i1 Studio Review Snap Verdict
The i1 Studio is the latest all-in-one colour management solution from X-Rite. It’s designed to ensure that you get colour right in camera as well as on monitor and printer. This is also the first major update to the pro range for some years.
Camera calibration is handled by the small ColorChecker Classic, simply photograph the chart in situ, and then run the image through the software. A profile is then created to correct all other images, very quick and handy.
Monitor and printer calibration is handled by the i1 Studio hardware, and each step is guided by the software, easy and relatively quick to use.
The price may seem steep, but the difference you’ll see in your images and print after use is instantly apparent.
If you’re a professional or need to ensure that the colours through your entire workflow are spot on, then the i1 Studio is an ideal colour management solution.
For i1 Studio
- All in one colour management
- Easy to use software
- Calibration reminders
Against i1 Studio
- Fabric design of holder can be fiddly
- Small version of the ColorChecker
- Old Mini USB connection
Correct colour management is incredibly important, but it’s an area of photography that many ignore, both amateur and pro.
The i1 Studio is aimed at colour management for the professional end of the market, and unlike many solutions of old, it has been put together to offer a complete solution; from the camera, through to monitor and printer.
Although aimed at professionals the i1 Studio, as with X-Rites entire range of colour management tools, is incredibly easy to use and should appeal to all levels of photographer, cost allowing.
In this test the i1 Studio was used with a variety of devices; Sony A7R, Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark II for the cameras, a MacBook Pro 15-inch 2017 and Mac Pro 2011 along with an Apple 30-inch Cinema Display and BenQ SW320. The printer is the Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mark II.
In the box are just two main items the i1 Studio Colorimeter along with its case and the ColorChecker Classic. You also get the cables, but software and the latest information about the kit is best downloaded directly from the website.
All software on the X-Rite site is there to be downloaded, alongside a series of training videos for getting started with the i1 Studio.
However, links out to using the ColorChecker Classic are for a series of Adobe Flash files which will no longer load due to security issues with the format. However, there’s plenty of information on how to use these elsewhere, or you can check out Ashley Karyl’s How to calibrate your camera for accurate colours feature here.
The ColorChecker Classic is a small colour card, just larger than a credit card; 8.25 x 11 cm. Its handy size means that it can be placed in a wallet, but it’s more suited to being carefully protected in a camera bag pocket, so it’s there when needed.
The 24 colour swatches are designed to be photographed under the lighting conditions of the shoot, and then used as a reference for correction.
The swatches are a patented array of natural, chromatic, primary and greyscale squares.
These squares have been designed to represent natural objects such as human skin, foliage and blue sky.
The X-Rite Camera Calibration software can then reference colours from the photographed chart. As the chart is an industry standard, it is also supported by a wide range of third-party software solutions, including Black Magic DaVinci Resolve and Hasselblad Phocus.