thunderbolt 3 connectivity


  • On-screen controls are reportedly fiddly on Macs
  • Stand may very well be extra strong

The LG 32UL950-W prices lower than the BenQ SW321C however manages to cowl a bit extra of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. Mix that with the sturdy 1300:1 distinction ratio and also you’ve obtained a monitor that gives accuracy that satisfies even demanding colorists. It additionally helps HDR10 video and 4K UHD resolutions. Nonetheless, it lacks a number of the useful monitoring options discovered on the BenQ.

The 32UL950-W affords consumer flexibility because of assist for AMD FreeSync. This know-how syncs the display screen’s refresh price together with your graphics card’s body price output, lowering stuttering and ghosting for higher gaming. It’s a pleasant add-on for these occasions whenever you’re between tasks and need to unwind. 

The monitor connects to your pc through a Thunderbolt 3 connector, HDMI 2.0, or DisplayPort 1.4. In addition to the widespread USB-A outputs, it additionally has a Thunderbolt 3 port for quick, 40mb/sec switch charges out of your pc. 

Some customers have been annoyed by the LG’s on-screen management panel, which doesn’t at all times sync up with Apple’s monitor controls. It really works, however count on to spend a while fiddling.

Greatest HDR: ASUS ProArt Show PA32UCX-PK

The Asus Pro Art monitor with its color management tool on a plain background.

Why it made the lower: In contrast to most different screens, this helps the Rec. 2020 colour gamut, in addition to all three main HDR codecs.    


  • Display screen Dimension: 32 inches
  • Weight: 21.38 kilos
  • Gamut: 100% Rec. 709 and sRGB; 99% DCI-P3; 89% Rec. 2020


  • 89% protection of Rec. 2020 gamut
  • Helps Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HDR10, and HLG HDR codecs
  • Mini LED backlighting helps enhance colour and distinction


  • Extraordinarily costly
  • Heavy

With its assist for the Rec. 2020 colour gamut and a full complement of HDR codecs—Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HDR10, and HLG—this monitor is designed with professionals in thoughts. The ten-bit IPS panel has a large, 178-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angle, which is helpful whenever you’re sitting right down to assessment a undertaking with a number of collaborators. Mini-LED backlight know-how has 1,152 zones of native dimming to assist enhance colour and distinction. And Asus’ Off-Axis Distinction Optimization know-how reduces halo results that typically afflict wide-viewing angles—once more, your collaborators will thanks.

On the again, the monitor has three HDMI 2.0 connectors, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a DisplayPort 1.2. It additionally has three USB-A ports, making it an acceptable hub for any further peripherals. 

Just like the Eizo Shade Edge, the Asus ProArt is geared towards, and priced for, working professionals. Colorists who demand the utmost high quality—and have the expertise and know-how to realize it—will get essentially the most out of this high-end display screen. 

Greatest funds: BenQ PD2700U DesignVue

BenQ's color accurate monitor on a plain background

Why it made the lower: Excessive-quality, skilled options belie this monitor’s low value, making it excellent for novices, indie filmmakers, or creators with tighter budgets. 


  • Display screen Dimension: 27 inches
  • Weight: 11.02 kilos
  • Gamut: 100% Rec. 709 and sRGB


  • 100% Rec. 709 and sRGB protection
  • 4K IPS panel
  • True 10-bit assist


  • No assist for DCI-P3 gamut
  • Lacks Thunderbolt 3 connectivity

This is a superb monitor for delivering movies to on-line platforms and even TV because of 100% protection of the industry-standard Rec. 709 gamut. Its 10-bit know-how helps 1.07 billion simultaneous colours and the 1300:1 distinction ratio matches that of BenQ’s a lot pricier fashions. It even helps the HDR10 format of high-dynamic-range video. Not unhealthy for lower than $500!

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The place the BenQ falls quick, nevertheless, is its versatility. There’s no approach for it to show colours exterior the Rec. 709 customary, that means no assist for DCI-P3, a format Apple makes use of for machine screens. This additionally makes it much less appropriate for colour grading function movies destined for digital projection in film theaters. (Although, to be honest, if that was your objective, there’s a great probability you’re not anxious about your funds.)

