Tag Archives: ColorMunki Display

Three of our key vendors win Photography News Awards!

Congratulations to BenQ, ExpoImaging and X-Rite for winning Photography News 2016 awards. The awards ceremony took place at The Photography Show last month.

The products and categories are as follows:

BenQ PV270 – Best Monitor

BenQ award image

Inset L-R: Will Cheung, Photography News Editor with Jason Lee and Fanny Wang from BenQ

PV270_AwardThe BenQ PV270 is a 27” monitor that meets the demanding needs of photographers that edit both stills and video. Uncompromising colour performance and powerful calibration tools make the PV270 the ideal monitor for professionals that require reliable colour throughout their workflow.

The BenQ PV270 is the epitome of ‘Still meeting motion’, giving professional photographers the best of both worlds. The Adobe RGB coverage encompasses most of the colours producible for photography, whereas the Rec. 709 coverage and the DCI-P3 colour gamut is crucial for video post-production work.

The monitor is priced at just £849.60 incl. VAT.

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Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System – Best Studio /Lighting Accessory

ExpoImaging award image

Inset L-R: Will Cheung, Photography News Editor with John Baker from ExpoImaging

XL Pro Lighting System_awardThe Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System contains the largest FlashBender, creating a much larger light source whilst still being portable enough to take anywhere. The FlashBender 2 XL Pro is quick and easy to set up and can be folded flat for storage or transportation. It has its own travel bag and is sized to fit in a 15” laptop compartment or laid flat in a gear bag so it doesn’t take up any valuable space needed for lenses or other essential equipment.

The XL Pro is designed to fit most standard sized flash models from Canon, Nikon, Sony and Nissin, and is priced at just £89.95 incl. VAT.

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X-Rite ColorMunki Display – Best Colour Management Device

X-Rite Liz Quinlisk n Matt Chilton Xrite

Inset L-R: Will Cheung, Photography News Editor with Liz Quinlisk and Matt Chilton from X-Rite

ColorMunkiDisplay_Award2The X-Rite ColorMunki Display is an ideal solution for those looking for quick and easy monitor calibration for one or multiple monitors, or a projector. It gives you the option to utilise more advanced features if required, such as optimising profiles based on your ambient lighting conditions, as well as adjusting to glossy screen types using a Flare Correct feature.

The X-Rite ColorMunki Display offers advanced display calibration, that quickly and easily allows you to deliver consistently accurate on-screen colour.

The ColorMunki Display is priced at just £148.50 incl. VAT.

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X-Rite support BCRF with the launch of limited edition pink products

EN_XPE_Pink Campaign bannerTo mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, X-Rite are supporting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) in fundraising efforts for finding a cure. X-Rite have created a pink, limited edition ColorMunki Display and ColorChecker Passport Photo and will donate 20% of all sales to BCRF.

“Nearly everyone has been touched by breast cancer, and we are proud to leverage the ColorMunki and ColorChecker brands in our creative communities to help find a cure. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is a tremendous organisation dedicated to the support of doctors and researchers worldwide,” says X-Rite Vice President of Product Marketing, Chris Winczewski.

“In becoming the symbol for breast cancer, the colour pink spurred conversation and ultimately action,” says Sadia Zapp, Communications Director at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. “It sparked a movement and today we are closer than ever before to eradicating the devastating disease. By uniting with BCRF, the highest rated breast cancer organisation in the country, our partners are committed to bringing the end of breast cancer.”

With each purchase of a pink limited edition ColorMunki Display and/or ColorChecker Passport Photo, X-Rite will donate 20% of product sales to BCRF. The products are available to purchase from the Color Confidence website.

These products are great as a collector’s item, replacement product, or simply if you would like to support a worthy cause.

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Red Sails with DxO – Guest blog written by Chris Jameson

DXO_new

As part of my support for local charities, I print and sell images. So I was pleased to win the confidence of a local business to produce a print for their new client room.

Earlier in the year I had captured a few images of a very misty estuary and sailboat, the lighting conditions were unusual because the mist was producing a red cast similar to sunset but whiter highlights on the water.

The client chose this image for the calm serenity that it portrayed.

The sample print had been A4 size and the client wanted an A3, my main concern was getting both the colour temperature accurate to the conditions and keeping what little detail there was in the image, especially at A3 size.

Fortunately help was at hand in the form of DxO Optics Pro v10. I had recently seen a demonstration of the software at the Wilkinson’s Digital Splash exhibition. I was convinced that the software was going to have an impact on my digital workflow.

