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Author Topic: ColorMunki  (Read 119670 times)
keith_cooper
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« Reply #80 on: June 23, 2008, 03:29:19 AM »
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I've been contemplating a purchase of the Colormunki, but I won't buy it till I stop hearing reports about sofware bugs in a WINXP environment. I have little tolerance for half-baked products, and if the software is buggy no matter how good the hardware, the package is therefore buggy because both need to tango.
I suspect though that you will have a bit of a wait, since if you listen carefully enough on the net you will hear of problems for almost any product ;-)  Whilst, as someone who tests new software and hardware I may be be more tolerant of software 'foibles', I think you would be doing the ColorMunki a dis-service if you were to describe it as 'half baked'

Since writing the articles about the ColorMunki I've had quite a few mails from people describing various issues with the software - but the majority were quite happy, particularly when they took some of the initial media testing steps I described. Just throwing more measurement sets at the software doesn't seem to fix 'bad' profiles, and I'd be tempted to go back to more testing of initial print settings.

Although I've got lots of 'better' kit,  I used it the other day to generate a quick profile when testing a new canvas. It worked just fine and the test print I made looks great. However on the PowerBook I was using, the profile setting application still does nothing. Since I don't want applications messing around with my colour settings I'm not particularly bothered about this bit of the software not working.

It makes reasonable profiles, it can calibrate the screen, it can calibrate a projector connected to the laptop and I can use it to create black and white linnearising ICC profiles (with QTR)

It seems to produce the results quite well so I'd have no problems in suggesting it to someone to consider, as long as they took the time to understand what they were doing and how to get the best out of it. If that's not good enough then yes... wait, look at alternatives, or pay someone to make the profiles :-) :-)
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 03:35:47 AM by keith_cooper » Logged

digitaldog
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« Reply #81 on: June 23, 2008, 07:53:07 AM »
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Andrew & Edmund,

I've been contemplating a purchase of the Colormunki, but I won't buy it till I stop hearing reports about sofware bugs in a WINXP environment. I have little tolerance for half-baked products, and if the software is buggy no matter how good the hardware, the package is therefore buggy because both need to tango. And the cause of the problems is irrelevant. They can re-organize and re-re-organize themselves till the cows come home from the moon - all I'm interested in is whether the product works properly without "issues". In the interval, if I need custom profiles I can get them made.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=202952\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


As usual, Edmund is OT and the people in Europe have little if anything to do with any or all of this. I just spent two days at X-Rite in Ames pond talking with the development team about a number of subjects. They are aware of the issues in the 1.0 software, they have updated it slightly to overcome the initial bugs (mostly with App setter). If you're interested in the product and think you'd like to evaluate it, find a good dealer. Anyone worth their salt would allow you to return the product after a nominal test period (a few days at the very least).

As for Michael Lanke, never heard of him and he absolutely was NOT the product manager for the product (the man who was, who I worked with for several years did leave the company in good graces). And that has absolutely nothing to do with anything! The software was not produced in Regensdorf.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #82 on: June 23, 2008, 09:38:56 AM »
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I suspect though that you will have a bit of a wait, since if you listen carefully enough on the net you will hear of problems for almost any product ;-)  Whilst, as someone who tests new software and hardware I may be be more tolerant of software 'foibles', I think you would be doing the ColorMunki a dis-service if you were to describe it as 'half baked'

Since writing the articles about the ColorMunki I've had quite a few mails from people describing various issues with the software - but the majority were quite happy, particularly when they took some of the initial media testing steps I described. Just throwing more measurement sets at the software doesn't seem to fix 'bad' profiles, and I'd be tempted to go back to more testing of initial print settings.

Although I've got lots of 'better' kit,  I used it the other day to generate a quick profile when testing a new canvas. It worked just fine and the test print I made looks great. However on the PowerBook I was using, the profile setting application still does nothing. Since I don't want applications messing around with my colour settings I'm not particularly bothered about this bit of the software not working.

