best monitor calibrator?

Started Feb 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
NewsyL Veteran Member • Posts: 5,700
Re: best monitor calibrator?

chester0711 wrote:

Good info , thank you.

Do any of them do a "better job" for the money or is it versatility that they offer? In other words is the accuracy of the calibration factored into the price or just more options?

I highlighted some of the differences in my first post re the differences between the two Xrite products.  The Colormunki Display is effectively a crippled and locked version of the i1 Display Pro.  It takes significantly longer to run a calibration on the CM Display and you won't be able to use it with Dell or NEC software.

The latest Xrite sensor is said to be more consistent between samples - i.e. units you would buy off the shelf would have less variation from one unit to the next.  That used to be (& still is to a lesser extent) a knock against the Spyder units.  But starting with the Spyder3 series, Datacolor tightened up their quality control.

The Dry Creek web link covers this sample variation between the Xrite units - very impressive!  Unfortunately they have not updated to include the Spyder4 products.

One knock I've read about with the i1 Display Pro is something to do with a memory leak with Mac's.  It may only be relevant if you plan to use the calibrator in a mode where it continually monitors the room's ambient lighting and adjusts your monitor on the fly.  I've not followed this issue and have no idea where it is at or if it was just a complaint from one group of forums.

The difference between the Spyder4's is all in software, they all use the same puck. The Elite unit has all features enabled, the Pro with some features taken away, and the Express being very basic.  I would not buy the Express as it is locked to calibrating with fixed gamma (2.2) and white point (6500K), and does not report the screen luminance at any point during the calibration or later in a summary.  The Pro does report the screen luminance in one screen and can be used to tweak the brightness of your monitor during the calibration, while the Elite has a full "module" dedicated to getting the screen's white luminance set to the specific level you want which makes adjusting screen brightness dead simple.  The old Spyder2 Pro software also had the ability to calibrate to the black point but I'm not sure they have included this in the Spyder4 Elite.

You should take the time to read those Northern Light reviews and check out the YouTube videos on these products so that you understand exactly what you are getting.

Personally, I'm also looking at upgrading my hardware calibrator at this time.  I'm currently using an i1 Display2 and previously used a Spyder2 Pro (equivalent to the current Elite in software features, there was no Elite back then).  I really like what I see in the i1 Display Pro but my current i1 has been a beast that ticks me off every time I use it. Where my Spyder2 never had software issues and was flawless in handling dual monitors, the i1 has never worked as I expected with my dual monitor system.  I gave up on Xrite customer support after the 3rd email if I am recalling correctly.  I use a work around now to complete a calibration and I don't calibrate as often as I should due the aggravation.

I'm thinking Spyder4 Elite for an easy fault free calibration or the i1 Display Pro - expecting a software disaster - but wanting the ability to use it with Dell or NEC software if I upgrade my monitors in the near future.


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