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Decisions on Monitor calibration

Willpower 9 497 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2017 10:41AM
I'm in the market for a monitor calibration system, but undecided which one.
Should I go for the Datacolor Spyder5PRO or the X-Rite ColorMunki Both appear to me to do the same job and the prices are almost identical.

So, through experience I know that asking a question like this is always a problem, because 9 times out of 10 people have not used both offerings. Therefore comparisons from real life users are difficult to come by. I've read the reviews but seek your thoughts. Has anyone used both makes and can do a comparison, or can I get a personal opinion on your experiences with these products.

Thanks Smile

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Philh04 Plus
14 2.1k United Kingdom
24 Aug 2017 10:59AM
It is difficult to make a comparison as, like you say, people do not normally have experience of both...

You do not say which ColorMunki you are considering but I am assuming the ColorMunki Display.

My own personal preference is for X-Rite and personally use the Display version and prior to retirement used an iOne pro. Personal experience is that the X-Rite products appear to be more consistent and for me produce very good results. I have heard of a few problems with the Datacolor hardware but obviously I cannot confirm this.

The X-Rite software is easy to use (always use the Advanced Mode if you can) and you need to be aware that the recommended luminance level in the software may not be right for you and will take a little bit of trial and error to get it right, I calibrate to 100cdm2 prior to profiling, works for three computers, others find they have to calibrate to a higher or lower level.

Best of luck with your choice.
24 Aug 2017 11:06AM
Have a Spyder pro4 and it works well with no hassles. There are some good videos on Youtube for both which give you some ideas of the ease of use and also calibrating your printer.


is the ColorMunki video and the Spyder follows it.
justin c 16 5.1k 36 England
24 Aug 2017 1:19PM
Not one of the products you mentioned but I would also highly recommend the X-rite i1 Display Pro. I replaced an original Gretag Macbeth Eye One Display with the newer Display Pro and couldn't be happier. The included software is also handy if you wish to test the brightness and colour temperature at various points across the monitors screen, not essential by any means but an interesting feature to have.
RoyBoy 15 303 2 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2017 4:46PM
In the past I have used two versions of the Spyder. However for the last couple of years or so I have been using the X-Rite i1 Display Pro and am very pleased with the results. Just like Justin C I would also recommend it.
Willpower 9 497 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2017 5:39PM
Thank you all for your comments. Much appreciated.
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
24 Aug 2017 5:43PM
I can't see that it matters much. I've got a Spyder 3 or it might even be a 2, not used in ages.

It looks at the colours on the screen, measures the coloured squares, if the monitor is slightly off, too red, too blue or whatever then a correction is applied in the form of a profile.

Happy that my monitor is showing accurate colours I know that when my processed photos appear on other people's smartphones, tablets, tellies, laptops etc then any colour shifts are down to that person's gear and not in addition to my own.

What does a 4 do that a 3 doesn't, what does a Munki do that a Spyder can't. What about a SpiderMonkey?

As you sort of realise it's a difficult question. Just buy the cheapest, if it does what it's supposed to then that's all you need.
justin c 16 5.1k 36 England
24 Aug 2017 6:55PM

Quote:What does a 4 do that a 3 doesn't, what does a Munki do that a Spyder can't. What about a SpiderMonkey?

As you sort of realise it's a difficult question. Just buy the cheapest, if it does what it's supposed to then that's all you need.

It's not quite that straightforward unfortunately. Calibrators aren't all created equally and nor is the software that's used with them.
Some of the older model Spyder calibrators had quite a poor reputation. I can't remember off hand what the reason was, whether it was down to the accuracy of the results or whether it was to do with the quality of the actual unit and questionable quality control from unit to unit. It might not have been widely reported when the specific model was current but apparently they fall short compared to what's available now. It's reported that the more recent Spyder models are much better than of old.
RoyBoy 15 303 2 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2017 7:49PM
All the calibration devices mentioned essentially do the same job but, based on my personal experience, I am of the opinion that the i1 Display Pro provided better accuracy than the other devices. In addition it also allows me to calibrate a digital projector which is important in my particular case. The software of the i1 is more sophisticated and allows greater user control. It is also possible to leave the device plugged in and to measure changing ambient light conditions.
About 18 months ago I also purchased a Colormunki Smile. This is one of the cheaper options when it comes to screen calibration devices but had received good reviews. It wasn't anywhere as sophisticated or permitted as much control as the i1 but it did a reasonable job of calibrating my monitors. The reason for acquiring the device was to permit members of the camera club to borrow it and use free of charge in getting their monitors properly calibrated. In this case the Smile was a great device to purchase because of its simple interface and ease of use.
The other thing to bear in mind is that not all monitors are the same in their ability to display accuracy and some drift over time much quicker than others. As with all things, you get what you pay for and it depends how much you want to spend on the hardware.

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