It makes reasonable profiles, it can calibrate the screen, it can calibrate a projector connected to the laptop and I can use it to create black and white linnearising ICC profiles (with QTR)

It seems to produce the results quite well so I'd have no problems in suggesting it to someone to consider, as long as they took the time to understand what they were doing and how to get the best out of it. If that's not good enough then yes... wait, look at alternatives, or pay someone to make the profiles :-) :-)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=202994\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Keith,

Yes, I know the danger of listening too much on the net. Once needs good filters for the noise one listens to, and I think I have those. There are real issues, quibbles and pilot-error issues. I try to focus on the first category when looking for lessons of experience.

If all it does is make "reasonable" profiles, for the small number in a year I need, I'd prefer a higher quality solution.

But I think in the final analysis Andrew has the correct approach - buy it and try it, and return it if not happy. It is very often the case that one's own experience is the best guide.

Vistek sells them here in Toronto for 530 CAD, while B&H sells it for 449 USD; the two dollars are close to parity, so once again Canadians are being dinged - in this case 17.8%. My rule of thumb is that we should expect to pay a comparative inefficiency penalty here of roughly 15% on an exchange rate adjusted basis, so its about right. (BTW "inefficiency" here doesn't mean any one is incompetent - it relates to the facts that our markets are much smaller scale and overheads are higher). I'd have to see whether Vistek allows one to try it. B&H clearly says they do not - no returns unless defective.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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David Good
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« Reply #83 on: June 25, 2008, 07:09:24 AM »
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I had one on order but canceled, putting that money towards a lens instead (EF100-400/4.5-5.6L IS)}. I suppose I had some doubt as to whether or not it would satisfy my profiling needs, in particular quality printer profiles. As Keith points out however, a lot of these problems may also be that for most of this product's targeted users there is also a learning curve. Anyhow, when I finally come in from shooting I will reconsider the Munki again!
Thanks to everyone for their comments and findings.

Dave

Good Photoworks
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #84 on: June 25, 2008, 11:06:52 AM »
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Andrew,

I much appreciate that you clarify this issue. Objective information is much appreciated but rumours are not.

I bought a ColorMunki a couple of days ago. I'm quite satisfied with it, I may feel that  it would be fine to have a real manual but Xrite at least have a FAQ which is quite good.

Best regards
Erik

Quote
As usual, Edmund is OT and the people in Europe have little if anything to do with any or all of this. I just spent two days at X-Rite in Ames pond talking with the development team about a number of subjects. They are aware of the issues in the 1.0 software, they have updated it slightly to overcome the initial bugs (mostly with App setter). If you're interested in the product and think you'd like to evaluate it, find a good dealer. Anyone worth their salt would allow you to return the product after a nominal test period (a few days at the very least).

As for Michael Lanke, never heard of him and he absolutely was NOT the product manager for the product (the man who was, who I worked with for several years did leave the company in good graces). And that has absolutely nothing to do with anything! The software was not produced in Regensdorf.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=203034\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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digitaldog
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« Reply #85 on: June 25, 2008, 11:29:28 AM »
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I bought a ColorMunki a couple of days ago. I'm quite satisfied with it, I may feel that  it would be fine to have a real manual but Xrite at least have a FAQ which is quite good.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=203605\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


IF the design of the product was 100% successful, there be no need for a manual. They got pretty close (I'd give them a C+).
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Andrew Rodney
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Tony B.
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« Reply #86 on: June 25, 2008, 04:04:31 PM »
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For awhile now I have been thinking of getting an eye one photo.  I have been following this thread and reading others about the colormunki.

For the people who have used/tested both do you think one does a better job for printer profiles? monitor profiles?

This is using the software that comes with the hardware.  The eye one photo is about my limit for cost at this time.  I do not print professionally, just as a hobby.

It seems from reading, the higher end software seems to do a better job with shadow detail.  Is there much difference between the eye1 photo and munki?

For the testers of the colormunki do you think they will update/upgrade the software for larger number of patch targets?  If so shouldn't this help with the quality of the profiles?

Thanks for any feedback

Tony
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keith_cooper
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« Reply #87 on: June 25, 2008, 04:17:32 PM »
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The official line is that the colormunki is firmly an introductory level package and will not be upgradeable.

Also X-rite are only currently letting third party software writers have access to the monitor profiling   hardware/SDK

Now whether this changes, depends on whether we see a replacement for the i1 any time soon and how that affects the product lineup at X-rite.

