It's easy to think that your screen is correctly calibrated, but the colours can be incorrect meaning that if you are treating your images, they could have a slightly different cast to what the original is. The Pantone Huey Pro claims to be able to solve this dilemma.
From start to finish
The box includes the sensor, software, a screen cleaner and microfibre pad to dry it with. Once the software is installed, the sensor must be plugged in and the system rebooted.
Opening the program brings up a flashy, futuristic looking first screen which is asking for a selection of the type of screen between LCD and CRT. Choosing the option and clicking next gives a step by step instruction on setting up the hardware. The LED's on the sensor must be facing out away from the cradle so it can perform automatic adjustments of the room lighting. The sensor will perform an automatic calibration and ask if three rings can be seen on the left and two on the right. If not, the screen contrast and brightness need to be altered. On the manual screen, it will ask to set the contrast or brightness to 100% with the other at 50%, then the adjustment be made until the bottom matches the top of the display target. Be aware that the two parts of the target do not need to match at once, as this will give drastically incorrect results. The bottom half needs to look like the top half does when the adjustment is started as altering the brightness or contrast will change both halves. This certainly takes a degree of human precision which I thought was not the general idea using this system.
If the screen has automatically changed then the sensor is placed on it using the suction cups and the program will start to calibrate. This only takes a minute or so and you will be shown a before and after preview once it is complete. The program will then ask you to set the white point and Gamma settings. For double monitor users, this will set the same for both screens. Gamma is the reading of the monitor's input and the brightness of the image on display. The nearest to true life on a greyscale and the industry standard is 2.2 Gamma but this can be changed if that is what you want to do. A full list of the effects that each setting will achieve is available on the User guide. The guide can be accessed on the main screen when the system is reopened after first calibration by clicking on the question mark to open the hints box and scrolling down to where it asks if you have any further questions. Should you be a new user to this, the guide will explain what Gamma and White point is and what it does. Ideally, I would like to see this on an easier to use menu system. There is plenty of space on the front screen for adding a menu button.
The Huey Pro can also use the sensor to automatically adjust the screen depending on the room light which is a great feature. After this is all done, the program will know if you are using more than one monitor and will inform you to slide the Huey Pro over onto the next screen where it will automatically start over again.
The Preferences screen allows changes to the room lighting monitor frequency where the sensor can check the room lighting more or less frequently to a slowest time of once every minute. The settings screen allows changes to the colour temperature and Gamma setting and also shows the corrected and uncorrected colours. The final screen changes the frequency of reminders for when the screen needs recalibrating.
Despite being a pro version, the program is very easy to use and so is acceptable for anyone. It is classed as a pro version because it is dual screen enabled with the ability to select the colour settings for White point and Gamma whereas standard Huey lets the colour temperature and Gamma be changed by selecting the action you are going to perform.
This is certainly something I would consider using as the colour difference when I used it the first time was phenomenal. As a dual screen user, I also found out quite how different in colour my two monitors were and the sensor will continuously scan the ambient light and adjust the monitor(s) to compensate.
Ease of use
Because of the excellent and continued performance and the easy step by step instructions, the Pantone huey Pro calibration receives our coveted Highly recommended award.
Pantone huey Pro costs around £99.95 and is available from the colour confidence website here.