Optics Pro software looks at the camera body and lens combination you have used to capture an image (works best in RAW) using the EXIF data. It then makes a series of complicated mathematical calculations to adjust the image for any optical & physical corrections required to bring image closer to your intended capture (it won’t correct human errors such as poor focus etc).

The software is straightforward to use with a very intuitive interface, after interrogating your EXIF file the software goes online to get the camera and lens profile combination used from a large database of files (painstakingly created by testing the majority of lens & camera combinations – check if yours are supported).

After a very short time, I had a result which I was quite pleased with, the options of output are quite wide with file formats such as JPEG, TIFF, DNG supported. There is even a plug-in to write directly into Lightroom.

If you want to start customising how your image file is processed, then there is a section to achieve this which has all the attributes that can be tweaked in logical groups: Essential Tools, Light, Colour, Detail and Geometry. Again all of these areas are quite intuitive but if you do require assistance, the help files are excellent – there are online links, tutorials and much more.

There are options to copy the correction settings you have achieved and also to make your own presets.

I like the option to append output files with DxO – as this helps me understand how I have processed an image.

Preparing the image for printing was the next task which was assisted by the use of the X-Rite ColorMunki hardware and software solution.

For any important project like this, I take the precaution of re-calibrating my monitor/screen and then performing a paper/colour profile (ensuring that ink tanks are all sufficient, as any replacement will change the colour output).

It’s very important for me to get the best print without any problems or errors to keep the printing cost as low as possible, this ensures that I can maximise the donation to the chosen charity for which the project is helping.

Most of my images are landscape, wildlife or RNLI action – so I don’t usually have the opportunity to use a X-Rite ColourChecker Passport at the start of any photography but it will be something that I will definitely look at if I start doing people or groups because of the help it can offer in achieving the desired finished print.

My goal is to grow my photography ability and support for charities, spending more time capturing images with a smoother digital workflow to output helps give me the confidence to push my ability and camera to the limit.

Below are the two images

Red Sails

Left is the RAW file after standard conversion in Adobe Lightroom
Right is the image after import and standard DxO preset application.

There is an improvement in details, especially in the shadows and the colour profile is much warmer – as it was when originally captured.

I now understand the message that DxO quote on the introduction splash screen “Push the limits of your Camera” as it is difficult to actually start finding the limits, if you can’t accurately see what you are capturing.

Written by Chris Jameson @photo_cj

Chris has worked for a number of charities such as Trinity and RNLI. He donates his time and images to local and regional fundraising groups and often sells images, with the proceeds going to supporting charities.

Spring is here!

Apparently.

daffodils

Despite being April, you’d think we’re still in the middle of January with the cold wind and patches of snow we still have on the car park.

Nevertheless, we thought now would be a good time to run through a couple of products a photographer will find useful for the longer daytime hours and sunshine (fingers crossed).

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

An essential accessory for any photographer. ColorChecker Passport features a series of colour targets to ensure you can ‘calibrate’ your camera in all environments and conditions. Just make sure the first photo of your shoot includes the Passport, and then use the included software (or Photoshop) to correct your images using the Passport’s standardised references post shoot.

Key feature: portability

X-Rite ColorMunki Display & i1Display Pro 

Calibrating your screen is the one thing above all else we recommend you do. One useful feature of these calibrators – and relevant to longer daylight hours in spring – is an ambient light measurement capability. You can get your screen automatically adjusted to the lighting conditions you work in as they change. This means you can be sure your screen is accurate regardless of where the sun is in the sky and how much light is coming through your window.

Key feature(s): speed of calibration, regular lighting condition adjustments

Booq Toploader

With spring in the air the likelihood of nipping out to take a few pictures increases. Get yourself a booq Toploader camera bag to ‘nip out’ in style, and be assured your DSLR is protected against the elements. There’s enough room for a DSLR and lens (plus lens caps, memory cards etc.) so you’ll only take what you need when spontaneity strikes.

Key feature: compact, minimalist toughness

Franzis HDR (editing coolness)

Once you’ve been out and about, edit your RAW or JPG pictures with the latest HDR effects from Franzis software. Add filters, enhance and correct your images and create original effects to add some extra impact.

Key feature: bracketing feature to work on multiple images simultaneously

Color Confidence Autumn 2012 review – part 2

Welcome to the second part of our 2012 Autumn review, which this week looks at our range of colour management services and solutions.

The below extracts are taken from our autumn review mailing and dedicated webpages, a full ink can be found at the bottom of this post.

