Home Theater Forum and Systems banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,914 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)



SpectraCal C6 Colorimeter Review



SpectraCal recently sent the Home Theater Shack one of its new C6 Colorimeters for the C6 Giveaway to review. Some of the highlights of the C6 are:

● Up to 5x faster than similar-looking retail models
● Superb performance at low light levels
● Additional display characterizations for greater accuracy
● NIST Certificate - only device on the market with this document
● Included Sturdy protective case and tripod holder w/ extension

SpectraCal states that the C6 offers unparalleled low light performance, accuracy, speed and expanded display support. SpectraCal worked hand in hand with X-Rite for two years researching, developing and designing this new meter. Additionally, the C6 comes with a NIST Traceable Certificate of calibration from the SpectraCal lab. Some of the advantages of the C6 over both the retail and OEM models of the i1d3 are:

• NIST Certificate
• Field Upgradeable
• Carrying Case
• Included Tripod Mount/Holder

Along with the NIST Certificate from SpectraCal labs, they also profile this meter with the labs Konica Minolta CS-2000 Spectroradiometer to other display technologies. This increases the accuracy of the meter significantly from a tristimulus meter. The included profiles are:


LCD

• LCD
• LCD CCFL
• LCD CCFL Wide

LED/LCD

• LED
• LCD LED White
• LCD LED RGB

Plasma/CRT

• Phosphor
• Plasma
• CRT

Front Projection

• Projector
• Projector UHP (DLP, DLIA, SXRD, LCoS, LCD)
• Projector LED White
• Projector LED RGB

Low Light Reading Performance

Speed

One of the claims to fame for the C6 is speed. I performed a test with all of my current meters and software. All runs were made in automatic mode using an Accupel DVG-5000 as the source. I did two tests with with all of the equipment listed. The first run was made with the Low Light Handler selected in CalMAN and the 1.5 second delay (the default) for the DVG-5000. As you will see in the second round of testing, these two items add a considerable amount of time. The second round of testing has the LLH not selected and the delay for the DVG-5000 set to zero. Even though it is set at zero, a lot of the delay in the runs was from pattern changes. If I were to guess I'd say over half the time is the DVG-5000 changing patterns. During the second run, when the pattern (40% and above) came up, it seemed to be less than a second for the C6 to get the reading.

Here are the charts for the first run with the LLH enabled and the delay set at 1.5 for the DVG-5000





The C6 was pretty much even with all of the other meters while reading gamut numbers except the Chroma 5 within CalMAN. When reading gray scale, the C6 outpaced the field except when it came to the ChromaPure software. I think that it's safe to say that if the C6 were licensed to run on ChromaPure, it would have bested the Chroma5 and the OTC-1000 there as well.

Here are the results from the second run





As you can see it knocked quite a bit of time off of the grayscale measures. For gamut it seemed to favor the Chroma5 and the C6 more than the OTC-1000 and the i1Pro.

The following chart shows a comparison for the C6 and the i1Display Pro Retail meters reading a 10% pattern 10 times. I will be getting additional readings of other percentages in the next week. I'm told that the C6 is quite a bit faster at higher percentages which I verified during an impromptu run at 70%. The 10 readings were finished in less than 4 seconds unofficially. It will be interesting to see if the i1Display Pro can match those times.




Low Light Handling

The C6 handles low light situations particularly well. The surprising thing is that it handles them both quickly and accurately. Ten readings of a 10% gray pattern (.0413fL) were accomplished in 35 seconds while my Chroma5 took just slightly under a minute - 57 seconds. Variation between readings were minimal with the C6 - ±.001.

Accuracy

The C6 measured out very accurately in my tests. Readings were within an acceptable range (when compared to my X-Rite i1Pro spectrophotometer, OTC-1000 and my Chroma5. In addition to my meters, I also purchased a retail i1Display Pro to check the accuracy versus the C6. Comparing the readings, x values were within .0005, y values were within .003, and Y values were within .002. So out of the box this is a very accurate meter.

