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How to Properly Calibrate Dell U2413 / U2713H / U3014 Monitors

After we published our article on 10 bit per channel workflow, our readers requested to provide information on how to calibrate monitors with a built-in Look-Up Table (LUT). Specifically, a number of our readers asked to provide a detailed guide on how to properly calibrate the Dell U2413, U2713H and U3014 monitors, which we have recommended a number of times before due to their affordable price, attractive features and superb color reproduction for photography needs. Historically, true 10-bit and higher monitors with hardware LUT capabilities were extremely expensive, making them only attractive to those with large budgets. With the introduction of sub-$500 monitors featuring professional-grade IPS panels (read our article here to understand IPS terminology), those with tighter budgets are now seriously considering such monitors for photography work. Unfortunately, many end up even more confused after acquiring such tools due to questions related to proper monitor calibration.

Dell U2413

1) Software vs Hardware Calibration

There are two types of calibrations available for monitors – software and hardware. Software calibration works by modifying the colors via the computer graphics card and loading those colors every time the operating system boots. Software calibration is usually performed on monitors that do not have the LUT capability (very few do). Thus, most monitors on the market today w