Grayscale, Gamma & Color
For this review, we measured the PD3200U’s Standard (default), sRGB, and User modes; the User mode allows for a full calibration. We quickly discovered, at least in the case of our sample, that there were no gains to be had. Our recommendation is to use the monitor in its default state and simply set your preferred brightness.
Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.
The first chart represents the PD3200U as shipped. We didn’t even change the brightness slider before taking the measurement series. You can see that grayscale tracking is pretty much perfect. In fact, the sweet spot from 30-80% brightness has errors under .3dE. That’s not much greater than the tolerance level of our i1 Pro. There aren’t many professional screens that can match this performance after calibration.
sRGB offers much the same result with visually perfect tracking from bottom to top. If you engage the User mode, its Normal color temp also offers perfection. If you want to try the User Define preset, it starts off quite green, so you must adjust the RGB sliders. Even with care, there are no gains to be had. Our best result was .89dE, which would be great on any other monitor, but not one that measures .37dE out of the box.
Surprisingly, the PD3200U does not take the crown for out-of-box grayscale tracking accuracy. That win still belongs to the Philips BDM3270 we reviewed recently. We’ve only seen a handful of monitors in the past four years that can perform at this level. It’s amazing to have two of them come through the lab in such short succession.
We’ve had a few monitors in the lab that aced the grayscale test but didn’t do as well on the gamma benchmark. The PD3200U is not on that list. You can see from the traces that its luminance curve is perfect in both the default Standard mode and User post-calibration. sRGB shows a small dip at 10% which equates to a small .9cd/m2 error—barely visible. In fact, it’ll probably improve shadow detail a bit in dark content.
The PD3200U’s gamma values stay within a tight .08 range. It doesn’t really get any better. With an average value of 2.17, the trace runs a tad light, but the error is invisible. With tracking like this, color saturation and luminance should be superb.
Color Gamut & Luminance
For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, please click here.
With great grayscale and gamma results already in the books, we expected perfect color and weren’t disappointed. Once again, the Standard mode is the go-to preset with ideal saturation and luminance tracking. There is a slight over-saturation in red, and magenta’s hue is off by a hair, but visually there are no errors. Luminance also shows an excellent balance with all colors near the neutral line. sRGB actually hits a few more targets with even better luminance measurements, but the difference can’t be seen with the naked eye. Calibration doesn’t make much impact at all and in fact returns a slightly higher error value. Visually, there is no way anyone will be able to discern between the three picture modes.
1.11dE represents the default Standard mode. sRGB measures an equally excellent 1.21dE, while calibration of the User mode offers gamut accuracy of 1.31dE. The results are essentially a wash, but again, we recommend leaving the PD3200U’s image adjustments alone and simply setting brightness to your preferred level. Remember that the top finishing PA322UHD’s number is a calibrated result.
Thanks to a little bonus red, sRGB gamut volume works out to a little over 105%. Those engaged in color-critical work will want to create a custom profile, which is a good idea for any monitor regardless of price or accuracy level.