Grayscale, Gamma And Color
Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.
The Racing mode posts decent grayscale tracking results by default. There aren’t any visible errors, although we could see a slight red tint in the brighter steps if we looked hard. If you don’t plan to calibrate, this mode works just fine as long as you make the change to contrast we’ve already talked about. You’ll see its effects below.
With that change and a tweak to the red slider, we achieved a chart worthy of a professional screen (or a premium gaming monitor). The post-calibration results are about as close to perfection as you can get.
Most users would be satisfied with an average 1.82dE error level, us included. But if the ability to improve is there, why not take advantage? Our tweaks reduced the error to a mere .54dE, better than many professional-grade displays and beaten only by the LG in today’s tests.
When we took our initial measurements, we though some sort of dynamic contrast was in play. But the PG348Q has no such feature. All of the picture modes posted the same result including sRGB. We checked out a color PLUGE pattern and discovered obvious clipping in the three primaries as well as white. This points to a contrast control that is set too high. Reducing it from 50 to 43 solved the issue and generated the second chart which is much better. There’s still a little too much darkness at the lower end and a bit of extra light at 90%, but these errors are minor, and tracking stays right around the 2.2 line. You’ll see in our color tests how saturation and luminance are similarly affected.
Color Gamut And Luminance
For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, please click here.
In the PG348Q’s default state, we can see two things in our color charts that require attention. First, in the CIE graph, the targets below 100% (inner points) are all over-saturated. It’s most obvious on the red/magenta/blue side of the triangle. While this won’t have a huge impact on image quality, it’s something that we need to address. In the next graph, all luminance levels are too high. That gives the picture something of an overblown look with colors that don’t look quite as natural as they should.
The post calibration result shows how our contrast fix solves the problem. Reds and blues are still a tad over, but less so. More importantly though, luminance levels are now almost at zero across the board. That’s where we really see the effects of proper versus improper color balance. Just that simple repair has taken the PG348Q from good to great.
Calibration takes the average of our 36 color measurements from 4.01dE to an excellent 1.71dE. It’s not quite at the professional level, but for a gaming monitor, this is top-notch performance. You can see that only the LG and the XR341CK measure better, and not by much.
In the gamut volume test, we see a little extra color mainly thanks to some bonus blue. While 100% is perfect, a little more punch is never unwelcome. It’s unlikely anyone will use the PG348Q as a proofing monitor, but it could rise to that task if necessary.