My background in physics, optics and image processing has always used the
term monochrome to mean "an image is presented as different shades of gray
from black to white"; with the more general definition to be "an image is
presented as different shades of a single color from the color to white".
After searching the web (do a Google search using the key words "define:
monochrome") you will discover that you can find just about any definition
you want; including:
Monochrome Printer - A monochrome printer can only produce an
image consisting of one color,
usually black. A monochrome printer may also be able to produce
of tone of that color, such as a grey-scale.
So this mean monochrome is both B/W and grey (gray)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I believe you will find that the term monochrome migrated to it current
association as a binary B/W representation from how people have talked about
photos. Photos have always been denoted as either being "Black/White" or
"Color". This is done to distinguish two big classes of photos. However,
the B/W photos (images) are actually gray tone (black monochrome) not binary
People also to refer to monochrome displays; but these are not binary B/W
either, since the display can display a range of gray (green, red, brown)
values but adjusting the intensity of the electron beam.
I would like to propose the following.
Binary Image - An image composed of individual pixels having only two
possible states and represented by a single binary value. Example: Black
and White, Red and White, Blue and White, Blue and Red.
Monochrome Image - An image composed of individual pixels having n number of
possible states that corresponds to a graduation of tone of a single color
and represented by 1 or more bytes per pixel. Examples: 8-Bit-Gray-Tone
(256 states going from black to white) and 16-Bit-Sepia (65536 states going
from brown to white)
Color Image - An image composed of individual pixels having n number of
possible states representing Hue, Value and Intensity where the Hue, Value
and Intensity are represented as either indexed individual color values or
color space coordinates. Examples: 8-Bit-RGB (256 possible indexed states),
24-Bit-RGB ((8,8,8) = 16 million possible states), 48-Bit-RGB ((16,16,16) =
2.8 E14 possible states), CMYK, HSV
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