Huey Pro Review

July 6, 2007 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 36 Comments |

Huey ProThe Huey Pro colour calibration device features the world’s first built-in ambient light sensor, can calibrate multiple monitors and offers customizable Whitepoint and Gamma combinations. New color patches have been added to the Huey Pro‘s calibration process for greater accuracy than the original Huey, and an Advanced Help system provide step-by-step instructions. Jon Canfield discovers if the Huey Pro is the best monitor calibration device for the digital photographer.

Website: Huey Pro Review



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#1 Prognathous

A few months ago I bought the original Huey. It was quick and very easy to use, but the results (with my IBM X31 laptop) were terrible. I got the same green cast that so many other users reported in forums. I knew that it happens on some LCD screens, but I was hoping that my laptop would be compatible with the Huey. Too bad it isn't.

I returned it to the store (B&H) and got the Spyder2express instead. It's much slower than the Huey, but there are no color casts, probably due in part to the special LCD attachment that comes with the meter. Other than my laptop, it works consistently well on several other LCD and CRT screens.

Jon, did you get to test the Huey Pro on several LCD screens? If so, did any of them display a green cast after calibration?

Prog.

8:26 pm - Tuesday, July 3, 2007

#2 Bruce McL

A client got the original huey and I helped set it up. The process and results were disappointing. Now they want her to pay almost half of the original price of the huey to get the pro software. I think Pantone is making a new model out of what is actually a badly needed software update.

Eventually I suspect Pantone will drop the huey and start selling the pro model for the current price of the huey.

10:50 pm - Tuesday, July 3, 2007

#3 Jon Canfield

Prog - there is a definite improvement in quality with the Pro version over the standard huey. I too had color cast issues with the original at times. The new software seems much better. The Spyder2 and the x-rite eyeOne are both higher quality options though, but the one strong point huey offers for me is the auto ambient light adjustment.
I did calibrate on several displays, external and laptop with no color issues on the Pro version.

Bruce -
Although it's no guarantee, it might be worth pressing Pantone for a free software upgrade given the problems you had with the original version. The hardware is the same, so you may be able to get them to do a software upgrade - I stress "may" as I don't work for Pantone and have no control over their policies.

9:53 am - Wednesday, July 4, 2007

#4 Daveed V.

I have the Huey Pro, and was disappointed that after calibrating two LCDs attached to the same machine, color rendering is still substantially different on the two displays (e.g., when I drag a window from one screen to the other, I get different colors).

6:49 pm - Thursday, July 5, 2007

#5 Tim Solley

I have a Spyder2 and the software leaves MUCH to be desired. I wonder whether I'd rather have a Huey...

7:49 pm - Thursday, July 5, 2007

#6 Jon Canfield

Daveed -

If you're on Windows XP, you can only have one profile active at a time by default. Microsoft has a Colors PowerToy that you can download from the microsoft.com/prophoto site that will allow you to have multiple monitors profiled and active at one time.

In order for this to work properly, your video card must also have dual LUTs - otherwise you'll be sharing a profile regardless of what you do.

Jon

11:26 pm - Friday, July 6, 2007

#7 Ashleigh

nice blog

3:17 am - Monday, July 9, 2007

#8 Matt Dawson

Hi,

You mentioned that an upgrade is possible. How do you get this, because I checked the website I've registered with and couldn't see any reference to the pro software.

I also wsa a little disappointed with the colours displayed by the original Huey, after comparing to my alternate colour calibration device (the low end Spyder based solution). I'm hoping better software will make the Huey viable, because the hardware really does have a lot going for it from a usability point of view.

Thanks,
Matt

6:56 am - Tuesday, July 17, 2007

#9 Jon Canfield

Matt -
The following URL is for the upgrade to huey Pro. http://pantone.com/pages/products/product.aspx?pid=569&ca=2
If you go to the pantone site, it's under the Advanced link for color control products.

Jon

12:01 am - Thursday, July 19, 2007

#10 Charles

Is the Huey Pro suitable for projection displays? When I give slide shows using my Thinkpad and a DLP projector I'm always fooling with the colors and never getting it right. If the hardware will work stuck to the projection screen (e.g. a Da-Lite) I'd consider buying it.

Thanks - excellent site!

1:18 am - Saturday, July 28, 2007

#11 Jon Canfield

huey won't work for projection screens. I suggest getting either the i1 Photo or the ColorVision device. The later is less expensive, the former does a better job (in my experience)

2:55 pm - Saturday, July 28, 2007

#12 Chris

I installed Huey Pro toady, it made an impressive difference to the monitor - and then proceeded to "wipe out" photoshop 5.5. I've tried everything, calling the helpline (no one there), reading the tech notes (no use at all) and tried a clean deinstall/install of Photoshop. It tries to run then fails, thank you mr Pantone Huey Pro, a load of crap, these idiots should really get their shit together when they make this stuff. Any idea on how to fix it? - Chris.

5:52 am - Friday, September 7, 2007

#13 Jon Canfield

Chris -

huey generates a standard ICC profile and should have no effect at all on Photoshop. I'd be happy to help out if you like - what OS are you running, what error (if any) are you getting?

