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SpyderCheckr

by ColorVision
Windows XP / Vista / 7, Mac OS X

Price: 123.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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  • Extensive skintone samples for portrait & fashion photography
  • The smarter color reference
  • Start your color control at the capture stage with the new SpyderCheckr!
  • It allows photographers to color calibrate their cameras, perform precision in-camera white balance and record known-color samples
  • SpyderCheckr helps capture consistent color from day to day and camera to camera and apply these results easily in your workflow with RAW import software such as, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom
  • The sturdy, ecofriendly design has 48 spectrally engineered color patches
  • Easy to use calibration software making post production quicker by getting consistent, predictable color right from the start.
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System Requirements

  • Platform:    Windows XP / Vista / 7, Mac OS X
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Item Quantity: 1
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Product details


Product Description

Manufacturer's Description

Color reference
Start your color control at the capture stage with the new SpyderCheckr

Color calibrate
It allows photographers to color calibrate their cameras, perform precision in-camera white balance and record known-color samples.

Capture consistent color
SpyderCheckr helps capture consistent color from day to day and camera to camera and apply these results easily in your workflow with RAW import software such as, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

Color patches
The sturdy, ecofriendly design has 48 spectrally engineered color patches, easy to use calibration software making post production quicker by getting consistent, predictable color right from the start.

Product Description

The smarter color reference

Start your color control at the capture stage with the new SpyderCheckrTM. It allows photographers to color calibrate their cameras, perform precision in-camera white balance and record known-color samples. SpyderCheckr helps capture consistent color from day to day and camera to camera and apply these results easily in your workflow with RAW import software such as, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. The sturdy, eco-friendly design has 48 spectrally engineered color patches, easy to use calibration software making post production quicker by getting consistent, predictable color right from the start.

- Consistent Color Control for your RAW workflow made easy and fast with SpyderCheckr and its powerful software, giving you a color standard for any camera and decreasing your post production time
- Neutral Gray target & Gray ramp for in-camera white balance and visual neutrality analysis
- Extensive skintone samples for portrait & fashion photography
- Durable, eco-friendly self casing construction for easy transport and field use, with replaceable targets, tripod mount and Fade strip indicator
- Easy-to-use software interacts with Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and Camera Raw to produce calibration presets, which fit directly into your digital workflow; No DNG processing required, multiple lightsource calibration option included

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.co.uk.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 17 Oct 2013
By Daniel G. Lebryk - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Getting the best color balance in a final print is a three legged race, and a lot of the time I have fallen. The three legs are the camera (and how it adjusts white balance), the monitor, and the printer. The Datacolor SpyderCheckr tries to address the first leg, adjusting for different color of light. The monitor can be adjusted with a tool like the Datacolor Spyder or the ColorMunki. And the printer can be controlled with ICC profiles.

The SpyderCheckr is a set of calibrated color and gray scale targets mounted inside a plastic case about the size of an iPad mini or Kindle. The targets come installed with the color targets facing out. They can be removed and flipped over to use the grayscales. The box includes the SpyderCheckr software that creates a correction profile for RAW images, for use in either Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw (the software used to convert RAW images for use in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements).

This is designed to be used with RAW images. A new profile has to be generated for each type of lighting situation you will encounter. Most likely there is little need for this in natural sunlight. The system works best with hard to balance lights - like sodium vapor, fluorescents, or LEDs. The workflow is to first take a picture of the target under the type of lights that you will use for that shooting session. Make sure the target is evenly lit and more or less square to the camera. Take a picture of the target and evaluate the histogram to be certain none of the color channels are too high / clipped, or extremely low - adjust the exposure to get the most useful data. Now shoot like you normally would in RAW.

Back at the farm, run the Datacolor software against the target image. Make sure the pale squares are lined up in each color box. The software will now create a profile for that light source or shooting session. Apply the profile to Adobe Camera Raw, and you have now created the most color accurate images possible. The differences are usually pretty subtle, but in critical situations can be important.

It is probably clear this tool is not for the casual photographer. It is also for somebody looking for precise and accurate color. That may or may not be a photographer's goal. This system adds a few steps to the workflow of taking and processing images. A lot of thought has to go into those profiles and managing them later on. For the studio photographer - this is just about the most perfect thing in the world. For anybody shooting JPG's, the color side of this tool doesn't work. Although getting a final print or screen image much closer to perfect is easier with a picture including this target and the target side by side.

