The original Spyder Checkr was a colour reference tool for professionals, and Datacolor has created a new product called Spyder Checkr Photo which is a scaled-down version of the original Spyder Checkr. Nevertheless, in comparison to the older, more compact model known as the Spyder Checkr 24, the brand-new Spyder Checkr Photo represents a major technological development.
This new product has many more capabilities that are comparable to Datacolor’s first professional reference tool. It is comprised of a plastic case about the size of a cellphone that has a hinge and contains two colour reference cards with a total of 48 squares and two grey scale reference cards with another 14 squares. This brand-new gadget can be purchased for $99, and in order to make it more portable, it has been drastically reduced. I believe that the product’s more manageable size, in conjunction with its more fair price point, will make it far more desirable to photographers.
That Existing Aspect Of It
The primary objective of any colour reference tool is to ensure colour accuracy across multiple cameras, lenses, or even lighting, while also streamlining the production workflow by reducing the amount of editing that needs to be done. This is accomplished by minimising the amount of light that needs to be reflected off of the subject matter. The effects of using various cameras, lenses, or lighting setups can be compared to one another to accomplish this goal.
Datacolor’s commitment to colour accuracy was key in every aspect of Spyder Checkr Photo’s development, from the selection of premium paper that conforms to ISO 9706 standards, meeting exacting requirements for age-resistance, to high-quality inks that offer long-lasting colour integrity.
The commitment to colour accuracy that Datacolor has shown throughout the development of Spyder Checkr Photo has been essential in every aspect of the creation of the product, from the selection of premium paper that complies with ISO 9706 standards and meets stringent requirements for age-resistance to the utilisation of high-quality inks that provide colour integrity for an extended period of time.
What Each and Every One of These Entails
- The official photo case for the Spyder Checkr.
- There are four cards that may be swapped out, and each card has 62 unique colour targets.
- The hyperlink to download the software as well as the registration key
- Attachable lanyard
The two colour cards consist of a right card that holds the usual 24 colours, all of which are included within the sRGB colour gamut, and a left card that has a variety of special use colours. All of the colours on the right card are contained within the sRGB colour gamut. Both of these cards are included inside the sRGB colour space. This left card has six colours, all of which have a medium saturation, and they are represented by the letters RGB CMY.
By utilising three tones that are somewhat close to white and three that are relatively close to black, one may improve the accuracy of tint and tone correction across a wider dynamic range. Additionally, six additional skin tones have been included, increasing the total amount of skin tones that are included on both cards to eight. When shooting people at events or for portraits, this is highly useful information to have.
In addition, as is seen in the illustration to the right, each card consists of six grayscale squares, all of which are distinguished from one another by varying degrees. On the other hand, the card on the left has a square that is 5% grey and five squares that are aligned off the right card in a zigzag pattern. The standard colour card on the right moves from card white to card black in a 20% step.
One of the two grayscale cards has a huge swatch that is almost full size that is 50% grayscale. This swatch contains six squares that move from white to black in 20% increments. The other card has a wide swatch of 18% grayscale with the same six squares, but this time they progress from black to white in 20% increments. This swatch is shown on the opposite card.
The lifetime of each of the four cards is ensured by the fact that the printed paper on each of the cards is shielded from damage by being sandwiched between two materials that are more solid. It will not only be simple to replace any cards that may become damaged due to the ease with which they can be removed from the case, but it will also be simple to switch to any alternative cards that may become available at a later date. This is because they can be removed from the case with relative simplicity.
It would appear that Datacolor is contemplating the creation of other card sets for purposes such as video-specific applications, despite the fact that they have not made any formal announcement about this matter. It is likely that the majority of photographers will not always want all four cards; hence, it would be good to be able to organise the second set of cards in line with their own requirements.
Because many photographers now shoot both still photos and video, the possibility of acquiring additional memory cards to extend the camera’s versatility will be appealing to a much larger audience, including myself. This is because many photographers now shoot both still photographs and videos. Therefore, I beg of you, Datacolor, to make this a reality in some capacity.
The actual plastic case has a bi-fold shape and is about the same size as a standard index card. It can hold around the same amount of items. It unfolds into the shape of a book when you press a button on the side of the case. When it is opened up in its shipping form, the two colour cards are visible when it is opened to the left, and the two grayscale cards are visible when it is opened to the right. Both sets of cards are visible when it is opened up in their delivered form.
