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The C32G2ZE has several possible color configurations. By default, it uses its entire native gamut, which is 85% of DCI-P3. But you can also select an sRGB mode and three HDR emulation presets. We’ll show you those results now.
Grayscale and Gamma Tracking
The C32G2ZE’s Standard picture mode defaults to the Warm color temp. It's slightly warm with red errors that are visible at brightness levels over 40%. It isn’t too far off the mark, but the other two presets are very blue in tone. Gamma tracking is also too light in the Gamma 1 preset. For a VA panel, it’s best to track at least 2.2 or even a bit higher if possible.
The User color temp has very precise RGB sliders that start center-range, which let us achieve professional-level grayscale accuracy. By changing the gamma preset to option 3, we darkened luminance tracking nicely. It measures a little dark, but in practice, the panel’s wide dynamic range made the image look very three-dimensional and saturated.
The sRGB color mode is in the color temp options, as is usual for AOC monitors. It also features a warm grayscale and gamma that is right on 2.2 except for at 10% and 20% brightness. With an average error of 4.83 Delta E (dE), you’ll see that red tint in brightness levels 30% and higher.
The HDR Picture mode has a decent grayscale with only minor errors visible at 80-100% brightness. But with dynamic contrast engaged, gamma is more erratic. This will vary depending on actual content, but our experience showed no significant improvement in image depth. We recommend leaving the HDR emulations off.
The C32G2ZE’s default grayscale error of 4.66dE makes calibration a must if you want optimal image quality. Luckily, it’s easily achievable with just a few tweaks. A final score of 0.51dE puts the AOC in second place, just behind the FI25F. However, none of the monitors here showed visible grayscale errors after calibration.
Though the C32G2ZE’s gamma doesn’t track at 2.2 either before or after calibration, it does maintain a tight range of values, enough to put it in first place in that test among this comparison group. Whether you choose gamma preset 1 or 3, the deviation is about the same. There is no setting that puts it right on 2.2, so we went for the darker option because it increased perceived contrast and enhanced color saturation.
Color Gamut Accuracy
The C32G2ZE delivers excellent color gamut accuracy whether you calibrate or not. By default, you can see it completely covers the blue, magenta, red and yellow regions of the DCI-P3 triangle. Green is slightly under-saturated which is typical of extended color monitors. Inner targets are on or close with just a minor hue error seen in yellow.
Calibration fixes this error and puts all the color points on their targets. Green is only slightly under the mark. This is excellent performance.
If you choose the sRGB mode from the color temp menu, you get an accurate representation of that gamut. Red is accurate until 100% where it is slightly over-saturated. The other colors are very close to their targets with just slight hue errors in cyan and yellow. The color temp is a tad warm, but this is a perfectly usable sRGB mode.
Despite HDR Picture’s odd gamma behavior, its color tracking is very good. The high DeltaE value is due to its manipulation of color luminance which is not shown in the chart above. Those numbers are as much as 60% too high which makes the overall palette look very bright, almost cartoonish. We found the effect did not enhance picture quality. If you like an extremely colorful image, it might be to your taste.
The C32G2ZE comes out on top of our gamut accuracy comparison. Though the first four monitors are all very close, AOC has obviously put the effort into creating a color-accurate display.
In the gamut volume test, it measures like a typical extended color monitor. Most of them come in around 85% with a handful topping 90%. As usual, an undersaturated green primary is the culprit. AOC’s sRGB mode delivers just over 97% of sRGB, which is also about average for sRGB monitors or extended color screens that have an accurate sRGB mode.
The C32G2ZE is usable color-critical work without a profile; although, it’s always best to use one for the most precision.
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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.
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