Thursday, May 7, 2009

How black is black on an LCD? Try the iPhone Black Level Experiment...

If you are using an LCD, how black is black? Try this experiment.

If you have an iPhone, turn it off. Go into a pitch black room (I mean PITCH black--no light leaks--totally sealed).

Then, turn on your iPhone. The Apple logo comes up--you can just cover that with your thumb.

The bright gray glow you see emitting from your iPhone? That is "black" on an LCD. But it turns out its not really that black is it?

In fact, its such a bright gray, a fully "black" iPhone display can illuminate a dark room.

This is the problem with using generic LCD's for color correction. Their black level isn't black enough, so your colors get washed out and muddied.

Try it sometime...

1 comment:

J Simoneau said...

I recently did alot of looking into this because of Sony's contrast ratio claims on OLED Screens. It was pretty interesting and I never really thought about this stuff.

I found that pretty much no room is really ever beyond like 500/1 or something including a movie theater. Even in a movie theater you are tainting it because of all the random watches and cell phones.

Plus to get perfect darkness you would have to paint all your walls and floor completely black. Even at that... if you see one gun shot or something on the tv in that room your eyes will take several minutes before adjusting back to anything close to a decent ratio.

I also found that according to quite a few sources... there is no investigations into the claims that these companies make in regards to their aspect ratio marketing and that the human eye can't really even tell the difference beyond something like 1,000/1. So the whole OLED thing with that claim is cool but over-hyped.

Its been a while and I'm sure you have alot more info regarding this type of stuff so correct me if I'm wrong on that stuff... The moral of my story I guess was don't buy into 1,000,000/1 ratios and stuff. I agree with you 100% in regards to editing as mentioned though.