Spyder3Elite; A Top-Of-The-Line Monitor Calibration Setup Page 2

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 years ago.

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: jon@joncanfield.com.