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Windows 7: Windows photo viewer - wrong gamma in normal mode, OK in fullscreen

23 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 64bit professional
Windows photo viewer - wrong gamma in normal mode, OK in fullscreen

Hi there

I'm completely mystified by this: when I use photo viewer in FULLSCREEN mode, the photos look exactly as I expect. When I use photo viewer in the mode it normally starts up in, the same photos are very dark, like there's a major gamma shift and anything darker than mid-grey in the image is black, and the colours are much more saturated.

Incidentally when I preview the files in windows explorer the images are fine too, just not in the initial view of Photo Viewer.

Anyone come across this? I have an Nvidia graphic card but it doesn't seem to matter what I do, I get this strange shift between normal and fullscreen view.

Hope someone can offer some pointers. I can't see how one single windows program can change gamma between its own view modes!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 7 64bit professional

  • happens in windows live photo gallery too (same behaviour - fullscreen OK, normal view not OK) and
  • happens with .png and .jpg files (haven't tried others but they are the types I normally use).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

You haven't described your monitor. Is it an LCD? Does it have its own setup menu in the hardware, to auto-adjust what is presented based on ambient lighting or other characteristics of what is being displayed, etc.? Can that be suppressed?

Does it have "auto-adjust" software (probably through a separate USB connection to the monitor used by the adjusting software, in addition to the DVI/HDMI connection)? This too can either do something or not, which can affect how things look on the monitor.

For example, I have an Eizo monitor which DOES have controlling software that runs on the PC named "Screenmanager Pro". This can control how individual program windows look, including the ability to modify brightness, contrast, color, gamma, etc., when that program's window has the focus. Various presets are available, or you can create your own "custom" settings.

This Screenmanager Pro software operates in addition to the monitor hardware itself working to auto-adjust what is shown.

Anyway, it is very common for windows controlled by this software to look different from the full-screen presentation of the same image content.

So... might your own monitor be the "culprit" in why image rendering in a window looks different than image rendering in full-screen?
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Windows photo viewer - wrong gamma in normal mode, OK in fullscreen

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