Faster, More Accurate Color Calibration & Profiling

Review by Erik Vlietinck

In January, X-Rite and Pantone announced i1Photo Pro 3, the third-generation of the i1Pro family of color management solutions for print, imaging, and photography. Meant to be used by professionals who require accurate color from their printer, display, and projector, the i1Photo Pro 3 set allows photographers to quickly and easily create custom camera, monitor, projector, scanner, and RGB printer profiles. The set includes the redesigned i1Pro 3 Spectrophotometer, which is more accurate and reliable, as well as two times faster, than its predecessor. 

The i1Photo Pro 3 kit I received for testing contained everything you’d need to calibrate and profile your computer’s display, a projector, and an RGB or CMYK printer. The unit comes in a carrying case, and the first thing I noticed was its size and weight. It seems to me that the iPro 3 has been made sturdier and more robust, and it’s also bigger than the previous versions I’ve tested. The target color measurement guide for printed color profiling is still the same as with earlier versions. 

The new i1Pro 3 offers a custom, full-spectrum, LED light source that allows for single-pass scanning and improves device reliability and accuracy. In tests with the iMac’s Retina P3 display, I noticed its accuracy has been improved considerably. X-Rite says the unit is faster too but you won’t be blown away by the increase in speed (due to its higher accuracy, I assume). 

From what I saw with my iMac’s screen and the device specs, I’m guessing the i1Pro 3 won’t have much trouble calibrating and profiling even brighter HDR monitors, such as Apple’s Display Pro XDR and other ultra-bright displays up to 5K NITs. Furthermore, the i1Profiler software lets you match up to four displays connected to a single computer, and unlimited displays connected to different computers. 

For printing, the i1Pro 3 measures M0, M1, and M2 simultaneously in a single pass while accounting for optical brighteners, which is hugely better than previous versions. Also better is that you won’t run into problems with small-sized color patches anymore, as the i1Pro 3 reads patch sizes as small as six square millimeters with a high accuracy. ■