X-Rite's Color Munki at PMA
PMA this year played host once again to the Color Munki, hopping around the show floor as a potentially interesting accessory item for imaging dealers. While twist-lock monopods are hot, high-end lenses are as desired as diamonds, and Fong diffusers have an ardent fanbase, the majority of photo enthusiasts have yet to bang on camera counters demanding to see the latest USB spectrophotometer.
We'd be hard pressed to find average D-SLR owners who even know what the phrase "color management system" means. Didn't they already shell out a grand for a camera, a grand or more for a laptop and CS3, and $500 for a state-of-the-art printer offering vibrant color reproduction? Are you telling them they need to invest hundreds more to get a truly accurate representation of a bleedin' daffodil?
Such is the marketing challenge for makers of calibration and profiling devices. While portrait studios and design professionals value the importance of matching their painstakingly edited images to the final output, prosumers are still new to this high-tech step in the workflow. And understandably, the typical $1500-and-up pricetag for the hardware/software combo of a good color management system has seemed unaffordable, not to mention overachieving, to home-based photographers. But a new product by X-Rite may change their minds and, in the process, allow America's fast-growing population of photo-pros the affordable ability to produce spot-on prints they can sell or exhibit. The $499 ColorMunki Photo is a small, solid-performing profiler & calibrator that's arrived with an intuitive interface and even its own short tutorial video on YouTube.