In the case of color representation in displays or with printers, the color impression is achieved from three primary colors by color mixing. The difference between the representation on monitors and that of printers lies in the type of color mixing and thus depends on the primary colors used. If additive color mixing according to the RGB color model is used for emitting displays such as those of monitors, subtractive color mixing according to the CMY color model is used for reflecting displays.
Depending on the color depth, different terms are used for the color representation. For example, a color representation of 5 bits per color, i.e. a color depth of 15 bits, and a color depth of 16 bits are referred to as high-color mode, or HiColor. In this mode, 32 color saturations can be displayed per color. With a color depth of 15 bits, this means a total of 32,768 colors, and with 16 bits, 65,536 colors.
If the color depth for a primary color is increased by 1 bit to 6 bits, then each primary color can be displayed in 64 color saturations, i.e. a total of 262,144 color tones can be displayed. This color depth corresponds to the Direct Color mode, DirectColor, as does the 7-bit resolution for each color, which results in a color depth of 2,097,152 shades.
A more detailed color representation is achieved with True Color (TrueColor) with a resolution of 8 bits per primary color (R,G,B), i.e. 24 bit color depth and 16,777,216 color nuances. This color resolution is above the human resolution of 19 bits, but is perceived by the human eye as a natural resolution.
With Deep Color, which is used in HD displays, it goes several orders of magnitude higher. The color depth for Deep Color is 30 bits, 36 bits and 48 bits and could theoretically represent '281 * 10^12' (Tera) color nuances in the highest resolution.