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|2012 - We now have full reviews of the latest Spyder4Elite and Spyder4Express.
2008 - Full reviews of the Spyder3 Pro and Spyder3 Elite.
The latest release of the Spyder 2 Pro software (download here) now supports vista and includes functionality to allow you to measure ambient light levels before profiling.
Note that this is not the same as the huey continuous measurement option (not a feature I'd personally ever want activated on any system I'm using).
Although most people would stick to a particular setting for their profiling (I use 6500/2.2 for my main monitor and native/2.2 for my laptop), the particular settings that are best may well depend on ambient light levels.
Our colour vision changes at different light levels, and you can allow for this by choosing a lower temperature white point in dimmer conditions.
When you are calibrating, you can choose to activate this feature.
The sensor (with LCD filter attached) is just positioned sensor upwards to detect the room lighting level
After a quick check, the program offers you its choice for calibration options.
In this instance I happened to have most of my room lighting switched off.
Buying the Spyder4 Elite
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If you are not sure about this feature then do make use of the useful help facilities. ColorVision are to be commended for including a lot of background material in their help files ... Their on-line 'help' is something I think other manufacturers would do well to consider.
- The Amazon links, to the right, go to the latest Spyder4Elite calibrator, which is the current eqivalent for the Spyder2Pro
For example, this information covers the choice of settings (text from ColorVision)
- Very Low: appropriate for prepress image editing. Calibrate the display to a White Luminance level of 85-100 cd/m^2* and a White Point of 5000K (warm white) to compensate for the eye’s cooler response at low light levels. LCD monitors (including laptops) can be used in this situation as well as CRT displays.
- Moderately Low: dim, but appropriate for photo image editing. Calibrate the display to a White Luminance level of 125-150 cd/m^2 and a White Point of 5800K (slightly warm white) to compensate for the eye’s slightly cooler response at moderately low light levels. LCD monitors (including laptops) can be used in this situation as well as very bright CRT displays.
- Medium: appropriate for typical photo editing. Calibrate the display to a White Luminance level of 175-200 cd/m^2 and a White Point of 6500K (medium white) to compensate for the eye’s moderate colour response at medium light levels. Only LCD monitors (including laptops) can be used in this situation.
- High: uncontrolled, not recommended for colour critical work. Lower the ambient light if possible, otherwise use a monitor hood and calibrate the display to the maximum White Luminance it can produce and a White Point of 6500K or higher.
- Very High: uncontrolled, not recommended for any colour managed work. If you must work in these conditions use a monitor hood, umbrella or photographer’s cloak and calibrate the display to the maximum White Luminance it can produce and a White Point of 6500K or higher.
I tend to work in what would be described as moderately dim, but with 6500. Do remember that the visual system is extremely adaptable, and if you are particularly worried about getting conditions right then you should
also give quite a bit of attention to your room decoration, and in particular your print viewing conditions.
Useful functionality, although to get the best from such features you need to consider your whole working environment.
More InfoAs of Autumn 2009...
Spyder products feature comparisons
Information from Datacolor:
Spyder3 V3 vs V4 software features (May 2010) - S3Elite V4 review
Product features (late 2009)
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