Because of the hinge’s capacity to open and close without encountering any resistance, a variety of postures may be held for an extended period of time. The application of this makes sense; nonetheless, it has a dreadful feel and a sound that is virtually akin to the cracking sound that plastic produces. Everything is going to be OK once you come to the realisation that it is not going to break. It is likely that with further usage, it may become less brittle; but, in general, I wish it was smoother.
In summary, it appears to be well constructed and sturdy enough to endure a long time. There is no reason to be afraid about carrying it in a pocket or occasionally losing it while you are using it because neither scenario is likely to occur. It does come with a lanyard that you can use to help prevent drops like that. You may utilise this to your advantage. It is much more likely that amateur photographers will be able to keep it in their bag due to the fact that it is more compact, and they will be able to utilise it as necessary when they are out working on a project because of this.
The bi-fold design, in addition to making it more portable, helps to keep the cards safe and clean, both of which are vital for accurate colour reproduction. The design also makes it more portable. When you first open the package, the very first thing you notice is a card that warns you not to touch the printed squares so that your fingerprints do not be left behind on them. They probably need to put a label on the back of it so that I don’t have to remind helpers or models of the information when I present it to them.
The Methods for Utilizing It
To take a photo of the reference chart, just place it in the right location inside the frame, and then press the shutter button. Datacolor recommends not totally filling the frame in order to make advantage of the focal point of the lens. Instead, they recommend cropping in after the fact in order to get the desired effect. They also remind you to keep the camera parallel with the chart; nevertheless, even if you are slightly wrong, it is not difficult to remedy the issue in post-production. They also remind you to keep the camera parallel to the chart.
When it becomes released, the Checkr application will be compatible with Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw, and Hasselblad Phocus. [Click to see compatible software] According to Datacolor, each programme for editing utilises its own one-of-a-kind collection of profiles and presets, which have to be developed in partnership with the company that makes the software. As a result, I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is a sign that they are either contemplating or working on the idea of releasing additional choices that are comparable to Capture One in the future.
When it comes time to calibrate, you have a few different options open to you, and the specifics of those options change depending on the software that you are using. The answer to this question will largely be determined by your own personal workflow as well as the manner in which you believe this method ought to be integrated into that workflow. If you are using Photoshop or ACR, you will need to manually activate the Checkr software. However, if you are using Lightroom, the Checkr application may be launched simply from within Lightroom.
After opening the image in your editing software or importing it, you will need to rotate it and crop it before continuing. By doing so, the Spyder Checkr will be centred within the frame, and it will also ensure that the frame is completely covered by it. You will need to use the eyedropper tool to get a sample from one of the squares that range from light to medium grey so that you can obtain a measurement of the white balance. To restate, the square that is 20% grey and is located below the square that is card white is the one that Datacolor recommends choosing as a starting point.
Next, you are going to make some adjustments to the exposure settings for the entire image. Adjust the black slider in Lightroom until the card black square displays a reading of around 4%, and then set the exposure slider in Lightroom such that the card white square displays a reading of approximately 90%. If you are using ACR, the process is essentially the same; however, in order to obtain the desired effect, you will need to modify the white value so that it is around RGB 230, 230, 230, and the black value so that it is approximately RGB 10, 10, and 10, respectively.
“using the “Edit In” option, followed by “Spyder Checkr Editing,” Right-clicking, selecting “Edit In,” and then selecting “Spyder Checkr Editing” is the method that I prefer the most. You can then open the Checkr programme from within Lightroom by navigating to the “Edit Menu,” selecting “Checkr,” and clicking “Launch.” Before making any changes to the picture, check to see that the “Edit a Copy with Lightroom Presets” option is checked. This will enable the creation of a TIFF file that contains the updated version of the image.
After saving the file to your computer as a 16-bit TIFF file, manually start the Checkr application and then open the file that you have just recently saved to your computer. If you are working in Photoshop or ACR, this step is unnecessary.
As soon as the image is loaded into the Checkr application, a matching set of smaller colour squares will be placed above the image. These squares will be of the same colour as the image. It is necessary for you to align the smaller squares in such a way that they coincide with your photo and are roughly centred on each of the larger ones. To do this, drag the four corners or one of the sides of the smaller squares.