Repeatability

I recently did ten readings at both 20% and 80% to test the repeatability of the C6 meter. These readings were from my second computer monitor, not a display. I did verify the meter's repeatability on a Sony LCD/LED and a Panasonic plasma as well.





As you can see the meter's readings were very consistent.


Conclusion

The SpectraCal C6 is an excellent meter priced very well. There aren't too many meters that will come with NIST certification at that price point. Add in the low light capability, the speed of an OTC-1000 and the much lower price tag, the C6 is sure to be a hit among DIY calibrators. The interesting thing to see is how well the filters hold up over time with this colorimeter. Given the bad history of the i1Display2, I'm certain that the team of X-Rite and SpectraCal fixed that problem. Even with that in mind, I would still store this meter in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight. Storing it in a bag with some sort of desiccant pack would not be a bad idea either. That's how I store my meters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
I also purchased a retail i1Display Pro to check the accuracy versus the C6. Comparing the readings, x values were within .0005, y values were within .003, and Y values were within .002. So out of the box this is a very accurate meter.
Hi mechman... thanks for posting this... I see you did test the retail i1Display Pro.. can you add its performance data to your charts above as well? I think the data is important to show and it should be posted. Please do :devil:

I'll probably link to your Gamut Readings pic in some future posts in regards to the EyeOne Pro...

It's too bad you don't have a Klein K-10 to test and data to post if you really wanted a speed demon, of course at a cost.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,914 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi mechman... thanks for posting this... I see you did test the retail i1Display Pro.. can you add its performance data to your charts above as well? I think the data is important to show and it should be posted. Please do :devil:
I did actually time the readings and they were within .2 seconds of each other IIRC. This was ten readings of a 10% gray scale window. They were both right around 30 seconds. And the .2 difference could have been finger error - finger hitting the timer button. Unfortunately I don't have the numbers with me right now. I'll get them later. :T
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,914 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did actually time the readings and they were within .2 seconds of each other IIRC. This was ten readings of a 10% gray scale window. They were both right around 30 seconds. And the .2 difference could have been finger error - finger hitting the timer button. Unfortunately I don't have the numbers with me right now. I'll get them later. :T
Here's the times for the C6 and i1Display Retail reading a 10% window ten times.

i1Display Retail - 31.3 seconds
C6 - 31.5 seconds
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Here's the times for the C6 and i1Display Retail reading a 10% window ten times.

i1Display Retail - 31.3 seconds
C6 - 31.5 seconds
Thank you for posting the data.. The OEM i1 Display Pro should perform like the Retail.

Can you update the pics in Post #1 with a column for the i1Display Pro Retail results (next to the C6 results)? I'd like to be able to link to those pics and since you have the HTS site address on each image, would only benefit the site with the pics linked elsewhere.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,914 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I received an email from Derek Smith (one of the founders/creators of CalMAN) today. While I didn't have time to phone him back, some of the things that he explained to me in the email made sense when it came to timing the measurements of the C6 vs other meters in CalMAN. First off the measurement times compared to the i1Display Pro are off considerably. I measured one pattern - 10%. I just took some of Derek's advice and measured a 70% pattern and the C6 makes 10 measures in just under 4 seconds. I will get comparative measures using the retail i1 Display Pro tomorrow, but for now, I'm pulling the time charts until I talk to Derek tomorrow.

I'd also like to add that the ChromaPure numbers aren't meant to sway anyone one way or the other. They are just there for comparison sake. The two software packages are vastly different in how they are coded to do things.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,914 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I cannot include the i1Display Pro Retail in any runs as it is a DIY license only and I cannot use my DVG-5000. So it would be skewed as I'd have to do manual changes of the patterns. That was why I just did 10 readings of 10% with the C6 and i1Display Pro Retail. However, it is my understanding that these two will give very similar readings at lower percent patterns. The differences are in the brighter patterns.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,914 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I added the timed readings that I redid this last week and re-added the previous ones with a brief explanation as to why they were a little slower. When CalMAN is set to similar parameters as ChromaPure, the C6 is the faster meter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
The SpectraCal C6 is an excellent meter priced very well.
I am not convinced about that. Take a look at the actual prices (sensor only from SpectraCal):

