Colorimeter in <1K$ category? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 353 Old 07-03-2005, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm having hard time finding colorimeters with price <1k$ that will be suitable for calibration of LCD/DLP projectors and will have PC connectivity via USB or COM.
Anyone have any recomendations?

Primary usage will be for writing my own software to calibrate projectors - just to understand all color & calibration theory on practice.
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post #2 of 353 Old 07-03-2005, 01:27 PM
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PM Ursa - he is hoping that Milori's SpyderTV will give him the API access to do this using VisualBasic/Excel - but it is not released yet and who knows if the API will be accesible. He is currently experimenting using DataColor's Spyder2 (which is only rated for direct view CRT and LCD panels - the Milori version is rated for all uses).

I am helping him cross check math - you will need a lot of color science reference texts!
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post #3 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroot
I'm having hard time finding colorimeters with price <1k$ that will be suitable for calibration of LCD/DLP projectors and will have PC connectivity via USB or COM.
Anyone have any recomendations?

Primary usage will be for writing my own software to calibrate projectors - just to understand all color & calibration theory on practice.
Under $1K? Check FleaBay for a Gretag Macbeth EyeOne (~$750). If you want to go upmarket from that, check OneCall for the OpticOne + Avia Pro bundle (~$1700).

If you are writing your own software, I recommend:
- Charles Poynton - start with his website (www.poynton.com) and then buy the book: "Digital Video and HDTV Algorithms and Interfaces"
- Then shift back to Keith Jack for a slightly less technical perspective, "Video Demystified, Fourth Edition" (he also posts frequently in the HD fora)
- Finally, Kevin found a good MATLAB reference, but I'll let him share that one!

Oh, yeah, you will also want to get the text of the ITU recs from the ITU website (http://www.itu.int/home/index.html).

Later,
Bill
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post #4 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 10:10 AM
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That would be Computational Colour Science: Using MatLab

http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyT...470845627.html

in E-book or hardcover form.

The MatLab code is written to be portable to other languages (does not use matrix features),

BTW if you value your time - it is cheaper to buy OpticOne or ColorFacts - but there is no substitute for learning.
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post #5 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krasmuzik
BTW if you value your time - it is cheaper to buy OpticOne or ColorFacts - but there is no substitute for learning.
Amen to that! It's sort of like drinking from a fire hose at times, but the concepts seem to be gelling for me as I work through it. I would recommend the above books, anyway, even if you do go for a more complete package. Heck, I think Kevin has even rounded out some of his knowledge from dedicated study on this stuff!

Later,
Bill
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post #6 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 10:36 AM
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Now I just need to learn this gain-offset-gamma characterization model. Yikes!
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post #7 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for advices Ursa and krasmuzik.

I already have Poynton and Jack books on the way from amazon - i also got for same price ebook versions of them, so i can start reading them before paper versions arrive.

I will give "Computational Colour Science: Using MatLab" a try, if i will start having problems with algorithms.

Reason for writing this software is just to learn things and do this as"hobby" project - i'm fluent with math and do programming for living (server software).
If anything will come out of this, then i will make it freely available.
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post #8 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursa
Under $1K? Check FleaBay for a Gretag Macbeth EyeOne (~$750). If you want to go upmarket from that, check OneCall for the OpticOne + Avia Pro bundle (~$1700).
Which one of EyeOnes are suitable for LCD/DLP projectors?
Isnt OpticOne is just some Progressive Labs colorimeter + software or i'm mistaken here?
Any other colorimeters in that range (up to OpticOne price)?
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post #9 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Under $1K? Check FleaBay for a Gretag Macbeth EyeOne (~$750).
Doing a Froogle search for "Gretag Macbeth EyeOne" yields a page that has several products ranging in price from $223 to $2500. Obviously these are not all the same product, though they all go under the name "Gretag Macbeth EyeOne". Which one is the correct one and why?

