Not All Color Calibrators are Created Equal. See Why.


Being a commercial photographer working on ad campaigns, I pay a lot of attention to color. From image capture to the final result, color plays a significant role in my work. The tools I use for color, by all means, determine the quality of the result.

My tool of choice when it comes to color calibration, the stage of the process when color really, really matters, is SpyderX Elite. ­­There are many advantages to using such a modern and advanced color calibrator: from the speed at which it works, to its lens-based optical system, to the advanced features, such as soft proofing. In this article, I will cover these features and talk about why it is worth investing in the SpyderX Elite. Already calibrating? Stay tuned for a great offer for current calibrators. 

Support for Multiple Displays

Working on studio-quality 4K monitors, I pay a lot of attention to color grading. In fact, it’s probably one of my favorite parts of the process. However, my team pays a lot of attention too. There are several monitors on which the image is viewed, so I need a calibrator that can match them to look the same. This is done with the SpyderX Elite StudioMatch feature, which creates a target that is shareable between the attached displayed and other computers. This technology was created with more precise monitor matching in mind; it helps to take the guesswork out with different backlight technologies. That’s right, not all monitors are built the same. My 4K studio beast is no match to an old iMac. Different monitors work with different backlight technologies and different panels, which can make color matching on displays difficult. SpyderX Elite, on the other hand, has implemented a technology called SpyderTune, which will help you match technologically different displays as much as possible. Sure, you won’t get the same performance from a studio display and an off-brand eBay monitor, but you will match them to some degree. This is mostly useful when matching a high-end display with a lower-end one used for on-location work. You wouldn’t want a monitor too expensive falling on the rocks and breaking in half.

Going deeper into working closely with monitors, SpyderX can analyze monitor performance on a very in-depth level. Knowing what your monitor is able of doing can be very important. Not every monitor can output the same level of accuracy, brightness, gamut, contrast, tone response, and white point.  

All this is done in under two minutes, meaning very little waiting time and no significant interruption of workflow.

Soft Proofing

A lot of my work goes on to be printed. Print qualities vary from newspapers to high-end archival paper. I have to know how much color is lost when printing on one or other paper. More, I want to know how much quality I lose when using each printer. That’s right, the soft proofing feature allows me to preview how my images will look on different quality prints, printers, and even screens. This is particularly helpful when one image has to go on digital boards, point of sale, and storefront prints. That way, I know to alter my image to fit the needs of the media it is displayed on. There is also an option to add ICC profiles of your particular device to further tailor the settings to the gear you own. Usually, most high-end printing studios will send over an ICC profile for you to apply and check.

Build Quality

The SpyderX Elite is built with accuracy but also ease of use in mind, which is an upgrade over the older versions and a competitive edge over other products. The lens-based optical system utilizes the latest sensor technology to provide a higher level of color accuracy with more precise screen color shadow detail and white balance. To protect this sensor, there is an integrated lens cap, which also acts as a counterweight when calibrating your monitor. On the other side of the calibrator, there is an ambient light measurement sensor, which will tell you whether the light conditions of the room you’re in are suitable for working on color. I found this to be particularly helpful in the later stages of color grading when I am looking at the true tones. It is not so useful on location, where all you may have is a monitor shade. A screw mount in the calibrator itself even allows it to be mounted on a light stand and be used for projector calibration.

In my opinion, the features Datacolor packed into SpyderX Elite clearly give it an edge over the competition and justify an upgrade from the previous generation devices, or even another brand. Not all calibrators are created equal. Raise the color bar with the SpyderX Elite. Datacolor is practically giving away their top-of-the-line SpyderX Elite calibrators at a huge $120 discount for current calibrators, pick up yours for only $149.99 now! 

New to display calibration? Learn more about SpyderX here.


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