Who can resist a bargain? If you’re looking for a set of tools to ensure color consistency from shoot-to-print and in between, check out Datacolor‘s just-released Spyder5STUDIO, which bundles several products together. It’ll cost you $500, but that’s $180 less than if you purchased each of the components separately. Plus, you get a 20 percent discount on an Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan subscription. Hey, every little bit helps, right?
Bundled in the Spyder5STUDIO kit is the Spyder5ELITE ($279) color-calibration tool for monitors. The Elite, which I wrote about in August when it first came out, is the most sophisticated of the three monitor calibration options, with advanced controls such as multiple-monitor matching, room-light monitoring and more.
Also included is the SpyderCUBE ($54), a nifty little device to shoot as part of a reference photo for each lighting setup. The reference image is then used in post-processing to quickly and easily set white balance, exposure, black levels and highlights.
Each surface of this durable cube represents a different parameter, so once you’re in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom, just use the eyedropper to click on the appropriate spot on the cube in the reference photo (e.g., white surface for white balance) and apply those adjustment settings to a collection of images. It’s an efficient method of ensuring that settings are accurate and consistent across images.
The third component is SpyderPRINT ($349), a software and spectrocolorimeter combo designed to create ICC profiles and to ensure color consistency for your printed output. Once the software is installed, you print out one of the supplied targets and use the spectrocolorimeter to analyze and create a profile. Although most paper manufacturers provide ICC profiles, you’ll get more accurate results building your own.
Spyder5STUDIO comes with the SpyderCUBE and its protective pouch, the Spyder5ELITE colorimeter, the SpyderPRINT spectrocolorimeter with its base, a USB, the SpyderGuide and a cleaning cloth. You’ll also find a software download link and serial number, all contained in a metal case for storage.