There's nothing worse than spending hours adjusting your images and finding that the prints you've produced don't match your screen. Calibrating your screen will help, but for real colour accuracy your printer will need to be profiled as well. In this review, Gary Wolstenholme takes a look at a Colour Confidence Studio XR colour management kit, to see if it really is the all-in-one solution it promises to be.
|What's in the box |
- Monaco Optix XR
Includes Monaco Optix colorimeter, a counter weight and suction cup for attachment to either LCD or CRT monitors and the Monaco Optix XR software package.
- Kodak colour management check-up kit
Contains a set of colour-correct photographic prints and a CD containing the original files.
- Inkjet paper test pack
20 sheets of inkjet printing paper from PermaJet, including four sheets of Oyster 271, Matt Plus 240, Parchment 285, Portrait 300, Fibre based gloss 295 papers.
|Inserting the Monaco Optix XR CD automatically sets the installation program going. |
The installation process is simple and straightforward. You will need to restart your computer once it's complete, then you can attach the colorimeter to your computer.
A counter-weight is supplied for attaching it to your LCD screen, while a suction cup will stick to the front of a CRT display.
|Instructions to guide you through the calibration process are simple, and easy to follow. The software begins by asking if you would like to calibrate and profile, or just profile your display. Calibration helps you to set up your monitor's contrast, brightness and white point settings for the most accurate results. |
Most adjustments are completed automatically, and any manual adjustments are made simple by aligning a pointer with a marked 'good' area on a scale. The pointer adjusts in real time as you adjust your monitor's contrast and brightness, making it easy to achieve accurate settings.
Once the process is complete the program prompts you to save the created profile, which is then set applied automatically.
Also included in the package is the Kodak colour management check up kit. The kit allows you to check the accuracy of your colour profile by making prints from the files contained on the disk, so they can be compared with the reference prints supplied. A selection of different colour profiles are also supplied on the disk so you can see which produces the best results.
Although this may not be the most sophisticated way of creating a colour-managed print set up, it does a good job for the price. Not everyone can afford the luxury of having custom profiles made. A generic profile is better than no profile - at least your colours will be consistent.
The on-screen instructions are clear and help guide you through the calibration process.
Reference prints are included with the Kodak colour management check-up kit to help assess how accurate you prints are.
The Colour Confidence Studio XR kit costs £139.82 and is only available as a kit direct from Colour Confidence
. When you consider that the Monaco Optix XR colorimeter currently costs £140.99 on its own, then this kit represents excellent value for money. Verdict
The Colour Confidence Studio XR kit offers a capable and easy to use all-in-one solution for your colour management needs. The Monaco Optix XR colorimeter, which the package is based around, delivered excellent results on both LCD and CRT displays.
Although the price tag may be steeper than some of the entry-level competitors, the extra expense is well-justified and represents great value for money.
In summary, the positive points of the Colour Confidence Studio XR are:
Quick and simple to use.
Value for money.
Delivers excellent results straight out of the box.
The negative points are:
Printer profiling is not the most sophisticated solution, but is better than nothing.