Editor’s Note: A special thanks to our partner Datacolor for helping us to bring more information about color calibration to you.
Monitor calibration does not have to be difficult with a solid calibration device.
Spyder 5 Elite
Datacolor’s new Spyder 5 Elite monitor calibrator is dead simple to use. The software installs from Datacolor’s website. The Spyder 5 device is the same for the three versions of the product: Spyder5EXPRESS, Spyder5PRO, and Spyder5ELITE. The difference is in the software.
- Spyder5EXPRESS ~ Hobbyist photographers wanting quick simple monitor calibration. $129.00
Works with laptops, desktop monitors • 4 step process • No ambient room light compensation.
- Spyder5PRO ~ Serious photographer & designers who want advanced monitor calibration and accuracy with all the features. $189.00
Works with laptops, desktop monitors • 16 step process • 3 ambient room light compensation settings.
- Spyder5ELITE ~ Professional photographers, photographic studios, color perfectionists who seek ultimate control of color workflow. $279.00
Works with laptops, desktop monitors, front projectors • Unlimited user-defined choices for still and video • 5 ambient room light compensation settings.
This is very straight forward. Open the Spyder 5 box. The first thing that’s seen is a “Thanks” placard with the URL to download the software. The instructions are clear on how to get the software for the Spyder5 version purchased. There is a user’s manual and a video demonstrating the Spyder5 calibrator. The serial number that comes with the Spyder5 device is required to activate the software.
I have three monitors connected via Thunderbolt 2 to my MacPro. Two of them are the 27″ Thunderbolt glass screen displays I bought with the computer. The third one is an old matte screen 23″ Cinema display. I really wanted them to look alike. Monitor matching is one of the features of the Spyder5ELITE. The step-by-step assistant guided me through the process. First, the ambient light in my studio was measure. The brightness of the screen was adjusted. The Spyder5 device reported the brightness as I used Displays in the Mac’s System Preferences to adjust them. After the ambient light calibration, the Spyder5 monitored a bunch (technospeak for “a lot”) of colors. Upon finishing it presented a dialog box for me to name the profile it had made. There was also a before calibration/after calibration toggle to show the difference from what the monitors were before and how they look after the process. The difference wasn’t huge. It was significant. I’m interested to see the before/after when it comes time to recalibrate my monitors. The software will remind me two months from now.
Color is ultra important. The benefits of color calibration are clear. Consistent color from camera to monitor to output device begins with seeing accurate color on the monitor. The Spyder5ELITE is easy to use and gives great results. It’s the first step to achieving and maintaining a color calibrated workflow.