This is fairly expensive tool. The plastic case is well built and rugged - I can see that surviving a lot of rough use. It does an excellent job protecting the delicate and sensitive color targets. The targets themselves are not simple to manufacture. The pigment inks used to make the targets has to be absolutely perfect, not a simple task. The replacement cards are roughly $70.

Spyder did something outstanding with the cards; they included a use by or expiration panel. There is a red square that will fade over time. Hidden behind the plastic frame is another square that is not exposed to light. When the red square turns yellow - orange (compare to the hidden standard), it is time to replace the card.

For certain photographers this is an indispensable tool, and cheap at half the price. For the casual photographer, this is overkill and differences are subtle; money would be much better spent on a monitor calibration tool. For the photographer that requires precise and accurate color, either on a monitor or finished print, this is an excellent tool.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good step toward creating a complete color calibration loop 15 Sep 2013
By Jeff Wignall - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As most photographers know already, ideally everything in your imaging system from camera capture to printer, should be calibrated and color managed. It's a nice ideal, but few of us have the time or energy to do that regularly enough for it to matter. But this checker is simple to use and I think that working it into your capture/download routine it is a good step toward completing the loop and at least getting the camera and the monitor speaking to one another in the same color language. I do use a Datacolor Spyder already, to calibrate my monitor, but I know that I don't do it often enough and also, I've never considered calibrating the camera--and it's a great idea. Hopefully this will help me mend my wicked (and lazy) ways.

This color checker works just like a standard Macbeth/X-rite color grid (though the X-rite has 24 color squares and this one from Datacolor has 48): you place the checker in your scene and in the same light as your subject and shoot a close-up frame of it, filling the frame as much as possible (and then you shoot your subject normally without the checker, of course). When you download the images, you first crop the shot of the checker (there are white dots on the device itself to use as a cropping guide) and import that image into your RAW import software (I use Photoshop, but I'm using the Adobe DNG converter to open the NEF files).

You then export the image to the SpyderCheckr software that comes with the kit and then "save" that shot as the calibration shot. Then, when you relaunch Photoshop (or Lightroom), you'll find that the calibration has been loaded as a preset in your software. The calibrations from that shot can then be applied to the photos of your subject. In essence what you're doing is color correcting and adjusting white balance by giving your editing software a true white, medium gray, color, etc. I've only tried it a few times but it does seem to work very well. I have to get used to using it more though so I can play more with trying to match colors instead of just working with the neutrals (which is primarily what I've been doing). You can, of course, also use the "info" feature in Photoshop to measure the numbers of various colors (middle gray, for example) and compare those numbers to the numbers in your images--and that should teach you a lot about what a medium gray really looks like (in a landscape shot, for example), or what a true black really looks like. (We often think we know what black is in a scene until we measure it and find out that's it's really more of a dark gray, for example.)

Anyway, it's all a learning process and I'm determined to figure out how to get the colors on my monitor to print the way that I see them--and I think that bringing a color checker into that system is a great idea. (By the way, when they say "calibrate your camera" you're not actually adjusting anything in the camera, you're just getting a true color standard so that you can compare your camera's results against known colors.)

The checker itself is beautifully made, I think. It has a nice hard shell case like a little laptop and it fits easily into the back pocket of my shooting vest so I'll carry it all the time. It also has a retractable threaded stud (took me a while to even discover that) so it can be mounted to a stand or a clamp, I gather. I haven't tried that yet.

I think the price is a bit high, but there is a lot of info on the DataColor site that you have access to with this checker and I think if you spend the money to put your color on the right path, it's a very worthwhile investment.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works!! 25 Sep 2013
By pebbles - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've seen several very good reviews and don't have much to add to what everyone has said, except that it's very important for me to have consistent color from camera to print and this product helps with that.
I like the hard case it comes in and that it works with Lightroom or Photoshop. I have been using the Spydr Pro screen calibrater for a couple years now and this is a great addition.
Well done Spydr.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does The Job 22 Sep 2013
By Talvi - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Currently, there are two products on the market that can help you get the best color possible from your camera: X-Rite Passport and Spyder Chekr.

What It Does

The SpyderCheckr can do two things for you: acts as a grey card to help with white balance issues (as with the yellow color cast from shooting indoors) and also creates a profile in your raw editor (e.g., Lightroom or Photoshop's ACR) so that your camera's colors more closely match what was shot. As a grey card, this is rather expensive - you're paying for the software that creates the profile so this is a waste if you don't actually create the profile. I know a lot of photographers buy it because they believe it is a top of the line grey card and that feels like a waste when you consider a good grey card can be had for $10.