Developments in colour management solutions for home and business use have introduced higher standards and ease of use, whilst addressing the challenges of new monitor technology and quality of print.

Instruments, software and workflow settings all contribute to a correctly colour-managed environment. Our technical support team provides a range of services and training to suit your requirements – for further reading on matching your screen to print, see our “Light and Shade” document.

We’ve had a look at three aspects of colour management:

1) For home use – photographers and designers

We’ve examine the solutions available from X-Rite for accurate colour management for personal or home use. Here, we look at the ColorMunki Display, ColorMunki Photo and ColorMunki Design, as well as the new, simple monitor calibrator; ColorMunki Smile, which you can see in action in the below video from this year’s Photokina:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1IgI0eo7DE?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

2) In the professional studio – from creative to print

We examine the solutions available for the discerning photo and imaging pros requiring more detailed colour accuracy with the X-Rite  i1 Display Pro and i1 Pro 2 solutions.

3) In the pressroom

We take a closer look at the high-end colour management solutions suited to the demands of the pressroom environment, with X-Rite 500 series Spectro/Densitometers. These devices aren’t for the faint-hearted though, so please contact us to discuss any specific requirements further!

You can read the article in full on a special webpage here – tune in next week for part 3!

Colormunki Smile – monitor calibration that puts a Smile on your face

Today marks the release of the X-Rite ColorMunki Smile…

A name which lends itself to a host of puns and cheesy marketing gimmicks – although to be fair, I think we were fairly restrained with our efforts at CC HQ!

Anyway enough of that…

If you are completely new to the world of colour management, image editing or photography and are starting to require a solution to produce greater on-screen accuracy, then this is the solution for you.

Have you ever wondered why the pictures you took on your camera don’t look the same when displayed on your monitor? Well, monitors aren’t prefect; displayed colour can vary from monitor to monitor or even drift over time. This means the image you view on screen might not be a true reflection of what you actually captured.

Monitor calibrators are designed to solve this problem by optimising your monitor to display colours as accurately as possible.

The ColorMunki Smile has been designed with simplicity in mind. Unlike its bigger brothers; ColorMunki Display and i1Display Pro which offer a host of advanced features to play with, the Smile is as straight-forwards as plugging into your USB and letting it get on with calibrating your screen. This means you don’t need to have an expert knowledge of colour science to get the results you want.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYeXdpL6HNY?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

In a nutshell – this is the ideal monitor calibrator for a beginner.

In summary you get:

  • The ability to calibrate one, or multiple LCD & LED laptop or desktop displays
  • An easy and intuitive wizard interface – simply plug in and click
  • Powerful calibration technology found in X-Rite’s professional calibration solutions
  • Before and After image comparison
  • Easy to follow help videos and guides

You can learn more about and purchase ColorMunki Smile here.

Happy calibrating!

Bundle Power

Greetings from Color Confidence

The last few weeks and months have been pretty hectic at CC HQ, going some way to explain our slight decrease in blog posts in recent weeks.

Anywho…

This weeks post should be interesting to all you photographer’s out there, particularly those of the amateur variety who are perhaps looking to increase your colour accuracy from shoot to screen.

X-Rite are one of the flagship colour management brands, producing both the ColorChecker Passport – which has become the essential accessory for accurate input calibration – and ColorMunki Display, replacing the older i1Display 2 as the benchmark for display and screen calibration.

And now, these stellar colour management solutions are available as a bundle item.

This means you can combine the advanced calibration solution to deliver accurate on-screen colour accuracy with the must-have, stand alone DNG profiling solution for RAW workflow pre and post shoots. And better still, you can save a few pounds too!

These are the perfect solutions for any amateur photographer looking to take their shoots to the next level, particularly if you need that extra accuracy or colour verification within your work.

The below video is well worth a watch for a more in-depth look at the ColorChecker Passport:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V39n1J8IgpA?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

You can view more about (and purchase, nudge nudge…) this bundle here.

Studio View and Studio Photo – complete colour management

Colour management – Wikipedia will tell you this is the “controlled conversion between the colour representations of various devices”. And, broadly speaking, this is pretty much spot-on. Although we prefer to think of colour management from a practical perspective; how managing colour correctly throughout your workflow and various devices can improve your image quality, and perhaps more importantly – your own satisfaction!

With this in mind, a few months ago we created two bundle items to help you start this accurate colour management process. The Color Confidence Studio Photo & Studio View respectively combines various devices and solutions to set you on your way to achieving quality colour results.

But what are they, and why do you need them?