It's probably best to contact me directly at the posted email address.

Jon

7:31 am - Friday, September 7, 2007

#14 Chris

Sorry John, I'm not to au fait with the whole blog thing and don't know what you mean by the "posted email address". If you let me know your address, I'll reply there. I can tell you, however, I use Windows 2000 on one computer and XP Professional on another, both run Photoshop 5.5, and this Huey Pro stuffs up both of them. I have now found that it is the color profile generated by Huey that stuffs up photoshop. If I take out that color profile from Windows then Photoshop runs fine again. I must point out though, that we also run an old copy of Photoshop 4 and the Huey profile does not affect this. So, right now I know it's to do with Huey Pro, but I'm no closer to being able to actually use the thing without the loss of our much used Photoshop. I'd appreciate your help, Chris.

12:24 pm - Monday, September 10, 2007

#15 Jon Canfield

Chris -

My email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I'll check with Pantone to see if they are aware of any issues and have suggestions.

4:17 pm - Wednesday, September 12, 2007

#16 Chris

Hi, re the Huey problem with Photoshop 5.5 issue. They have responded to me and assert that due to this version of Photoshop being so old, they won't and don't support it. If this is the case then they should warn potential buyers not to purchase it if they have older versions of Photoshop (and which versions it will work with). I'm not impressed and really do not like being forced into buying new software that I do not want. Thumbs down to huey and Pantone !!!

5:11 am - Tuesday, September 18, 2007

#17 Ron

The problem is that Huey Pro's ICC profile is incompatible with Adobe Photoshop 5.5.

Here's what works for me: Before starting up Adobe Photoshop 5.5, I go to Display Properties > Advanced, and click the Color Management tab. There I set the ICC profile I created with Adobe Gamma Loader to default instead of the ICC profile created by Huey Pro. Adobe Photoshop loads perfectly after that. Once it's loaded, I set the Huey Pro ICC profile back to default to gain the benefits of my monitor calibration. It's inconvenient but manageable.

4:34 am - Monday, November 5, 2007

#18 Jon Canfield

I've done some checking on the Photoshop issue. The huey Pro generates v4 ICC profiles. My understanding is that Photoshop 5.5 only supports v2 ICC profiles.

3:33 am - Wednesday, November 7, 2007

#19 Bill

Has anyone run into the issue of successfully calibrating their CRT monitor with Huey Pro but NO resulting profile is created at the end? I have a Dell Optiplex GX620 connected to a Sun 21" flat screen CRT monitor, running Windows XP Professional. I also have Photoshop 8.0 install, if that makes any difference. Thanks for any input.

8:30 am - Thursday, December 13, 2007

#20 Nigel Rawles

My original Huey has worked fine for a year or so but last time I used it has left two marks the exact size and spacing of two of the suction cups. tried polishing them out but the y do not appear to be on the screen surface.
Anyone got any ideas?

9:16 pm - Friday, December 28, 2007

#21 Galerio

Hi,
any of you wants to buy the PRO upgrade? If so, do you want to share the price and then shere the upgrade with me? More persons make the price more little!
Or, is there someone that wants to sell me its upgrade kit? (only the download part cause I already have the huey standard hardware).

If so, contact me at:
galerio @t gmail dot com

Bye

5:08 pm - Sunday, April 6, 2008

#22 Jon Canfield

You do realize that you're asking people to help you do something illegal don't you? It's called software piracy when you don't purchase your own version.

Jon

6:07 pm - Sunday, April 6, 2008

#23 Galerio

...ya, it's true!

But if I buy this upgrade in italy from the italian site of pantone, it costs double then in the American site!
So, if some of you have purchased that upgrade, can you tell me if there is some limitation if I'll buy it from the American site? I will need to use a fake address, but obviously a true name and credit card! But then the program will need a activation or other things? Or after purchase it give me the serial number and the download link?

Hope you understand... Thanks!

8:58 pm - Sunday, April 6, 2008

#24 Mel Wittenstein

Hi

I have used the Huey pro for sometime now. Very happy with it. The only problem I have with it is the brightness/contrast settings which on my Dell 2707 I have to set to 0/26. Once I've this done I get color and contrast I can live with.

Well worth the price! Had a Color Munki for a short while returned it and never looked back.

3:38 pm - Saturday, March 28, 2009

#25 Thompson@Cheap computer

These upgrade are a real treat for us and will aalso help us in speeding our work.

12:10 pm - Monday, April 13, 2009

#26 Chris

Jon, re the colors power toy that you refer to in this huey pro blog, I can't seem to find it on the Microsoft site that you speak of, is it the Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP?. if not, please describe an exact link if poss, thanks, Chris.

11:37 pm - Monday, April 13, 2009

#27 Jon Canfield

Hi Chris -
Yes, they've renamed the tool, it's now the Color Control Panel Applet, and it can be downloaded at http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/colorcontrol.aspx

Best wishes,
Jon

12:21 am - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#28 Thompson@Cheap computer

This sure is a cool camera. You can surely feel the liliness in the results.