The PD2700U additionally lacks Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, as an alternative counting on HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and a mini DisplayPort jack. It does, nevertheless, have a DisplayPort output for daisy-chaining collectively two screens, which is useful whenever you work with loads of enhancing software program home windows. You additionally get 2 USB-B inputs and 4 USB-A outputs, making this color-accurate monitor helpful as a primary USB hub.

Issues to think about when looking for the perfect screens for colour grading

You’ve already spent 1000’s on among the best laptop computer for video enhancing, or multi-multi-1000’s on a brand new Apple Mac Studio, and also you need to get the perfect out of it. Right here’s what to take a look at as you put money into your monitor:

Video colour area

Video colour area is an ordinary that defines the colour gamut (see under), white level, and colour element switch perform (brightness, in lay phrases, and infrequently referred to as “gamma”) for colour encoding in a video system. These requirements are set by totally different {industry} teams and are necessary as a result of cameras, screens, and projectors are restricted through which colours they will encode, decode, and show. 

When colour grading a picture, it’s necessary that you just work inside the identical colour area because the one you’re delivering to. In different phrases, your color-accurate monitor wants to adapt to the identical requirements because the screens utilized by your viewers. In any other case, there’s no assure that the remainder of the world will see the picture you craft as you plan it to be seen.

Shade gamut

Shade gamut is the vary of colours inside the seen colour area—the colours seen to a human eye—{that a} monitor can even show. The human eye can see many extra colours than any monitor can show, so colour gamut expresses the portion of these colours that the monitor reproduces. It defines the monitor’s limits. Shade gamut additionally offers a shared vocabulary to be used by video cameras and screens. By saying a digicam makes use of a selected colour gamut, we all know the colours it captures will probably be represented precisely by a monitor that makes use of the identical gamut. It additionally implies that shoppers will view your masterpiece as you plan them to as a result of they’re utilizing TVs that additionally use the identical colour gamut.

Normal colour gamuts

Shade gamuts have been codified by varied industries and, usually talking, video colorists have to concentrate on the next 4: 

  • Rec. 709 is used largely within the TV {industry} and is the commonest colour area for video tasks. When you’re working in broadcast TV, streaming, or on-line video, that is probably your sandbox. It’s supported by TVs, pc screens, and hand-held units.
  • sRGB is used largely in pc imaging and is sort of similar to Rec. 709 aside from its barely greater gamma (brightness). Workplace screens, printers, and typically mid-range client cameras conform to it. 
  • DCI-P3 is used for digital movie projectors and has a wider gamut than Rec. 709 with a view to match the gamut of motion-picture movie or high-end digital sensors. Apple has additionally adopted the DCI-P3 colour area to be used within the firm’s machine screens; Apple’s cameras can seize stills and video within the DCI-P3 colour area, too. 
  • Rec. 2020 has the widest colour gamut, overlaying a reasonably large portion of what we see with our eyes. Some high-end skilled video cameras seize these colours however, proper now, there aren’t loads of TVs or different shows accessible to shoppers that may show them. Extra probably, you’ll discover these extraordinarily high-end screens in skilled post-production homes—they’re costly.


Most screens, even these designed for colour grading, want some calibration. Calibrating screens entails tweaking colours, white factors, and black factors to make them conform to whichever customary you’re working with (as an example, Rec. 709). Calibration instruments, such because the datacolor SpyderX, connect to the monitor’s display screen and skim the sunshine it places out. This info is fed again to software program through a USB connection in order that correct changes might be made. Correctly calibrating a monitor ensures that your work is precisely represented throughout the widest vary of viewers units.

Bit charges and HDR

Rec. 709 is named an 8-bit colour area, whereas DCI-P3 and Rec. 2020 are 10-bit and 12-bit colour areas, respectively. That is one other approach of describing the variety of colours they will reproduce; 10-bit colour, which is discovered on all of the screens we selected, can show greater than 1 billion simultaneous colours. 

Bit-depth additionally determines a picture’s dynamic vary, or the gradient between black and white. Excessive Dynamic Vary screens show extra element in each the excessive and low ranges. HDR—whereas more and more extra widespread in the perfect OLED TVs, and so on.—remains to be growing know-how in screens, and the 2 commonest codecs are HDR10 and HLG. (Observe: {Most professional} video cameras seize a a lot wider vary of element of their lights and darks than screens can show … nevertheless it’s getting higher!)  

