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Thank you to Camera paradise for delivering my new Sigma camera lens (Nikon mount) before the anticipated due date. I will certainly be shopping with you again and the price was really good (not what I expected to pay).
Best possible shopping experience. Great product, price and service!
Easy way to find and buy INSTAX film. Great deal for 5 packs. Arrived within a week. Good service.
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Average Customer Rating: 2.0 (1 review)
Review this product
by Markustone (Australia)
I had already set up my monitors using various of the available calibration blurays and was pretty sure I was at least in the ball-park to begin with.
However I was upset when after the first attempt with the Spyder4 Elite, my monitors actually looked *worse. There was clipping of whites and blacks and generally not what you want.
This was because there are several key assumptions that the setup makes that are simply not true for all monitors. It asks you to put your monitors to nominal 'center' positions. Of course there's no guarantee that those center positions give the most latitude for the Spyder4 Elite to work it's magic; Hence, by following the instructions to the letter, I ended up with a worse result.
The key, folks, is to use a calibration DVD (free ones available online) FIRST to make sure you're getting the most out of your contrast and brightness settings *before starting the Spyder wizard.
It's a simple thing, but also pretty obvious and also very solvable, so I have to detract points for missing something that even a cursory walk through the electronics section at your local supermarket will tell you; default monitor settings are *not all alike.
So for that reason, I'd have to say it's definitely not plug and play. I spent as good couple of hours second guessing the software and tweaking till I was satisfied with the result.
There are also some bits that are relatively unexplained. You can measure swatches and their colour response. There is a drop down menu for how many swatches you want to test - 12, 24, 32 from memory. But no explanation - are they talking bit depth? is this the resolution of the test? Again it was an iterative process to figure out what this was - there was nothing in the manual.
But I also wanted to calibrate a projector, which this model is supposed to do. Thing to keep in mind is that the spyder sensor must be positioned 1 foot from the screen.
So given that the longest USB cable is 5m and your projector had better not have too much throw on it, or you'd better have a long HDMI cable and be prepared to straddle your computer somewhere in the middle of the room for calibration.
But then there were missed opportunities, quite apart from the above mentioned missing ability to figure out what your monitor's best brightness/contrast settings are to begin with.
You can sample the gamma of your screen (IIRC, a total of 6 points). that's not really enough. The gamma profiling I've used on 3D scanners works with 48 points and is obviously far more accurate. Why begrudge us a few data points for more accurate analysis? Yes, it may take a little longer, but we're only doing this once, right?
What you'll get in the box is the sensor, a stand and a CD. The box is not designed for long term storage of the device (mine fell apart quite quickly) and the sensor itself is pretty light and doesn't feel like a rigged piece of kit. It would have been nice for there to be a box or something to keep it in when not in use or travelling or whatever.
So I suppose that while I did get there in the end, and the device does do what it says it does, it requires a bit of knowledge on the part of the user and you certainly shouldn't expect it to be a 'hands off' solution.
But I think ultimately, the price tag doesn't match the value for money, or the professionalism of the product.
I haven't tried the other calibration devices out there, so I can't compare between brands.
On the plus side, my monitors do now have very accurate colour.
The fact that the sensor (if you leave it plugged in) continuously samples ambient light and adjusts your display accordingly is a great idea. It would also be good if you could use the same sensor to calibrate a printer.
No, I will not recommend this product to my friends!
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