Versione in Italiano QUI


How important is the calibration and profiling of your monitor if you’re a graphic or a photographer is something we have talked about it over and over again and for this reason I will not bother you as usual with a long introduction (which you can read HERE for example). This time I’ll just do what motorway signs do to remind us that driving while using a mobile phone can be lethal: post producing our images on an uncalibrated and unprofiled monitor is like doing it wearing sunglasses.

That’s right: in practice it means that the result will be optimal for you, but not for anyone else.

To overcome this situation there are devices that allow you to get as a final result an ICC profile, or in other words a file that will allow your computer to automatically manage the color characteristics of the monitor so that anyone else using a monitor profiled and calibrated see exactly (or in a very good approximation) as you see your image.

Francesco Gola Review X-Rite i1Display Studio 7

The new X-Rite i1Display Studio

In the multitude of brands and devices on the market, a fixed point of reference for me has become X-Rite that produces colorimeters and spectrophotometers of incredible quality. 

If you are not a professional photographer, however, these products are often out of reach for their price and you always find yourself investing in something else leaving the management of color as the last priority. 

To meet the needs of an increasingly wide range of photographers and interested in proper color management, X-Rite has expanded the range of products in the i1 family by introducing a new professional product on the market but at a very affordable price: we are talking about the new i1Display Studio.

The i1Display Studio of X-Rite is the younger brother of the well known i1Display Pro, reference point for years of many professional photographers, including me.

With a sales price that is around 180 € compared to over 250 € of the older brother, the X-Rite i1Display Studio replaces the popular ColorMunki that now comes to well-deserved retirement after almost a decade of honorable service, offering professional performance thanks to the unstoppable technological progress, including:

  • Calibration monitors of any technology, projectors and mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad and several Android smartphones
  • Measurement and correction based on screen reflectivity
  • Advanced white point and gamma control
  • Automatic display control (ADC)  

The i1Studio Software

As we know, a good colorimeter is only half of what we need for proper calibration and profiling. In fact, the characteristics of our probe would be of no use if, on the other hand, there were not such a professional software for the transmission of data to the monitor and for the subsequent processing of the readings of the probe. And this is where the new i1Studio comes into play: full of professional but intuitive controls, it allows us to proceed with a few clicks to the calibration and profiling of our monitor. 

Once opened i1Studio and connected the probe, we just select our measuring device and what we want to calibrate and profile to be immediately operational following simple and intuitive steps. In a few minutes we can select the calibration and profiling parameters and proceed with the measurement.

Personally in case of calibration and profiling for images  post production, I recommend you to select:

  • White point: D65
  • Luminance: 120 cd/m2
  • Gamma: 2.2

Other details and preliminary actions are similar to those already discussed HERE for the X-Rite i1Display Pro. When operations are complete, the created ICC profile is automatically saved and activated, and we can decide whether to have a calibration reminder after a certain interval of time.

In short, all too easy!

Differences between X-Rite i1Display Studio, i1Display Pro and ColorMunky

It is clear that at some point the question will be: but what changes compared to the other colorimeters of X-Rite?

The answer is quickly given. Compared to the big brother i1Display Pro, i1Display Studio has the following main limitations: 

  • Absence of continuous ambient light monitoring
  • Contrast cannot be set
  • Lower measuring speed
  • Profile selection not possible (matrix only)
  • Unable to choose the size of the measurement patch

Nothing dramatic if our goal is to calibrate and profile a display for the post production of our photographic images.

And compared to the ColorMunki, what allows us to do more with our new i1Display Studio? Here too, after a few tests, the answer is really interesting: 

  • Gamma selection no longer limited to 1.8 and 2.2
  • Luminance range settings no longer limited from 80 cd/m2 up to 140 cd/m2
  • Superior measurement speed 
  • White point setting no longer limited

So a nice step forward!


Surely X-Rite i1Display Studio represents an interesting novelty both for those who approach this world and for those who have older products with lower performances.

If you approach for the first time to the world of color management, X-Rite i1Display Studio is a choice more than recommended, as at a very reasonable price you will get a colorimeter and a software that have little to envy to the older brother X-Rite i1Display Pro. 

Even if you have an old ColorMunki an upgrade is much more than suggested: thanks to the possibility of full control over gamma and luminance, you can create custom profiles for every need, editing for print FineArt included, which was not possible before.

In short, X-Rite i1Display Studio is a cheap but professional choice to manage the color of your images on the screen, and this time there is really no excuse for not having really perfect images on every device!