Gamut

A colour gamut identifies a specific range of colours from a larger range of colours identifiable by the human eye.

  • When reproducing colours on a digital display or during printing, gamut refers to a range of colours that is smaller than those that can be distinguished by a human observer.
  • Gamut often to the colours that can be accurately recorded or reproduced by devices such as cameras, computer monitors and printers.
  • Gamut is also used to refer to the complete set of colours found within an image. In this context, digitizing a photograph, converting an image to a different colour space, or producing a final print may alter its gamut.
  • The range of perceived colours (visible to a human observer) is always greater than the range that can be reproduced by any digital device such as a screen, monitor or projector.
  • Digital cameras, scanners, monitors, and printers are all limited to the gamut of colours they can sense, store and reproduce.
  • The primary purpose of digital colour spaces and colour profiles is often to establish a colour gamut that can be applied across different devices without compromising the colours in an image any more than is necessary.
  • A device that can reproduce a colour space corresponding with human perception is an unrealized goal and beyond the reach of contemporary technologies.
  • When colours within a colour space cannot be reproduced using a specific colour space or display device those colours are said to be out of gamut, meaning they cannot be properly converted to match a target device.