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Product Review – ColorMunki Display From X-Rite

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ColorMunki Display is one of the two the latest products from X-Rite – the other ColorMunki i1Display Pro will be looked at in a separate review. The ColorMunki Display brings some real exciting capabilities to the consumer photographic market as well as to the graphic design community. But what is the ColorMunki Display? It is a monitor and projector calibration and profiling product that makes high quality calibration affordable to non-professional individual.

The ColorMunki Display functions in two main areas. One is for monitor/projector calibration and the other is for ambient light profiling. Anyone who has worked with photographs for any time knows the problems with getting the image from the camera to the computer and having it come out to reasonably like what you shot can be tricky. This is where monitor calibration comes into play.

ColorMunki Display

When you get the ColorMunki Display, you get a USB colorimeter that also has a built in ambient light monitor that will help you account for the amount of light in your workspace around your monitor. What this means is that as the light around your monitor changes, the ColorMunki Display will make adjustments so that your monitor will produce the proper colors.

There is a software disk and a small getting started booklet that you can use to install the software. Installation is a breeze and essentially is nothing more than running the disk to install, rebooting your computer, and plugging in the ColorMunki to a USB port.

After installing the software, to use the ColorMunki Display as a profiler you select ColorMunki Display icon and you are presented with two options. The first is for monitor calibration and the second is for projector calibration. Make your choice based on what you are profiling.

The procedures are basically the same except that with a projector you position the unit to focus on the projected image instead of the monitor. There is a basic mode where everything is selected for you as well as an advanced mode where you can make your own selections.

ColorMunki Display

The beauty of the ColorMunki Display system is that it walks you through everything that you need to create a color calibrated monitor or projector. The first thing that happens is that the unit will take readings on your ambient light. You set the unit on your desk and it will figure out the lighting conditions. Once you make a couple other selections you are requested to hang the product over a spot on the monitor and the system takes over.

Basically what happens is that the software displays specific colors on your monitor and the ColorMunki Display uses its spectrophotometer to measure the colors displayed in relation to what it thinks it should see. After it completes it process it then gives you the opportunity view the before and after results. You are then asked to save the profile.

ColorMunki Display

You then get the option to be reminded to profile after one, two, three, or four weeks. This is because the monitor will start to creep out of balance from general use and needs to be recalibrated over time. While this has happened only once to me, sometimes an older monitor, after a long period of use, can become so out of balance that you cannot able to calibrate it because the white balance or some other portion may be out of tolerance.

Once you have calibrated your monitor, you turn the ColorMunki to ambient mode, and it will evaluate the changes in light around your monitor. The ColorMunki Display is very easy to use and provides very remarkable results. The software – in either mode, really walks you through the process and makes the whole process very simple. I have used the original ColorMunki and the results for monitor calibration are very similar.

ColorMunki Display

If you do any amount of work with photographs you will want to have a calibrated monitor so that you can be assured that the colors of what you shot match the colors that are on your monitor. If you are looking for a high quality, low priced system to get accurate color representation on your computer monitor, then I very highly recommend ColorMunki Display.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.