What is wide gamut?

Started May 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
Bob Collette
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Re: What is wide gamut?
In reply to Carwash, May 21, 2012

Carwash wrote:

Bob Collette wrote:

A wide gamut monitor can display a wider range of colors than a "normal" gamut monitor.

Does this mean it can display more 'extreme/pure' shades of red blue and green, or just that there are more 'steps' inbetween red and black?

Yes, it can display more "pure" shades of red, green, and blue. The number of "steps" or levels is determined by the bit depth. Most monitors are 8 bits/color, giving 256 levels per color.

A normal gamut monitor has a color gamut (range of colors that can be produced) that approximately matches sRGB color space. A wide gamut monitor has a color gamut that approximately matches AdobeRGB color space.

I was comparing the specs of the Dell U2410 and the U2412, and was surprised that the latter screen only covers 83% of sRGB. I always assumed that any reasonably good monitor could display all sRGB shades!

Relatively few have 100% sRGB coverage.

So, assuming there aren't any side effects of using a wide gamut monitor for normal stuff on a Windows PC (web browsing, watching videos, etc), I'd prefer to have the U2410. The U3010 would be perfect, but is way out of my price range.

Virtually all web images are sRGB color space (or they should be). If you view an sRGB image on a wide gamut monitor using a non-color managed application, the image will appear overly saturated (colors are too vibrant). However, if you view an sRGB image using a color managed application, the colors will look correct.

Hmm, so doesn't the operating system correct this for the application? Looking around my graphics card setting in the Windows control panel, I can select different color spaces, including wide gamut, even though I have a normal laptop screen, I assumed if I plugged in a Dell 2410, I'd just have to change this setting and everything would display correctly on the Dell, but wrongly on the old screen?

No, the operating system doesn't automatically handle this issue. It assumes that everything is sRGB (images & displays). Perhaps this will change in future versions of Windows as wide gamut displays become more popular. As for being able to select different color spaces in the Windows control panel, I'm not sure what you mean. I've never seen this. Perhaps it's something related to the graphics card you're using.

I'm sure most of my apps are not colour managed, such as the Windows picture viewer, Star Office, media players (how will DVDs look on a U2410?), etc.

Unless the wide gamut setting you mentioned earlier compensates for the wide gamut display, I would expect that non-color managed apps would look overly saturated.

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