Datacolor’s SpyderX bundles aim to eliminate any inconsistency in your raw photo workflow
posted Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 9:00 AM EDT
Datacolor, a global leader in color management solutions and the maker of numerous color calibration tools, has announced a pair of SpyderX Tool Kits for digital photographers. This announcement comes a few months after the company announced its newest monitor calibration tool, the SpyderX, which you can read more about by reading my review. The SpyderX monitor calibration tool is featured in both tool kits: the SpyderX Capture Pro and SpyderX Studio. Where these two kits differ is with their additional accessories.
Looking first at the SpyderX Capture Pro, which Datacolor was kind enough to send me ahead of today's launch, it provides all the essential tools photographers need to capture and manage color from the time of capture through the editing process. It includes four accessories inside a nice case: the Spyder LensCal, Spyder Cube, Spyder Checkr and SpyderX Elite. The LensCal allows you to calibrate and fine-tune the focus of your lenses, the Spyder Cube helps you dial in white balance for your raw conversion, the Spyder Checkr is a full array of 48 spectrally engineered color swatches inside a tripod-mountable book-like case and the SpyderX Elite is a monitor calibration tool. The bundle also comes with the software needed to calibrate your monitor and take full advantage of the additional management tools included in the kit.
The SpyderX Studio is focused more on creating the final print. It substitutes the Spyder Print for the Spyder LensCal and Spyder Checkr. The Datacolor Spyder Print allows you to profile for any printer/ink/paper combination, ensuring accurate colors, tones and consistency. It works by printing targets and then using the included spectrocolorimeter to analyze the prints.
Both the SpyderX Capture Pro and SpyderX Studio are available for purchase today and to celebrate the launch, each will be available with a special 20% off introductory offer through July 14, 2019. The SpyderX Capture Pro is available for $319.99 (regularly $399.99) and the SpyderX Studio is available for $399.99 (regularly $499.99).
By purchasing these bundles, especially at the introductory price, you can save quite a bit of money. The SpyderX Elite monitor calibration tool and software by itself is $270 USD. The Spyder Checkr (48 swatch) is about $125, the Spyder Cube is $50 and the LensCal is $65. All together, these tools add up to over $500. For the SpyderX Studio, the SpyderPrint is a little less than $350, so the three tools in that kit cost over $660 if purchased separately.
As I mentioned earlier, Datacolor sent me the SpyderX Capture Pro bundle to try out. First off, the packaging is quite nice. The silver case has nice snaps and a padded interior which holds all four accessories plus additional carrying cases for the individual components. I've already reviewed the SpyderX Elite, but to expand on the other tools, the Spyder Checkr and SpyderCube are both well-built products. I particularly like that they both have built-in tripod mounts. They are easy to use and integrate into an existing raw shooting workflow. By being able to quickly dial in a white balance, you can save yourself a lot of time in the editing process.
The LensCal tool is something I wish I had added to my photography kit earlier. Especially for DSLR shooters, it can be very frustrating to have a new lens and then struggle to get sharp shots. Oftentimes this is the result of a focusing issue in your workflow, whether it is the lens, the camera, or both. While some cameras, such as my Nikon D500, offer automatic AF fine-tune, I still find that doing it manually offers the best results. However, it can be tricky and time-consuming without a purpose-built lens calibration tool. This is where the LensCal comes in. By setting up the LensCal, which includes a built-in bubble level and tripod mount, you can easily see if your lens is front focusing or back focusing and by how much, allowing for easy AF fine tuning for all your lenses.
Overall, the SpyderX Capture Pro is a great kit, especially for photographers who don't own any existing calibration tools. With its introductory pricing, it's an even better value. You can learn more about the individual products by visiting Datacolor.