- Power on your monitor at least a half-hour before installing and using Spyder 3 Express, so your display is warm and stable.
- Install the Windows or Mac software version, depending on your operating system.
- Connect the Spyder 3 hardware to your computer via an USB port.
- On the first screen, you’ll confirm a number of specifications. You want the lighting conditions in the room to be identical with those that occur when you are viewing and/or editing images on your computer and correctly selected monitor settings.
- Then, choose your monitor type: LCD/Laptop or CRT.
- Click to the next screen, which will indicate where the Spyder 3 should be located on the display.
- The calibration process will start and only require approximately five minutes to measure the color swatches. You’ll be unable to change any of the settings during the process, but the Spyder 3 Express is pre-selected for a Gamma of 2.2 and a white point of 6500K. This is the norm for photography and will reproduce excellent images during editing.
- The final screen of the process displays the modified settings. With the use of the switch button, you’ll see the previous settings compared to the final settings. Improvements you may immediately notice are warmer tones and more details in the shadows.
- Finally, in Preferences, you’ll be able to request that the software remind you automatically when you should recalibrate your monitor, so you can maintain a constant, high quality reproduction of photos.
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Although digital photography can be rendered into prints, which is the only finished medium for film photography, much of the viewing and sharing of digital photos occurs on the medium of a computer display. Film photographers will spend hours in the darkroom adjusting and tweaking the paper exposure and printing process in an attempt to create the “perfect” print. Many digital photographers are just as meticulous, and can spend just as many hours fine-tuning the settings of their computer monitors, so they too will reproduce that “perfect” image. Others are not quite so finicky and simple want to be able to see reasonably sharp and correctly colored photos on their computer display.
Read real customer reviews of the Spyder 3 Express here.
In either case, Datacolor has a computer monitor calibration product for the “psychotically precise” and the more stable digital photographer who doesn’t want to spend much time and money to make sure their monitors are displaying high quality images. For the former, Datacolor makes Spyder 3 Pro and Spyder 3 Elite, which is part of the Studio SR package. For the latter group, Spyder 3 Express is a lower-cost, more dependable solution to calibrate the color of a computer monitor. Spyder 3 Express significantly improves on the previous version, in terms of both speed and accuracy, and only costs approximately $70, depending on the source.
Datacolor’s Spyder 3 Express delivers both ease-of-installation and ease-of-use.
Datacolor’s Spyder 3 Pro (at approximately $150) and Spyder 3 Elite (at approximately $200) will only benefit a small number of photographers who need to calibrate multiple monitors or to perform automatic modifications in real-time. The great majority of digital photographers don’t require these advanced features, which makes the Spyder 3 Express the right choice for them…and you.