You have the iSis based measuring technology in the iSis, ColorMunki and add ins for printers (HP/Epson)

I have a colormunki and i1 and if given the choice would use the i1 and i1 match - the i1 is aimed at a higher end user than the CM.

There is also the fact that if you combined the iterative capabilities of the CM software, with higher patch count targets and an i1 you should have a quite nice solution ;-)
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Martin Archer-Shee
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« Reply #88 on: June 25, 2008, 06:02:52 PM »
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I can not comment from a technical point but have found the unit quite effective.

I bought mine through Amazon in  the US (I am in Canada) for about $440us. It came through customs with payment for Provincial taxes. I have made two profiles on paper with it and am very pleased. I was quite surprised at how easy it was. AND WITH ONLY two sheets of SAMPLES. I did not need to go to the next level (another 8x10 sheet.) I also calibrated my monitors and am pleased.

I can not comment on "deep" questions but it seems to work for me. If there are improvements, great.

Martin
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craigwashburn
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« Reply #89 on: August 06, 2008, 08:05:08 PM »
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Just got mine yesterday... have not profiled printer yet, but I did my monitors.

The quality of the monitor profiles is very good.  It is a better profile than what my Eye One Display could do - larger gamut, more accurate, more neutral grays.

However, the software interface toward setting up your monitor for profiling is very poor.

For example, its critical to get your screen brightness and whitepoint color correct.  In Eye One match, it has recommended cd/m2 values to achieve (I like from 90-100).  The colormunki does not do this however.  It simply has a bar that tells you to go up or down in brightness.

I have found this bar to be simply wrong.  If you take an ambient light measurement in my studio (which is suitably dim for graphics editting), it tells you to turn the monitor brightness far too low.  Whites become gray and the profile will be out of whack.   If you choose not to do an ambient measurement, it tells you to turn the brightness up simply too high.

And there is no indication of what the actual cd/m2 value is.  

And it also has no whitepoint adjustment.  You cannot see what the actual color temp the monitor is achieving.   This doesn't matter for lower-end monitors - trying to adjust the temp will cause casts and you should leave it at native.  But if you're working with a quality 10bit+ graphics display, you want to use the monitor controls to achieve a solid 6500k - not just rely on the colormunki.

IMO, these should be part of the "advanced" calibration.  For now, I'm using my EyeOne to achieve brightness and color temp, and then switching to the colormunki for the actual profile generation, because it is quite good - once your monitor is set right.
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David Good
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« Reply #90 on: August 07, 2008, 07:34:02 AM »
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However, the software interface toward setting up your monitor for profiling is very poor.

For example, its critical to get your screen brightness and whitepoint color correct.  In Eye One match, it has recommended cd/m2 values to achieve (I like from 90-100).  The colormunki does not do this however.  It simply has a bar that tells you to go up or down in brightness.

I have found this bar to be simply wrong.  If you take an ambient light measurement in my studio (which is suitably dim for graphics editting), it tells you to turn the monitor brightness far too low.  Whites become gray and the profile will be out of whack.   If you choose not to do an ambient measurement, it tells you to turn the brightness up simply too high.

And there is no indication of what the actual cd/m2 value is. 

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213559\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I finally bought one and this has been my experience also. Hopefully if enough of us keep "suggesting" that X-Rite adds more functionality to the software they will listen and open up the advanced mode. I have also sent them a bug report where the Optimize Existing Profile option (XP Pro) keeps crashing the application, however if I restart (several times) I can eventually print and read the optimized chart.

The Munki builds very good printer and monitor profiles IMHO).

Dave

David Good
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jeremydillon
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« Reply #91 on: August 16, 2008, 08:00:45 AM »
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I ordered one - mainly as a cheap printer profiler, but also to verify the accuracy of my colorcheckers.  It seems to do the printer job o.k. but I'd need some more time before commenting further.

Just a quick note ... if you want to save a bit of paper and your printer driver allows you to scale the output, the deveice seems quite happy reading the targets at 50% of normal size.  I guess this might reduce the accuracy, but is quite useful if your trying out a few different media settings.
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avitch
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« Reply #92 on: August 19, 2008, 11:36:45 AM »
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Hi all.

For those considering purchasing the ColorMunki, I thought I'd share my experiences with the product and X-Rite support.

