Review

 

Spyder4 Banner-2

A

number of years ago I was first introduced to Spyder2 PRO at the PDN Photoplus Show in New York. The folks at Datacolor gave me one as a gift. I began to use it on my iMac to recalibrate the color on my iMac then and have done so until I upgraded to the new Mac Mountain Lion operating system.  Apparently the new OSX made enough changes that the older software was no longer compatible.

apple-imacNow understand, I had never even realized that on an iMac 24″ Dual Core computer I could even do this, since there are no user controls to adjust the monitor other then the brightness.  So I knew it was time to contact Datacolor, get a newer version the Spyder4 Pro and do a product review.  After all, I had been using the Spyder2 Pro for at least 6 years.

Years ago, I wasn’t even aware that the color display on a computer, especially on an iMac could radically change over time.  Sure we all realize that a CRT Monitor could change as the tube got older, but who would even think that an iMac, an iPad or an iPhone, with with their beautiful color displays, would also change.  For the past 6 years I have calibrated my monitor using my little Spyder 2 and now with the Spyder4 Pro, I can also calibrate my iPad too.

With their new Spyder4 Pro the user can calibrate their monitor in as little as 3 minutes.  When you first use this product you will be amazed when you see the remarkable results of that calibration. At the end of the process you can switch from the calibrated to the non-calibrated view and as you will see in my video, the results are truly amazing.

I decided that for this review I would spend the extra time to do a video of the calibration process.  It is actually quie easy to do, but I think it will save you some time and for those that don’t own a Spyder4 Pro, it will help you make the decision to buy one.  Their website has some nice videos too, so be sure to check them out here.

Now it takes a lot of time to set up and do a video, but I thought that it would be worth the effort because seeing is believing and if a picture is worth a thousand words, well a video must be worth a whole lot more.

So take a moment now to watch the video and then read the remainder of this review to find out more about this must have accessory for your computer.

Spyder4 Pro Display Calibration Demonstration

Who Needs The Spyder4 PRO

Spyder 4The folks at Datacolor explain that any professional, photographer, designer or creative professional must be sure that their work is perfect before it is sent off to a client, printer or published published on the web.  For me it is important for me to make sure that our staff submits impressive images for their articles, videos and their photo showcase and in many cases this is not the case.  At times I have to spend my time explaining the importance of having a calibrated monitor to a member.

Quite often the images our staff will upload for one of their articles is simply not suitable for publication and I will either put it back in the draft mode until the images are corrected or delete it since it won’t demonstrate the high standards we adhere to on this site.  Our staff members must understand why their images are being rejected and why they may not be acceptable for our publication.  We have many articles to help them achieve the best results both in our Member Support Blog and on this site.

You can see that all monitors are not created equal or simply not calibrated properly by looking at some of the displays in a computer store.  Different monitors clearly show different color displays of the same images.  With the Spyder4 PRO your monitor will be calibrated properly.

They even offer free Datacolor Spyder color app SpyderGALLERY that will enable you to calibrate your iPhone or iPad.

Spyder Gallery

Just download the free app from the iTunes iOS App Store® and follow the simple instructions to download SpyderGALLERY™ to your device.

Datacolor offers a host of calibration devices and have made three versions of the Spyder4. You can purchase the Elite, the Pro and the Express, depending on your needs and budget. There is a Spyder4 for everyone.

You can get more information and view their comparison chart there as well.

The Spyder4 now has a new sensor for improved color calibration and their new 7 color sensor is now the new industry leader, since most other calibration devices are 3 color sensors.  Each sensor is double shielded for longer life and each one is individually calibrated at the factory before shipment.

The Spyder4 Pro as you have seen also measures the ambient light hitting your monitor and calibrates for the light you are comfortable working in.  I prefer a dark room when I am doing critical work, thus eliminating any possibility for color inaccuracy.

The Datacolor Website

I hate to do a review and repeat all the information that is already on the products website, so I will keep this one short.  Visit the Datacolor website today.  Read the specs, information on the Spyder4 line and see their other calibration products available for your camera, printer and other devices.

Spyder4 on iPad

Calibrating an iPad

Trust me when I say, this is one device you will use on a regular basis and it will improve the quality of your work and bring it back up to a professional level.  Lets not forget the wonderful color you can also obtain on your iPhone and iPad too.  I use my iPad to show people what we do at IPA and IMPress and having a properly calibrated iPad, helps me in my presentations to companies and individuals.  Get one today, I can assure you, you will not only see the difference it makes, but your clients will too.

Buy one now on Amazon.com • Free Shipping and in most states Zero Sales Tax • Help Support IPA by using the links to Amazon below:

Spyder4Pro • $169  – As Reviewed Here
 Spyder4 Express • $99.99
Spyder4Elite S4EL100 • $249.00

Sign up at the Datacolor Blog for their exclusive mailings and visit their Webinars and Events section too.

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About the Author

Len Rapoport
Len Rapoport
IPA Editor-In-Chief, ID: 1000 • I am an internationally published photographer and the founder of International Press Association. As president and editor-in-chief, my duties at IPA are extensive. For over 40 years I have written articles, had my photos published in millions of publications, record album covers, books, and in the digital media. I was senior marketing and sales executive for major corporations, including my own and as a corporate communications consultant. I have taught photography and formed IPA 20 years ago. I currently work from my home office and continue to actively cover media events in addition to all of my other IPA and IMPress responsibilities.