The newly released SpyderX Pro and SpyderX Elite from Datacolor makes monitor calibration faster and more streamlined. The Pro and Elite versions both support multiple monitors and adjusts for room light changes. The calibration is a simple one-click process after you've gone through a few wizard-type questions in the interface, such as, What type of monitor you have? and, What adjustments are available to you on your monitor?
What makes this process so easy are the straightforward, simple text guides that pop up as you go through each step. For instance, the monitor type question is accompanied by explanations of which type of display technology was used in ranges of years and display models. I tested the SpyderX Elite on three Apple displays ranging in manufacture date from late 2009 (Standard LED) to 2017 (Wide LED).
To prepare for calibration, you’ll take a few steps, the most significant of which is to warm up your monitor and do what you can to create the best lighting conditions. The wizard walks you through these steps as well, prompting you to check the tasks off before proceeding.
Once that step is completed and your SpyderX sensor is plugged into a USB port (direct port preferred to a hub, though it seemed to work fine with my Landing Zone dock for MacBook Pro) you can begin the calibration, which only takes a couple minutes.
The SpyderX interface will ask you to save the calibration and show you a comparison between you monitor with no calibration (which is not the same as factory calibration) and the calibration just completed. With the Elite version you can also see reports on how your monitor compares to color spaces such as sRGB, Adobe 1998, and P3.
The SpyderX Elite offers several functions and options that the Pro does not, such as projector calibration; soft proofs for various printers; SpyderTune to adjust white point, gamma, and brightness; and calibration matching for multiple studio displays.
Datacolor touts the SpyderX as its best ever and the first to offer a lens-based color engine. With the SpyderX Pro priced at $169.99 and the Elite at $269.99 it’s an affordable investment in color accuracy.
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Joan Sherwood is the senior editor of Professional Photographer.