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Monitor Calibration.  Why is it so important? And why do I need it?


Your First Step to Accurate Color

Are you viewing accurate color on your display?

Have you ever wondered why the colors you see on your monitor don't match the scene you photographed or the image you printed? That’s because what you see on-screen is only as accurate as your display. Displays all vary just in their "out-of-box" settings. And, over time, the color performance of monitors change – phosphors and LCD filters begin to fade, so your display starts to drift into unknown colors.

Fortunately, there's an easy way to fix this. Calibrating and profiling will optimize your monitor's settings for contrast, brightness, and color temperature, and allow you to see your "true colors."

Photographers who need accurate colors may benefit from many different types of printer or camera calibration, but as a minimum a color-calibrated monitor is a "must". Whether viewing or outputting, seeing accurate color eliminates trial-and-error – think of the time you'll save!

How Monitor Calibration Works

X-Rite offers powerful devices and simple, wizard-based software that will provide professional monitor calibration results for virtually anyone, and at any price point.

All photographers can benefit from a profiled monitor without spending a lot of time or money. Simply plug in the color measurement device and use it to read the color values of your monitor. The wizard-based program will use this information to calibrate your monitor and bring it back to a known standard of performance for contrast and color balance. Then it will create specific information that describes your monitor, and automatically saves it to the computer. Then you're done.

If precise color matching is critical to your work, you can opt for the more advanced features available in many of X-Rite's solutions.
  • To ensure you are viewing your prints in the same light, select a color measurement device with an ambient light head to measure the light around the monitor.
  • If you need all of the monitors in your studio to display the same brightness, you may find the ability to set monitor luminance valuable.
  • Having the white on your monitor match the paper you print on may be useful, so you'll want a program that offers the ability to set a paper white point.
  • Images displayed on multiple calibrated monitors will look more or less the same, but may vary slightly if the monitors have a different color gamut. Network monitor calibration lets you pick one monitor as the studio "standard," save the calibration values, and use these values as a standard for the other monitors; ensuring closer matching on multiple machines.

Monitor calibration and profiling will provide the best image reproduction on-screen, so your digital photos replicate the scene you remember, game graphics show the intense edge you're after, and Web-browsing delivers colors you can trust. Whether you're a photo enthusiast or full time professional, X-Rite has the perfect display color calibration solution for you.

sample of an unprofiled monitor

unprofiled monitor

sample of a profiled monitor

profiled monitor

X-Rite Display Solutions

ColorMunki Smile

Entry Level Calibration
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ColorMunki Smile
 

ColorMunki Display

Advanced Calibration
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ColorMunki Display
 

i1Display Pro

Professional Calibration
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i1Display Pro