Datacolor’s 48-sample camera profiling swatch finally fits in your pocket with the Spyder Checkr Photo


Well, here’s one I missed while I was in Amsterdam for IBC 2022, but it looks like Datacolor has finally released a paperback version of their Spyder Checker (review here) for easier use on site. It’s called the Photo Spyder Checker and contains the familiar 48 samples found in its larger, older sibling. The card is also swappable, allowing you to flip them for an additional 12 shades of gray to check brightness and contrast, as well as large targets for white balance.

It’s certainly taken them long enough to facilitate the release of the Spyder Checkr from the studio, although like the larger version, it still seems a bit lacking in the software department. Essentially it uses the same software plugin, meaning you can create an HSL profile for Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW or Hasselblad Phocus, but that’s about it.

The Spyder Checker Photo software appears to be exactly the same as the original Spyder Checker. In fairness, though, if all you’re using is Lightroom or Adobe Camera RAW (or Hasselblad Phocus), this is a great piece of kit to get all your images to a cohesive starting point – assuming you never want to edit manually adjust the HSL sliders during your raw processing, which might mess up some of your presets. I’ve used the full-size Spyder Checkr fairly regularly over the years for some unknown camera shots where I want to ensure color accuracy and consistency from shot to shot.

The 48 classic Spyder Checkr color swatches

The Spyder Checkr Photo essentially brings Datacolor’s samples into the realm of the popular Calibrite ColorChecker Passport series (formerly the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport series), which lets you slip them into a pocket or camera bag for easy on-the-go transport. risk-free location. to get damaged. They are much more manageable on location, while larger grading boards are better suited to the studio.

The Spyder Checkr Photo contains the cards inside a sturdy plastic case, with ‘extended skin tone’ swatches with an ultra-matte finish on ‘museum-quality paper cards printed in the ink of long life for the truest color renditions and the deepest black. The cards are made from 78% bamboo, making it a renewable source of paper. So even though the case is still plastic, they think a bit about the environment in its creation.

The white balance and grayscale targets on the Spyder Checkr Photo

The X-Rite and Datacolor options use approximately the same set of swatches, except they are in a different order. The 48 color swatches of the Spyder Checkr Photo actually combine the two sets of 24 color swatches of the ColorChecker Passport Photo and ColorChecker Video Passport (review here) in one – except you’ll notice that while the colors are very similar between the Datacolor and Calibrite options, they’re a bit mixed between the two, with different columns and rows being swapped around. The Datacolor product is also a bit less saturated.

Left: Datacolor Spyder Checker Photo / Middle: ColorChecker Video / Right: ColorChecker Photo

Calibrite recently announced that it has combined its two color charts into the ColorChecker Passport Duo, priced at $199, while Datacolor’s new pocket target is just $99.99. For some photographers, limiting it to just using it with Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW, and Phocus with Datacolor Spyder Checkr Photo will be worth the 50% savings. For others, however, the benefits of creating DNG profiles and ICC profiles that can be used in a very wide range of other software, as well as having true black/white/40IRE graypoints for video will be worth the additional cost of the Calibrite. the solution.

I think it’s fantastic that Datacolor now has this in a smaller form factor, although it’s something they should have done years ago, really. If you haven’t purchased a grading target system for your photography yet, it’s worth looking into, especially at this price (if you’re only using Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW, or Hasselblad Phocus).

The Datacolor Spyder Checkr Photo is available for buy now for $99.99 and is already shipped.

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