On further reading, it appears that the extended gamut is a complete waste of time for me (and the majority of consumers), because my JPEGS are encoded in the standard sRGB colour space. The much wider range of colours which my camera (Canon G10) is capable of recording is irreversibly thrown away when the image is stored as a JPEG.
However you look at it, colours in the original scene that were out of the sRGB gamut, cannot be displayed correctly on a wide gamut monitor, because the sRGB file simply does not contain the information about these out-of-gamut colours in the first place.
If I want to properly exploit the full range of colours that can be reproduced on an extended gamut monitor, my best and most flexible option for future photos is to shoot raw.
However, that still leaves the unfortunate issue of thousands of sRGB JPEGs that I have taken over the last 7 years or so. Millions of people must be in the same situation, and millions more will end up in the same situation as sRGB JPEG is still the most common default camera file type today. As per my previous statements above, conventional wisdom apparently has it that an sRGB file does not contain information about the out-of-gamut colours in the first place, so that's the end of the matter, and those out-of-gamut colours cannot be displayed.
However, is that strictly speaking true?
It would be true if the out of gamut colours were simply clipped to the nearest available in-gamut colour, but that method is not usually used for photographic work. I would presume that perceptual gamut mapping is used, in which case the out-of-gamut colours are NOT lost, but are compressed into the narrower sRGB colour space, and this is a "mostly" reversible process. Some useful references re gamut mapping are :-http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials...-conversion.htmhttp://www.normankoren.com/color_management.html
To further make the point, perceptual mapping is also known as "Maintain Full Gamut". That sets the cat amongst the pigeons, doesn't it?
That means that it should be possible to convert my sRGB JPEGs to AdobeRGB (aRGB), for example, while mostly retaining the information about colours that were captured by the camera, but out of the sRGB gamut. Can Photoshop, for example, convert from sRGB to aRGB, mostly maintaining the full gamut as I have described? If not, then why not?
It also means, that even without me specifically converting my sRBG files to aRGB, it should be possible to open sRGB files in any intelligent software/viewer, the application should uncompress the restricted gamut of colours within the sRGB file into its wide internal working colour space, and then optimally (probably perceptually) re-map the full gamut of colours to an extended gamut monitor, or a printer, or whatever.
In other words, provided perceptual mapping is used to create the sRGB in the first place, and presumably information about the type of rendering used is tagged to the file, then what's the problem? The application that reads the file should seamlessly take care of everything, optimally displaying the full range of colours captured by the camera on any monitor. Is this actually what happens when an sRGB file is opened and displayed by Photoshop, for example. If not, then why not?