• Price: 349 . 419

  • Company: ColorVision

  • Pros: As the cheapest spectrocolorimeter on the market, PrintFix Pro brings accurate print profiling to a wider audience. It’s simple, and reasonably fast in operation.

  • Cons: Greater colour accuracy can be obtained reading the 729 patch targets, but it’s a monotonous process and isn’t suitable for precise B&W prints.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

Colour profiling to ensure a colour-accurate workflow is an expensive business, but ColorVision’s PrintFix Pro offers a budget option. Weighing in at around half the price of comparable products, it’s based around the Datacolor 1005 Spectrocolorimeter.

Individual print profiling is the only reliable method for consistent output while simulating the colour of your display. The process involves printing a colour swatch and then using the software and a handheld gadget to assess the accuracy of your output.

The software then adjusts your output accordingly. The PrintFix Pro Suite, which costs an extra £70, includes a Spyder2 and accompanying software for calibrating your monitor.

The PrintFix Pro software features a simple step-by-step wizard. It allows you to print comparison pictures and choose the optimum paper and printer settings for your preferred media. There’s no need to remember the settings either, as that information is printed on the resultant swatches for easy reference.

Printed profiling targets vary from 150 patches to 225 on one sheet of A4 or 729 patches over three sheets. There’s an option for roll paper, too. Profiling by hand can be tedious, especially when the greater accuracy from the 729 patch swatches is required. However, automated systems are much more expensive.

Ergonomics are generally good, although the USB port is poorly positioned. The cable is just too high, so it gets in the way when you’re mousing over the profile.

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For most profiles, the so-called ‘High-Quality Target’ of 225 patches is sufficient, but even that will take around five minutes, depending on your system. Aural and visual cues reduce the likelihood of mistakes. And, after building a profile, PrintFix Pro allows any number of individual patches to be re-read, which can be a real timesaver. 
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Profiles are saved as either 8- or-16-bit ICC or ICM files, depending on your OS. Subsequent profiles can be tweaked for colour temperature if prints are to be displayed under unfavourable lighting conditions, though it’s a bit hit-&-miss. 
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Regardless of the precision of print profiling, bear in mind some printers, inksets, and media just aren’t that compatible. That’s especially true of pigment-based ink with certain papers and finishes. 
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PrintFix Pro’s ability to provide profiles for gallery-quality prints is debatable. For most other colour-managed work, though, it produces good results with little hassle.
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