Reviews |i1Display Studio

i1Display Studio Review

Ensure your monitor's colours are spot on

i1Display Studio review
Review

Price when reviewed

£135

$149
Check current price

Our Verdict

The effect of calibrating your monitor is stark, and while I check my monitors every month, I’m always amazed at the difference it makes.

My studio is North facing, so year-round there’s never the issue with sunlight streaming through the windows, and the light is always soft.

However, the brightness in the room does adjust depending on the time of day and year. I have invested in daylight-balanced lighting, knowing that standard lighting hue can affect the monitor colours I see.

Using the i1Display Studio helps to confirm that the colours, tone and brightness of the screen are correct, and at the end of the process, I can save down the ICC profile.

What I like about the i1Display Studio is that despite being the entry-level model, it gives you everything that you could need when it comes to monitor calibration from beginner through to professional.

The use of ICC profiles enables you to quickly switch between P3 for photography and then to REC.709 for video, once you’ve gone through the process of course.

Monitor calibrators are not cheap as they’re precision pieces of kit. At £135 at the time of review, the price is around average for what you get and what this small device does.

It may seem expensive, but it certainly does the job, and really if you’re photographing at a high enthusiast-level, working professionally or shooting video then you need to get a monitor calibrator, and this is a great place to start.

For

  • Compact
  • Easy to use
  • Creates ICC profiles

Against

  • No in software profile switching

What is the i1 Display Studio?

Monitor calibration is one of the most important factors when it comes to producing great images. Think about it, if your monitor isn’t displaying the correct colour or tone, how are the adjustments you make going to be right?

The i1 Display Studio is X-Rite’s entry-level monitor calibration device and is used in conjunction with the i1Studio software. This enables you to quickly calibrate your screen to ensure that it’s displaying the best quality and standards correct image.

Specification

  • Connection: USB Type-A
  • Flare correction: Yes
  • Dual monitor support : Yes
  • Ambient light measurement: Yes
  • Supported standards: NTSC, PAL SECAM, Rec. 709, Rec. 2020 and DCI-P3
  • Multi monitor calibration: Yes

Build and Handling

X-Rite is one of two companies that dominate the colour calibration market, and while the market isn’t that crowded, both companies know that build quality is of huge importance.

The build and construction of the i1Display Studio is excellent, it feels like a quality piece of kit that has obviously been designed to last for years. That quality also means that if you work out in the field the unit should withstand being carted around in a kit bag and isn’t something that needs to reside in the studio.

i1Display Studio review

Although all levels of photographer should utilise colour calibration, in reality, it’s only when people reach the keen enthusiast-level or above that the importance of colour calibration really becomes apparent.

The small i1Display studio is compact with a flip-over cover that helps protect the lens. Once this cover is swivelled over the device it reveals the lens which interfaces with the software and makes all the display readings that are required for calibration.

A small weight on the USB cable that connects the i1Display Studio to the computer enables you to balance the device over the monitor. This is needed to ensure that the i1Display Studio is in the correct position on the screen for the software to make the readings it needs.

Just to help protect the screen there’s a protective foam the base of the unit.

The hardware is 100% controlled by the software so once in place; there are no buttons to push or adjust.

Performance

Setting up the i1Display Studio doesn’t take long, although it does require a few restarts of your computer to ensure that the software is installed and updated to the latest version.

I tested the i1Display Studio on Mac, with Catalina being used as the main OS and then Big Sur.

i1Display Studio review

For all other systems, once the device is unpacked and plugged in, you follow the instructions on the card in the packaging.
For some reason, the link at https://xrite.com/geti1Studio would not download on my Mac, but following the links on the https://support.xritephoto.eu/software-downloads/ website took me to the correct download link that worked fine.

Once the software was installed, and hardware plugged in a quick restart was required. After the restart and starting the application a further update was download and another restart was required before being able to start the calibration process.

This is, of course, a process that you’ll only need to run through during the first run of the device and software.

From then on the process is exceptionally simple. Select i1Display Studio > Display then Photo, Video or Custom and follow the onscreen instructions.

The software is quite copy heavy, and it’s important to read what is required through the adjustment process; resetting monitor, adjusting brightness etc.

Once you’ve been through the process once it’s all quite straight forward and once you get to the end, you can see the before and after results.

When it comes to time, the initial monitor calibration takes around 10 minutes, and you can save down that profile once completed.

This means that you can profile the monitor for photography and then video and switch between the two depending on what you’re doing. To do this, you need to dip into the system monitor settings as there’s no way to do this directly in the software or through the i1StudioTray.

i1Display Studio review

Keeping on top of monitor calibration is also important and not something that should just be done once and forgotten about. A nice touch is that in the settings, you can select recalibration intervals; 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks and the software will alert you as to when that calibration needs to be done.

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