Eizo screens offer extensive calibration options, and we provide these notes as a guide to achieving a good calibration with an Eizo screen for general photographic editing.
The main difference between an Eizo Flexscan line monitor and an Eizo ColorEdge monitor is in how you calibrate the monitors. Both lines of monitor have hardware controls for white point, gamma and brightness that use the in built hardware to make adjustments at a much higher quality than typical monitors. Flexscan monitors use a more typical 'software calibration' approach though, while with ColorEdge monitors, you perform 'hardware calibration' using the supplied Color Navigator software.
If you're interested, you can read more about the different types of monitor calibration in the article below.
Before starting, please make sure you have plugged in the USB cable that came with your monitor.
These notes are specifically for getting your Eizo ColorEdge Monitor set up to be a good proofing environment for photographic editing and prints. The main goal of this set up is to simulate paper, not to get the 'prettiest' or most colourful response out of your screen. If you also do video work, or simply watch movies on your Eizo, you may well want to create multiple set ups for your screen.
To calibrate an Eizo CS, CX or CG monitor with ColorNavigator is very easy. If you have an i1Display Pro or Spyder calibrator please note that you do not need to use the included software at all - ColorNavigator will do a direct hardware calibration. If you have another type of calibrator, you should first check if it is compatible with ColorNavigator.
The first step to take before using ColorNavigator is to remove (uninstall) all previous colour calibration software you may have. This means ColorNavigator will use its own drivers for your calibration device rather than any old drivers that might be lying around on your computer.
Make sure you have connected the monitor via the supplied USB cable, and for video that you are using a digital connection (so DisplayPort, HDMI or DVI), not an analogue (VGA) connection. There is no point running a monitor this good with a 15 year old connection standard! If you do not have a digital output on your current video card it's well worth replacing it. Even a basic $50 video card from any computer store will be more than sufficient for Photoshop usage.
Now, install ColorNavigator. Check the Eizo Website first to make sure you have the latest version.
Select your monitor calibration device when it prompts you.
The next stage in calibration with ColorNavigator is to define your calibration targets. We suggest you start with a typical default calibration, but with a reduced contrast ratio of 225:1. One of the nicest things about your new Eizo monitor is the ability to reduce the monitor's native contrast level to a figure more reasonable for simulating prints.
On the above screen, you can see a list of targets I have made for my screen. To define a new one, choose 'Create a new target', then "Enter Manually" on the following page.
Unless you have a good reason (i.e. you want to simulate the gamut of some other device or colourspace), you should calibrate your screen to the full native monitor gamut.
Now we define the whitepoint we are calibrating to, in terms of both brightness and colour. 6500K is the general standard for whitepoint in the photographic industry, so use that for this target, but note you can do sophisticated things like using an alternate whitepoint, say 5500K if you for example always use warmer papers, or even input a whitepoint that has been measured from a specific paper using a spectrophotometer.
I personally use 5800K generally as it is a decent mid point between warmer optical brightener free papers and typical commercial papers. I also have several targets in my list, so I can easily flick between setups for different papers.
For brightness, I have here chosen 90 cd/m2. This value is dependent on the brightness of the room you typically work in, but I have found over the years that 90cd/m2 is a good starting point. Typically recommended brightness values for LCD such as 120 or 140, are simply too bright for simulating paper.
Now, we set the brightness of the black point of the monitor. This is how we control contrast. In the above screenshot, I have chosen a blackpoint of 0.4 cd/m2. This is because 90 cd/m2 (our whitepoint) divided by 0.4 gives 225 - that is, our whitepoint will be 225 times brighter than our blackpoint, or put another way, we are setting the contrast ratio of the monitor to 225:1.
We do this because the contrast of prints on paper ranges from about 160:1 to 225:1 at the absolute most. If we leave our monitor at its default contrast (my CG241W has a native ratio of 800:1), this makes soft proofing much more difficult. So we set the contrast of the monitor to be much closer to the contrast of paper.
Now, we define gamma. 2.2 is the generally accepted norm, as this modifies the tonal curve of your screen to be close to that of paper. Unless you have a very good reason, you should choose 2.2 here just as we have. We set the priority to 'Standard' which should achieve a nice balance between accurate, neutral greys and the desired contrast ratio.
Now save the target. You might want to give it a more user friendly name such as 'Default 225:1 contrast, 6500K calibration'. Make sure that 'Start Adjustment' is ticked.Click next, and you then enter the actual calibration part of the process.
Attach you calibrator as per the onscreen instructions, hit 'Proceed' and sit back and relax as the entire calibration process is now completed for you.
At the end you will get a results screen:
This will show how close your calibration was to the target you
Note: The match will be close, but never 100% exact as you're operating at the sharp end of device tolerances.
You're monitor is now calibrated, you can go forth and edit your images with the confidence of highly accurate colour.
Of course ColorNavigator can do many other things, such as emulation of other monitors, and calibration validation but you'll need to explore the manual and the software to discover those adventures. You can define as many targets as you like, such as for different papers, but if you use the same target for your typical set-up, all you need to do is start ColorNavigator, choose that target, and hit proceed - calibration doesn't come any easier than that.
You might want to read why you should calibrate multiple times and our article about hardware calibration targets to use as starting points as well.
If you're lucky enough to have an Eizo ColorEdge model with an in-built calibrator, now is the time to set up automatic calibration. Used the Advanced menu -> Self Calibration Settings to set this up.
We suggest something along the lines of calibrating all targets once a month on the first of the month. Schedule it for when you're not likely to be using the screen, e.g. midnight - and like magic your Eizo will switch itself on, warm itself up, and then run all your calibrations (make sure you tick the 'Standard Mode Calibration' choice so that the pre-sets are also re-calibrated. Your monitor will put itself back to bed when done! You don't need to have your computer switched on (or even attached!)....the only requirement is that the monitor has power.