David Saffir: The New SpyderCHECKR 24 From Datacolor – Camera Color Correction for Photo and Video
Aug 2014 05

I’ve been working with the new SpyderCHECKR 24, which is the latest addition to the Datacolor toolbox for still photography and videography. It’s convenient, portable, and most important, very effective.

Every combination of lens, camera, and sensor has a unique color signature, and this may change in different lighting conditions. And, of course, these devices don’t perceive or record color the way the human eye does. And that’s where the SpyderCHECKR 24 comes in.

I’ve been using it, and planning to use it, in a number of ways:

    It’s a two sided panel, one side has a series of color patches, the other a large gray target and a gray ramp. The gray target is great for performing a quick custom white balance in still and video cameras. It can be held in one hand, the camera in the other – and it can be used for single cameras, or normalizing color among several cameras used on-set. A great time-saver on the spot, and in post-production. It’s really useful in this application.

    The color panel is a very effective color reference. One of my favorite things for this is art reproduction – prop the SpyderCHECKR in the frame, check my lighting, and capture the image. Later, the gray patches can be used for a quick and straightforward color balance in Camera RAW, and the color panel can be used as a reference for color on-screen, or in print. I’ve found that discussions about color always go better with artists when I have a good, accurate color panel in the photograph. Also, the Checkr in the corner makes it clear this is the color test copy; and functions as a proof mark to assure the image cannot be used until the process is complete.

    Also, the gray side of the SC24 can be used to double-check screen calibration – any color cast on the screen will show up right away against a photo of this gray target – the SC24 is an ideal size for this. With a good proofing light, the actual target can be compared to the image on-screen.

    Next, I use the color panel with the SpyderCHECKR software to calibrate my cameras. The software is simple in design, and easy to use. My current toolbox includes a new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema video camera, a Canon 5D Mark III, a Hasselblad H-series camera with a Phase One digital back, and a couple of GoPros, assuring an array of different color interpretations. So far, it’s made matching a lot easier in post-production, and I’m sure it will continue to perform well in the future.

There’s a User Guide and an Instructional Video available on the web site. You can review technical specs and workflow through these documents. This link will take you to the landing page, where you can access them: SpyderCHECKR 24

  • A must have tool. Color correction is crucial. White balance in post is a plus. Do it in camera when you can

  • moebius2249

    Does this software work with Adobe Premiere or After Effects?