Review of the Colour Confidence Colorvision Spyder Express

Manufacturer: Colour Confidence
Model: Colorvision Spyder Express
Price: £68

Colour management is one of the Dark Arts even Lord Voldemort would have difficulty with.

In a nutshell you need to make your screen represent what you will print out through your chosen output medium. To do this, you need to ensure that you have software that can display images with their output profile, and just as importantly that your screen is representing what you should be seeing on it properly in the first place.

Enter the spyder, more formally the Colorvision Spyder 2 Express kit, which contains a Colorvision Datacolor colorimeter and the software required to calibrate your screen.

The Spyder part comes from the fact that the sensor that you put on your screen during calibration hangs there like a spider on a thread. For CRY monitors, three suction cups hold it in place. For the more delicate LCD variety, you add a block that takes the cups out of commission and use the counterweight on the cable to hang over the screen so it is resting flat on the screen. The block also contains a combined gobo/filter to ensure the right colour of light signal enters along the correct path to the sensor.

In use, the kit was simple to set-up and we calibrated three screens (2 CRTs and one LCD) in about 15 minutes.

A word of warning to Mac users, you will need to upgrade to the Pro version of the software to get the 1.8 Gamma setting beloved of Mac users rather than the 2.2 Gamma that PCs use. Our old Mac monitor displayed a rather sickly green hue after calibration on the 2.2 setting.

In short, this kit allows you to control, with absolute confidence, one of the three essentials of colour management. For the other two (colour space and output profile display) you’ll need a more professional package that allows output profile preview to compare to your printer’s output.

Was swift and easy to use, but only does one of the three essentials of colour management

Simple to set up

The standard version isn’t designed for the best results for Macs

What Digital Camera Score: 85%