Datacolor is one of the leading worldwide brands in colour calibration tools, both for high-end consumers through to businesses. They cover a wide range of calibration options including the excellent Spyder5 monitor calibration tool.
The SpyderCheckr is a basic tool that isn’t particularly exciting or high tech for your average consumer but this colour patch card is something that can help take your photography to the next level while minimising the amount of editing work you need to do.
The SpyderCHECKR is aimed at professionals and has 48 spectrally engineered colour patches include the standard 24 sRGB colour space plus additional colour targets for more precise skin tone, medium saturation colour and near-white tints and black tones, for a more dynamic range.
Flipping the cards over gives you an easy-to-use grey chart delivers scene light colour and intensity data that can be used to adjust camera settings.
For people with a smaller budget, there is the SpyderCHECKR which consists of 24 of the most common spectrally engineered colour patches in a portable vinyl sleeve.
The hardware is quite basic but it is compact and comes in a sturdy plastic case that has a tripod thread allowing you to place the SpyderCheckr conveniently in any scene.
Using this patch card for some test shots and shooting in RAW mode you can then use the calibration software to analyse the results of your test photo and instantly creates a profile which you then apply in your workflow with RAW import software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Hasselblad Phocus, for automatic colour correction.
I am not a photography expert, but once you install the software it is a reasonably simple process.
You need to set up your scene as you plan to use it and take a photo of the grid, take all your planned photos, then imports your photos into Lightroom and apply white balance using the grey colour grid as the reference.
Then use the SpydrChecker software on the photo of the colour grid and it should match up the grid with the internal references. SpydrChecker will the automatically create a profile for Lightroom that you can apply when your restart the software.
Assuming you are a semi decent photographer the changes will often be quite subtle but then the end result will be an image that is accurate.
The full-sized SpyderCHECKR costs £123 on Amazon or 142-Euros from DataColor, it is quite a lot of money for what you get but this is a professional tool and anything aimed at the professional market is always quite expensive. If photography is part of your job then you should invest in a product such as this, it will pay for itself many times over by reducing the amount of editing needed and improving the overall quality of your photos by achieving maximum colour accuracy.
Thanks to social media, in particular, Instagram, the interest in photography is booming, and while many social media users use phones, many others use proper cameras. Using a colour test card and the accompanying optimisation software can help your photos to the next level and stand out from the crowd. SpyderCHECKR might be a little expensive for the average consumer but it is a worthwhile purchase for any enthusiast. With cameras often costing well over £1k and lenses adding much more to the final cost, spending 142-Euros to improve your colour accuracy doesn’t seem like that much of a cost.
The SpyderCheckr24 is 50-Euros from Datacolor or £31 from Amazon and I think this would make a great investment for any one that does photo editing regardless of your level or budget.
Datacolor SpyderCHECKR Colour Test Card Review
Product Name: Datacolor SpyderCHECKR Colour Test Card
- Price - 65%65%
- Performance - 90%90%