Color Calibration Survey Results

A couple of weeks ago I asked people on my blog and a few chosen mailing lists to answer three simple questions:

  1. What monitor calibration devices do you own?
  2. Which of these devices have you used in the last 6 months?
  3. If you were to buy a new calibration device, which would you buy?

I wanted to work out what hardware I should buy for testing with gnome-color-manager and colord for each release. The results are very skewed toward Linux users, but that was kind of the point of the survey.

So, the first set of data, which 203 people answered:

Notable points:

  • Nobody owns a Colorimetre HCFR. Not much of a suprise really.
  • Spyder4 is new hardware which performs well, but hardly anyone owns one yet.
  • 43% of people answering the survey own a ColorHug, which isn’t too much of a suprise since it was posted on the ColorHug Google+ page. Still, pretty awesome for such a new project.

The next graph is very similar to the first, with 191 people responding:

Notable points:

  • There are a lot of Spyder2’s sitting in drawers unused.
  • Lots of people bought a ColorHug, and don’t use it very often. This isn’t suprising as it’s the least expensive device by a long way.
  • i1Pro owners use the device a lot more than people that own other devices. This is also a very expensive device, so again, kinda makes sense.

The last graph is interesting in a number of ways, from 173 users:

  • 52% of Linux users would buy a ColorHug. This is the most popular cheap colorimeter option.
  • 31% of people would buy a much more expensive photospectrometer rather than a colorimeter.
  • 11% of people want to buy hardware considered obsolete by the manufacturer.
  • 2 people want to buy a Colorimetre HCFR. Good luck there :)
  • 6 people wanted to buy a ColorHug Spectro, even though it wasn’t an option on the survey and doesn’t even exist yet.

Based on the results of this data, I think it’s important for me to buy some Spyder hardware and concentrate on the photospectrometer-type hardware. Thanks to all┬árespondents, your help has been really valuable.


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Richard has over 10 years of experience developing open source software. He is the maintainer of GNOME Software, PackageKit, GNOME Packagekit, GNOME Power Manager, GNOME Color Manager, colord, and UPower and also contributes to many other projects and opensource standards. Richard has three main areas of interest on the free desktop, color management, package management, and power management. Richard graduated a few years ago from the University of Surrey with a Masters in Electronics Engineering. He now works for Red Hat in the desktop group, and also manages a company selling open source calibration equipment. Richard's outside interests include taking photos and eating good food.

4 thoughts on “Color Calibration Survey Results”

    1. That’s a good question, and something that other people have asked too. I’ve put together a quick pledgie page to gather donations. Thanks!

  1. Hi Richard,
    The second graph looks almost identical to the first one to me, so I don’t see how it supports the comment “lots of people don’t use their ColorHug”. Perhaps add the percentages to make things clearer?

    Keep up the great work! (and come to LGM ;)

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