Results: Color Gamut And Performance
Both panels in today’s review are wide-gamut monitors, designed to render 100 percent of the Adobe RGB 1998 color space. This means that more of the visible spectrum of color is displayed. If you look at the CIE charts below, you’ll see the fin-shaped area that represents all the color visible to the human eye. The triangle formed by the three primary colors is the gamut actually shown by the display. The Adobe RGB 1998 gamut extends the sRGB/Rec 709 spec by about 30 percent, mostly towards the green region of the chart. We adjusted our graphs to show both screens’ measurements relative to the larger color space.
Color gamut is measured using a saturation sweep that samples the six main colors (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow) at five saturation levels (20, 40, 60, 80, and 100%). This provides a more realistic view of color accuracy. Since there are no color management controls on either monitor, we're only showing the post-calibration graphs (although we’re sure they'd look pretty much the same out-of-box).
The ZR30w tracks the larger gamut pretty well except for the red primary and magenta secondary colors, which are a little over-saturated. The rest of the color points are quite good with only tiny errors at all five saturation levels. This is excellent performance. Color luminance is a little hot for green, blue, and cyan, but very good for red, magenta, and yellow. We recommend creating a custom monitor profile for any screen intended for precise photo and graphics work. This way, small errors can be compensated for and matched to your camera and output devices.
Double Sight DS-309W
Overall performance is a little better on the DoubleSight. Like the HP, red and magenta are slightly oversaturated. Color luminance is low for red, blue, and magenta, but nearly perfect for the other colors. The DS-309W does squeak under the average Delta E three line with a value of 2.5. This is excellent performance.
Here is how both panels compare to other recently-tested monitors.
None of the monitors in the group have any significant color accuracy issues. Even though the HP is on the bottom, its value of 3.5 is respectable. Remember that this is an average of 30 measurements. All of the screens offer professional-level color quality. The Samsung S27B970D continues to lead this benchmark, followed closely by the value champ, Auria's EQ276W.
Gamut Volume: Adobe RGB 1998
There are basically two categories of displays in use today: those that conform to the sRGB/Rec 709 standard like HDTVs, and wide-gamut panels that show as much as 100 percent of the Adobe RGB 1998 spec. We use Gamutvision to calculate the gamut volume, based on an ICC profile created from actual measurements.
The DS-309W displays a tick more of the Adobe RGB 1998 gamut than the ZR30w. The difference is negligible and not visible to the naked eye. The other screens are sRGB monitors and display the correct 68-72 percent gamut as they should. If you watch video or play games on either of the screens in today’s review, you will see that reds and greens look a little unnatural. It is important to match a display to its intended content. Unless you need the extra color saturation available on these panels, you may be dissatisfied with the color rendering of typical image content. We’d love to see selectable color gamuts on monitors like these. Any panel that renders Adobe RGB 1998 is capable of rendering sRGB. Many consumer TVs have this feature, so there’s no reason to omit it on a computer monitor.