Edit: It looks like Kroot and I were thinking along similar lines.
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post #10 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 04:36 PM
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You want the "beamer" model. The software that ships with it should give you xyY data, which is all you really need to do a calibration, but I have not tried it (yet). The EyeOne line is like the Spyder2 line from Colorvision. There are several models in the line, and the major differences are in the software as you move from one model to another (e.g., Spyder2, Spyder2 Print, Spyder2 Pro; EyeOne Design, EyeOne Beamer, etc.). The MSRP on the Beamer is ~$1400, but FleaBay has it cheaper (I do not know the seller, I only watch the listing). Alternatively, you might be able to sweet talk the folks at Milori into selling you one for $800, but I am not sure whether they require you to be a licensed ColorFacts user or not.

The OpticOne is a Progressive Labs product, and it does have a normal model number from them (CA-1? CA-6?). I can't recall it at the moment. If you can find it for cheaper than OneCall has it, please post it (here or in the deals forum).

Finally, if you want to play Spyder2 games, you can either get the Spyder2Pro for ~$250, or you can get the Spyder2 for $140 and a copy of the (old) OptiCAL software for ~$50. However, I have not yet been able to check its accuracy vs. reference equipment, since I am waiting to have my H77 ISFed after the H78 upgrade is done. It's been a LONG wait on that one.

The SpyderTV is based on the Spyder2 and has ColorFacts at its core, according to Mark Hunter's post in a different thread. However, it is not slated for release until mid-July last I heard (though you can pre-order for $199). Out of the box, Mark indicated that it will not do grayscale calibration.

If either of you guys want to collaborate or beta test my own project, shoot me an e-mail or PM.

The genesis of the project was here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=532816
and here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=535834

Later,
Bill
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post #11 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 07:35 PM
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Hi Bill,

I just finished reading the two threads, and now I am more confused than ever... :confused:

Quote:
You want the "beamer" model. The software that ships with it should give you xyY data, which is all you really need to do a calibration, but I have not tried it (yet).
I though that Mr. Phelps gave his stamp of DISapproval on that particular unit, or did I misunderstand? And why would I want the beamer model if the only difference is in the software? Or is that software necessary just to get the xyY data that I need?

Quote:
The OpticOne is a Progressive Labs product, and it does have a normal model number from them (CA-1? CA-6?). I can't recall it at the moment. If you can find it for cheaper than OneCall has it, please post it (here or in the deals forum).
The deal at OneCall includes Avia Pro in the package. Is this a standalone solution that can be used by your average monkey (me) without having to take an engineering course before being able to use it effectively? And does it provide repeatable, accurate results? It would be worth the $1700 price tag if filled those criteria.

Quote:
Finally, if you want to play Spyder2 games, you can either get the Spyder2Pro for ~$250, or you can get the Spyder2 for $140 and a copy of the (old) OptiCAL software for ~$50. However, I have not yet been able to check its accuracy vs. reference equipment, since I am waiting to have my H77 ISFed after the H78 upgrade is done. It's been a LONG wait on that one.
Kevin seemed to indicate that that unit would only be useful if I have some reference equipment to compare it with, and then only for one particular projector. As things stand now, I own 3 DLPs, and my friends own a few more, and I do not have access to any reference equipment. I am looking for a software/hardware solution that I can run on a laptop and at least mess up my friends' projectors, as messing up just my own wouldn't be enough fun!

Quote:
The SpyderTV is based on the Spyder2 and has ColorFacts at its core, according to Mark Hunter's post in a different thread. However, it is not slated for release until mid-July last I heard (though you can pre-order for $199). Out of the box, Mark indicated that it will not do grayscale calibration.
Is SpyderTV software or hardware, or both? If I read it right, didn't Mark say that Colorfacts would be necessary to do grayscale? And isn't the Colorfacts software something like $2000 without a colorimeter?

