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Color Rendering

The gamma curves are overall good at the default settings, except that they are lower than the theoretical gamma 2.2 curve in the left part of the diagram (the flat stretch of the blue curve is due to a bug in my calibrator’s software). This deflection, barely noticeable in the diagram, has an effect on colors which results in a high-contrast image with less distinguishable darks.

The monitor has a gamma setting, though. If you set it at Mode2, the gamma curves get better.

Lowering the Contrast setting in the monitor’s menu doesn’t affect the curves much, but you shouldn’t set it higher than the default 75% as it leads to light halftones merging into the same color.

Two of the MagicBright modes, Standard and Game, change the monitor’s Brightness and, slightly Contrast, so the gamma curves retain their shape. It’s different in the Cinema mode:

The gamma curves are S-shaped here, resulting in odd color rendering. Dark halftones are indistinguishable, just as light ones are. I don’t think anyone will like this. Hopefully, this is just an error in the presale sample of the monitor and the Cinema mode will have become better by the beginning of its sales.

Samsung claims that PLS matrixes with white LED backlight (that’s the kind of the matrix employed in the SA850) cover the entire range of sRGB colors. And that’s indeed so. The monitor’s color gamut triangle matches the sRGB one along one rib and is larger in the other two ribs. Thus, the SA850 is one of the few monitors that you can get an immaculately accurate sRGB gamut with by creating an appropriate profile with a calibrator and using that profile in your image-editing application.

It must be noted that the term extended color gamut means that a monitor’s color gamut triangle has a larger area than the sRGB triangle but the latter may go out of the former’s boundaries. In other words, an extended color gamut does not guarantee the reproduction of all sRGB colors. That’s why the full coverage of sRGB by the SA850 is so valuable.

The color temperature is set up well enough, even though the Normal and subsequent modes are rather too warm. The variation between the different levels of gray is small and there is no significant deflection towards pink or green, either.

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