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Product Review – i1Photo Pro: Part I From X-Rite

X-Rite has release four new color management solutions. i1Basic Pro, i1Photo Pro, i1Publish Pro, and i1Publish. The first three are spectrophotometer based units for high end profiling, quality verification, and spot color management. The last is a software and target suite for graphic art professionals to organize their prepress workflows. The unit I will be reviewing is the i1Photo Pro which handles monitor, printer, camera, and projector profiling for the RGB world. The i1Publish Pro does all this but allows you to work with CMYK workspace as well.

The difference between the i1Photo Pro and i1Basic Pro is that the i1Photo Pro does projector and camera profiling and also comes with the ColorChecker Classic mini and the ColorChecker Proof. The basic only does printer quality control where as the photo pro does full RGB profiling. In this first part I will look at the monitor and printer profiling

 i1Photo Pro The i1Photo Pro comes with the i1Pro spectrophotometer, i1Profiler profiling software, PANTONE color manager software, ColorChecker Profiling software, ColorChecker Proof target, and introductory ColorChecker Classic Target (mini). It also comes with the i1 Pro Spectrophotometer, a calibration plate, USB Cable, monitor holder, positioning target, scanning ruler, the light measurement head, and a case to keep it all in. This gives you everything that you need to get started with full scale profiling.

The i1Photo Pro is designed for photo professionals to manage their RGB workflow from camera to display and projector to print. i1Photo Pro is designed to provide high quality color results that especially target highlight and shadow details and deliver greater color accuracy for more neutral grays and natural skin tones. With i1Photo Pro you can create custom profiles for cameras, monitors, digital projectors and RGB printers, ensuring color accuracy from capture to output.

When working with the i1Profiler software you can profile CRTs, LCDs, and laptop displays. There are two modes available to you. The first is basic mode which will give you a quick accurate profile based on the defaults for your type of display. Advanced gives you much more control and will let you choose all your settings and really drill down for a much more accurate profile.

After installing the software, the first thing that you will want to do is to profile your monitor. What this does is to take a reading of how your monitor displays specific colors and compare them to what the actual color should be.

 i1Photo Pro

First, you want to make sure your monitor has been on for at least 30 minutes to make sure that the colors are stable. Once it is, you will want to plug in the i1 Pro Spectrophotometer in to a USB port and then start up the i1Profiler software.

When the software starts up you will choose the mode and then display profiling. Also note that there is context sensitive help available as well as videos that you can watch to help you understand what the options are that are available to you.

While choosing basic mode may be the best place to start for those new to profiling, or for basic needs, it is the advanced mode gives you more options and control over your color profiles. Keep in mind that it also requires more knowledge and experience to do it well, where easy mode makes most of the choices for you.

The first choice you have is the white point. The choice of white point will be dependent on where and in what industry that you work. For photographers and graphics designers it is the CIE Illuminant D65 option, for prepress it is D50 as well several others for various situations. Again you have a lot of ability to choose your options.

Next you have the luminance values. Luminance is a measurement of the overall brightness of your display. This should be chosen to give you comfortable viewing in your standard working conditions. For most LCD’s, this will be a value of 120.

 i1Photo Pro

Now you need to calibrate your device. You take the white tile calibration plate and place your spectrophotometer on it and press calibrate. You have one of two options for measurement. You can let the software work with the display to automatically set the brightness and contrast controls, or you can manually set them yourself. When you press the start measurement button, the software will walk you through the remainder of the process. You then save the ICC profile, it is installed on your system and you’re done.

About T. Michael Testi

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