Quote:
If either of you guys want to collaborate or beta test my own project, shoot me an e-mail or PM.
If I end up getting a colorimeter, I'd be happy to beta test. If all that needs to be done is to plug in numbers on a spreadsheet, then I'm your man, but if using it requires more intelligence than your average monkey, then you might not want to let me get my hands on it...:)

I figure it this way - I currently own 3 DLPs, one of which (the H-79) NEEDS professional calibration, and the other two which I would just like to get that little extra to make them look even better. I don't know a good ISF guy around here, and even if I did, I would probably spend a lot of money with repeat calls every time I change a source device (which I do frequently with my HTPC). So if I were to buy either a hardware/software combination, or buy just the hardware and plug the numbers into a spreadsheet, then I wouldn't mind spending a reasonable sum of money. Oh yeah, and did I mention that a monkey should be able to do it? :D
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post #12 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 08:10 PM
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I have a Spyder Pro (not Spyder2), and OptiCAL.
Are you saying that I can use this to measure and calibrate my front projection setup, or did I misunderstand your post?
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post #13 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 08:52 PM
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No the Spyder2 PRO is not qualified for FP. Only the SpyderTV is - and ColorFacts can use the same sensor if you decide to upgrade for greyscale.

It may be the case the Milori allows use of the SpyderTV API - for those that want to use spreadsheets - though I have heard nothing official on that - SpyderTV uses the ColorFacts API under the hood so it is possible.

wm dissed on the EyeOne because he uses the expensive reference instruments that cost 20-30x - the problem it has is dark readings are noisy and inaccurate. Milori recommends using it to read whites of the screen - then training the TrichoMat or Spyder using that white reference - but face it to the projector. Best of Both Worlds!

I don't think calibration can be done effectively with wizards - you really do have to learn the color science with training. These are professional tools and have prices to support that. Spreadsheets and the non-qualified sensors are a good way to learn - even if they do not accurately calibrate your display!
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post #14 of 353 Old 07-04-2005, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiler
I have a Spyder Pro (not Spyder2), and OptiCAL.
Are you saying that I can use this to measure and calibrate my front projection setup, or did I misunderstand your post?
The Spyder2 Pro will give you xyY data. The accuracy of said data is an open question. I plan on getting my gear measured against my calibrator's high end equipment (beyond the OpticOne and EyeOne grade equipment). As Kevin has pointed out, this may mean that any correction factors I get from these measurement s are valid only for my unit with my projector. However, it's an interesting project to see.

For your set-up, I would get your projector ISFed, but at the same time, try to get your Spyder validated against your calibrators equipment. In so long as the Spyder does not drift, the correction factors that you derive from your own calibration experience should be sufficient to touch up the grayscale as the lamp ages.

If you have a CRT or LCD FP, then the Spyder2PRO should be sufficient - once you understand the science!

Bob - OpticOne is a pro-quality set-up. The Beamer is also pro quality. Each represents tradeoffs in their design, so you have to pick your poison. I'm not sure that anything south of a Lightspex ($25k?) is really good enough for the level of precision I have been led to believe is the norm for wm's work.

As for ease of use, that is where ColorFacts really seems to shine (I've played with the dummy meter on the download). However, it is $$$ for me (it would be more than I paid for my projector after I kitted it out with a sensor!). The screen shots that Guy Kuo has posted for the OpticOne software seem informative to me, but I've been buried in Poynton for several months now.

I would start with the ColorFacts demo, and see if you can make sense of the various wizards using the dummy instrument. If so, then that's a great sign. If not, then pour through Poynton's FAQs (www.poynton.com). I found the getting started guide there a phenomenal introduction that helped me divorce my understanding of the physics from the biology (sorry, but I don't remember the file name -- it's the other color-related document there). Once you are into the biology of vision, a lot of the concepts "open up". At least, they did for me.


