The S3220DGF ships in its Standard picture mode which is extremely accurate. No calibration is necessary, just set brightness to taste. Of course, we adjusted the Custom Color mode to see if we could make an improvement.
Grayscale and Gamma Tracking
We descibe our grayscale and gamma tests in detail here.
There’s certainly nothing to complain about here. The S3220DGF’s Standard mode is spot on at every brightness level except 100%, where you can see a green tint if you look very hard. You can fix it by reducing the contrast slider a click or two. Gamma runs reasonably close to 2.2 but is just a tad light. We prefer to see VA panels err the other way, above the line, or slightly darker. Their extra contrast allows some leeway in that direction. These are slight errors only, but it would be nice to have other gamma options available.
We tweaked the gain and offset sliders and reduced contrast by two clicks to get an even better chart. Gamma is pretty much the same, just a tad light but the image looks very good.
A 1.11 Delta E (dE) average is about as low as it gets for any monitor, but the XB273K managed one of the best default scores we’ve ever recorded. In fact, the top four screens here make our Calibration Not Required List, while the Raptor and XV273K need some calibration to reach their full potential.
As you can see, this is a very capable group of displays with grayscale errors of less than 1dE across the board. This is reference-level grayscale accuracy.
The S3220DGF’s gamma tracking is very tight with just a 0.07 range of values. But its average of 2.14 means it misses the spec by 2.72%. It’s a small issue, but we always hope to see perfection.
Color Gamut Accuracy
For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, click here.
The S3220DGF is a DCI-P3 native monitor, but Dell has under-saturated the green and blue primaries a bit to try and split the difference between sRGB and DCI-P3. The net effect is positive: it’s only a little over-saturated in SDR mode, while HDR signals look good with that extra color.
Measured against the sRGB standard, green and red are over-saturated, while the other colors are closer to their targets. Calibration doesn’t change anything here, and when compared to the DCI-P3 gamut, the S3220DGF is slightly under-saturated across the board. We’ll call it a compromise that suits all content well but doesn’t hit the mark perfectly.
Whether you’re viewing sRGB or DCI-mastered content, the S3220DGF comes reasonably close to the standard. It’s a little over-saturated for the former and a little under-saturated for the latter. Those are acceptable compromises, but we’d rather see a little more DCI color and an sRGB mode for standard material. Yes, we are splitting hairs when talking about a $420 monitor, but that’s why we’re here.
In the gamut volume calculation, the Dell covers a comfortable 83.6% of DCI and 120.6% of sRGB. You can use a software profile to reduce the gamut for photo editing in the sRGB realm. For gaming though, the extra color affords a nice presentation no matter what the content. If you want the maximum possible color saturation, look no further than the Razor Raptor 27.
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