Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Recently I have reported on products I have tested and used. If a product works for me I will recommend it as I assume if I can make it work, others should also be able to do so. This may involve hardware and software used together, one being supported by the other, and may include additional products designed to be used with the primary product. Some of these products are designed to be proprietary, to work only with the recommended additions as advertised. I am usually strict and limited about my recommendations and do not include options for substitutions.

Some readers, wanting to save money have chosen to use older products with the primary new product, and have written to me criticizing me for not recommending such savings shortcuts. The reason I don’t recommend them is I have no evidence the results I have obtained that I base my recommendation upon will be achieved using some substituted product the reader already owns. I can only recommend what I know works and works as the manufacturer intended.

A very short time ago I reported I had purchased a new large color gamut Eizo Flexscan LCD display. It replaced an older standard, smaller color gamut LCD display. So I used software that is current and up to date to adjust, calibrate and profile this new Flexscan. The colorimeter I used to work with the software is one I have used reliably for several years and has achieved good high quality calibration and profiles with several older displays I own as well as some newer models I have tested. But with this newest Eizo LCD display was different with the result of the calibration and profiling that seemed a little off even though the profile file checked out as being OK.

So I asked DataColor the company that made the Spyder3 colorimeter I used if I could purchase a newer more recent model to replace my old sensor. I received a new colorimeter yesterday. I saved my old calibration and profile, and then made another set with the new colorimeter. I then used Chromix Color Think to compare the two and found the profile made with the older sensitometer was skewed quite noticeably, and it was also irregular compared to profiles made with my older, lower color gamut LCD displays.

This test experience confirmed the information I obtained from a color management designer, not long ago, that the new wider color gamut displays require using a sensitometer with a matching sensitivity range and different filtering for measuring the light from these new displays. And from my own tests I have found that LCD displays made by different manufacturers, although the color gamut size is similar may include differences in the chromatic attributes of that range of color reproduced. So, there is more than product exclusivity in some maker’s proprietary policies that is based on assuring a greater accuracy of color matched results and the calibration and profile quality created and used by users.

The bottom line is that as performance is extended in more refined products, the demand for adjustment, calibration and profiling accuracy becomes more critical. So, the bottom line is reduced by any economic saving from using older color management tools designed for lower performing LCD displays. In other words I cannot justifiably support economic savings when a user makes an investment in a higher performance LCD display if it is not accompanied by matching color measurement and calibration/profiling support, because you will only be getting part of the potential advantage of that higher performance display.

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