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Distinction ratio

Distinction ratio is the distinction between a monitor’s black and white output. That is normally expressed as a quantity representing black adopted by a quantity representing white, with every separated by a colon. So, as an example, one thing like 1300:1. 

The better the distinction between black and white, the extra colour variation the projector shows. Pictures are bolder, extra true-to-life, with refined gradients and richer blacks.

LED panel know-how

One of the best screens for colour grading use IPS LED know-how for his or her panels. IPS stands for In-Aircraft Switching, and screens utilizing this tech have the perfect colour and viewing angles in comparison with these with different kinds of LED panels. Nonetheless, they have an inclination to value extra. They usually’re not excellent for each scenario. As an example, in case you’re into gaming, the decrease refresh charges of IPS LED panels won’t fit your wants. However in case you’re colour grading, or working in different inventive and inventive fields, your monitor wants to make use of it if you wish to guarantee colour accuracy.


Q: What’s the best brightness and distinction setting for colour grading?

There isn’t a great brightness and distinction setting for colour grading, as your eyes will react to the monitor in several methods relying on the ambient mild in your enhancing setting. Calibrating your monitor utilizing a calibration instrument will assist dial within the settings which are greatest. That stated, many screens have a most brightness of round 350 nits and a distinction of round 1300:1.

Q: What’s the greatest coloration setting or adjustment for a monitor?

Once more, it’s exhausting to explain the perfect coloration setting or adjustment for a monitor. This will depend on your working setting and the best way it impacts your eyes and their notion of what’s in your display screen. Correct calibration utilizing a calibration instrument will assist guarantee your monitor delivers the perfect, most correct colour.

Q: Is colour grading essential?

Shade grading is completely essential to creating the best-looking movies. The photographs captured by a video digicam are not often as correct as they are often—the kind of lighting can have an effect on how the digicam’s sensor perceives colour, as an example, and typically it will get it incorrect. Shade grading means that you can modify colour to make it extra correct, and tweak the lights and darks to make your image pop. And that’s just the start! Shade grading can even assist give a shot model and depth. Something from refined tinting to excessive distinction to trippy weirdness is achieved by way of colour grading, and it’s what helps preserve a function movie or skilled TV sequence from trying like a house film. Your undertaking isn’t completed till it’s had not less than a primary colour grade.

Q: How can I inform if my monitor colour is correct?

You’ll be able to inform in case your monitor colour is correct through the use of a calibration system. You’ll be able to attempt eyeballing it by matching colours on a color-checker card however, in the long run, your private notion of colour won’t ever match that of a devoted machine. When you’re critical about colour, the calibrator is a top-notch funding.

Q: How typically ought to I colour calibrate my monitor?

You must colour calibrate your monitor each month or so in case you use it typically. Pixel colour—notably the white level—can drift over time and correct calibration will guarantee every undertaking appears to be like its greatest.

Last ideas on the perfect screens for colour grading

All the screens on our listing ship extremely correct, constant colour—which is crucial factor for any colorist, whether or not you’re crafting Hollywood blockbusters or movies for social media. All of them totally assist the Rec. 709 gamut, show greater than 1 billion colours, and allow you to work with HDR footage. For many individuals, particularly these creating content material for on-line streaming, social media, or vlogs, that’s sufficient to offer tasks skilled polish. 

However for colorists who work with footage from higher-end cameras able to capturing extra colours, or create tasks destined for higher TVs, it’s mandatory for his or her screens to cowl the broader DCI-P3 gamut—particularly when doing extra inventive colour grading. (Rec. 2020, the widest gamut of all of them, is basically solely meant for these working within the skilled movie {industry}.) And that’s whenever you begin to see some main shifts upward in value. 

All of which will get us to our high choose, the BenQ SW321C. It doesn’t cowl fairly as a lot of the DCI-P3 gamut because the Asus or Enzio screens on our listing (and overlook about Rec. 2020). Nonetheless, these two monsters are meant for professionals engaged on high-end tasks with giant budgets. The BenQ, alternatively, nonetheless delivers top-notch efficiency and plenty of helpful options, whereas remaining accessible to each indie professionals and devoted novice creators. It’s nonetheless a large funding, nevertheless it may be the final monitor for colour grading you’ll purchase for a very long time. And for these causes, it’s our favourite.