If you already have a profile created and in use, the next time you launch
Spyder3Elite you'll be asked if you want to recalibrate or just check
the current calibration (#7). Doing a CheckCAL reduces the time required to
profile to under 3 minutes and gives you a report on whether a full recalibration
is needed (#8), at which point you'd run ReCAL.
I compared the results from the Spyder3Elite to the profile I created with
X-Rite's i1Display 2 and Eye-One Match software. Both tools produced excellent
profiles with slight differences. I found that Eye-One Match gave me warmer
tones and a slightly brighter display than the Spyder3 did, while the Spyder3
gave more neutral grays and slightly better shadow detail. The differences are
too slight to see reproduced here, but they are visible. Using ColorThink Pro
to examine both profiles, the Spyder3 produced a profile with a larger gamut
volume (1,029,370 compared to 841,866 for Eye-One Match) on my 30" Apple
Cinema Display. The chart in Image 9 shows the differences, with the Spyder3
color space shown in red and the
Eye-One in white. Again, the differences on screen are slight and either would
be considered an excellent profile for photo-editing work.
Although I didn't test it for this review, the software supports profiling
of digital projectors as well by placing the device in the included stand.
Finally, the software gives you a wealth of information through different reports
available in the Tools menu (#10). Not shown here, but also supported, is reading
of spot screen colors.
The new $279 Spyder3Elite is a very nice upgrade from the previous version.
With greater accuracy and reduced profiling times, even users of the Spyder2
should consider upgrading to the latest hardware. If you're already using
the X-Rite i1Display 2, I don't see a reason to run out and replace your
existing hardware. If you're just getting started with color management,
this is an outstanding option that will serve you well for years. When combined
with Datacolor's Spectrocolorimeter package, you have a full setup for
both monitor and printer profiling at a fraction of what this setup would have
cost even two
The Spyder3 is also available in a Pro configuration for $169. The Pro uses
the same hardware device but limits the software options and removes the ability
to profile projectors.
For more information, contact Digital Color Solutions, 5 Princess Rd., Lawrenceville,
NJ 08648; (800) 554-8688; www.datacolor.com.
Jon Canfield is the author of several books on digital imaging and printing.
A popular instructor at BetterPhoto.com, Canfield also teaches workshops for
the Panasonic Digital Photo Academy (www.digitalphotoacademy.com).
You can reach Canfield via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.