Later,
Bill
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post #15 of 353 Old 07-05-2005, 03:49 AM
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Quote:
I don't think calibration can be done effectively with wizards - you really do have to learn the color science with training. These are professional tools and have prices to support that. Spreadsheets and the non-qualified sensors are a good way to learn - even if they do not accurately calibrate your display!
Most of the time when I encounter wizards I just click on the cancel button and do things manually. With software like OpticOne and Colorfacts, which are basically wizard driven (based on your description), is there enough power under the hood to do a professinal calibration by cacelling the wizards and driving manually? This would be my idea of well written software - one that walks the complete idiot through everything step by step, but gives limited results, but once the user has a better working knowledge it has the tools and power underneath to really get the job done properly.

Like I said, I don't want to get an engineering degree to do calibrations, but I am sure I will learn a lot as I go along, and then I will want better tools. I would rather not buy my tools twice...:)

Quote:
I would start with the ColorFacts demo, and see if you can make sense of the various wizards using the dummy instrument. If so, then that's a great sign. If not, then pour through Poynton's FAQs (www.poynton.com). I found the getting started guide there a phenomenal introduction that helped me divorce my understanding of the physics from the biology (sorry, but I don't remember the file name -- it's the other color-related document there). Once you are into the biology of vision, a lot of the concepts "open up". At least, they did for me.
Ok, I will do just that! Thanks, Bill...That's advice well taken, and as soon as I get home from riding rollercoasters today (this is my one single week of vacation per year), I will download the Colorfacts demo and give it a spin, as well as check out the Poynton FAQ.

Thanks again to both of you!
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post #16 of 353 Old 07-05-2005, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiler
I have a Spyder Pro (not Spyder2), and OptiCAL.
Are you saying that I can use this to measure and calibrate my front projection setup, or did I misunderstand your post?
Defiler - sorry, but I missed that you have the original Spyder. I would upgrade to the Spyder2 if you want to try to calibrate your set. It is supposed to be a much better sensor, especially for low light conditions. Colorvision will also give you a discount if you are a registered user from a prior version.

Bob - Enjoy the coasters, and we can talk more when you get back (I'm a bit spoiled on the vacation front, myself. However, since I know this about myself, I don't want to spoil someone else's fun!).

btw, the file with which to start this journey, IMHO, is this one:
http://www.poynton.com/papers/Guided_tour/abstract.html

Later,
Bill
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post #17 of 353 Old 07-05-2005, 02:04 PM
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I don't know if it sold or if the seller could be recommended but I've seen used Opticone for sale at videogon. Less that 1000$. It look like a good deal to me.

There is no wizard in OpticOne. You have to understand what you are doing to get good results.

Bruno
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post #18 of 353 Old 07-05-2005, 02:14 PM
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I use the wizards all the time - because they are automation that makes my job go faster!
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post #19 of 353 Old 07-05-2005, 02:52 PM
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The OpticONE is not a wizard based software design. The OpticONE allows the user to configure the software easily in its user menu which is accessed via a drop down menu. The OpticONE has superior performance realtive to competitors probes when it comes to low light level sensitivity as well as acquisition speed. The probe samples at a constant rate of 6X per second which is considerably faster then the others! The speed allows the use of averaging to if selected in the menu to provide even greater precision to measurements that the others don't provide due to the long integration times which they require.

As far as a color analyzer which walks the user through the calibration, the calibration basically requires setting the Contrast and Brightness to a pluge pattern and then adjusting RGB bias and gain controls to achieve a specific White target point ie D65. This is very straightforward. There are other adjustments which are specific to each display such as color temperature mode and gamma mode which need to be determined first prior to making the other adjustments mentioned previously. Becoming proficient using the software does not take much time to do as long as you follow the basic calibration steps. The software provides highly accurate data in both a numeric and graphical form to make the job very straightforward. The CA-6X/ OpticONE also provide pattern generator support for both the Sencore VP300/400 series generators as well as the Accupel HDG-3000 series generator. Either generator will allow the user to measure the Grayscale from 0-100 ire in either 5 or 10 ire increments automatically at the touch of one button. A similar feature is provided for measurement of the primaries and secondaries of the display also at the touch of one button!

