About.com Photography Guide: Review of Datacolor’s Spyder4 Express Color Calibration System
By Dann Adams
Published May 17, 2012
The Spyder4 Express by Datacolor is the entry level product in the Spyder color calibration line. Results are not what a professional photographer would need and professional photographers would be better off moving up to one of the higher end offerings in the Spyder line. However, for photography enthusiasts looking to have consistent color, the Spyder4 Express is certainly worth considering for the price.
Why Color Calibration?
I use a dual-monitor setup on my desktop and was editing some photos in Photoshop when I nonchalantly grabbed one of the images and slid it over to a different monitor to set it aside while working on something else. When I did, something caught my eye: The colors on the other monitor seemed muted and washed out. I’m sure I’d moved images over to that monitor on numerous occasions and why this particular time made me take notice is still a mystery. But, as I sat there for about five minutes sliding the image back and forth between the two monitors I had an “Aha!” moment: how can you accurately edit your pictures if your monitor isn’t calibrated at least to some extent? The answer: you really can’t. It’s almost like trying to edit while wearing rose-colored glasses. It’s similar to using the eyedropper tool in ightroom to set the white balance. If you don’t choose a neutral target, the software will overcompensate accordingly. Choose an area that’s too “cool” and you’re going to wind up with an image that’s too “warm” and vice-versa.