Buyer's Guide 2008: Color Calibration
Use these tools to ensure consistent color from import to output
Calibrating your monitor may not sound exciting, but the results can be. Without a properly calibrated monitor, photo edits won't be accurate, and what you see on your screen isn't what the prints will look like. So you'll have to make some tweaks and print again...and again. That's a big waste of time and money—ink and paper aren't cheap. Proper calibration is even more critical if you're sending your image to a lab for enlargements; you don't have hands-on control, so accurate color is essential.
The only practical solution is to use a color calibrator. Calibrators ensure that your monitor is a color-neutral workspace, meaning it isn't distorting the actual colors and tones of your photographs when they're reproduced on the screen. There's a variety of products on the market, from basic to professional. Some are specific to monitors or printers, and some calibrate a host of devices, including your digital camera or television.
Whether you profile just your monitor with a basic model or your complete workflow, including printers, with a pro solution, you should have a calibration system in place. You'll be amazed what a difference it makes.
From capturing images to digital editing to printing your work, Spyder3Elite is Datacolor's latest contribution to calibration accuracy. It calibrates all of your LCD, CRT, laptop and front projector displays, including matching multiple studio displays to a single target. With user-defined calibration targets, L-Star option, display history, AdobeRGB/wide-gamut monitor support and measured black and white luminance, you have total control of your digital workflow. The Spyder3Elite also has Intelligent Ambient Light Control via an embedded sensor, which automatically measures the ambient light within a room and adjusts the settings of your monitor so you always have the most accurate reproduction of colors. List Price: TBA.