Colour gamut is a term used to describe the range of colours that can be represented or displayed by a particular device or system.

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

  • Gamut is often used to refer to the colours that can be accurately recorded or reproduced by devices such as cameras, computer monitors and printers.
  • Gamut may 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 register, store and reproduce.
  • The primary purpose of digital colour spaces and colour profiles is to establish colour gamuts that can be applied in a given situation to optimise or adjust the appearance of an image.
  • A digital device that can reproduce a colour gamut corresponding with human perception is an unrealized goal and beyond the reach of contemporary technologies.
  • When some colours within an image cannot be digitally reproduced using a specific colour space, those colours are said to be out of gamut, meaning they cannot be properly converted to match a target device.