Wednesday, April 28, 2010


In the old days of computer digital imaging those big heavy CRT monitors at least matched printers and printer paper in brightness, so no too dark prints. With today’s LCD displays most are now made as cheap as possible for home/office computing and are two to four times as bright as those old CRT monitors, which for most computing is is an advantage, but not for digital photographers who want to color anD brightness match screen and print.

Originally Color Vision with their Spyder products made monitor calibration easy and affordable, and many are using a Spyder sensor and software to calibrate and profile their display to a color matching advantage. But only the top-end software allowed measuring the White Luminance brightness of the screen reproduction, and that function was pretty well hidden except to the most demanding “experts”. Now in Version 4 of the Spyder3 Elite software the screen brightness measurement and readout is easily accessible and there are a group of preset terms available for every computing purpose to easily conform the aim points for calibration and profiling including a dialogue that assists manually adjusting the display controls to reach a particular White Luminance goal.

In addition this new version 4 provides a lot more information on the adjustment, calibration and profiling result, as well as extended evaluations of display performance that can be measured additionally with recorded results. I made a quick trial of this new software, and it works easily and well providing users with everything they can do except buying a high cost display and matching color management system that allows the computer and software to make all of the adjustments directly to the display by a DVI/DDC or USB interface.

Recently I have written about new professional level wide color gamut LCD displays that reproduce over 95% of the Adobe RGB color gamut. Some of you have purchased one of these display, or another, and a few without the proprietary sensor and software, hoping to save money by using their old sensor and its software. Usually if the sensor and software is more than a year or two old it is filtered and configured to respond to the much smaller color gamut of home/office monitor and displays; and using it with a new wide color gamut display can result in a poor or even skewed, inaccurate calibration and profile. I have found the most recent Spyder3 sensor and software will work very effectively with new wide color gamut professional displays and provide accurate calibration and profiling, and the latest Spyder3 sensitometer will also work with other brand software effectively like NEC’s Spectraview 2.

The upgrade cost is very modest, and you can even upgrade from the Pro version to Elite reasonably, so this DataColor upgrade is one that serves users well and is extremely worthwhile.

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