First, the background: I'm running Vista Home Premium on a home built machine sporting a dual core 2.14mhz intel chip, 4 gigs of RAM, and a good NEC monitor.  I've had a fully color managed system for about 4 years now, and while far from a technical expert, I've been using profiles competently for most of that time. Prior to the ColorMunki I used an i1Photo system to calibrate monitor, printer, projector, etc. The i1Photo has performed well, but it is more product than I actually need. By purchasing the ColorMunki, I was hoping to give myself the opportunity to sell the i1Photo kit and recoup some of my initial investment in that product.

Well, I've been very disappointed with the ColorMunki and X-Rite support, and here is why:

1.       Monitor calibrations vary widely from calibration to calibration. I've got the ambient light option turned off, but each time I calibrated my monitor I get different results. I quickly lost confidence in the monitor profiling and switched back to the i1, which does the job consistently.

2.       Printer/paper profiles are very poor compared to those the i1 generates - even compared to the canned profiles provided with my paper. When I try to "optimize" the CM profiles, the software crashes when I start scanning the color swatch print. Others have noted this problem. Likewise, its back to the i1 for me.

These two issues render the product useless.  I could probably find workarounds, but with my i1Photo still on hand, I don't need to. And after spending nearly $500, I really shouldn't have to do that anyway.

I contacted X-Rite support about the problems. At first they were very responsive and seemed genuinely interested in learning from my experiences. Since I have both the CM and the i1Photo, they requested copies of the monitor profiles generated by each. I forwarded those along about four weeks ago, and since then, I have heard almost nothing from them, despite emails every 10 days or so asking for an update.

I expect that X-Rite will correct these issues with a future software update. I'm stunned, however, that they released such a flawed product to begin with. At this stage, I wouldn't recommend the ColorMunki to anyone – at least anyone running MS Vista. Perhaps XP or Mac users are having better experiences.

Adam
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digitaldog
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« Reply #93 on: August 19, 2008, 12:28:49 PM »
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2.       Printer/paper profiles are very poor compared to those the i1 generates - even compared to the canned profiles provided with my paper. When I try to "optimize" the CM profiles, the software crashes when I start scanning the color swatch print. Others have noted this problem. Likewise, its back to the i1 for me.


Maybe its Vista, but that's not anything like I see (on a Mac), even comparing profiles build from an iSis! Of course, my software doesn't crash at optimizing, and I've seen little reason to even use that feature other than for testing. The 100 patch profiles on my Epson's are very good.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #94 on: August 19, 2008, 02:46:03 PM »
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Yes, I think it must be a problem between the ColorMunki software and Vista. Others have reported problems with the CM software, but several of the worst cases seem associated with Vista users (or perhaps Vista victims is the more accurate characterization).

Still, since Eye-One Match software works perfectly well with Vista, the CM software should be able to work with it too.

I wonder if the problem lies with the new color engine (WCS I think its called) that lurks somewhere beneath Vista's hood. If I recall the marketing hype, it was supposed to revolutionize color management and replace the ICC standard - at least for Vista users. As far as I know, however, no 3rd party software is taking advantage of it.
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theophilus
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« Reply #95 on: August 19, 2008, 04:25:09 PM »
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I don't think Vista was replacing the ICC standard.  The idea was that the color management would reside with the operating system and hence be system-wide, rather than individual programs like photoshop being color-managed but the windows explorer not.

I believe it was also going to bring color management to web browsers.  I don't think these changes made it in the final release (I'm still with XP).

In theory it is the right idea, but as always its the implementation that matters most.
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David Good
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« Reply #96 on: August 20, 2008, 07:18:43 AM »
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I have ColorMunki installed on both XP Pro and Vista (laptop), the "crash" occurs on both. The curious thing is it advances further into the process after crashing it several times. I was able to eventually complete the optimize process after @15-20 tries (I don't give up easily). The "good news" is that it worked for the image I was dealing with, no more banding in the orange sky of a sunrise printed on Harman Gloss.

