Buyer's Guide 2008: Color Calibration
Use these tools to ensure consistent color from import to output
Datacolor PrintFIX PRO Suite
Also from Datacolor, the PrintFIX PRO Suite version 2.0 calibrates printers and monitors. It comes with a Spyder2PRO colorimeter and features next-generation spectro technology for precisely profiling any RGB-driven inkjet, dye-sub, thermal, chemical or laser printer with virtually any media. Select any combination of printer, paper and ink. Measure a single test print in color with the spectrocolorimeter or augment that with an extended grays target for black-and-white, then let PrintFIX PRO create a custom ICC profile in just a few minutes. The software is easy to use and includes comprehensive help to guide you through the process. List Price: $650.
LaCie blue eye 2
The blue eye 2 offers complete monitor calibration and automatic ICC profiling for LCDs and CRTs. Manual hardware calibration of white-point temperature, gamma and brightness settings can be performed easily. With the Color Evaluation tool, you can quickly verify monitor settings and recalibrate if necessary. It's fully compatible with Mac and Windows systems and seamlessly integrates with ColorSync and applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and QuarkXPress. List Price: $300.
Unlike other calibrators, the huey sits in a cradle on your desk and continually monitors changes in ambient light. After you initially calibrate your monitor and establish the optimum color profile, it keeps your colors, contrast and brightness both consistent and accurate even as the ambient light in the room changes. It does basic profiling and calibrating on all types of LCD and CRT monitors, and the step-by-step instructions in the software menu make it very user-friendly. List Price: $89.
Like the huey, the hueyPro measures changes in ambient light throughout the day and makes automatic adjustments to your monitor. The difference is the hueyPro lets you make advanced adjustments to brightness, contrast, gamma and white point (color temperature). Even if you've never attempted these kinds of adjustments, the calibration software and Advanced Help instructions lead you step-by-step through the process in a way that's simple as well as educational. List Price: $129.