And a far more in-depth report on why one Calman user traded-up to LightSpace:Some background : I was a LightSpace skeptic for a long time, to be honest, especially since I'd been invested in Calman from back when I was just beginning to play around with setting up and calibrating my personal home theatre (circa 2010). I was using Cinetal Cinespace for 3D LUT Calibration and Film emulation LUTs at work (I'm a colorist), but of course the prices for 3D LUT boxes (such as the Davio we were using) were not for home use then, and they had no HDMI path with HDCP anyway.
And then 3D LUTs for home calibration started becoming a reality.
False start - I had the videoEQ Pro (3x1D LUTs are not equal to a 3D LUT, I found out the hard way, but I did learn a lot from that mistake), then came the eecolor (or "Colorbox" as Spectracal marketing called it. That was a pretty expensive faceplate, in hindsight... but I can't fault the box) and the various Lumagen units.
LightSpace came to my attention around that time, but I was already invested in Calman and assorted Spectracal branded gear (C6, Colorbox), and anyway Life happened and calibrations faded into the background, even at the post facilities I was coloring for at the time. I am ashamed to say, but the state of calibration in grading suites here in Israel was pretty dire for a long time. I'm doing my small bit to help improve that lately, which really is what led me to LightSpace.
As I set up my own grading suite, and started to offer calibration services to various other facilities, I was initially using Calman (Ultimate version, by now, and up to date with several maintenance payments).
Now, I want to make it clear that I really appreciate the fine folk at Spectracal - They're really great and put a lot of effort into their product - but for me at least, the results were never entirely satisfactory.
As far back as "autocal" on my home TV using the VideoEQ (an educational experience, as I've said. But also a frustrating one - It was never right, and led to some pretty dire artifacts, though of course that's on me as much as anyone), all the way to 3D LUT generation in the studio today. It works, but always with caveats (To this day I have yet to fully understand Calman's approach to video/data level scaling, for instance, and of course they famously resisted the separate profiling/LUT generation approach to calibration, until not that long ago).
And on my (admittedly not very powerful) laptop, the software was always lagging - enabling the virtual LUT for verification measurements would take forever, for instance - or even outright crashing in the middle of a run. Then came the perfect storm of the profiling bug discovered in recent versions of Calman, my "All Access" needing renewal for the next version and a frustrating calibration session with a less than ideal probe/monitor combination, which led to a LUT whose performance, especially in the shadow region, I was seeking to improve with some further tweaking (which as far as I could tell only LightSpace offers at the moment, through the LUT manipulation options). Seems the time had come to finally add LightSpace to my arsenal.
I have to say that I've been surprised by how quickly LightSpace became my main calibration tool. The software just works. It's noticeably "snappier" on my laptop than Calman (Loads faster, performs better with regards to response time to button presses, probably due to the simpler graphics - but really I prefer a more responsive UI to a prettier/fancier one, especially on time constrained client sessions).
The profiles seem to run just a little bit faster (though this is hard to compare because of the different approaches to patch dispersion within the cube, but as far as I can tell comparing a similar number of measurements) and the LUTs so far really do seem to result (for me at least) in more "organic" calibrations, for lack of a better term.
Less noticeable artifacts, anyway, especially when using the great LUT Manipulation tools (The "Relax" Filter really did help that LUT I was struggling with), and there you have it.
In a matter of weeks, it's become the first tool I reach for in my toolbox, and usually the last as well.
I still use Calman for comparisons and sanity checks, and it still has prettier graphs overall, but where it counts - the core LUT functionality - for my money LightSpace takes the cake and has become, as I've said, my go to tool.
Just my 0.002 nits...