The display profiles appear quite good on my laptop and LCD, I haven't tried profiling CRT's yet, preferring my Eye-One. I learned early on to ignore the ambient light option. I wonder how far X-Rite will go with this project as far as software upgrades are concerned.
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thunter
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« Reply #97 on: September 17, 2008, 06:47:55 PM »
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I have ColorMunki installed on both XP Pro and Vista (laptop), the "crash" occurs on both. The curious thing is it advances further into the process after crashing it several times. I was able to eventually complete the optimize process after @15-20 tries (I don't give up easily). The "good news" is that it worked for the image I was dealing with, no more banding in the orange sky of a sunrise printed on Harman Gloss.

The display profiles appear quite good on my laptop and LCD, I haven't tried profiling CRT's yet, preferring my Eye-One. I learned early on to ignore the ambient light option. I wonder how far X-Rite will go with this project as far as software upgrades are concerned.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=216223\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm in Oz and have had a CM for about 2 weeks trying to get it to a) be recognized by the software  calibrate screens consistently c)keep the printer profiles once done d) not dump everything once you reboot the computer so you have to start over with manual installations and re-callibration each time.

I'm on XP with plenty of speed and memory.

I think I bought in too early, even though it's about 6 months since release, and I have a CM that's full of bugs.
David can you give me your CM part and serial no. so I can compare how old mine is with yours... which apparently is humming along on XP very well.

Anyone else whose XP and CM work well, I'd appreciate your input as the importers here probably have landed a crook early batch.

thanks

Terry

Woops... perhaps not humming along 'very well' but at least manageable with XP David!

It's a nuisance returning equipment so work-arounds with a bad release can be an option
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 07:24:42 PM by thunter » Logged
neil snape
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« Reply #98 on: September 18, 2008, 02:07:44 AM »
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Just got mine yesterday... have not profiled printer yet, but I did my monitors.

The quality of the monitor profiles is very good.  It is a better profile than what my Eye One Display could do - larger gamut, more accurate, more neutral grays.

However, the software interface toward setting up your monitor for profiling is very poor.

For example, its critical to get your screen brightness and whitepoint color correct.  In Eye One match, it has recommended cd/m2 values to achieve (I like from 90-100).  The colormunki does not do this however.  It simply has a bar that tells you to go up or down in brightness.

I have found this bar to be simply wrong.  If you take an ambient light measurement in my studio (which is suitably dim for graphics editting), it tells you to turn the monitor brightness far too low.  Whites become gray and the profile will be out of whack.   If you choose not to do an ambient measurement, it tells you to turn the brightness up simply too high.

And there is no indication of what the actual cd/m2 value is. 

And it also has no whitepoint adjustment.  You cannot see what the actual color temp the monitor is achieving.   This doesn't matter for lower-end monitors - trying to adjust the temp will cause casts and you should leave it at native.  But if you're working with a quality 10bit+ graphics display, you want to use the monitor controls to achieve a solid 6500k - not just rely on the colormunki.

IMO, these should be part of the "advanced" calibration.  For now, I'm using my EyeOne to achieve brightness and color temp, and then switching to the colormunki for the actual profile generation, because it is quite good - once your monitor is set right.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213559\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



The adjustment feedback is too jumpy IMO. On a MacBookPro one notch goes off the acceptance scale too fast. Not having white point is okay for LCD monitors for this level of calibration. I would like to see developers have the CM running on apps like ColorEyes. I think this would be the right way to go. Keep the pricing low, have SDKs for developers for optional higher end profiling. Perhaps X-Rite should offer a higher end option too for the CM.

It seem to profile the MBP well enough and without problem. I still prefer ColorEyes and an i1D2 but that option costs a lot more. The CM does for the price a very decent job on my first calibration/profile on a difficult portable.
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neil snape
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« Reply #99 on: September 18, 2008, 02:09:35 AM »
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I have ColorMunki installed on both XP Pro and Vista (laptop), the "crash" occurs on both. The curious thing is it advances further into the process after crashing it several times. I was able to eventually complete the optimize process after @15-20 tries (I don't give up easily). The "good news" is that it worked for the image I was dealing with, no more banding in the orange sky of a sunrise printed on Harman Gloss.

The display profiles appear quite good on my laptop and LCD, I haven't tried profiling CRT's yet, preferring my Eye-One. I learned early on to ignore the ambient light option. I wonder how far X-Rite will go with this project as far as software upgrades are concerned.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=216223\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I wonder if it will crash on a MacBookPro with Bootcamp and XP SP2?

Anybody try?
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