C6 ~700$
OEM i1d3 ~300$ + CMd ~600$ = 1000$

May be the retail and OEM i1d3 are slightly slower than the C6 but they are still fast enough (faster than some older colorimeters or a ColorMunki spectro in adaptive integration time mode).
May be the C6 comes with some extra .edr files but I still trust much better in a ColorMunki than any <1000$ tri-stimulus colorimeter with batch averaged general purpose correction presets.
And a spectrophotometer can be very useful for many other tasks outside of display calibration (printer calibration, more accurate ambient light measuring for photographing tasks, etc...).

So, I would choose the i1d3+CM combo. (I actually have a CM already and I plan to buy an i1d3 some time in the future when I get tired about the speed of the CM in adaptive mode.)

(* Adaptive mode -> a slower measurement mode for CM and i1Pro spectros which helps to get more usable readings at low light levels. It's available with the custom ArgyllCMS drivers only.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Would you replace an otc1000 with a c6, or keep the C6?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Greetings

C6 versus hubble ...

No more dark readings on c6

Next Generation

Narrower field of view so you know what it is measuring a lot better.

The Hubble was considered to be a Chroma 5 in a tube. The C6 is not a Chroma 5. (Chroma 6? Don't say that)

Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Greetings

C6 versus hubble ...

No more dark readings on c6

Next Generation

Narrower field of view so you know what it is measuring a lot better.

The Hubble was considered to be a Chroma 5 in a tube. The C6 is not a Chroma 5. (Chroma 6? Don't say that)

Regards
Thanks Michael.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
One of the claims to fame for the C6 is speed. I performed a test with all of my current meters and software. All runs were made in automatic mode using an Accupel DVG-5000 as the source.

Here are the results from the second run





As you can see it knocked quite a bit of time off of the grayscale measures. For gamut it seemed to favor the Chroma5 and the C6 more than the OTC-1000 and the i1Pro.
I have no comment on your tests of the C6, but I am concerned about the tests of the OTC-1000 in ChromaPure. You did not test the OEM i1Display Pro in ChromaPure.

You report that the OTC-1000 took 39.5 seconds to take a set of 10% grayscale readings. There is something very wrong here. The OTC-1000 is nearly the fastest meter on the market, considerably faster than the i1 Display Pro, and bested only slightly by the Klein K-10. Here's a grayscale run using the Hubble in ChromaPure with the DVG-5000 as the pattern source.

Hubble Test


I also tested the Display 3 PRO (our calibrated version of the OEM i1 Display Pro)

Display 3 PRO test

Hubble grayscale: 15 seconds
Display 3 PRO: 17 seconds (in plasma mode it takes about 22 seconds)

The only issue that could slow this down is if you are using Measurement Smoothing, which takes multiple readings and then averages the results. By default, this is turned off and is generally not needed.

FWIW, a better test of speed is a auto-calibration run, which can easily take over 100 readings and several minutes to complete. The Hubble requires about half the time to finish compared to the Display 3 PRO, and the Display 3 PRO takes about 1/3 the time to finish as the Chroma 5.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,914 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Tom,

Where were you 11 months ago when this test was still fresh in my head? :foottap: :bigsmile: About the only thing I can say now is that the numbers are what the numbers are up in the charts.

My OTC-1000 was unimpressive to say the least. It gave, what I would consider, fluctuating results. Every time that I used it, it always left me scratching my head with the results given. They seemed to vary quite a bit. Speed was never a problem, just the results. That's why it was sold on eBay shortly after these tests were performed.

After trying quite a few of the 'consumer' meters, I always find myself going back to the i1pro. And of the colorimeters I have bought over the years, the two I have left are the Chroma5 and the i1display3. If I still had all the equipment, I would gladly re-do the test.

Good to see you Tom! :T
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top