For more information please check the website at: www.progressivelabs.net
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post #20 of 353 Old 07-06-2005, 12:23 PM
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Cliff - Thanks! I'll plant the idea with you that I'd love an OpticOne/CA-6x consumer version (sans pattern generator support) for say $600, but at current pricing, it is just prohibitive for me!

Later,
Bill
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post #21 of 353 Old 07-06-2005, 01:16 PM
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The EyeOne Beamer for Digital Projectors retails for $995 so qualifies as <1KS :)

Includes software and hardware. Make sure you buy from a reputable source that can gaurantee you get the latest (5/05) EyeOne Pro Accelerated device.

Also, make sure you get a software package that actually says its for digital projectors to be sure all necessary corrections are made for this use. Just because all packages use the same device doesn't mean the same calibration tables etc. are loaded during use.

Ken
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post #22 of 353 Old 07-07-2005, 01:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Lol - someone beat me on that OpticOne auction at videogon :(
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post #23 of 353 Old 07-07-2005, 06:13 AM
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"get the latest (5/05) EyeOne Pro Accelerated device."//Ken
............................

Ken, what is the "5/05 accellerated device", was there a software or hardware upgrade ?
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post #24 of 353 Old 07-07-2005, 08:54 AM
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It's hardware. Usually, faster means more sensitive. I have the original EyeOne I got with ColorFacts. It is ok with enough light.

Since then they have upgraded the hardware at least twice. I haven't read anything about the improvements in accuracy or sensitivity or even if ColorFacts supports the newer device revs.

I should call and check with Milori. You can actually purchase just the new sensor for less than $200, but I'm unclear on what it will work with in this form.

Edit: Now I can't seem to find the place selling just the sensor.

Ken
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post #25 of 353 Old 07-09-2005, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenLand
It's hardware. Usually, faster means more sensitive. I have the original EyeOne I got with ColorFacts. It is ok with enough light.

Since then they have upgraded the hardware at least twice. I haven't read anything about the improvements in accuracy or sensitivity or even if ColorFacts supports the newer device revs.

I should call and check with Milori. You can actually purchase just the new sensor for less than $200, but I'm unclear on what it will work with in this form.

Edit: Now I can't seem to find the place selling just the sensor.

Ken
Let me know if you can find it. I'd definitely be curious to give it a try. However, I am concerned with talk of different calibration tables.

Later,
Bill
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post #26 of 353 Old 07-09-2005, 07:55 AM
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I bought the one on VideoGon and I am now not needing my Spyder2Pro Studio look at item #5788202583 under headhunterx

Richard
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post #27 of 353 Old 07-09-2005, 10:26 AM
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Please no sales posts. Richard direct people to PM you for the info this way it keeps it off the open forum.

Thanks!
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post #28 of 353 Old 07-09-2005, 10:33 AM
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Sorry about that. If anyone needs any Info Please PM me.
Alan it won't happen again I just read your new rules.

Richard
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post #29 of 353 Old 07-09-2005, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenLand
You can actually purchase just the new sensor for less than $200, but I'm unclear on what it will work with in this form.
After doing some digging of my own, the only thing that comes close is the EyeOne Display 2, which won't do DLPs. Is this the one of which you were thinking?
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post #30 of 353 Old 07-09-2005, 03:57 PM
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No, I know that one. My mother-inlaw just got i1D2 last month. It's slick and fast for monitor and laptop cal. She's a photographer.

I was/am doing a lot digging because I'd like to upgrade my i1 Monitor to the i1Pro Accelerated. But I call GretagMacbeth and only the i1 Pro is suitable for cheap upgrade. So anyone who got the Pro with ColorFacts can call GM about it.

Ken
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