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X-rite i1Photo SG Review

i1Photo SG  


The Xrite i1®Photo SG is a complete color management solution for digital photographers who require consistent and reliable color for monitors(LCD CRT and laptops), digital RGB printers(and CMYK printers using CMYK easy*), scanners, digital cameras. It's also possible to calibrate digital projectors, with an add-on beamer holder. The i1Photo SG includes the Digital Color Checker SG(Semi Gloss) which is required for profiling a Dslr. The scanner profiling is done by measuring and scanning the i1 Scan Target. Printer Profiling is done by printing out a test chart and then measuring it with the i1Pro afterwards.

*CMYK Easy uses the “small test chart” technology where you can quickly and easily create a perceptual color profile by reading just a few rows of color swatches from a given output device. Within the Eye-One Match application, you simply print the small test chart named CMYK Easy and then scan it in using the i1Pro.

Color management is one of the most important things most digital photographers don't realize they need. Without color management it's virtually impossible to make decisions about color correcting your photographs. After all, if your monitor is not profiled you are not looking at the "real" colors of your pictures. Printing them out is even worse. The i1Pro is more or less the industry standard for color management.

Monitor Profiling

The monitor profiling is pretty straight forward, start up i1 Match, select the device you want to profile. And choose either easy or advanced mode.
i1 match software

Monitor type, choices are: LCD, CRT and laptop.
monitor type

Calibration settings.
Monitor settings

Calibrate the i1Pro.
calibrating the i1 Pro

Next step is to attach the i1Pro to the monitor holder and attach the i1 to the monitor. Throughout the calibration procedure the help menu on the right side of the screen gives you all the information you need to calibrate your devices. A nice feature of the i1Pro, is that you can place the device anywhere on the screen, and the software will automatically detect where the i1Pro is placed.
place i1

Contrast setting.
i1 contrast

White point
white point measurement
The white point measurement is not really needed for LCD monitors, and can be skipped by pressing the right arrow

Luminance setting.
i1 luminance.

After you have saved your new monitor profile, it's set as the default profile for your monitor.
i1 monitor calibrated

Printer Profiling

Printing the test chart. There are different RGB charts available: i1 RGB and TC9.18 RGB i1. There is also a CMYK easy available in the printer profiling.
i1 printer profiling

After the printed out chart has dried, the chart is loaded into the ruler and then measured with the i1Pro.i1 measuring the printed chart
After the chart is measured you save the ICC profile for the paper, and the printer you profiled.

Scanner Profiling

The Scanner profiling is probably the easiest component to profile.

Select reference file, choices are: Select previously measured chart, Load a reference chart, and Measure the reference chart.
i1 scanner reference file

Measuring the reference chart. Options are strip mode or patch mode.
Strip mode is fast and easy to do, if any errors occur there will be a warning display on-screen, and you will be asked to measure the strip again. Using the strip mode is way faster then patch mode.
measure the refrence chart

Load scanned chart. After the i1 Scan Target have been scanned with your scanner, you save it in either; .tiff or .jpg, you are then asked to load the Scan Target into the i1 Match software.
i1 scanned chart

Cropping the scanned chart.
cropping the i1 Scan Target

i1 compare charts

Final step of the scanner profiling. Saving the ICC profile.
Saving profile

Camera Profiling

To profile the camera you take a picture of the i1 Digital Color Checker SG, and then you then load the picture into the i1 Match software which will then provide you with a ICC profile for your camera. The camera profiling is really helpful if you do product shots, or any other type of photography where you need to capture accurate color.

Mouse over the image to see the "after" profiling shot.

As images for the web is in sRGB it's rather hard to show accurate colors. But if you mouse over the picture you can get a hint of how the camera profiling works. I used the logo of a coke bottle, since coke"red" is something most of us can relate to.

Projector Profiling

As if it wasn't enough with monitor, printer, scanner and camera profiling the i1Pro can also calibrate projectors. You do need an add-on device to be able to do this, the i1 Beamer. The i1 Beamer is a holder for the i1Pro spectrophotometer. The beamer can be mounted to a tripod or placed on a flat surface.
i1 beamer


  • Accuracy
  • Consistent results.
  • Speed.
  • One device does it all.
  • Upgradeable.
  • i1defined interactive CD.
  • PCT (Personal Color Trainer)
  • Help menu.


  • Price. It does cost, but this is one area that you get what you pay for.


I know for a lot of people color management = headache, but with the i1defined interactive CD, it is really easy to get into color management, with easy to follow video training, explaining every step of the way. This is definitely a nice feature for people who are not sure what color management is all about. To top it off it also comes with PCT (Personal Color Trainer), the PCT is an additional hour of one-on-one remote training with an X-Rite expert.

The i1Photo SG delivers an impressive performance, with accurate color rendering on the monitor, printer, scanner and on the camera. The monitor profiling is quick and has consistent results. The built in help menu is also a nice feature. I do suggest that you look through the i1defined interactive CD videos to get the most out of the package.
The Printer profiling is like night and day, the result after the monitor and the printer is calibrated is excellent. This is by far the best screen to print performance I've ever seen. This will save you money on ink and paper, it virtually eliminates the "test" print. What you see is what you get.
Scanner profiling follows the performance of the screen and printer, with excellent results. After the scanner was profiled the scanned image looked exactly as the target. I printed out the scanned image and it was impossible to tell the difference of the target and the printed picture.
The camera profiling is really nice if you do product shots where you need to provide clients with the "real" color of the product. If you use the camera profiling with the i1 Share you can measure the color of the product then compare it with your picture. The i1 Share is also a really nice software for people doing web design, or anything that demands color accuracy.

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X-rite i1XTreme Color Calibration Solution $1,495.00 USD

ColorMunki Photo $399.95 USD (rebate available)

Spyder3Studio $499.95

*Prices and rebates are subject to change. Listed price is from April 26, 2008.


Included Items:

  • Accelerated Eye-One Pro Spectrophotometer
  • Ambient Light Measurement Head
  • i1Match software for Mac & PC
  • i1Share Software for Mac & PC (includes full Pantone® library)
  • Digital ColorChecker SG,
  • Mini ColorChecker
  • Scanner profiling chart (reflectance)
  • NEW Ruler and Backup Board
  • Software CD-ROM (Eye-One Match 2.0)
  • Personal Color Trainer (PCT) Web-Based Personalized Training
  • NEW Carrying Case for Eye-One components
  • Measurement Accessories
  • $400 upgrade voucher to ProfileMaker solutions

Optional Upgrades And Accessories:

  • CMYK Output
  • Digital ColorChecker SG chart
  • Beamer Accessory Kit – holder and carrying case

System Requirements:


  • Mac OS X (10.2 or higher)
  • 128 MB of available RAM
  • 80 MB of available hard disk space
  • Monitor resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels or higher
  • USB support


  • Windows® 2000, Windows® XP
  • Processor: Pentium® II, 266 Mhz or higher
  • 128 MB of available RAM
  • 80 MB of available hard disk space
  • Monitor resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels or higher
  • USB port

Manufacturers Web Site:


© 2009 Fredrik A. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.