Color management guide by Arnaud Frich

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

Updated on November 25, 2016

i1Display Pro review - X-Rite | 2nd part

We will now check the quality of our calibration through some tests before concluding. Then I will give you my rating and will indicate you the best prices and sellers ...

It is time to check the quality of calibration. With the i1Display Pro colorimeter - Pro version and high end version - it is possible to check this with the software but also with some tests in Photoshop. At first, we will check the BEFORE/AFTER picture, using different tests and then control the uniformity of the panel.
In Photoshop, we can perform the white point and black point tests, but also perform a gradient check, to see whether we have tone breaks or not...



After calibration : quality control by the software

Once calibrated, it is possible to perform a quality control of your monitor, of your ICC profile, a matching of multiple displays, a monitoring over time of your monitor (trending), or whatever else!
And it is also possible to optimize the ICC profile nearly in real-time compared to the luminance and color temperature of the room... Let's start first with the classic BEFORE / AFTER.

Before/After comparison

Profil ICC en 3D dans i1ProfilerOnce the ICC profile of the monitor is created and saved, (Button "Create and save profile") it is then displayed on the monitor and gives us the possibility to make some quick comparisons. For instance, you can see in 3D this ICC profile in the Lab color space, as shown in the illustration on the right. Using the mouse, you are able to manipulate it in all directions, to zoom in and out, to rotate, etc ... Too bad it is not possible to make a comparison at this stage, using transparency. So, it requires a lot of experience to draw conclusions from here !

It is also possible to see the three correction curves of the RGB channels between 0 and 255. The comparison with an excellent Graphic Art display as Eizo, mine is already four years old, is revealing : the curves are clearly separated and complexes compared to the Quato, for which the three curves are still flat and stacked. The profile is not of so much use in that case !

Comparaison avant/après dans i1ProfilerFinally, it is possible to compare with the famous before/after a photo reference (it is possible to choose the sample photo among many references) : using the buttons "before/after" in top right, it is easy to compare the state of the display before and after calibration. Do not hesitate to change the picture to check the quality of the calibration according to the colors and intensity levels. On basic monitors, you can very well get a remarkable calibration at certain levels and significantly worse in others. For the best monitors, the question does not even arise !

Display QA - Quality Assurance

Among the major differences, between the so-called expert amators colorimeters and uncompromising colorimeters, are those quality reports. The first one is available from the ICC profile page by clicking on "Display QA" menu of the display profiling workflow (bottom right) or from the Home menu in "Advanced" user mode in the left column menu, under "Display", by clicking on "Display QA". It is especially interesting for those who want to know everything about their monitor.

L'écran Assurance qualité d'i1Profiler

This opens a new window. At first, you must choose the patch set type from which you will perform the comparison. The most telling one is the set called "Standard", selected by default.

i1Profiler choice the reference

The first comparison is the most telling one. The others will interest experts in color management.

Run the measurement that reviews the 24 color patches as shown above. This is done so fast, once again, with the i1Profiler. Then you will have a full report on your monitor and the DeltaE.

Patchs colorés avant/Après avec i1Profiler

And if you ask for the quality assurance report, you will see this window that beginners will find it difficult to interpret. But, experts (or diehard color geeks) will be delighted to analyze ...

Rapport assurance qualité d'i1Profiler

Finally, it is possible to follow up a monitor in time with the "Trending" function that displays the DeltaE and differences over time. Perfect to know if a monitor declines and should be replaced...

Ambient light measurement

Capteur de lumière d'ambiance de la sonde i1Display ProSome retoucher photographers need to have the maximum control on the color quality of their monitor. However, the ambient light of the room, where they are, is then very important. It is therefore possible to optimize the ICC profile with this ambient light detection, automatically or manually. At regular intervals in automatic mode (every 10, 30 or 60 minutes), a measurement is performed and allows to slightly adjust the way colors are displayed on the monitor. It is even possible to get a report.

Note ! With the i1Display Pro colorimeter, the measure is made in quantity (luminance) and quality (color temperature) for more precision. Be careful ! If you have a compact fluorescent lighting in your room, this measure is not recommended, because the correction is really bad.

Display uniformity measurement

With this function it is possible to measure nine areas of your monitor to learn more about its homogeneity.

Contrôle de l'homogénéité de l'écran

Start the measurement according to the instructions, so simple once having selected the monitor to evaluate ! As the measurement goes on, the color temperature of the white point and luminance of each area appear ... with possibly good or bad surprises !

Contrôle d'homogénéité de l'écran avec i1Profiler

It is possible, once the results are displayed, to select the tolerance level of luminance and color temperature.
Such a complete software !

Résultats du test d'homogénéité d'i1Profiler

This concludes this test of the display calibration colorimeter of reference. I am so glad to discover how my two extra monitors are still correct and better calibrated than when using the previous colorimeter generation.



Quality control in Photoshop

Using three tests, described on the page calibrate a monitor : how ?, you will be able to check the quality of the ICC profiles generated by this calibration colorimeter. These tests allow you to easily perform comparison between calibration colorimeters in a more objective manner.
The third test is the gradient test in Photoshop. Here is a comparison between the colorimeter and its direct competitor, the Spyder4Elite on a 15-inches 2012 MacBook Pro :

MacBook Pro Apple calibrated with i1 Display Pro
Apple 15 inches 2012 MacBook Pro Display (not Retina) calibrated with the i1Display Pro colorimeter (2.2 / 100 Cd/m² / 6.000K).

MacBook Pro Apple calibrated with Spyder4Elite
Apple 15 inches 2012 MacBook Pro screen (not Retina) calibrated with the Spyder4Elite colorimeter (2.2 / 100 Cd/m² / 6.000K).

Besides the difference in color temperature slightly red with the Spyder4Elite, have a look at the soft gradient with the i1Display Pro. Very nice for a laptop. The 2.2 gamma also provides a more gradual gradient. In both cases, it is really nice but, to me, better with the i1Display Pro.



Conclusion and marks !

The i1Display Pro colorimeter is the new benchmark. We no longer speak of quality/price ratio, even if it remains very good. With its ADC function, it is even possible to better calibrate laptop display or iMac, whose only possible adjustment is the brightness, which is a bit limitated. Very fast, it is perfect for all color management lovers, for a professional with many monitors to be calibrated, for professional retouchers to monitor colors in time and so on... !


  i1Display Pro    
Manufacturing quality
4 stars
5 stars
5 stars
ICC profile quality
5 stars
Quality/Price ratio
4 stars
  • The reference!
  • Very efficient ADC function for laptop display and iMac calibration
  • Such a fast calibration!
  • Precise
  • Beautiful shades of grey with very little tone breaks even on TN
  • Beautiful grey neutralization
  • Advanced quality control
  • Multi monitors harmonization.
  • No simplified mode (but still a basic one),
  • No tablet calibration...
9,5 / 10

My opinion : Simply, the best colorimeter on the market !

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Summary >Monitor calibration > 2 nd i1Display Pro



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