Results: Gamma And ANSI Contrast Ratio
Gamma is the measurement of luminance levels at every step in the brightness range from 0 to 100 percent. This is important because poor gamma can either crush detail at various points or wash it out, making the entire picture appear flat and dull. Correct gamma produces a more three-dimensional image, with greater depth and pop. Meanwhile, incorrect gamma can negatively affect image quality, even in monitors with high contrast ratios.
In the gamma chart below, the yellow line represents 2.2, which is the most widely-accepted standard for television, film, and computer graphics production. The closer the white measurement trace comes to 2.2, the better.
The EQ276W tracks fairly well from zero to 100 percent. The overall picture shows an average value of 1.98 with a dip to 1.86 at the 10 percent level. The highest value in this measurement is 2.03 at 80 percent. The visible result is an image that looks slightly washed out, especially in the lower luminance levels. While not too grievous, it’s less accurate than other IPS monitors we’ve tested.
Gamma value range shows the quality of tracking from zero to 100 percent. A flatter gamma trace is obviously more desirable.
The Auria places smack in the middle of our five-way comparison, but its score is very close to the top two performers. You can see both from the gamma trace and the low range that the EQ276W’s gamma tracking is actually quite good.
It’s unfortunate that the Auria doesn’t include a gamma control. That’s all it would take to pull it out of last place in our comparison. Image quality would be noticeably improved if the user could raise the already-flat gamma to the correct level of 2.2.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
Another important measure of contrast is ANSI. To perform this test, a checkerboard pattern of sixteen 0 and 100 percent squares are measured. This is somewhat more real-world than on/off measurements because it tests a display’s ability to simultaneously maintain both low black and full white levels, and factors in screen uniformity. The average of the eight full-white measurements is divided by the average of the eight full-black measurements to arrive at the ANSI result.
Auria’s ANSI number is only slightly below its on/off result. This is very good performance. If you compare the other IPS screens in the group, you’ll notice their ANSI ratios are significantly lower than their on/off results. The conclusion is the EQ276W will present consistent image quality regardless of content.