Swinging with the X-Rite Munki
If you are a designer or photographer that is forced to "monkey" around with color on a regular basis then you may want to check out X-Rite's new product, ColorMunki... http://www.colormunki.com/
ColorMunki is a device about the size and shape of a tape measure that is capable of calibrating monitors or projectors, creating ICC profiles for printers, and capturing and communicating color. The user selects the device function by rotating a dial on the side of the unit.
At only $500, the ColorMunki is a low-cost, entry-level spectrophotometer aimed at the photography and design markets. It will quickly calibrate and profile a computer display or projector used for presentations or slide shows. It creates ICC profiles for desktop or large-format printers using only 50 -100 color patches, which it is able to quickly scan in about one minute. Painless monitor to printer agreement is promised by telling the ColorMunki to “match my printer to my display” as the user is guided through the profiling process for both the display and printer.
Designers will go "ape" over the color sampling and communication functions of ColorMunki. The user can grab color from almost any reflective surface and build a color library that can be shared with others or used in many popular applications like the Adobe Creative Suite. With ColorMunki's PrintSafe checking capabilities, you can preview your color palettes under different lighting conditions. You can even extract a color palette from any image.
The ColorMunki is not a device that serious color professionals will likely want to use, as it does not do things like interface with RIPS for calibration or linearization. Color geeks will want to stay with devices like X-Rite's Eye-One Photo/Print ($1600) or the iSis ($5000) along with ProfileMaker or Monaco software for creating very accurate ICC profiles and maintaining calibration on output devices.
But if your goal is swinging through the jungle of pleasing color without getting your fur ruffled or spending a lot of money, then the ColorMunki is for you. With this product, X-Rite will no doubt get color management tools into the hands of many more people. And I think that is a good thing. Besides, who doesn't love monkeys?