Color Confidence Studio Photo

This is ideally suited to photographers offering solutions to white balance your camera, calibrate your monitor screen to display colours accurately and something to verify/check the colour reproduction of your workflow. To achieve all this, the Studio Photo gives you:

  • an X-Rite ColorMunki Display for accurate monitor calibration
  • a Total Balance – the durable and neutral grey reference to balance your camera
  • a Kodak Check Up Kit that provides a visual verification to check colour accuracy in your workflow

All in all, the Studio Photo is a great way to start achieving accurate colour from capture and on-screen, and to assess how accurately colour is produced throughout your workflow.

Learn more about it here.

Color Confidence Studio View

This one is great for photographers as well as graphic designers and imaging professionals, offering a colour management and viewing solution. It allows you to calibrate your monitor to display accurate colour, the means to shield your monitor from unwanted light and glare than can distort colour representation, and a daylight replication light to proof images under the correct lighting conditions. It gives you this using:

  • an X-Rite ColorMunki Display for accurate monitor calibration
  • a PChOOD to shield unwanted light from your display creating an accurate working environment
  • a GrafiLite formulated to replicate natural daylight conditions allowing for image proofing in the right light

The Studio View is a great way to create the right environment to start accurately viewing and reviewing colour.

Learn more about it here.

Reasons to replace your existing calibrator with the new i1 Display Pro or ColorMunki Display

  • X-Rite raises the bar with the new i1 Display Pro and ColorMunki Display monitor calibration systems
  • Significant hardware and software changes in the new products, redefines monitor calibration.


Hardware:

Prompted by advances in monitor hardware specifications, including larger colour gamut, new panel technologies, and other improvements, X-Rite have responded by redefining the monitor calibrator to meet these new standards.

In comparison to the old i1 Display hardware, with its separate diffuser and counter-balance weight, the new compact precision instrument has a built in diffuser for ambient light measurements that also acts as a protective cover.

This is combined with an integral counterweight for secure placement on the monitor display, which also safeguards against the loss of any parts.

The new instrument also has the ability to profile projectors.

The instrument supplied with the new i1 Display Pro utilises the same hardware as is supplied with the new ColorMunki Display. However, where the new ColorMunki Display operates at a comparable speed to existing calibrators, the new i1 Display Pro is approximately 5 times faster.


Software:

In comparison to the old feature set of the i1 Display 2/Spyder3Elite, and LT/SpyderPro, the software features available from the new ColorMunki Display are far more comprehensive.

The new i1 Display Pro also introduces a range of new advanced features, these predominantly being based on quality assurance, monitor and standards validation.

Of the new features available within both models, many are advantageous to all, and others are best recommended under certain circumstances.

The ‘Flare Compensation’ option helps achieve an improved match form print to screen with an allowance for light reflecting off the monitor, which effects the accuracy of how you view on-screen aspects.

The display is calibrated through a contact process, eliminating all external illumination, whereas the ‘Flare’ feature takes an additional measurement from a distance in order to apply appropriate compensation to the monitor’s profile. Ideally, the use of a monitor hood will reduce the need to apply Flare Correct™.

A further new feature in both models is ‘Ambient’ light compensation – although this sounds great, having the monitor automatically adjust its brightness based on ambient room light changes, it is not an ideal situation to be in, in the first place. Even if you are in such an environment, we do not recommend using this feature initially, but if you have issues relating to changing room lighting, it is an option worth evaluation.

A relatively new challenge has been that of over-bright monitors, in particular from Apple, where at even the minimum brightness setting a new monitor can still be still too bright. This can now be resolved with both versions of the software which have the ability to reduce a monitor’s brightness through the profile.

New advanced features available only through the new i1 Display Pro software predominantly relate to quality assurance. This ranges from checking the overall colour accuracy of a monitor, to its ability to accurately match other standards such as an ISO print standard or specific Pantone colours. Trending provides a record of the monitor’s stability as a basis for how frequently the monitor should be re-profiled, or replaced.

In Summary:

For anyone who does not currently own a monitor calibrator…

X-Rite provides an excellent choice in these two products. If budget allows, the extended feature set and speed of the i1Display Pro is worth the additional cost.

For anyone considering upgrading their monitor calibrator…

You will enjoy a number of compelling, new features in both cases.

In addition, given the fact that you already appreciate the benefits of monitor calibration, this will also put you in a good position to appreciate the advanced features in the new i1 Display Pro.

Even if the additional features in the Pro version do not seem crucial at present, it is worth noting that this version offers the ability to understand your monitor’s limitations by recording its ongoing level of quality, which is a significant benefit for consistency over time.

