Mac Gamma

Martin Baxter martin at
Mon Dec 9 10:35:01 EST 2002

>Richard Gaskin wrote:
>I've long wondered:  does the Mac use the non-standard gamma for an
>objectively verifiable benefit, or was this just another Jobs thang?

As I understand it, standard RGB monitor gamma (as defined by the hardware)
gives a non-linear brightness response to voltage. Hence mid grey value
127,127,127 would appear on the monitor noticeably lighter than 'mid grey'.

Mac gamma attempts to compensate for this so that increases in numeric
tonal value produces a linear increase in screen brightness.

So IMO it's a case of the Mac got it right in this case, but unfortunately
'most computer users' don't seem bothered if 'dark blue' (#000033) looks
indistinguishable from black (#000000), near enough seems to be good
enough, ho hum.

martin baxter

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