We’ve always had a bit of an issue when reviewing monitors here at TechNuovo, and that’s colour calibration. A quick Google on how the pros calibrate their monitors, and you’ll find lists of extremely expensive equipment and measurment tools.
Unfortunately, TechNuovo doesn’t have that kind of budget, and we love to focus on a more consumer market rather than those after specialist information. But, it would be nice to include some facts and figures in our reviews too.
This is where Datacolor comes in, because it doesn’t need to be such an expensive venture that we expected. They reached out to us regarding their new SpyderX Pro, and the upgraded SpyderX Elite software.
The Datacolor Spyder Pro is a small monitor calibration tool, or colorometer as they’re professionally called, that’s no bigger than my hand, and houses a camera inside to measure various aspects of your monitor like brightness, contrast, colour accuracy and more which you can see below.
Installation is extremely simple. All it requires is a software install from Datacolor, in which a serial code is provided in the box and a free USB port on your desktop or laptop. The camera is housed inside a cap, which once dangled over the back of your monitor acts as a counterweight to keep the camera in place. The software will tell you where to place your camera on the monitor.
Once you fire up the software, to start the calibration process you need to enter the peak brightness of your monitor and also backlight technology. From here, you can select a step-by-step guide, or opt for more expert settings. I went for step-by-step, as I am relatively new to colour calibration tools.
Once your settings have been set, which included a gamma brightness and a white balance, both of which I stuck with the 2.2 and 6500k defaults, the calibration software went to work, firing off several hues of red, blue, green, white, grey, yellow and purple colours. At the end, Datacolor give you a few different examples of before and after calibration images including food, portait and landscape photography. I was very happy with my result. and the whole process took around two minutes.
I tested the SpyderX Pro with a number of monitors, ranging from the BenQ EL2870U, an MSI MAG321CURV and most recently, our AOC CU34G2U and 24G2U. Each monitor went through the same calibration process, and each monitor was then saved as a profile inside of the software that I could choose.
Sure, the Datacolor Spyder Pro isn’t a professional tool, and I’m sure the top Hollywood editing studios will have far more in-depth tools to use to test their monitors, much like the top dogs of the review world. But for any hobbyist photographers or videographers, or those like us with a review blog and YouTube channel will be pleased with their results. The best part is it only comes in at around £159, which is a pretty decent price if you’re wanting to look at a more colour accurate monitor. For more information, head over to the Datacolor website.