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Colorimetry Research CR-100 Professional Colorimeter

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Colorimetry Research CR‑100 Professional Colorimeter

(ChromaPure software not included)
  
Our price: $4990 USD

FREE SHIPPING

 


Colorimetry Research CR‑100 Professional Colorimeter with  ChromaPure
Professional

ChromaPure info

 
  
Our price: $5099 USD

FREE SHIPPING

 


ADD-ONS
:

ADD-ON: Calibrated cosine receptor/
diffuser


For reading directly from a projector lens (not normally required or recommended).
Must be purchased at the same time as a CR-100.
  
Our price: $395 USD

 



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Orders ship directly from our ChromaPure partner in Missouri, USA.
 


New to calibration? Give our free step by step guide a read:


 

Confused about meters?  See our FAQ: Which meter is right for me?

 

The CR-100 is the most affordable professional colorimeter available. Just mount on a tripod, facing towards the source, connect to ChromaPure Professional, and then use as you would any other color analyzer.

There are two colour analyzers that professionals and dedicated enthusiasts generally seek: A professional quality colorimeter for every day work (the "field" meter) and a reference spectroradiometer to keep the colorimeter accurate (the "reference" meter).

Unfortunately, such devices are not cheap. The Photo Research and Minolta reference spectros start at about $15,000 USD and go up to near $30,000 USD. The Klein K-10a, previously the only professional quality colorimeter on the market, retails at $7,000 USD.

There is a new entry to the professional colorimeter on the market, the Colorimetry Research CR-100.

In our testing of the CR-100 we have found that it performs at least as well, and with respect at least to repeatability even better, than the Klein instrument. It does this at a significantly lower price point of $4995 USD.

The CR-100 is accurate enough to be used as a standalone color analyzer for professional applications. For the most demanding applications it can be profiled against a true reference spectroradiometer (such as the JETI 1211). Either way, its speed, low-light sensitivity, and repeatability are world-class.

Design

The all metal design is rugged and practical. What is likely to surprise most people seeing the instrument for the first time is how small it is. Resembling a telescopic sight, it is only 7 inches long, 1.5 inches in diameter, and weighs less than a pound.

The CR-100 connects to a PC via USB, which also provides the necessary power. The data interface is rs-232, which operates over the USB connection using an internal usb/serial adapter and an in-house virtual COM port driver. It also includes a tripod mount with several mounting slots for placement flexibility.

The FOV is quite narrow. For example, when placed one meter from the target the spot size is only 4.3 inches (110 mm) in diameter. Since the instrument has no aiming mechanism this is a useful design choice. Given its small size and narrow FOV, most will find it quite easy to get a good aim point merely by line of sight. Colorimetry Research also offers the CR-200, a version of the CR-100 with a configurable viewing port, but this adds another 15-20% to the price.

A calibrated cosine receptor/diffuser is available at additional cost. Some may find this useful, but frankly the low-light sensitivity of the instrument is so good (more about this below) that having the ability to read directly from a projector lens would provide limited utility.

The colorimeter ships in a padded bag with a usb cable. The company's own in-house software is available as well, though most will probably opt for custom software, such as ChromaPure (which provides support as of version 2.5.4).

There are three internal operating modes related to refresh rate detection and synchronization. The meter's sync feature can be turned off, entered manually, or set automatically when pointed at a 100% white test pattern displayed on the target display device. This is a particularly useful feature and no doubt contributes to the instrument's excellent repeatability, even at very low light levels.

Performance

The performance of a color analyzer is a function of four measurable criteria:

  • Colorimetric accuracy
  • Repeatability
  • Low-light sensitivity
  • Speed

Let's take a look at the CR-100 in each of these areas:

Colorimetric accuracy

We used the CR-100 to measure 8 displays using 4 different display technologies (LED, LCD, CRT, and plasma) in our lab and then compared the results with our JETI 1211 in-house reference spectroradiometer:

   White Red Green Blue

Largest error (x,y)

0.006

0.004 0.005

0.005

Smallest error (x,y)

0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

Average error (x,y)

0.002

0.002 0.002

0.002

These are near reference results. Only the most exacting applications would require correction with a reference instrument. Colorimetry Research provides several built-in color correction matrices for different display types.

Repeatability

Measuring a plasma display with the CR-100 set to automatically detect and synchronize readings with the display's refresh rate (59.94 Hz), we obtained the following results after 15 consecutive measurements:

  x y Y

Video black

n/a

n/a 2.0%

5% video

0.0012 0.0011 1.39%

10% video

0.0003

0.0004 0.40%

20% video

0.0002

0.0004 0.13%

Again, these are reference results. Clearly, the sync feature works very well.

Low-light sensitivity

The ability to accurately and quickly read very low light levels is perhaps the most attractive feature of tristimulus filter-based colorimeters. It is also one of the most difficult features to test. More often than not, the instrument's performance exceeds the precision of the display technology used for the test and you end up measuring the limitations of the display rather than the measuring tool.

For example, we first attempted to use the CR-100 to measure video black on a Pioneer Kuro 9th-generation 5020 plasma, which is renowned for its unmeasureably low black level. We soon discovered that the display's black level was not stable (it may have been at one time, but after daily use for several years its performance may have degraded). In fact, after receiving only a video black signal the Kuro's output took several seconds to settle down, and then would rather quickly go completely black. However, we got consistent, repeatable readings of 0.0014 cd/m2 before the screen went black. In frustration, we tried the same experiment with a JVC front projector, also known for its very low black levels. However, in this case the test was compromised by the tiniest amount of light in the room, such as our laptop monitor, which would elevate the luminance reading off the screen (which is, after all, designed to reflect light efficiently). Lacking the patience to turn the projector room into a black hole, we decided to go with the stable, though fleeting, Kuro reading of 0.0014 cd/m2.

