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SDR – from sRGB to Display P3


Standard displays support a standard called “sRGB”. The name stands actually stands for standard RGB. Modern displays are often called “Wide Gamut” displays.

They support a wider gamut than sRGB which basically means they have a different set of RGB lights that can emit higher saturation in red, green and blue lights than a sRGB display can.

Most current Apple devices have a wide gamut display called “Display P3”. They support different EOTF’s for SDR and HDR content.

Expanding the gamut to Display P3

The first image is an 8-bit JPG image (Display P3 tagged). The red, green and blue bars are set to their maximum values in sRGB. Inside the three bars there are some letters say “P3 RGB”. These letters reach the full values in Display P3 and show the maximum saturated red, green and blue colors that the display can show.

8-Bit JPG Display P3 image with the maximum RGB values only in the letters.


I am writing this article on an iMac 27″ from 2020 which has a wide gamut display (Display P3 500 nits). Depending on your display, the operating system and the browser you use, you will see the letters inside the RGB bars or not. I can read the letters when I view this page in Safari or Chrome, but not in Firefox. Firefox is not color-managed by Colorsync in MacOS, but Safari and Chrome are.

sRGB fits inside Display P3

My iMac, iPad, iPhone displays all support Display P3.

The CIE 1976 Chromaticity Diagram gives a rough idea how different the lights in a “sRGB” display versus a “Display P3” display are. The lights have actually a different “color”, red and green are way different than in sRGB, blue is is only slightly different in “Display P3”.