To help you choose the best calibration colorimeter for your monitor, I created several scenarios. Each time I give you the best advice to calibrate your monitor and a very short list of colorimeters that can really help you...
These monitors are not specialized and have the huge advantage to be often cheaper. While some are amazing quality/price ratio wise, they are rarely very good speaking about colors after calibration. those monitors are not made for photo retouching specialists. However, once calibrated, they will be more than enough for most of your needs, I even mean in some cases, the needs of professional photographers. A wedding or reportage photographer does not necessarily need a great Graphic Art monitor at $1,500 to put its images on Internet.
My calibration advices...
Always choose a 2,2 gamma,
Choose a color temperature of 6.500K rather than 5.500K, if you only have those two possibilities,
Desactivate, if possible, automatic brightness control (like on laptop).
With always the same saying : if you wish to calibrate your monitor at 6.000K, you will need the expert versions.
2 - Wide gamut monitor calibration ?
In 2016, more and more non Graphic Art monitors are still wide gamut. They more or less reproduce the Adobe RGB 98 gamut, which is significantly larger than the conventional sRGB. They can be immediately recognized by the icons on the taskbar or dock. They are more saturated and it is written on the notice because, in 2016, it is a commercial advantage. In addition, your photos may also appear much more saturated in the browser of your operating system or software image editing if that one is not managing colors. This may surprise you !
Some observations ...
Their special technology needs to be calibrated with the latest colorimeters from Datacolor or X-Rite. The color filters in the colorimeters are simply not the same.
My purchasing advice
I recommend you buy one of those four colorimeters :
(Tutorial and price lower)
Avoid reusing your old colorimeter, they are no more technically adapted and the software needs to be upgraded.
3 - Graphic Art monitors calibration ?
Those best monitors are often calibrated with a dedicated hardware, sold with the monitor. Here, finally breaks in tone gradations are old stories, over the too yellow or too blue monitors. I repeat, not always necessary, but so beautiful and easy to calibrate.
Where to buy those monitors?
You will find yours, starting from 1.000€, but you will often have to put more money to have a beautiful Eizo or NEC monitor, the finest Graphic Art monitors as today.
My purchasing advice
I recommend only one colorimeter : (Tutorial and price lower)
Avoid reusing your old colorimeter, they are no more technically adapted and the software needs to be upgraded, even and espacially if you own an Eye One Display 2. They suddenly age without any warning.
4 - Laptop monitor calibration ?
There may be considerable quality disparity among all laptop monitor of the market.
Unquestionably, IPS panels Apple MacBook Pro since 2011 are so beautiful and amazing for laptops, and I am serious when I say that.
IT does not replace a Graphic Art monitor, but it is much better than many desktop monitors.
Note ! you need to desactivate the automatic brightness adjustment of your laptop.
Now, what characterizes all these monitors is the lack of contrast adjustment possibility, as for the iMac below. But without contrast control, no black point control possibility ... Unless you choose the right colorimeter !
I have a preference for the i1Display Pro that allows you to set a 6.000K color temperature, less yellowish than set at 5.500K.
5 - iMac and Mac displays calibration ?
These monitors, close to a laptop, adjustment wise ... as they do not have any, or almost (!), need a colorimeter and software that allows to automatically control them. This is the ADC function (Automatic Display Control) of X-Rite colorimeters. So there are only two possibilities, both X-Rite Pro colorimeters, if you choose to buy a colorimeter today.
Calibration advices ...
If you buy the i1Display Pro colorimeter and are a beginner, you can use the basic calibration mode but it is too bad because you will not be able to choose a color temperature of 6.000K, as I recommend (because I find it beautiful).
Tip : remember that recent iMac monitors (2012 and later) are white LED based technology, so choose it in the list when the calibration software asks you to choose from several types of panels. However the Mac monitors - Apple Display - are still made with older CCFL technology.
The Datacolor Spyder4pro model is a professional calibration colorimeter, but slightly limitated compared to the Elite model. In both case, you will get the same colorimeter.
The missing feature would be the multi monitors possibility, less adjustment settings and the possibility to calibrate a beamer. However, it allows you to calibrate an iPad and also, a wide gamut monitors - Read reviews of Amazon buyers
My grade : 8,5/10
Spyder5Pro is Excellent quality/price ratio : recommended.
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