Why You Need It

There have been discussions on camera boards for many years over the frustration in variances in colors between cameras and raw converters. Depending on which raw converter you use and which camera you use, your colors can be more vivid, flatter, off-colored, or with a subtle tint (e.g., my Canon 40D tended to make everything a bit magenta). Especially when you go from the the proprietary raw editor like Nikon Capture to Adobe Lightroom, you'll notice that what you saw in the back of your camera when shooting isn't what you get when the image opens in editor. Photographers do all kinds of tricks in Lightroom such as changing the profiles to Camera Neutral or Camera Raw to combat this - when really, they just need a product like the SpyderCheckr or X-Rite Passport to create a profile that reads the raw image data as close to reality as possible. These color checkers aren't as helpful with tonality issues (e.g., I know some Nikon owners who will swear that a black button on a black coat will completely clip in Lightroom but be visible with detail in Capture NX) but at least you can get the color correct.

How It works

These color checkers are easy to use - take a picture of the squares in the chart and bring up the raw image in your converter. Crop in, export to the software provided with the physical color checker, and create a profile from that. Next time you open your raw converter (e.g., Lightroom), your images will be run through the profile to create the most accurate color possible. Note that this works well with global white balance issues but not as helpful with strong localized color casts, as with an orange chin from a bright orange sweater in daylight.

The Actual Card

Both the X-rite and the Spyder have a physical clam-shell protected color chart and white balance squares page(S). The pages on both can be removed and replaced if damaged or aged (light breaks down the purity of the color samples so it is recommended you replace the pages every 1-2 years). The X-rite is bonded to the plastic case whereas the Spyder checker inserts into its page. The Spyder is quite large, making it ideal for studio work and easy to photograph. The X-rite is much smaller and great for on-location photography since it fits into a pocket and isn't as bulky when hung around your neck.

Both cards come with the color squares and then a large grey card and cooler/warmer squares. These can be useful when you shoot portraits (you tend to want to go a bit warmer) or landscapes (you tend to want to go a bit cooler) than neutral. I find the grey card in these to be the most accurate of any I've used (and I've used quite a few grey card brands). Try shooting in a Vancouver forest on a sunny day or the Australian outback and you'll know that you're dead in the water without one).

Comparisons

I feel both the SpyderCheckr and the X-rite are great purchases and both are well done. For me, it's a Canon vs Nikon thing - both do the job well and effectively so you really can't go wrong with either. My personal preference is the X-Rite since the MacBeth system on which it was based was the industry standard for years and because I am an on-location photographer and need the smaller size.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast and easy way to calibrate your camera 30 Sep 2013
By L. Romero - Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Some time ago I learned about calibrating your monitor in order so that (if using a calibrated printer) any edits I did in the computer would look great when printing.
I got a Spyder4 from Datacolor to periodically do this. What I hadn't learned is about camera calibration. In order to reproduce the colors of the subject as accurately as possible your camera needs to be calibrated. You can take pictures of this product using different cameras or camera/lens combinations and they will all show slightly different colors. After calibration, they will all show the same color on screen.
So this product is basically a grid of very precise colors. It comes in a nice case that has female and male adaptors to connect to a tripod. The calibration process is as follows:
- Take a picture of the grid
- Open the picture in your raw editing SW (I use lightroom 4)
- Straighten and crop the picture (4 dots provided on each corner to help you know where to crop)
- Set the white balance by using one of the squares in the grid (E2)
- Make sure that the while color (E1) shows 90% (RGB), if not, increase/decrease the exposure
- Make sure that the black color (E6) shows less than 4% (RGB), if higher, decrease the Blacks

In Lightroom, you then go to "Photo->Edit in->Spydercheckr" (You must have installed it first) and the SW shows you squares that match the center of the edited image. You adjust those to make sure that they are on top of each square in the grid. Now you are pretty much done. You export the settings back to Lightroom. This creates a preset which you can then use to adjust the colors of your pictures. If you want to see the changes, go to the HSL tab and you can see the adjustments done by Spydercheckr.
The whole process takes a couple of minutes and it will save you lots of time by not having to manually do this for all pictures.
The instructions are a little lacking but you can find some good videos on youtube. Overall, this is a great product.
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