Monitor Calibration defined and explained

On April 8, 2016, in Calibration, by Harry Jackson
ViewSonic VP2770-LED review image

ViewSonic VP2770-LED

Monitor calibration is a term that photo editors, graphic artists and anyone doing color critical work interact with quite often.


However, even normal users like photo hobbyists and gamers need to understand this concept. Because at one point, they may want to enhance the color performance of their monitors.


Let me give a fairly brief explanation of this concept;


Asus PA248Q monitor review image ergonomic Design quickfit virtual scale functionMonitor calibration Defined


Calibration refers to a series of steps to measure and adjust the color characteristics of a monitor. Its main goal is to enhance color performance.


According to International Color Consortium (ICC), it is the additional color characterization of the monitor and later profiling.


Calibration is done using a hardware device and a software program. The most commonly used calibration hardware is called a colorimeter.


Types of Calibration

There are three main types of calibration; direct hardware calibration, hardware calibration, and software calibration.


  • It comes with a Built-in SelfCalibration sensor

    A built-in SelfCalibration sensor

    Direct hardware calibration

This is arguably the most accurate calibration method. But also the most sophisticated one. To undertake this kind of calibration, your monitor must have a dedicated onboard calibration hardware. These are only provided by high–end professional grade displays like Eizo’s CG ColorEdge series. With the monitor specific software, you can calibrate directly using the high bit depth processing provided in the Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), and LUTs.


  • It correlates very well with external calibration sensors like ColorMunki

    External calibration sensors like ColorMunki

    Hardware Calibration

This involves using an external calibration device and software. Some hardware devices come with a software suite. But if this is not the case you will need to buy one. Good colorimeters can be very expensive, sometimes more expensive than low cost monitors. Which is one of the reasons why you should always check for out of the box color performance of fairly cheaper displays.


  • Software Calibration
It comes with Eizo's special ColorNavigator software for simple and quick calibration

Eizo ColorNavigator software for simple and quick calibration

As opposed to hardware calibration where you need a hardware device and a software program, what you need here is only a software program. This software allows you to make certain adjustment in the graphics card LUT and the monitor’s OSD. These may include brightness, Contrast, gamma and RGB values.



Factory Calibration


Asus PA248Q monitor review image color calibration testing resultThis is not a type of calibration as such but it’s important to know that some vendors calibrate their monitors in the factory and ship them ready for use right out of the box.


Pre-calibrated monitors are usually shipped with a data sheet containing the factory calibration results. However, since some factory calibrations are not all that good, you may have to calibrate the monitor again before you start using it.


How Often Should You Calibrate a monitor?

This may depend on a number of factors including the age and type of your display. And how important color accuracy is to you or your work.


Its self calibration feature works even when it is off

Eizo’s self calibration feature works even when it is off

If your work is color critical such as it is the case with photo editing, you need to calibrate your monitor after every two weeks. Or there about.


If you consider this too often for you, you may want to consider using self calibrating monitors.


These monitors are equipped with an onboard colorimeter and a sensor which allow them to calibrate themselves usually after the initial calibration.


Asus PB258Q imageThe sensor searches the display (at intervals you set for it) for any deviations in the calibration settings and restores them automatically.


They are however very expensive.


Either way, hope you now understand what monitor calibration means. With the definition and explanation we gave in this article.


If not hit the reply button right away with questions or comments sharing your thought on what has been said in this article.


And if you wish to know more, here’s our article that discusses how to calibrate a monitor for personal or office use.


And another one here that discusses how to calibrate a monitor for photo editing.


Also help spread the word about this article by sharing it with others such as your friends and colleagues. Using the social sharing buttons below.



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