Having a good well-calibrated monitor is the biggest leap that you can take to improve your photography!
What a statement, but entirely true. Your monitor is the tool that you use to view your photographs and decide on whether you need to modify or edit them or make adjustments to the capture process. I am pleased that you are interested in a new screen for your PC for photo editing.
I don't “know it all” but I struggle with these technical problems every day, know when I'm beat and try to find solutions or workarounds! I do run some technical workshops as an outcome of my eternal quest for tackling the most difficult photographic situations and I will be pleased to help you, but beware that my approach is that the technical problems must never stand in the way of quality.
By this, I mean that I won't sacrifice quality and will always try to recommend the best for the job.
Understanding that your requirements and the amount that you wish to spend need to be taken into account, let me try and help you:
Off the shelf “Chain Store” type computer systems (read “Harvey Norman, Dick Smith etc.”) come with monitors that are cheap, very bright and colourful and have dreadful viewing angles due to the low cost TN (twisted nematic) technology. They do not represent the images as they really are and if you look at them from different angles you get colour shifts and brightness variations.
So, how can you judge your image quality from something like that?
Cheap TN monitors also have a very limited colour range, much less than sRGB (for viewing online) or Adobe RGB (used for printing quality images).
The club has acquired a monitor calibrator which can be used for accurately calibrating you monitor, ask Wolf Marx of Don Weston for the loan.
Where do you start? No need to break the bank, but you do need a good IPS (In Plane Switching) monitor with premiercolor and colour gamut equal to Adobe RGB.
I have posted earlier recommendations on the digital group page which you may like to read:
Dell have a range of Premiercolor UltraSharp monitors with IPS technology and RGB LED backlighting, with 99% of Adobe RGB colour gamut.
I use 2 x Dell 24” monitors ($700 each) and 1 x NEC Spectraview 24” (which cost me $2500)
I find the Dells to be rock solid, had them for years. The Dells come factory calibrated and I have calibrated further to compensate for room lighting but I can tell you that these monitors are spot on and the calibration hardly drifts.
At Scorptec you can buy the 24” monitor for $679 http://www.scorptec.com.au/product/Monitors/23-24_inch/52226-U2413 (As of date 2/5/15)
Look for these words in the spec: Dell 24inch Ultrasharp AH-IPS LED Monitor, 1920×1200, 6ms, 1000:1, DVI, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, 4 Port USB3, PremierColor, 99% Adobe RGB
We are lucky that this technology is dropping in price. BENQ have released a new colour Critical monitor for photography which you could also look at
Contact me directly if you have questions.
Totally Mad hdr pano guy (aka “Barney”)