LaCie Blue Eye

Working with colour leaves many designers seeing red or feeling blue – especially when it comes to accurately matching final output colour to the tints you see on screen. What starts off as viewing a project through rose-tinted glasses can quickly put you into a black mood unless you break out the colour-calibration tools (Enough with the colour puns already – Ed). Enter the LaCie Blue Eye version 2.0 hardware calibrator for monitors. New to the upgrade is not only the all-important USB cable, but lighting controls to boot. The Blue Eye looks like a stethoscope with suckers. It clips onto the glass screen of the monitor where it measures colour levels. The collected data is then fed back into the colour-calibration software, and repeated until the colour levels are correct and a ColorSync profile is created for that monitor. It’s a much better, far more accurate system that the one usually deployed by designers – simply gazing at the screen and twiddling colour controls until the thing looks right. It also takes into account the different lighting conditions that users are working under, as colour looks different if your screen is viewed in sunlight or under fluorescent tube lighting. Ambient lighting awareness is simply handled by pointing the Blue Eye away from the screen and hitting a software button. This lets both the Blue Eye and software compensate for locations with a lot of natural light, such as a monitor placed so it’s facing a window. Users of the LaCie monitor range– the electron19blueII, electron22blue, and electron22blueII – are in the pink with the Blue Eye, as it leverages the USB connector that forms part of the Blue Eye hardware, letting the monitors automatically correct themselves based on information provided by the Blue Eye. A handy manual-override is provided so you can choose your own calibration – although that kind of defeats the object. However, you don’t need to be packing a LaCie monitor to use the Blue Eye – although it’s crippled somewhat, in that you can only use software calibration and not the USB cable. LaCie also further colours the water by only selling it to registered LaCie monitor owners, although if you have one in your studio, there’s nothing to prevent you calibrating the rest of the displays. Min specs: New LaCie monitor recommended.

OUR VERDICT

The Blue Eye 2.0 puts monitor calibration sharply in focus, and every aspect of the device works a treat. However, the fact you can’t use it with other monitors and enjoy full functionality – and that goes for older LaCie monitors as well – is a minus point. It’s also expensive for a single monitor – those with multiple monitors in a studio will love it, though.

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