All DM series Flanders Scientific monitors now support Volumetric AutoCal! This powerful new capability allows supported probes to be plugged directly into the monitor for fast, accurate, and simple calibration.
Unlike many white balance only auto calibration routines our AutoCal uses volumetric data to accurately target a wide variety of color spaces. 3D and 1D LUTs are calculated for all available color space selections on the monitor and directly saved to the display during the AutoCal routine as one simple unified operation, all without requiring a computer.
The AutoCal process takes between 7 and 12 minutes depending on the monitor/probe combination in use and currently supports the Colorimetry Research CR100, the Klein Instruments K10A, and the Minolta CA310.
We know this new capability likely brings several questions to mind so we put together a preliminary Q&A with Flanders Scientific's CEO, Bram Desmet, to tackle some of these questions.
First, and probably the most important question, how good are the AutoCal results?
"We are very pleased with the performance of AutoCal and have gone to great lengths to ensure it produces good results on all DM series monitors. We've spent a considerable amount of time validating performance in multiple ways including using industry leading software from Portrait Displays and LightIllusion to verify AutoCal performs as intended."
Speaking of Portrait Displays and LightIllusion, where do CalMan, LightSpace, and ColourSpace fit in now that AutoCal is available?
"To start, we want to make it very clear that AutoCal is about expanding, not limiting, options available to our customers. The addition of AutoCal support does not in anyway eliminate support for CalMan, LightSpace, ColourSpace, or any other program capable of exporting LUTs in FSI's supported LUT formats. In fact AutoCal support may improve performance with these systems, especially for older units, by re-establishing a more neutral baseline than previously possible outside of the factory. CalMan and ColourSpace are also excellent validation tools and we'd encourage users to utilize them to validate their results even if using AutoCal for calibration. Display validation is one of the easier things to learn and perform in these programs. It is typically all the other steps involved in calibration that new users and novice calibrators find daunting so we do believe many of our customers will find significant value in a combination of AutoCal and a program to validate results. Lastly, software based calibration solutions provide additional flexibility for users to do things like calibrate to custom targets, create custom display matches, and perform a whole host of other advanced operations. These capabilities are another reason we believe it is important to offer AutoCal as one of many options."
Is AutoCal difficult to use? Can you walk us through how it works?
"We've tried to make AutoCal as straightforward to use as possible and that was in fact one of the primary goals in developing AutoCal. We wanted to allow an operator with no specialized knowledge of calibration to successfully calibrate their display. The user will plug the probe into the display's USB Type A Port, select GaiaColor AutoCal from the monitor's Color Management Menu, select the probe they want to use, and then follow the monitor's on-screen prompts and positioning guides to line up the probe and start the automated calibration cycle. Once finished the user will get a prompt to power cycle the monitor to activate the new calibration." (see full instructions here)
Can you tell us more about the compatible probes, specifically I see these are all colorimeters, does AutoCal have the ability to access specific colorimeter matrices on these probes?
"Yes, in fact we essentially require the use of correct colorimeter matrices by having each monitor model select and use the matrix by monitor model name. So if calibrating a DM240 you will want to have a DM240 matrix saved to the probe and the AutoCal process will then use this matrix for the calibration. The three probes we currently interface with were selected in part because of their ability to store these matrices directly on the probe itself. Additionally, we wanted to use probes that were fast, reliable, and had adequate sensitivity ranges for the displays that will be calibrated. All three probes are excellent and the CR100 and K10A specifically are also already widely in use by our customers. Users with a spectroradiometer can make their own matrices, but as always FSI is also also happy to make colorimeter specific matrices for our users with our reference 2nm spectral bandwidth spectroradiometers, either when they purchase any of these probes from us or if they want to send a probe they already own into one of our service facilities."
Can these colorimeters be rented?
"Yes, for U.S. clients that prefer to rent a probe FSI offers CR100s preloaded with correct monitor matrices for 2-day rentals. CR100 rentals are also available for our European customers. Additionally, select local partners may offer rentals of probes with correct pre-stored matrices as well. Our first partner to offer such rentals is Avical out of Los Angeles, contact them for specific information on local probe rental in L.A."