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Spyder2PRO monitor calibrationFeature Update
- The Spyder 2 Pro - V2.2

ColorVision updates the Spyder2 Pro software

The Spyder2 Pro gives good results profiling CRT Monitors and LCDs.

It does a good job with laptops as well, and with ColorVision's latest update to the software, it adds ambient light measurement, and can now run on Microsoft Vista as well.

This is one of our short 'Feature Update' articles, where we've found a new feature in a package we've reviewed before, that we feel worth mentioning.

Spyder 2 Pro - V2.2

This feature update covers the new functionality only - there are more detailed reviews of the Spyder 2 Pro and Spyder2express elsewhere on the site.

Just in case you are wondering just what this 'Colour management' stuff is, I've a very short guide to colour management page that might be of help

The profiling functionality is covered in our original Spyder2Pro review and the update(V2) that covers projector calibration. In this short article, Keith gives a quick overview of just some new features.

2012 - We now have full reviews of the latest Spyder4Elite and Spyder4Express.
2008 - Full reviews of the Spyder3 Pro and Spyder3 Elite.

What has changed?

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.

enable ambient measurements for screen profiling and calibration

Activating ambient light checking

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.

ambient light level results and suggestions for monitor profiling

Low ambient light levels

In this instance I happened to have most of my room lighting switched off.

Buying the Spyder4 Elite

We make a specific point of not selling hardware, but if you found the review of help please consider buying the Spyder, or any other items at all, via our links with Amazon or B&H
Amazon UK link / Amazon Fr / Amazon De
Amazon USA link / Amazon Canada link

It won't cost any more (nor less we're afraid) but will contribute towards the running costs of our site.

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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Info

As of Autumn 2009...

Spyder products feature comparisons

Information from Datacolor:

Spyder3 V3 vs V4 software features (May 2010) - S3Elite V4 review

review of spyder 3 pro S3E info Review of Spyder 3 Elite V4.0
Gamma choices 1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2,4 Unlimited Unlimited
Colour temp. 5000K, 5800K,
6500K, Native
Unlimited Unlimited
Ambient light measurement X X X
Multiple display calibration X X X
ReCAL - Recalibration assistant X X X
StudioMatch, multiple display targeting X X
Front projector calibration X X
Expert console X X
Software-based brightness control X
Luminance adj. automated for Mac X
Iterative grey balance option X
Compare & chart display gamuts X
Maps display evenness X
Graph & compare display's tone response X
Charts white luminance & contrast X
Compare various monitor (OSD) settings X

Product features (late 2009)

   Review of Spyder2 express Spyder 3 Express review  Spyder3 pro review  Spyder 3 Elite review  Spyder 3 print review
Target User Home user & digital imaging enthusiast Home user & digital imaging enthusiast Serious & professional photographers Professional photographers, photography
studios and professional users of all kinds
Photographers, fine art printers, production professionals
Measurement Device Datacolor Spyder2 Datacolor Spyder3 Datacolor Spyder3 Datacolor Spyder3 Datacolor 1005 Spectrocolorimeter
Gamma Choices Fixed (2.2) Fixed (2.2) 4 choices: 1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2.4
(16 target combinations)
Unlimited choices, user defined Unlimited choices, user defined
Colour Temperature Choices Fixed (6500K) 2 Choices 6500K/Native 4 choices: 5000K/5800K/ 6500K /native
(16 target combinations)
Unlimited choices, user defined Unlimited choices, user defined
Custom Targets     Yes, unique custom choices
(NTSC, PAL/ SECAM, Cineon, L-Star)
Yes, 3 levels of colour targets, plus extended gray targets
Embedded Ambient Light Sensor/Desktop Cradle   X X Desktop cradle /calibration tile
Aperture Size 14.5mm diameter 27mm diameter 27mm diameter 27mm diameter 7mm diameter
Ambient Light Measure   X X N/A
ReCAL, Recalibration Assistant   X X N/A
Expert Console     X X
Custom B/W Luminance Control     X X
Display History Utility     X N/A
SpyderProof Interface   X X X
Multiple Display Calibration   X X N/A
Studio Match     X N/A
Front Projector Calibration     X N/A
Gamma Curve Editing     X X
CheckCAL, Calibration and Profile Check   X X X N/A
L-Star* Workflow Option     X X
Custom Curves Capability     X X
PreciseLight Functions     X X
Hi-Bit Profiling Option       X
Precision Gray Axis Algorithm   X X X X
The views in this article represent those of Keith Cooper.
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