By Jon Canfield
Published Feb. 7, 2012

Introduction

The Spyder4Elite is the top of the range colour calibration device from Datacolor. Priced at $249, the Spyder4Elite can be used to calibrate monitors, laptops, projectors, TVs, iPads and even iPhones and it offers the highest level of user customisation out of the three available models. Developed for professional photographers, videographers and others who must match colors precisely, Spyder4 delivers an average of 26% more accuracy and improved low-luminance performance over the previous Spyder3 technology.

Ease of Use
One of the most overlooked elements to creating a quality digital image is color accuracy. Yes, you can tweak the image until the sky is that perfect hue of blue, or the skin tones have just the right amount of warmth and vibrancy. When it’s all done, the image is posted online or printed and suddenly it looks like you did all the image correction in the dark. The image is too dark, skin tones are too red, any number of problems. Where did it all go wrong?

In almost all cases, it’s a lack of having a calibrated display that is causing the issues. Back when CRT displays were the common screen type, color could be wildly different and it was usually pretty easy to detect when the display was at fault. With modern LCD displays, that isn’t necessarily the case though – color is often close to correct in hue, but luminance, or brightness, is a common issue. Most LCD displays are very bright when used at the default out-of-the-box settings. Everybody like a vibrant and bright display, it catches the eye, but as photographers, we need to be more interested in what is accurate, not some artificial ideal of color. Particularly if you print your own images, having a realistic brightness on screen will save a great deal of work, ink, paper, and hair from being pulled out.

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