7:08 am - Thursday, May 7, 2009

#29 miha

Hi all, ..

a little latter than all the rest but still,.. I have been using the huey for 3 years now and it worked fine till i uppgraded xp to vista (and a new laptop, HP, 6830s), as i made the first calibration (wich was claimed by the huey was succesful) the green cast/hue appeared,.. i thought upgrading to a huey pro might help but didn't, partly the green cast was "dilluted" by setting the colour temperature to 7500K (D75), has anyone any ideas on how to resolve this, any suggestions would be more than welcome as I have couple of hundred pics from a wedding waiting to be edited :(.

9:40 pm - Friday, May 22, 2009

#30 Resume Builders

This sure is a wonderful photography tool and will produce good results.

11:03 am - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#31 Steven

A couple of years ago I built a new computer - AMD X64 5600+, with an Nvidea 3600GT video card. I have a Samsung SyncMaster 191T monitor. Running Win XP Pro.

My Colorvision Spyder worked wonderfully on my previous machine, with the same monitor. The new machine calibrates too warm (blue). I have the latest driver for the Nvidea. I bought the Huey, hoping it would help - didn't want to deal with ColorVision's poor support.

I still have the warm cast. Everything looks much better with the profile off. I need to match my online and print colors with the true file color. I am guessing that my Nvidea is incompatible, but I really don't want to spend another $100 on a replacement without being certain it will be compatible with the profiling method.

Suggestions? Thanks - great forum here.

Steven

5:27 pm - Sunday, October 25, 2009

#32 Jon Canfield

I'm not familiar with that particular video card, but it will need to support a programmable LUT in order to calibrate. I know that your display can be profiled, so the issue isn't there.
I looked for info on the 3600GT and could not find anything on the NVidia site with this number.

Jon

4:26 pm - Monday, October 26, 2009

#33 David

I had a Huey Pro and was having the same problems Chris mentioned, but running Photoshop CS4. I ditched the Huey, and am not running a Spyder 3 Pro... exactly the same problem. The Monitor (HP LP2475w - no junk!) calibrates perfectly (it's pretty close anyway) and everything is fine in a non-colourmanaged program like Irfanview. But in colour managed programs like Pshop and Bridge all the colour is stripped out. When I download and use someone else's icm profile for this monitor and install it via wincolour, that works fine. But if I try to go the extra step and have either a Spyder or Huey installed, it ruins everything. Pics look like an AdobeRGB image in a non-colour managed program only worse, lose maybe 50% saturation. My photos are sRGB, my working space is sRGB, anyone know what's going wrong?
I'm running an Nvidia 8600GT, but had the same problem with a 6800GT

1:38 am - Saturday, December 12, 2009

#34 Matt

Re: #33 - I'm having the same identical problem you are having, David. Similar hardware: Dell u2410 with a Huey Pro and Lightroom v.2. RAW colours are completely ruined (unsaturated) while sRGB's got more saturation.

It's killing me to know WHY this thing is ruining the colours when it should be fixing them in the first place!

9:57 pm - Thursday, June 17, 2010

#35 David

RE: #34
Matt - this may or may not help with your Huey, don't know what you're running.

I lost a month of my life talking to the nice guys in America who make the Spyder, and they checked sample images I sent them and all sorts. The conclusions we came to were this:

a) I was unused to how 'true' images should look, we become accustomed to overly high saturation and true images should look a bit flatter

b) Windows XP has lousy colour management, but this - I'm told, not tried it - is fixed in Windows 7

c) Wide Gamut monitors have a problem with non-colour managed software and respond by over saturating it, making comparisons with colour managed software even harder. Again, windows 7 or OS-X should help.

It still took a bit of fiddling, I can't remember all I tried, but for me this means I now trust Photoshop to show me the real deal. If I want punch I add a lot of saturation. If I then put those photos online and look at them in Chrome - on my wide-gamut monitor running XP - they look wildly over-saturated. If I look at them in Firefox with colour managed switched on, they look OK - although firefox's management isn't great so they don't look great. Although less accurate, if I want the images to look OK for the most people, removing the colour profile altogether is an option.

I'm still not 100% convinced I've got everything right, but I suggest as a first step - but an X-Rite colour checker. It's a great tool for photography, one of the best things I've ever bought, and it has another use over and above its lens colour-calibration software and use as a white point. Once you're up and running with it, placing it right next to your screen while looking at a shot of it in lightroom, will give you a real baseline to investigate your issues from, and it will bring home how flat and low saturated and matt true colours are compared to what we're used to seeing in this glossy, heavy saturated era. I was pretty surprised!

Also don't know what customer support for the Huey is like, but for the Sypder it's excellent, so bug them till you get some answers and tell them you're buying a Spyder if they don't help you! ;p

I'm looking forward to my windows 7 computer and wondering if I'll have a new battle to fight...

2:09 pm - Friday, June 18, 2010

#36 alistair@countrystudio.co.uk

buy a spyder 3 or better still the elite version, I have 4 screens all now look the same but with the Huey products they were all greenish and all different,and i got no support from Pantone at all.

9:24 pm - Sunday, November 21, 2010