Results: Grayscale Tracking And Gamma Response
A majority of monitors, especially newer models, display excellent grayscale tracking (even at stock settings). It’s important that the color of white be consistently neutral at all light levels from darkest to brightest. Grayscale performance impacts color accuracy with regard to the secondary colors: cyan, magenta, and yellow. Since computer monitors typically have no color or tint adjustment, accurate grayscale is key.
Since most folks don't calibrate their monitors, I'll show you the results from three of the RL2460HT’s picture modes without any adjustments.
Fighting is BenQ’s default mode, and it does take some artistic license with color that you'll see illustrated in the gamut results. Grayscale performance isn’t too bad, fortunately. The white point runs a little blue as brightness rises. You’ll also experience a slight green error in the darkest areas of the screen. The mid-tones (30-50 percent) are the best part of this chart.
Changing to Standard mode makes the tracking a little more linear, if not entirely flat. Green errors are visible from 50 percent on up. One-hundred percent is the exception where the white point suddenly becomes much better.
The best out-of-box accuracy comes from the sRGB preset. Unlike a lot of other monitors, you can still change brightness and contrast in this mode. The only locked-out controls are color temp and gamma. For an uncalibrated picture mode to measure so well on a sub-$250 monitor is pretty astounding.
Going back to the Standard mode, we tweaked the RGB sliders and recorded a superb result. With the exception of 0 and 10 percent, all errors are well under one Delta E.
Here is our comparison group:
Since Fighting is the RL2460HT’s default mode, we’re using that as our stock Delta E value. To BenQ’s credit, it doesn't claim this mode meets typical color standards. According to the company's marketing, it was created to help highlight certain colors in fighting games, so there are intentional modifications in play. With that said, 3.65 Delta E is not a bad result in that it’s a barely visible error.
Calibrating the Standard mode vaults the RL2460HT into some impressive (and expensive) company. An average error of .71 Delta E is right up there with all of the pro monitors we’ve tested.
Gamma is the measurement of luminance levels at every step in the brightness range from 0 to 100 percent. It's 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 a greater sense of depth and realism. Meanwhile, incorrect gamma can negatively affect image quality, even in monitors with high contrast ratios.
In the gamma charts below, the yellow line represents 2.2, which is the most widely used standard for television, film, and computer graphics production. The closer the white measurement trace comes to 2.2, the better.
Our gamma results presented us with some choices. Like most computer monitors, there are multiple presets available. Only two measure close to our preferred average value of 2.2, though. Neither curve is ideal, so we’re showing you both.
Gamma 3 offers the flattest tracking, but it’s a little too dark at an average of over 2.4. Since the RL2460HT is not super-bright, this gamma preset might make the image a little too dim for some tastes. That was our observation, compelling us to try the Gamma 2 preset as well.
Gamma 2 tracks right around the 2.2 mark. However, it incurs a dip and rise at 10 percent and a hump at 80 percent. Even still, when it comes to watching real-world content, this option looks better. The errors are small, and you might not even be able to distinguish them from a perfectly flat measured trace. In case you’re wondering, sRGB mode generates the exact same result.
Here is our comparison group again:
We include both runs in our round-up so you can make up your own mind which gamma to choose. Gamma 3 has the tightest tracking. Even though its average value is too high (meaning too dark), it’s much more consistent than Gamma 2.
Gamma deviation is calculated by simply expressing the difference from 2.2 as a percentage.
On the other side of the equation, Gamma 2 comes much closer to 2.2 than Gamma 3. Ultimately, that’s why it’s our preference. If you recall the calibration notes from page three, you need to set the brightness, contrast, and RGB sliders differently for each gamma preset. You can’t just switch between them without altering the calibration.