Don’t use table-based monitor profiles for colour calibration

X-Rite’s i1Profiler can create profiles in matrix and table format. Table format colour profiles are generally accepted to be more accurate, but at least two applications on Mac OS X “Lion” are incompatible with the table based profiles: Final Cut Pro X and Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4.

Matrix profiles are said to be smaller and less accurate than table based ones; if that is true, it could explain why a table based profile consistently results in slight differences with a matrix based colour profile. But what’s the use of accuracy if half of your applications can’t live with it?

Final Cut Pro X was already known to be incompatible with table based profiles — the application displays far darker, muddy colors when the table-based matrix is chosen in i1Profiler’s workflow. But Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4 was a new one to me. It’s also only Color Efex Pro 4 that seems to be incompatible, as the rest of the Nik plugins work fine. The problem with the plugin, by the way, is that your image gets rendered in one colour — in my case it was blue, but you may see differences.

The remedy is easy, of course: either re-profile and select a matrix based profile. Or profile using the OS X’s built-in profiling “system”. That one is so inaccurate it doesn’t matter whether it’s matrix or table based.

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