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It’s Time to Calibrate Your Monitors [Tech Tuesday]

August 11, 2015

By RF Staff

Calibrating your monitors may be as dull as getting the oil changed in your car, but it's equally as necessary. We spend hours staring at computer screens, analyzing, retouching and tweaking images to perfection, but none of that matters if that monitor doesn't reflect accurate colors. And with the advent of 4K/5K monitors, it's especially critical to ensure color accuracy.

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Fortunately, there's an easy solution: Datacolor's Spyder5, the latest generation of the company's excellent colorimeter and software bundle. It's available in three versions: Express ($129), PRO ($189) and Elite ($279).

Of the three, the Elite is the most sophisticated with unlimited calibration settings, including user-defined settings and options for videography. It's got advanced gray balance algorithms, the ability to import your own images and view them full screen for before and after evaluation, adjustments for five ambient light settings and the ability to analyze the screen for uniformity across the entire surface. Like the other two models, the Spyder5 Elite is capable of calibrating laptop and desktop monitors as well as front projectors, and it has a studio match assistant for multiple monitors.

If the $279 Elite model is a little heavy for your budget or your needs, check out the PRO version. While it offers some of the same benefits of the Elite—calibration settings, before/after calibration evaluation, room light monitoring and display analysis—those options are limited. For example, you get 16 choices of calibration settings, no video options, three ambient light settings and basic display analysis.

For a complete comparison of the three models, go here.