Color management guide by Arnaud Frich

Generalites about colors Monitor calibration Printer calibration Manage colors with Photoshop Resources on Color Management

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4/5
Shim
Updated on December 07, 2016
 

My advices on colorimeters purchasing

i1 Display ProTo 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 different scenarios are :


1 - Basic and medium range monitors calibration suivre

2 - Wide gamut monitor calibration suivre

3 - Graphic Art monitor calibration suivre

4 - Laptop monitor calibration suivre

5 - iMac and Mac monitor calibration suivre

6 - iPad from Apple calibration suivre

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1 - Basic or medium range monitors calibration ?

Desktop monitorThese 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...



My purchasing advice

I recommend you buy one of those four colorimeters :
(Tutorial and price lower)

Spyder5Express
Spyder5Pro,

Spyder5Elite,
Colormunki Display
i1Display Pro.

With always the same saying : if you wish to calibrate your monitor at 6.000K, you will need the expert versions.

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2 - Wide gamut monitor calibration ?

Wide gamut monitorIn 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)

Spyder5Pro,
Spyder5Elite,
Colormunki Display
i1Display Pro, with a preference for glass filter models.

Avoid reusing your old colorimeter, they are no more technically adapted and the software needs to be upgraded.

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3 - Graphic Art monitors calibration ?

Eizo CG monitorThose 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)

i1Display Pro - The best !

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.

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4 - Laptop monitor calibration ?

Laptop

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.


Calibration advices...

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 !

- Here is my page on how to calibrate a laptop monitor suivre

 

My purchasing advice

I recommend two colorimeters in that case :
(Tutorial and price lower)

Colormunki Display
i1Display Pro, for a really simple reason, the software has the ADC function, allowing you to automatically control the contrast.

For more details, you can have a look at my review :

Colomrunki Display suivre
i1Display Pro suivre.

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.

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5 - iMac and Mac displays calibration ?

Apple iMacThese 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.

- Here is my page on how to calibrate an iMac or a Mac Display suivre

 

My purchasing advice

I recommend two colorimeters in that case from X-Rite, Pro version : (Tutorial and price lower)

Colormunki Display
i1Display Pro.

I have a preference for the i1Display Pro, because it allows you to set a 5.800/6.250K color temperature, so nice on those monitors.

If you decide to choose this colorimeter, choose in the monitor list : White LED for iMac (2011 to 2016) and CCFL for Mac Apple Display.

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6 - iPad from Apple calibration ?

iPad d'AppleIt is possible to calibrate the iPad ! Its IPS panel is very nice by default, but it is a fact, that it can be calibrated.

In fact, yes, it can be calibrated, BUT only using an app that has to be installed on your iPad. This app is a browser that has a button able to activate/desactivate the calibration function.

Calibration advices ...

Only Datacolor created a software and an app able to calibrate the iPad from Apple as described in my review suivre

 

My purchasing advice

I recommend two colorimeters in that case : (Tutorial and price lower)

Spyder4Pro
Spyder4Elite.

You will then have to install the SpyderGallery app on your iPad.

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Read my tutorial and buy a colorimeter...

Pointilles

Box i1Display Pro X-Rite

i1Display Pro X-Rite

$274.60


My opinion about the i1Display Pro d'X-Rite

The X-Rite i1Display Pro model is the calibration device reference today. It allows to calibrate monitors and laptops screen - Read reviews of Amazon buyers

My grade : 9,5 / 10 - The best colorimeter of the market, but also the most complex to use !

 

 

Buy this colorimeter from...

  Price Seller
$274.60
Buy from Amazon.com
  $199.00
 
Amazon.co.uk Amazon.ca Amazon.de Amazon.fr


Pointilles

Boîte Colormunki Display

Colormunki Display X-Rite

$124.95


My opinion about Colormunki Display - X-Rite

The X-Rite Colormunki Display model is a calibration colorimeter for expert amator and most professionals. A bit limitated compared to the i1Display Pro :

  • Slower,
  • less adjustments and limitated detailled calibration report,
  • No possibility to calibrate a beamer...
  • but really good with laptops and iMac.
  • Read reviews of Amazon buyers

My grade : 8,5 / 10
Best quality/price ratio choice !


 

Buy this colorimeter from...

  Price Seller
$124.95
Buy from Amazon.com
  $129.00
 
Amazon.co.uk Amazon.ca Amazon.de Amazon.fr


Pointilles

Boîte Spyder5Pro Datacolor

Spyder5Pro Datacolor

$138.00


My opinion about the Spyder5Pro - Datacolor

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.

 

 

Buy the Spyder5Pro from...

  Price Seller
$138.00
Buy from Amazon.com
  $139.99
 
Amazon.co.uk Amazon.ca Amazon.de Amazon.fr


Pointilles

Box Spyder5Elite Datacolor

Spyder5Elite Datacolor

$189.00


My opinion about the Spyder5Elite - Datacolor

The Datacolor Spyder5Elite colorimeter is the most complete calibration kit. It has everything you can expect from a professional colorimeter today and even more ! - Read reviews of Amazon buyers

My grade : 9,0/10 - This colorimeter clearly competes with the i1Display Pro and offers almost infinite possibilities. Excellent colorimeter, but ... just behind the i1Display Pro !

 

 

Buy the Spyder5Elite from...

  Price Seller
Buy from Amazon.com
$189.00
Buy from Amazon.com
  $189.00
 
Amazon.co.uk Amazon.ca Amazon.de Amazon.fr


Pointilles


   
 

 

 
 

 

$199.00

  Buy the best colorimeter : the i1Display Pro !
Read my full review Suivre
 
 

 

From $120,00
to
$4,500.00

 

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Shim
Summary > Monitor calibration 4/5
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