Spyder3Studio SR review
Let’s not pretend that colour management is fascinating – still, it’s not as dull as having to repeatedly colour-correct your work and trying to get your screen and printer to play nicely. The Spyder3Studio SR opens up colour management to illustrators, photographers and designers with high-end colour needs but shoestring budgets – it’s £200 less expensive than many rival systems.
The Spyder3Studio SR is an all-in-one colour management and profiling solution. It consists of three devices: Spyder3Elite, for calibrating displays and projectors; Spyder3Print SR, for printer profiling; and SpyderCube RAW, for photography. They’re all housed in a heavy-duty metal case that protects the delicate parts when you store them.
You should use the SpyderCube RAW every time you shoot. It’s a plastic cube with white, black and 18 per cent grey sides that you can photograph in the studio or on location alongside your project files to capture colour data – then use this data to set the white, black and grey points in your software.
Even if you don’t use SpyderCube RAW, the Spyder3Studio is great value for money. The Spyder3Elite monitor calibrator is one of the best currently on the market, delivering precise calibration through simple to use software.
Unlike rival systems such as X-Rite’s ColorMunki Photo, the Spyder3Print SR is a separate device to the monitor calibrator. It uses a plastic strip holder, where you print out a sheet of coloured patches in strips, place it under the runner catch and manually swipe the Spyder3Print SR device along the runner to read the strips. Tugging the printed page under the runner isn’t as quick as using the ColorMunki, though, where you place it on your desk and swipe.
The ColorMunki is about £60 cheaper than the Spyder3Studio SR, but Datacolor’s calibration is better and the SpyderCube is a great addition for photographers.