New-Generation Color Calibrators and Display Gamut Concerns

The latest generation of display calibration products from the major manufacturers use a library of display models to allow them to make more accurate measurements of the gamut of various display types. While this technique increases display calibration accuracy, it can also cause concern amongst users who upgrade from earlier models, only to find that the gamut graph using the new calibrator appears to provide them with a smaller gamut than they were achieving with their older calibrator.

Blue: Older Calibrator. Red: Newer Calibrator

The graph above illustrates this phenomenon. At first glance it would be easy to wonder whether you were somehow “losing gamut” with your newer calibration device.

The reality of the situation is quite different. Both the older and newer calibrators may produce nearly identical results on easy-to-read screen types, but on wide gamut displays or more difficult-to-measure screen types, the newer model is likely to produce more accurate results. These improved results most often mean a reduction in the measure of saturation of the display primaries, especially the green primary, and to a lesser extent the red primary.

This means that the “smaller” gamut being seen when comparing the gamuts of the older and newer display profiles actually indicates a more accurate measurement of the screen. In addition, defining the primaries as less-saturated has the counter-intuitive result of showing colors as more saturated on screen, instead of less.

So if comparisons between your older and newer display calibration tools produces this type of result, rest assured that you are not “losing gamut” but in fact getting both more saturated, and more accurate, color with the newer product.

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012. Website: CDTobie.com Return to Blog’s Main Page

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