Eizo (the word means "image" in Japanese), the high-end monitor (a.k.a. display) manufacturer based in Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, has a new set-and-forget color management system called "Quick Color Matching." Developed in concert with Canon (as a printer manufacturer—you don't need to use a Canon camera to use it...), Adobe (...but you do need to own Photoshop), and Epson, Quick Color Matching is intended to be extremely easy to use—you simply drag your file into the QCM icon with your printer and paper selected, and it launches Photoshop with all the color management duties, including profiling, automagically taken care of.
Of course you also need to be using an Eizo monitor. I haven't quite sussed out yet if QCM works for all Eizos or if you need to buy a special one somehow. It matters, I would guess, because, although Eizo ColorEdge monitors have the reputation of being high-end, with prices to match, they are now competing in a more affordable price gamut (you see what I did there)—the 16:10 ratio Eizo CS2420, new this year, currently costs on $799, which is cheap for an Eizo. The one with the built-in calibration hardware, the higher-spec'd CG2420, costs a stiff $550 more. I don't know if you can use Quick Color Matching on either of them or just one.
(I know nuthin' from monitors, since I've always bought mine with an Apple computer built in [although I do pay attention to the display options when I buy computers]. It's not difficult to comprehend that there is a surfeit of choice—I can't even wrap my head around the dizzying number of alternatives from one manufacturer, much less all of them.)
Anyway, a question: is anyone already using Eizo Quick Color Matching, or does anyone know of a good independent expert review of it (even on a forum)? I'm getting a handle on the various RIPs and quasi-RIPs, but I haven't yet found an explanation of what's going on in Eizo QCM under the hood. I'm only a techie on an as-needed basis...he added ruefully.
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Featured Comments from:
Darlene: "I think Mikey enjoys the printing process.
"Back in my film days when I had to do wet darkroom stuff, I never really enjoyed it. Speed ahead to the dry darkroom and I am thrilled with the prints I make on an Epson 3880 with ImagePrint (IP). Everything Dan Dill and others have stated [in previous comments —Ed.] regarding IP is correct.
"With IP, I find printing on new and different papers a real pleasure. I enjoy trying papers other photographers praise about just to see how they look and feel. In my usual fickle style, I will like a particular paper for about six months, then get bored with it, and want to try something else. IP has made this fickle heart for printing papers very happy.
"IP has outlasted my printers (running my second 3880) and saved me a ton of time, money and frustration. Occasionally when printing for a school exhibit, I will demonstrate IP from my school workstation. My students receive training in color-correction and profiling (classroom uses NEC monitors with SpectraView), but at times a student's print will have a slight color cast that is not easily tweaked out. After we print it through IP, there is generally a sigh of relief, and then a few groans about the need to make money. :-) "
Oleg Shpak: "http://www.eizoglobal.com/products/coloredge/qcm/ <— lists all the compatible hardware. Note there are some software pieces in there too."