Build quality and handling
There are three parts to the i1 Studio, the camera calibration, monitor/projector and printer.
Starting with the small ColorChecker Classic, all you need to do is pop it into each shooting scenario. Then when the shoot is finished, it can be used to correct colour and exposure or create a profile back in the digital darkroom.
The process of using the chart is well documented across the internet with a good amount of decent YouTube tutorials available by a variety of people including Ashley Karyl. What is disappointing is that the link for the free e-Learning Tutorial on the X-Rite website is to a Flash-based document.
The Small Chart is simple enough and made from thin high-quality card with a small card wallet to help keep it safe.
The X-Rite Camera Calibration software is also easy enough to use and once you run the reference shot through the software that preset can then be used in your chosen application. All very handy and a huge time-saving process.
The big story is the hardware, and unlike the ColorChecker Classic, the software and instructions are all bang up to date.
Starting with monitor calibration and setting up the i1 Studio is straight-forward enough; simply plugin, load the software and you’re ready to go.
I started with monitor calibration, and here it was just a simple enough task of following the onscreen instructions and clicking the relevant buttons.
As with the ColorMunki that uses a similar harness system, I wasn’t always 100% sure that it was getting the precise meet with the monitor screen, even with the screen tilted back at the suggested angle.
It seemed to do the job, and after 10 minutes, the calibration process had finished, and the profile can be saved and applied.
Through the software, you can set reminders as well as profile the monitor for different uses such as photo, video and browsing.
The i1 Studio also offers an ambient light mode, although delving into the X-Rite support material they recommend only using this if you are unable to position your monitor in a place where light is consistent.
This mode requires that the i1 Studio remains plugged into your computer and the selector on the device is switched to the Ambient icon.
It will then automatically monitor the changes in light and make subtle adjustments to the monitor as the light changes.
As with all colour management hardware and software that I’ve looked at the software features a built-in reminder to re-calibrate your monitor at regular intervals. There’s a choice of options from 1 week through to 4 weeks.
The final part of the Profiling is for printers and involves printing out two separate colour charts.
Once the charts have been printed, you can then swipe the device over the printed swatches by hand, and it highlights each row in the software when it has been successfully read.
After you have scanned the two charts, it then creates the profile for that paper, and you can name and save down that profile. Each paper type requires that you repeat the process.
A nice feature aside from the usual colour printing profiling is the ability to also profile for black and white. This again uses colour swatches and follows a similar procedure to the standard colour profiling.