Superficially, Pantone’s new hueyPRO resembles the original huey that we reviewed last month. The colorimeter itself has the same structure as the original huey, with a bank of eight suckers to hold it on the screen and three apertures to allow light from the monitor to pass through to the measurement cells. The software appears to have been upgraded, with the addition of three ‘new colour patches’ that were added to 26 on the original device’s calibration process ‘for precise accuracy’. . . [more]
Superficially, Pantone’s new hueyPRO resembles the original huey that we reviewed last month. The colorimeter itself has the same structure as the original huey, with a bank of eight suckers to hold it on the screen and three apertures to allow light from the monitor to pass through to the measurement cells. The software appears to have been upgraded, with the addition of three ‘new colour patches’ that were added to 26 on the original device’s calibration process ‘for precise accuracy’.
As before, Pantone provides no information on the colorimeter’s measurement technology ““ beyond claiming it has ‘professional-grade optical sensors’. We couldn’t even find out its spectral and measurement ranges. However, unlike the original device, the ‘Pro’ model can calibrate multi-monitor set-ups.
Like the original huey, the Pro model is supplied with screen wipes and a software CD containing a Quick Start Guide that is very basic plus a 45-page full instruction manual, both in PDF form. The latter is a huge improvement on the perfunctory (and difficult to read) instructions supplied with the original huey in both clarity and content.
The manual includes an ‘Advanced Help’ section with information on basic colour management, calibration and printing from calibrated monitors. Hidden in it are instructions on how to disable Adobe Gamma (a free, visual monitor calibration plug-in that is installed automatically with Adobe Photoshop on Windows computers), which can ‘interfere with’ huey calibration and ‘ cause bad calibration results’.
The huey colorimeter can be left on your desktop in its stand, connected to your computer via its USB cable. This allows the automatic ambient light measurement system to re-calibrate the monitor profile when significant changes in lighting are detected.
As with the original device, screen calibration with the hueyPRO is wizard-driven. Launching the software calls up a similar set of graphic screens with instructions to guide you. The first step involves measuring the room lighting, which is done by placing the colorimeter in its stand and checking the on-screen display.
The Room Light Measurement display.
If you can see all the rings, you can proceed to the next step; if not, the instructions will guide you through contrast and brightness adjustments.
Attaching the colorimeter.
You’re then told to stick the colorimeter to the monitor. (For LCDs, it’s best to tilt the screen back until the device will rest on the marked spot on the display.) Clicking on Next starts the calibration process, which is almost identical to the original device.
The first step involves selecting the type of display.
The calibration process proceeds automatically. Progress can be tracked by watching the green dots on the left side of the screen.
After the calibration is completed, which takes roughly two minutes, you can return the colorimeter to its stand.
The on-screen display allows you to see the effect of the calibration by clicking on radio buttons to show corrected and uncorrected screens.
Before you finish the calibration process, the hueyPRO software will prompt you to select your color settings. Pull-down menus are provided for colour temperature and gamma settings, with three options for each. The settings you choose will depend on how you use your computer and monitor, with D65 and a gamma of 2.2 recommended for photo editing and viewing. This step is only provided for the hueyPRO.
Users of the hueyPRO can choose from several colour temperature and gamma settings.
You are then asked if you want hueyPRO to update profiles automatically as room lighting changes. It’s a neat concept but you may not want the monitor changing its profile each time you switch a light on or off or whenever a cloud obscures the sun. Fortunately you can choose ‘No’ for this option.
The auto-ajustment setting for recalibration to take in changes in room lighting.
The software can detect if you have a dual-monitor set-up and will ask you if you would like to calibrate additional monitors.
If so, you simply drag the hueyPRO application window to the other monitor and follow the same steps. Note: both monitors will be set to the same colour temperature and gamma settings, which may not be ideal if you have a CRT and an LCD as they tend to display shadows and highlights differently. (Ideally both monitors should be of the same type.)
Loading the software places a green icon in the toolbar. You can click on this at any time to change the hueyPRO‘s settings. Adjustable parameters include:
· Room light monitoring frequency (1-10 minute intervals)
· Colour temperature and gamma settings, and
· The number of days between re-calibration reminders.
A pop-up menu for adjusting preferences is installed on the Windows toolbar.
This allows users to set the frequency of room light measurement.
Colour temperature and gamma can also be adjusted.
Recalibration reminder intervals can also be set.
Unfortunately, the time limits placed on the latter are rather brief for most photo enthusiasts, many of whom will only need monthly recalibration reminders. We’re also somewhat dubious about the need for checking room light levels on a minute-by-minute basis and suggest half-hourly (or even hourly) intervals would be an appropriate addition.
Pantone’s hueyPRO is a nice step-up from the original device for photographers who run multi-monitor workspaces and those who want to take more control over the calibration process. It will also suit newcomers to monitor calibration who require more background information on the calibration process and how ICC profiles can be used in photo printing.
Like the original huey, the hueyPRO was straightforward to use and the profiles we obtained worked satisfactorily with our printers (although not quite as well as the profiles we obtained with our EyeOne Display2 colorimeter). The actual calibration process was the quickest we’ve seen to date. The room lighting adjustments appeared to be effective and, fortunately, were not over-sensitive. We only observed reactions when there were large variations in ambient lighting.
Neither the huey nor the hueyPRO can make your prints look exactly like the view you see on your monitor. But both devices can produce ICC profiles that will work with the colour management system in your computer’s operating system and with all ICC profile-compatible devices you connect to your computer to produce consistent colour reproduction. They will also provide a consistent ICC profile for images you share.
While the original huey was over-automated and supplied with minimal product information, it was nonetheless the cheapest, simplest, fastest and most accessible monitor calibration device we’ve used. Pantone is now providing genuinely useful information with the hueyPRO and, although it remains highly automated, the addition of multiple monitor calibration and user-defined whitepoint and gamma settings make it much more suitable to photo enthusiasts who want a monitor profiling device that is cheap, fast and easy to use.
For those who want to learn about monitor calibration, the hueyPRO is well worth the extra $40 over the entry-level product. But if your colour workflow requires high precision and repeatability, you will be better served by a more robust, sensitive and versatile device like the Pantone (aka GretagMacbeth) EyeOne Display 2 or the ColorVision Spyder2Pro.
Device type: colorimeter
System requirements: Mac OS X (10.3.9 or higher), Windows 2000, XP or Vista
Compatible displays: LCD, CRT, laptop (including multi-monitor systems)
Dimensions (L x W x H): approx. 100 x 15 x 10mm
Weight: approx. 20 g (colorimeter only)
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