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SpyderCheckr by DataColor Review

SpyderCheckr by DataColor Review - John Riley reviews the new SpyderCheckr Calibration Device by DataColor.

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Datacolor SpyderCheckr in Exposure and Light Meters

SpyderCheckr is a convenient and compact package that opens like a book


This new device and associated software offers custom profiles for our cameras, thus further improving our control of the end result. We shall look at how easy or difficult the process is, whether or not it improves our RAW workflow and, most importantly, does it offer improved end results?

When opened the charts can be photographed by the camera to be calibrated


SpyderCheckr is presented as a handy 230mm x 168mm package that opens out like a book to present a full range colour chart. The charts are reversible and also offer grey and white cards, plus step wedges. In the bottom left corner is a small square marked as FadeCheckr and this can be compared with a similar shielded square so that any fading of the charts can be detected. Eventually, the charts can be replaced to maintain the correct colour values.

At the bottom of the “spine” is a standard tripod thread and at the top is an extendible reverse tripod thread, thus increasing the options for using the device.

The reverse of the chart is shown and this also enables charts to be replaced if fading eventually occurs.

The size of SpyderCheckr is very convenient and unobtrusive and the quality of the device is excellent. A software CD is also provided and the first step is to load this onto the computer. This is straightforward and there are no problems with Windows 7, the program loading into Program Files(x86) without any glitches.


The instructions are quite brief but help is at hand on the Internet and demo videos are to be found by following the link provided in ePHOTOzine's Press Release.

Original - the uncorrected image of the chart Corrected - the corrected version of the chart

Basically, a picture of the SpyderCheckr is taken and opened in a RAW converter. This can be adjusted as required and saved as a preset. This preset is exported into the SpyderCheckr software to create a special profile for the camera in question. Various options of profile can be chosen, for example for portraiture or for more general shooting as required. These profiles are named and appear in ACR or Lightroom depending upon the photographer's choice of program.

This process is actually quite simple and once done can be accessed from within the RAW converter as an integrated and seamless operation. Now when a RAW file is opened, the preset is simply selected and the correction is immediately applied to the image. Given that cameras produce different colours from make to make and model to model this can standardise a number of different camera bodies.

Default - The ACR default settings deliver excellent results Corrected - SpyderCheckr improves the accuracy of results even further, although the difference is subtle

All this would be in vain if there was no advantage, so it is good to report that there is a definite improvement when using SpyderCheckr and comparing it to the same image using ACR defaults.


Photographers need to be aware that the effect of SpyderCheckr, although easily observable, is quite subtle and the difference may well not be critical for many purposes. However, for those photographers who need maximum colour accuracy the SpyderCheckr is a useful tool that offers improvements in a convenient and easy to apply package. Highly Recommended.

ePHOTOzine Highly Recommended


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