PerfectProof’s $499 ProofMaster Adesso is billed as a digital-proofing RIP (raster image processor). And while it does simplify in-house color proofing for designers and photographers, ProofMaster Adesso is more like a superior ink-jet printer driver.
High-end (and much more expensive) RIPs let you set limits for how much of each ink can be applied, and they let you set calibration curves to control the tonal behavior of individual inks (a process called linearization and calibration). ProofMaster Adesso lacks these features.
Instead, it offers an easy, and relatively inexpensive, way to set up multiple printer queues for proofing, photographic output, or network printing. It makes the non-PostScript ink-jet printers it supports PostScript ready. It can handle native application files from PostScript applications such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, raw PostScript 3, and PDF through version 1.4.
You define all the print settings when you set up a queue, so once you’ve specified a print sequence, you need only click on Print, rather than having to tunnel through all the panels in the native printer driver.
Like other ink-jet RIPs in this price range, ProofMaster Adesso supplies its own color profiles for commonly used papers on the supported printers, as well as a set of CMYK reference profiles that describe common offset printing conditions for proofing. You can use any ColorSync CMYK profile as a reference profile, so you aren’t limited to the ones that come with the product. As with any proofing RIP, the accuracy of the proof depends on the accuracy of the reference profile, but with accurate profiles, the resulting proofs are a very close match to the final print job.
But ProofMaster Adesso also works stunningly well for photographic output. On an Epson 2200, it pulled much more detail out of the shadows than I’ve ever been able to get using Epson’s own driver. Spot colors, transparencies, and duotones go through ProofMaster Adesso with no problems. Finally, ProofMaster Adesso facilitates no-hassle, color-accurate networked printing.
Macworld’s Buying Advice
For small design shops looking for precise in-house proofing, or photographers looking for more out of a printer than its native drivers can deliver, ProofMaster Adesso is a very good deal.