Your choices for rendering modes are as follows: Colorimetric, Saturation, and Portrait. These options may be found in the pull-down menu that runs down the left side of the screen. According to Datacolor, the Colorimetric reproduction method is the most exact way to utilise when it is most necessary to get the colours absolutely right.
Saturation is tweaked ever-so-slightly to get a more dramatic effect in general photography and landscape photography. When utilising the Portrait mode, the saturation is dialled back, which makes the appearance of skin tones appear more natural.
The very last thing you need to do is either save the calibration for Lightroom, ACR, or Phocus and click the box that says “Save Calibration.” After the computer has finished its calculations, it will generate a new preset for you, which you will then have the opportunity to name.
The Checkr programme creates a one-of-a-kind HSL profile before making any adjustments or corrections to the colours. To use this brand new preset in Lightroom, simply go to the develop panel’s preset panel, click “New Preset,” and then select “Import Preset” from the drop-down option that appears. This will let you to use the brand new preset.
You may also close Lightroom, and when you restart it, any new presets that it discovers in the folder labelled “User Preset” will be instantly imported into Lightroom. You also have the choice of pressing the Delete key located on your keyboard. This method might be handy for you if you create a bunch of new presets and want to avoid having to import each one of them one at a time.
It is to your advantage to make modifications to the colours in your image using the HSL panel since this gives you the most level of control over the colours that are present in your image. The fact that the colour alterations may be made in this panel is one of the many reasons why this feature is fantastic. Altering the colours even further is something that I do frequently when I have a single photograph that has a range of different lighting situations, and you can do the same thing by simply making adjustments to the presets to suit your own preferences, or you can change the colours in an entirely different way.
Who Is Affected By This Statement?
It is not required for every photographer to have a colour reference tool, and I am certain that many photographers have gone through their whole careers without ever needing to use one. The fact that colour fidelity is a high concern for a considerable number of other photographers and is essential to the work that they perform is not affected by this, since this, of course, does not change the reality of the situation.
Photographers who specialise in food and product photography, in addition to the vast majority of photographers who work in advertising, are typically entrusted with the goal of creating colour reproduction that is pretty close to perfect. On a number of commercial projects that I have worked on, I have been provided with specific colour pantones that a product needs to match in order for it to be consistent with an advertising campaign or with the branding of a client. In order for the product to be well received by the customer, it is essential that this be done.
Having said that, I am of the opinion that a lot more photographers may gain something from utilising a device like the Spyder Checkr after they have learnt the process and discovered a good way to include it into their workflow.
By developing camera profiles or lens profiles, it is feasible to reduce the amount of colour correction that is required for bigger images. Even picture sessions and events are not exempt from this rule. When I am photographing events, I typically use one since it makes the process of editing images shot under a range of lighting circumstances far simpler in the post-production stage.
It is not enough to just white balance a picture if you want to get the most out of the colours that are in it; you need to take further measures in order to do this. If that is all you are doing, then you are probably missing out on quite a bit of the colour richness that is there in those images. If that is all you are doing, then that is all you are missing out on. A colour reference card will provide you with values of colours that are accurate and true, regardless of the person who is using the card.
We do not all have the same perception of colour, and each of us has a natural predisposition for colours that are either warmer or cooler, depending on the temperature of the light source. My first career in the photography profession was as a post-production artist for major photographers in the Boston area. I worked for companies located in and around the city. I had only recently begun my career at that point.
I quickly learned that some of my clients wanted their updates to have a warmer tone, while others wanted them to have a cooler tone. This was something that I had not anticipated finding out about my clients’ preferences. If I had amended everything according to my own tastes, which have changed during the course of my career, then not all of my clients would have been delighted with the final product.
You will be able to correct any tints or colour discrepancies that may have been created by a sensor, lens, or any lighting scenario by using a colour reference tool, which will give you the most accurate colour foundation to begin from and offer you with the most accurate colour basis to begin from. After that, you will have the ability to make any other changes that you consider to be essential in order to realise your personal photographic vision or style.
What I Like
- Reduced proportions as well as an altered, more compact layout
- What I Didn’t Like
- Unbending hinge
- Insufficient alternative cards available at launch