X-Rite i1Display Pro Review

Ever wonder why your photos, videos and graphic art look epic on your monitor but look totally rubbish on someone else’s monitor? If you are endlessly frustrated with this, as I have been, chances are that you need to color calibrate your monitor.

X-Rite i1Display Pro - Display Calibration (EODIS3)
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As a photographer, I was spending a pretty penny on top quality monitors to ensure that I get the best color out of it. Yet I was still seeing wildly different colors in my photos when I used to view them on other monitors. In the real world, pro photographers, video makers and graphic artists face the same dilemma and that is where monitor color calibration plays a critical role.

Professional colorists use reference display monitors like this strongEizo CG318-4K-BK/strong which costs $5,300 at the time of this review and have hardware color calibration built in. But if you are on a budget and are doing casual photography, you simply cannot justify the price of such monitors. This is where color calibration tools come in.

X-rite is well known for its quality color calibration products and the strongi1 Display Pro/strong along with its i1Profiler software allows you to calibrate any monitor with a few mouse clicks. The whole process takes 5 to 7 minutes and you end up with a display that shows your photos, videos and digital art as you meant to see it.

Simply plug in your I1 Display Pro via a usb port and open the iProfiler software. There are 2 ways to go about the calibration process; you can either start with a fully automated “Basic” mode or if you are more savvy, you can try the “Advanced” mode. Frankly speaking, for a majority of the users the basic mode works perfectly fine. The software guides you on when to attach your colorimeter to your screen and to balance out the RGB and brightness sliders (if your monitor comes with these controls). If you are calibrating a laptop monitor for example, then the software controls all aspects of the calibration process.

There is also an option to measure the ambient light in the room and factor this in to the calibration process. Once the calibration is completed, the software will prompt you to save your profile and give you a very useful before and after comparisons with actual photos. When I first saw the before and after shots of my monitor, I was shocked at the huge color shifts in the blues and magentas. The calibration made my greys look like actual greys and the colors had a very distinct “pop” to them.

Plug n Play - Can be carried anywhereBit Pricey cheaper alternates available
fast and reliable calibration with repeatable resultsSoftware in advanced mode can be daunting
Ambient light sensor
I1Profiler is fairly comprehensive with a tons of customization
2,100 Reviews

X-Rite i1Display Pro

Plug n Play - Can be carried anywhere
fast and reliable calibration with repeatable results
Ambient light sensor
I1Profiler is fairly comprehensive with a tons of customization
Bit Pricey cheaper alternates available
Software in advanced mode can be daunting
2,100 Reviews

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Out in the field, I use the strongX-rite Color Checker Passport/strong on photo shoots and combined those with a color calibrated monitor gives me the most accurate color representation for my photos. The I1 Display Pro is a solid and affordable solution and should part of every professional photographer and digital artist’s inventory.

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Samad Khan
Professional photographer/videographer, content writer working for a humanitarian organization.