Brightness and Contrast
The monitor’s Brightness and Contrast are set at 100 and 75, respectively, by default. To achieve a 100-nit white I set Brightness at 10 and Contrast at 30.
The monitor performs like most other modern products in this test, delivering a max brightness of over 300 nits and a contrast ratio of over 700:1. As I wrote above, the screen brightness lowers to 77 nits in 3D mode since the monitor begins to alternate video frames with all-black frames.
The SyncMaster SA950 has three MagicBright modes: Standard, Cinema and Game. As you can see from the table, the two last modes do not differ in brightness and contrast ratio, so you can guess that, contrary to its custom, Samsung has transformed MagicBright into yet another “image enhancer” instead of a means of quickly changing the level of screen brightness.
Indeed, the Cinema mode has such a high level of sharpness that there are bright shadows around lines of contrasting colors, and the manual sharpness setting is blocked. The Game mode has no such problem: the monitor is simply set at higher Brightness and Contrast. The latter is set rather too high, provoking some problems with the rendering of light halftones. Thus, the usefulness of MagicBright is rather low in this monitor. There are only three preset modes, one of which distorts colors.
The backlight is quite uniform in this monitor. The average irregularity is 8.6% with a maximum of 17.3% for black. For white, the average and maximum are 6.6% and 12.1%, respectively. As you can see in the pictures above, the bottom third of the screen is somewhat brighter than the top, but there are no critical defects of backlighting here.