Pantone Huey

After entering into the world of photography, I was beginning to question the color of my monitor. I started reading about how to correct your color with online photo print shops, with your own printer, and how other people will see your photos. I finally decided to take the plunge and purchased a Huey color correction and monitor calibrator.

This thing is small. The Huey is around 1.5 centimeters wide by around 10 long. After you plug it in, you can start the calibration software. First, however, you will want to clean and polish your screen using the included wipes and microfiber towel. It will take a measurement of the room lighting, then ask you to attach the unit itself to the front of the monitor using a series of suction cups. The software then goes through the calibration procedure. After completion, you determine if you want to keep the calibration settings, and if you want to keep the Huey plugged in to always monitor the room lighting, which it will adjust your color accordingly. Also determining the monitor color is what your main use will be. From photos to video to graphics.

I checked the color settings on three of my monitors. My iMac 24 inch, the Dell 24 inch on the Mac mini, and a Sony Vaio laptop with the X-Brite glossy screen. It’s a little difficult to see the differences between the actual monitors themselves considering they are in different rooms and different lighting.

I will say that the biggest change is on both Macs it changed the gamma to 2.2. If you didn’t know already, all Macs are set to Apple’s standard 1.8. The rest of the world, ie. the MS and web standards are usually set to 2.2. This small change is enough to notice quite a difference, and seems to darken up the screen a tad. After getting used to a gamma of 2.2, going back to 1.8 makes the screen seem a little washed out.

The other differences noted was the iMac was warmed up quite a bit from standard. I like things a bit cooler, but have been “warming” up to the look. The opposite effect happened on the Mac mini and the laptop, actually cooling down their colors. To re-cap real quick to anyone who doesn’t know, warming up is making the image a bit more yellow, whereas cooling down makes it have more of a blue tint. What I don’t know if the ambient light had anything to do with it, as the iMac is in a place that doesn’t get a lot of natural light, and the other two computers are where we do.

Unfortunately, there’s not much for a manual or an actual description of what your changing. It gives you on-the-fly options for what you will be using it for, including gaming, photos, web, video, warm low contrast, etc. It doesn’t tell you what is changing when you do change an option. For example, gaming seems to change the luminance to 6500K and gamma to 1.8, whereas photography goes 6500K and gamma at 2.2. So it seems a little simplistic, but still does the job well and is a great start point for any professionals. For the rest of us, it just gets our screen to match our prints.

It’s a great little gadget that can be had on Amazon for around $79 US.

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