Accurate, Affordable Spectrophotometer for Calibration and Profiling

Review by Erik Vlietinck

There’s only one affordable option that’s accurate enough to calibrate anything from cameras to displays to printers: the X-Rite i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer. I had the chance to test the Photo edition.

The i1Pro 2 is very accurate and fast, and it switches between UV-brightened and non-brightened media, as you need. The i1Photo Pro 2 has an expanded feature set that offers photographers the ability to measure input and output, while correcting for optical brighteners often found in photo papers—all with the same device.

The device includes i1Profiler software, for which it acts as a software dongle. The software features basic and advanced modes for monitors, video-production workflows, projectors, scanners, and RGB printers. If you output to a true CMYK printer (there are only a few affordable ones around) or if you need to create specialist DeviceLink profiles, you’re better off with the Publish version as that one comes with the most complete feature set (at $2,499).

The nicely designed and ergonomic i1Photo Pro 2 device comes in its own semi-soft carrying case. It includes the ColorChecker Classic target mini, ColorChecker Proof target, an Ambient Light Measurement Head, Monitor Holder, Projector Holder, Scanning Ruler, Backup Board, and a Spot Color Positioning Target. All the accessories are robust, more so than those of its predecessor’s, and with a much better design.

Software-wise, the i1Photo Pro 2 is very complete, profiling all modern displays, such as LED, Plasma, RG Phosphor, OLED, and Wide Gamut, and all input and output devices bar CMYK printers. You can also adjust your monitor to any ambient light condition for color-critical work. The device also supports calibrating iOS and Android devices to ensure a client presentation is as accurate in the client’s office as it is in your studio. And the i1Photo Pro does all of that with panache.■