Throughout all of our tests we never encountered a signal so low that the CR-100 could not reliably measure it. Whatever its merits as a colorimeter, the CR-100 is also undoubtedly a world-class photometer, significantly outperforming what used to be the gold standard in this area, the Minolta LS-100.

Speed

To test the speed of the CR-100, we generated an automated suite of 100 test patterns from an AccuPel DVG-5000 that ChromaPure would read and then record. We also ran this test against the popular X-Rite i1 Display Pro (aka Display 3) and the Klein K-10 for purposes of comparison. In addition, we ran through one pass of the the Lumagen Radiance 125-point auto-calibration using each colorimeter to provide some-real world comparisons and then extrapolated the time required for a 729-point and a 4913-point auto-calibration:

Auto-calibration points Display 3 K-10a CR-100

125

6 minutes

3 minutes 3 minutes

729

28 minutes 13 minutes 13 minutes

4913

194 minutes

90 minutes 90 minutes

Times include only the time required for the auto-calibration to complete. Pre/post-calibration test patterns and grayscale/gamma calibration is not included. Note that the Display 3 can run faster by setting the meter to a shorter integration time, but doing so compromises repeatability.

The most interesting aspect of this comparison to us is that the speed of the K-10a and the CR-100 were essentially identical. A display test pattern-return reading cycle requires about 0.6 seconds for each colorimeter. This suggests that the speed of each instrument is limited not by the instrument itself, but by the rs-232 interface both use.

Among color analyzers, the K-10a has always been the speed champion. The CR-100 is not faster than the K-10a, but it is obviously no slower. The speed of a colorimeter used to be merely a matter of convenience, but with the advent of popular and affordable options for auto-calibrations requiring hundreds or even thousands of measurements, the speed of the measuring device becomes a much more important factor.

Summary

As you can probably tell we were immensely impressed with the CR-100. It achieves a combination of performance milestones that place it at the zenith of commercially available professional colorimeters.

We do have a few minor quibbles. Installing the driver in Windows 8 is an annoyance because the driver is unsigned. However, Colorimetry Research is working on this issue and may have fixed the problem since this text was written. Also, although it costs less than its only real competition (the Klein K-10a) the cost of adding an aiming device and a cosine receptor (the K-10a includes both) all but eliminates the price advantage. Finally, as long as we are picking nits we would have preferred a carrying case over a padded bag and a longer USB cable.

However, when it comes to performance we cannot find any reason to criticize the CR-100. It is the best professional-quality instrument to come along in several years.

Specifications

 

Colorimetry Research CR-100

Wavelength range:

380–780 nm

Luminance Range:

0.0002 fL to 1500 fL
0.0002 fL @ Signal to Noise Ratio > 10, 20 seconds exposure
0.001 fL @ Signal to Noise Ratio > 10, 0.5 second exposure
0.001 fL @ Signal to Noise Ratio > 100, 20 seconds exposure
1500 fL @ Signal to Noise Ratio > 8000, 1 second exposure

Luminance Accuracy: 2 % @ 0.1 fL, 0.4 second exposure
Luminance Repeatability: 0.2 % @ 0.1 fL, 0.4 second exposure
1.5 % @ 0.01 fL, 0.5 second exposure
1.5 % @ 0.001 fL, 20 seconds exposure
Chromaticity Accuracy: 0.0015 x, y @ 0.1 fL, 0.4 second exposure
0.0015 x, y @ 0.02 fL, 20 seconds exposure
Chromaticity Repeatability: 0.0005 x, y @ 0.1 fL, 0.4 second exposure
0.0005 x, y @ 0.02 fL, 20 seconds exposure
Polarization error: ≤ 0.1 %
Synchronization frequencies: 10 - 500 Hz (Custom Synchronization from 10 Hz to 10 KHz available)
Exposure Time Range: 1 ms to 20 seconds
Power Requirements: 5V, 120 mA (600 mW) via USB 2.0
Interface: USB 2.0, Ethernet
Weight / Mass: 12oz. (0.34 Kg.)

Calibrating Front Projectors

For best accuracy, we recommend calibrating front projectors by taking readings directly off the screen.

Extras included

  • Padded bag
  • USB Cable
  • Universal mounting bar
  • Wrist strap and bracket

Calibration DVD

For your convenience our ChromaPure partner offers a simple calibration DVD that includes all of the test patterns that you'll need to perform a complete calibration of your display. This DVD is offered free as a complementary download.

Click here to download the DVD

Instructions:

  1. Download the .zip file to your PC.
  2. Unzip the contents, which is an .iso DVD image file, to your hard drive.
  3. Double-click the .iso file.
  4. If you have DVD burning software (e.g., Nero Burning ROM), the file will open.
    Set the image type to DVD (not CD) if necessary.
  5. Insert a blank, writable DVD into your DVD burner, and then burn the image.

Pictures


 

Reviews/Testimonials

For reviews/testimonials of ChromaPure calibration software & packages, see our ChromaPure order page.

Why buy from CurtPalme.com?

CurtPalme.com are calibration experts and authors of the popular free calibration guide: Grayscale & Color Calibration for Dummies. we live and breathe calibration. No matter what your needs we can assist in choosing what's right for you. We offer products for the budget DIY'er all the way up to the seasoned professional, all at CurtPalme.com discounted prices.

Links

ChromaPure software
ChromaPure Grayscale & Color Calibration for Dummies
Official Colorimetry Research CR-100 Professional Colorimeter forum thread
ChromaPure Discussion/Support Forum

FAQ: Which meter is right for me?
Colour Science: About Meter Accuracy
Colour Science: Video Calibration Myths

Questions, comments or feedback should be directed to :
chromapure@curtpalme.com

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