Can I Use a Gaming Monitor for Photo Editing? [Guide]

Gaming monitors are specially designed for gamers for a better game experience. They come with different styles and sizes to make you enjoy the best game-play. In fact, many brands claim that their devices can handle both gaming and photo editing without any problems. 

Is it true?

If you are an avid gamer, you might occasionally need to use the screen for some photo editing or video processing. So, you need a display that is high-quality and is multipurpose, so it can be used for certain professional activities. In this way, it would not only improve your gaming experience but also other types of visual media too. But every display is not for both gaming and photo editing. 

There are a lot of reasons, but as an opening line, gaming monitors and photo editing monitors should have their own specific specifications to become a reasonable photo editing or gaming monitor.

Can I Use a Gaming Monitor for Photo Editing?

It is possible to edit photos on a gaming monitor. In any case, you have to keep in mind that gaming mouse, gaming keyboards, and even gaming headsets are all marketing ploys that entice the illiterate population of hardware to buy colorful but twice as expensive items. 

Gaming monitors are just as easy to edit photos as the rest. It’s just a matter of how you set them up.

It doesn’t matter how different two monitors are from the same manufacturer, they all have their own color space. Even if you use a calibrator, your monitors will still be slightly out of alignment. To properly calibrate your monitor, you need a monitor with a very high probability. Only such monitors allow you to manually change the settings on the monitor. Also, it depends on whether you’re using HDMI, DVI, or VGA. All of these affect the color of your monitor.

However, you should not be discouraged. It is possible to work around it. Editing software has features that you can use to make sure your color classification is accurate. View forms and vector scopes are your friends. Your projects will stand out from the rest with these tools and you will be able to easily manage colors.

Photo Editing and Compatibility of Gaming Monitors

Even though some terms associated with monitors are familiar to you, numerous others are brand new, and many have evolved as the technology of display panels has advanced. There are a few things that photo editors should be aware of despite some of the jargon being unimportant.

1. Monitor Panels

Most commonly, TN, VA, and IPS are used in LCD panels. Every panel has its characteristics which make it an appropriate technology for a particular application. For professional photo editing, however, only IPS panels are suitable.

As a result, IPS displays provide the color accuracy that photo editors require when editing photographs, and this accuracy does not vary significantly with viewing angle. VA would be a good choice; however, TN is the least accurate.

2. sRGB and Adobe RGB

You will be able to identify the monitors targeted at designers or photo editors by looking for the sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces. Most monitors offer the option of using either color space.

If you choose to use the sRGB color space, your workflow will be simplified. It is the default color space for digital devices. In Adobe RGB, you can adjust colors and saturations more accurately, especially if you plan to print your work.

Unless your entire system supports Adobe RGB, it is recommended to use sRGB as Adobe RGB on just one monitor. For example, it will result in a duller color representation on your output.

Several independent photographers, including Ken Rockwell, who is a leading independent photography commentator, have stated on their websites that Adobe RGB is unnecessary for natural photography.

The same, or brighter, colors are produced by sRGB. Monitor and print colors do not always match because of a problem with Adobe RGB. Standard RGB is the most widely used color space. It can be used everywhere, and everything will look great. If you do all your printing yourself and know what you are doing, then you can use Adobe RGB.

3. 10-bit Support

Gamers and video editors should also consider the monitor’s color support. Video editors may prefer specific displays. If you are trimming clips or adjusting white balance many times, you will probably need a display with higher brightness. It is recommended that you use an 8-bit monitor.

4. Gamma Correction

A gamma value describes how vibrant a photo appears on a monitor. By adjusting it, you alter the mathematical encoding of brightness into a value for each pixel. Gamma correction affects how bright a photo appears on the screen.

In the absence of manual correction, photos may appear too dark or bleached. It is the photographer’s responsibility to adjust this setting carefully.

5. Viewing Angle

An aspect of a monitor that is often overlooked but crucial is its viewing angle. You might think that you will spend all day looking at your computer screen, staring at it intently. Keeping track of how frequently you move throughout your working day will reveal that this is not the case.

You will perceive a photo differently if you alter the angle you view it. Matte monitors are more suitable for photo editing than monitors with a glossy finish since they do not refract light, whereas glossy monitors can reflect light.

A significant advantage of IPS panels for photo editors is that they maintain this uniformity at angles of up to 178° horizontally and vertically.

6. Screen Size

It is essential to consider the size of the screen when you are shopping for a photo editing or gaming monitor. Some people may be satisfied with a 27-inch display, while others may prefer a 32-inch display.

A larger screen will improve the quality of your gaming experience and your ability to edit more efficiently. 

7. Screen Resolution

A high-resolution monitor should be used for gaming and editing. It is essential to have a resolution that produces high-quality photos, so you need to find one with a high resolution. It is recommended that you purchase a monitor with almost 4K. 

8. Calibration

You should learn how to calibrate a monitor before purchasing one for photo editing or gaming.  By calibrating the monitor, a neutral photo is produced.

Calibration of a monitor includes more than just setting the monitor’s luminance and gamma. Choose a monitor that includes calibrating software to simplify this process. 

9. HDR

Gamers and editors require a monitor that supports HDR. This technology enhances a video, increasing the contrast and color range, thus creating a more realistic photo. It is recommended that video editing monitors have a brightness of a maximum of 1000 cd/m2.

Specific monitors can support various HDR standards. It is recommended that you select a monitor that offers Dolby Vision and HDR10+ for optimal HDR editing.  

10. Look Up Table

The LUT technology is incorporated into the hardware of professional and high-end monitors designed for photo editors. You will have immediate access to color capabilities through this feature, which will allow you to adjust color gradations based on the photo you are viewing.

Gamma can be adjusted in the automatic color correction function, and color maps can be determined by applying a color correction calculation. It should be noted that LUTs are measured in bits and thus correspond to the monitor’s color depth (8-14 bits, etc.). 

11. Delta E Value

Here, things get a little more complex. The term describes what the human eye perceives as color differences on your screen and how actual color appears on your screen. Physically and visually, delta E describes the difference in perception between two colors. This value ranges from 0 to 100 in the monitor specifications. The human brain cannot perceive numbers below zero. 100 represents the exact opposite color on the color spectrum.

In specifications of monitors explicitly designed for photo editors, Delta E numbers are always included. This number determines how accurately a monitor can display a particular color by using its “perfect” value for the color. Delta E is heavily influenced by how low the number is.

Generally, photo editors use monitors with Delta E1 and Delta E2. Also, this is acceptable if you can locate a monitor with a time difference of less than one second. Generally, people are barely aware of Delta E values of less than 1 when two colors are not touching.  

12. Refresh Rate

Consider the refresh rate and response time when purchasing a gaming monitor. Even though these features are not necessary for editing, they are crucial for gaming. In gaming, the monitor must have a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Gaming experiences are greatly enhanced by high refresh rates. 

13. Connectivity

When purchasing a gaming or editing monitor, connectivity is a critical factor. Ensure the monitor will work with your graphic card. It is also essential that the monitor has a variety of inputs and outputs. 


If you are buying or owning a single monitor for both editing and gaming, you should know some of the features of a good gaming monitor. If all the other specifications don’t match, you should look for an IPS panel, color accuracy, resolution, and calibration.

These features would help you in your work and make it easy to edit photos quickly. Keep in mind many brands sell their monitors in the name of gaming monitors, but they are not even compatible with good gaming. So, before doing anything wrong, you should read some reviews on authentic sources.

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