Best colorimeter for late 2012 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Skyjamma, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Skyjamma macrumors member

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    Maryland
    #1
    Curious if anyone in here has hardware-calibrated" their late 2012 27" iMac, what colorimeter they used, and what the results are? I'm trying to decide on what colorimeter to buy for mine (professional photography usage). SpyderPro 4, idisplayPro, ColorMunki, what did you use, and were you satisfied with the results?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. dandrewk macrumors 6502

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    San Rafael, California
    #2
    I've used Spyder 4 on my mid-2010 27" iMac with good, repeatable results. It does make a noticeable difference. I plan on doing the same with my new iMac when it arrives this week.

    You can keep the "bug" on the desk where it will monitor the ambient light in the room. If it's too bright for the selected profile, it will tell you. You can then close a few blinds/drapes to get into spec. for critical color work.
     
  3. Skyjamma thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    @dandrewk: Appreciate your feedback. Was looking at the Spyder Pro 4 seriously. Good to hear you like its calibration prowess. Thanks!
     
  4. FreemanW macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I use a Spyder3Express that I've had for some time.

    Calibration is calibration is calibration.

    I had a discussion with a professional photog, and he was expressing his opinion on the smoke-n-mirror marketing aspect of various price points on various calibration hardware.

    Yes, my Spyder3Express makes a significant difference in the IQ on my iMac and therefore the product from Photoshop and other software.
     
  5. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #5
    That part of your statement isn't really true as it's written. None of these pucks in the $100-300 range are very different in terms of hardware, but the older ones are problematic when used on newer displays, and they can drift over time. Colorimeters by their nature only work only on a limited range. Some of the older ones result in strange results when used to profile LED backlit displays. Note the word "profile". That is all that is happening. You're rewriting the profile that colorsync uses, which is why it tends to be a bit limiting. Some displays have some accessible internal LUT systems, which is why you read about things like hardware calibration. In those cases you would need to purchase a colorimeter that is in fact supported. I'll give you an example. X-rite doesn't seem to have an SDK for the colormunki display. Because of that, they aren't appropriate for some of the higher end options like NEC and Eizo if you want access to their preferred methods (back to internal display LUTs). They are fine with the Apple display as the display has no additional form of communication. You're just writing a profile.
     
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Portland, OR
    #6
    I've never color calibrated before. I am a fairly serious amateur and want to calibrate my machine.

    Looking at the Sypder 4 Xpress, Pro, Elite... it seems like the difference between Pro and Elite is more tools for dual monitors.

    I have a 2012 iMac, plus a ATD... used side by side with Aperture, Nik Software, and Photoshop. Out of the box... the ATD and iMac look different.

    /Jim
     
  7. Skyjamma, Mar 18, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013

    Skyjamma thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    @thekev: This is what I was trying to drill down to. Being that the new late 2012 iMacs are indeed LED backlit displays utilizing IPS technology, which of the aforementioned colorimeters (Spyder 4 Pro/Elite, Xrite iDisplay Pro, et al) is one best served to use on them? Thanks.
     
  8. thekev, Mar 18, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013

    thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #8
    Those are all newer ones. The best chart I know of is this. I wouldn't necessarily call their testing methodology perfect, but it's the most comprehensive chart I can find. Chromix sells a lot of displays and colorimeters. You might try asking them regarding the Spyder 4, as they seem to do some testing of combinations.

    Anyway as far as I know, the hardware in terms of color filters used is basically the same for a given brand assuming a current model. What I would avoid is older stuff. This means I would not buy a Spyder 2 or 3, a DTP-94, or an i1 display 2 today. Also watch out for X-rite's weird use of the colormunki label. The colorimeter is the colormunki display, and it is more recent, so it's designed with wide gamut as well as LED backlit displays in mind. Most of the upselling on price is related to software, and if you read through the documentation, they will mention features supported. Also as I mentioned before, there is no real way to hardware calibrate an imac. If you switch to bootcamp, none of those settings will be retained, as the instructions are stored in OSX, not within the display hardware.

    I kind of wish I could provide a better answer, but I haven't tested each of this individually on the display you're using. I can just say that the ones you're considering are new enough to be appropriate considerations. Just make sure whatever you buy supports whatever software features you require. Some of the less expensive versions don't support things such as trying to correlate 2 displays, even though that is at a software level, so you just have to read a bit of documentation.
     
  9. Skyjamma thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Appreciate the info. Thanks again.
     
  10. FreemanW macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Thanks for the informative posts thekev!

    You've provided more information in your posts than I've been able to garner in multiple threads asking specific questions of forum users that seem to know about calibration. ;)
     
  11. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #11
    No problem. I was trying to be somewhat general. I made one mistake. The Spyder 3 was developed to somewhat deal with these kinds of displays. It's just that I would typically go with the latest hardware. There are far more details to it. I just didn't want to go into every conceivable variable. There are issues with the imac like screen reflection, which aren't solved by a colorimeter. You can just minimize ambient lighting, and it takes care of most of this. The OP mentioned photography. That means at some point he/she will likely be comparing printed media to what is seen on their screen. This introduces more variables as printers have their own gamuts and linearity. It also brings up the issue of viewing them, as the look of a print is tied to the light it's viewed under. Of course under normal viewing conditions, you're viewing it and everything surrounding it under similar lighting, so the context is there. Matching it to a display is sometimes a case of close enough. Other times a desktop print viewer can bring the two a bit closer together if you can get something that provides a similar white point to that of your display. I just don't want to deviate too far from the original question.
     
  12. dandrewk macrumors 6502

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    San Rafael, California
    #12
    Regarding printing, just wanted to add for those who use Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture - DO use soft proofing, using your printers' specific profiles and/or your labs' profiles. I've been using Costco lately, and the linearity between the onscreen soft proof and the final print is amazing!
     

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