At the WPPI show in Las Vegas this week, X-Rite announced ColorMunki Photo, a $499 spectrophotometer designed to calibrate displays and projectors, as well as create ICC profiles for RGB and CMYK printers.
Using a small-number, large-patch sample, X-Rite claims that the ColorMunki will produce highly accurate ICC profiles in a fraction of the time it takes with more expensive devices. You can also use it to measure a room’s ambient light, and will be able to create custom profiles for different lighting conditions.
ColorMunki has a funky-cool look, sort of like a tape measure. It will work with both Mac and Windows systems, and is small enough that you can carry it with you when you’re working on a remote job. In addition to the profiling and calibration capabilities, ColorMunki can capture spot color from any spectral surface and can extract specific colors from your photos, to help build custom palettes.
We’ve been fans of X-Rite’s more expensive i1 Photo and other profiling tools, using them to produce profiles for almost every paper and printer in Printerville. However, at prices of more than $1,500 for display and printer profiling, they’re often out of the reach of the average amateur, however good they may be. (We’ve also had success with DataColor’s PrintFIX Pro suite, which offers profiling and calibration for under $600, although we don’t feel that the profiles it creates are as good as those generated by the i1. Datacolor has since replaced the PrintFix suite with Spider3Studio, which is slated to ship this month for $599.)
ColorMunki is scheduled to start shipping next month. Two other models with features specifically for designers and illustrators, ColorMunki Design and Create, will also available at the same time.
We’re excited about the ColorMunki’s possibilities; if it’s as well-crafted and accurate as the i1 and other X-Rite systems, it should be a breakthrough product. We’ll let you know how it does once we’ve gotten our hands on one and run it through it’s paces.