If you’ve ever spent hours tweaking your vacation photos on the PC, only to have the kids sport Shrek-tone tans when you print, your monitor settings are probably out of whack. Pantone ColorVision’s ColorPlus calibration package puts the color back in their cheeks by ensuring that what you see on your CRT, LCD, or notebook screen is what you get in your prints.
Known for its $249 SpyderPro package for pro photographers, the company offers ColorPlus as its first product for consumers. Included are a hardware sensor and wizard-based calibration software; though ColorPlus has fewer options than its sibling, at $99 it’s a steal.
After installing the latest driver updates for my graphics card (a must), along with the software and the sensor (a USB-based device that attached to the front of my display), I began calibrating my 19-inch Samsung SyncMaster 955DF CRT. The software walked me through some manual adjustments and then made changes as it automatically cycled through a range of colors. The entire process took less than 5 minutes.
The results were impressive. The calibration noticeably improved the accuracy and appearance of my test images. And the software supports the International Color Consortium (ICC) specification, meaning that when you employ ICC-friendly image editing software (which most major packages are), your colors should be spot-on.
Because monitor settings drift, experts recommend recalibrating every two weeks. With this easy-to-use package, that shouldn’t be a problem.