If you are happy with your current feature set, you will see a noticeable improvement with the new instrument, which provides a more than justifiable enhancement in its own right.

For users of the old i1 Display 2, you will find moving up to the new i1 Display Pro a natural progression for today’s monitors and expectation levels. Even if you are happy with your current software, the new hardware is more than justifiable in its own right.

For old LT users, moving to the ColorMunki Display provides a natural progression with significantly more/improved features available. Based on your current knowledge of calibration, this could be the ideal time to go Pro.

For users of other manufacturer’s monitor calibration solutions, this new instrument provides an excellent step forward to accommodate the challenges of today’s monitors and is complimented by comprehensive intuitive wizard driven software. Consider the i1Display Pro for a comprehensive calibration solution.

Controlling your environment:

Compliment monitor control by enhancing your working environment too with a desktop lighting solution or desktop viewing light.

An introduction to using ColorMunki Display

Installation

Your box contains the ColorMunki software on disc and the first step is to load that onto your machine, by following the simple on-screen prompts or video tutorials if you need them.

If you use a Windows operating system, the Hardware Wizard will automatically launch and install the drivers for the device.

Now launch the ColorMunki software.


Software Preferences

Before you begin the process of calibrating your monitor display or projector, you can set and personalise your software preferences, to ensure that you deliver the results for your project and viewing needs.

The ‘preferences’ tab is located in ‘menus’ at the top of the on-screen interface panel and offers the following settable options, which we recommend as follows:

  • Tone Response Curve: Set to the default 2.2
  • ICC Profiler Version: If you use older design software, you should set to version 2, newer edition user should select version 4
  • Achieve Display Luminance Value using video LUTs: Check this tick box if you use a monitor that can be too bright even at minimum brightness, these include iMac displays
  • Enable ADC: Check this option as it allows the software to take control of your monitor and make the relevant adjustments in the key areas
  • Technology Type: Simply select the type of backlight that your monitor uses. If you are not sure, CCFL is a good start point

Check ‘OK’ when you are happy with all your preference settings


The Process

One of the advantages of ColorMunki Display is that you can calibrate both monitor displays and projectors.

For the purposes of this overview, we will walk through how to calibrate a monitor display.

  • Select ‘Profile My Display’ from the menu of options on the right-hand side of the on-screen interface.
  • Select the ‘Advanced’ option that is presented, as this allows you to work with optimum control
  • Next set the ‘White Point’ – D65 will suit almost all users
  • Set the ‘White Luminance’ to automatically match ambient lighting or to a value that suits your personal environment. A darkened room is ideal and for optimum results you can also ask the software to monitor the effects of ambient lighting for you.


Taking advantage of Advanced Options

  • Ambient Smart Control, measures the effects of ambient light and then automatically adjusts your display’s contrast, saturation and tone for optimum results
  • Flare Correct – compensates for any light or glare that falls directly onto your screen, it is a good feature to use in conjunction with adding a monitor hood in creating the most accurate working conditions.


Let’s Calibrate

  • Rotate the integral Diffuser Arm away from the lens of the ColorMunki Display and then simply place against the screen of your monitor as centrally as possible
  • Adjust the counter weight on the cable so that it hangs over the top of the monitor case and holds the device squarely in place on the screen
  • Click ‘Next’ on the on-screen interface to start the measurement process
  • If your monitor is ADC compatible, any adjustments will be automatic. If not, you will be asked to make some minor settings adjustments – all of this is intuitive, clear and prompted on-screen
  • Next, it is best to measure any glare that is falling onto your screen as this will affect the final profiles. Simply, position the device as requested on-screen by your software and click ‘Measure

You are now essentially done!


Save Your New Profile

Name your profile as you wish and click ‘Save’ – you can also ask the software to diarise a re-calibration date, and we would suggest that you do this for a reminder every calendar month to sustain your colour accuracy and consistency.

Before & After

A Before & After comparison allows you to view the effects of the calibration process that you have just undertaken.

A range of default images can be accessed to prove the effects of the profiling  or you can load your own comparison images by accessing the ’Image’ drop-down menu.


Finally…

The final step is to enable ‘Ambinet Light Monitoring’ – but only do this if you elected to use the ambient light features when you created the profile.

The benefit of enabling this feature is that automatic adjustments will be made based on how ambient light changes throughout the day within your working environment.

You can also ask the software to flag any recommended adjustments so that you can apply manually if you prefer.