Color management starts with your monitor, and if it isn't correctly calibrated there is little if any chance of color being displayed accurately. Therefore, the key to obtaining color accuracy and consistency across applications and systems is to use a good quality hardware device to measure the light emitted from the display. This review discusses x-rite i1Display colorimeter along with the supporting i1Match software.
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i1Display 2 Hardware
i1Display, which I reviewed in 2004 included a pretty good colorimeter along with a slightly limited software application. In general, it lacked many of the elements users now demand from monitor calibration and profiling packages (i.e. speed, DDC compliance, and ambient light measurement). However, with the introduction of the i1Display 2 colorimeter x-rite (formerly GretagMacbeth) significantly increased the speed of the calibration process without compromising quality, and they also managed to include the ability to measure both ambient light luminosity and color temperature. The hardware is essentially the same in appearance, but an enhanced light measuring sensor provides much better repeatability, which translates into more consistent calibration. The sensor is also much more sensitive, which makes for better control of shadow detail and thus more neutral greyscales can be obtained across a wider range of tones.
As mentioned above, the i1Display 2 colorimeter is virtually identical in appearance to the original. It's still a low powered USB device, which means that Apple computer users can connect it directly to the keyboard or display USB ports. The same slim counterweight, which is clipped onto the cable has been retained. The device itself is easy use with any LCD panel or CRT monitors, but the counterweight tends to fall off far too often for my liking. A detachable ambient light head is provided that will enable the user to capture ambient light measurements. The ambient light head also serves as a dust protector for the i1Display 2.
When you need to profile a monitor with a hood it's simply a matter of using the built-in suction cups to attach the device directly to the monitor. When I first saw the original i1Display 2 device I was immediately wary of these suction cups, especially when attaching it to my original Apple Cinema HD Display. However, my concerns were ill-founded. This latest version uses a virtually identical arrangement, so I don't expect any problems with LCD or LED monitors.
i1Match 3 Software
With the introduction of i1Match 3.6 x-rite has made further improvements to user interface (UI) and feature set. The UI was designed to be simple and it certainly seems to have produced less critical feedback than earlier versions. The easy to follow on-screen help (called strings) is designed to guide the user through the process of calibrating and profiling your monitor. i1Match 3.6 also expands on the number of monitors supported by 'One Push Button Monitor Calibration' (PBC) support. Typically, these are DDC enabled LCD's whereby the software can automatically control the calibration process. The following is a summary of summary of new features along with a comprehensive list of supported monitors.
What’s new in i1Match 3.6?
You can create profiles according to the ICC 2 (default) or ICC 4 specification. This feature is only accessible via the options menu in the application.
Monitor module in general.
Before and after calibration step added. User feedback during the recognition phase of the Push Button Calibration check. After your calibration you can check how the monitor looked before the calibration. The following is a list of supported monitors for the Push Button Calibration:
Eizo CG 18
Eizo CG 19
Eizo CG 21
Eizo CG 210
Eizo CG 220
Hewlett Packard P1230
LaCie Electron 22b4
LaCie Electron 22b3
LaCie Electron 19b4
LaCie Electron 19b3
Sony SDM S205F/K
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Updated gamma selection
Choose a gamma from 1.0 – 3.0
Choose native gamma
Updated target luminance dialog
Measure your target luminance on a white patch on a different monitor
Note: the screenshot below shows that i1Match also includes modules for profiling electronic projectors, scanners, digital cameras and printers. It also shows the module for editing printer profiles. These modules will only be activated when the user purchases the upgrade codes and the i1Pro spectrophotometer.
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The 'Easy' mode provides predefined settings and automated processes for users who are new to color management or who don’t want to develop customised settings. The 'Easy' mode also removes the need for the user to select the target White Point and Gamma values by using preset values common to the Mac and PC platforms. Personally I think it produces lower quality profiles and an over bright monitor.
Like its predecessor i1Display 2 can only is used for calibration and profiling of CRT and LCD monitors. However, not before time, x-rite have also included the option for native gamma. This is a welcome and very necessary addition to i1Match, which will come in particularly useful for users who specialise in Black & White images.
'Advanced' mode (figure 3) gives experienced users access to customised settings for the best possible results. Disc drill mac free download. These include alternative white point and gamma values. The 'native white point' option leaves the white point of the display as is which is an essential perquisite when profiling LCD type displays. It's also possible to set your preferred luminance value. The default value for LCDs is now 120cd/m2, which is a lot more useable than 140 (previous default).
'Advanced' also provides support for checking the 'ambient light' light within your monitor workplace (figure 4). Ideally, the lighting within the workplace should be set up to meet the ISO norm for Graphic Technology and Photography, although it may not be possible to achieve a perfect match. There are actually two norms, one for editing the image independently of the printed output and an other for editing whilst directly comparing to printed output. i1Match uses the former. The screen shot shown above shows the ambient conditions within my workplace, which is pretty close to ideal.