View Full Version : Spyder 3 Pro - any good?

20-09-2017, 11:24am
Nothing flash about my kit. A 'normal' Dell monitor and a lower end (but not the cheapest one) Eizo monitor.

Short question - Spyder 3 Pro any good?

20-09-2017, 11:38am
I think that you will find any of the common units (Spyder or any of several other brands) is a very good thing to have. I've owned three Spyders and they have all been functional but mildly annoying, which is normal for any tech product. (Why three? 'Coz I keep losing the damn things!)

20-09-2017, 1:18pm
I have the Spyder 3 Pro.

Note that the pro is only for the added features in the software. I didn't see any reason to want that additonal software functionality . but I got the pro anyhow.

Why? because it was cheaper than the non pro version! :confused:
That's it. I pestered and persisted with the Spyder software until it drive to madness .. PC issues, and not really calibrating the screen as it was supposed too.

it was supposed to be automatic, loading up(the calibration) at start up.
While calibration can be important, for most of us, with reasonable screens, the difference isn't as great as we'd like to believe it is. It's just nice to have so we're seeing the same things compared to each other.

That is, one person writes that the image is too green, or too red, but it could be a screen calibration issue and not an image issue .. kind'a communal acceptance thing.

So, Spyder software for me on three of my PCs would go like this.
Turn (calibrated)PC on, start doing stuff. Not always photography stuff, just stuff .. work related spreadsheet and whatever.
About 5 mins into doing whatever stuff .. the screen would suddenly change to a nicer looking version.
What would happen is that the Spyder software would suddenly 'work' or load, or unfreeze, or what ever it finally decided was the appropriate thing to do.
Sometimes It would auto start a sec or two after Windows loading itself, other times it would take this 5 mins or so .. a few times never!
I know that it sometimes never loaded up as I'd manually check and in starting the Spyder software the screen would then change for me!

Easy solution was to uninstall the Spyder software and get proper software. I'm a big fan of BasICColor(I think it's spelled that way). In the 10 years or so I've been using it now, I don't even know it's there.. I check sometimes and it's there .. it's just seamless.

Had the basic Spyder 3 been cheaper I'd have got that instead.
Note that there is a cheaper version of the Spyder 3 that is hardware related too.

warning tho. Spyder 3 is old tech, and nothing wrong with it as long as the software used recognises it.
if it's really cheap then you'll get good value for money out of it.

I've had plans to update my Spyder 3 to an X-Rite colormunki for a few years now. I haven't simply as it's a low priority .. the Spyder and BasICColor software works well for now.

20-09-2017, 2:17pm
Yeah I can't justify a big spend at all, but one popped up I MAY be able to get for $40...

20-09-2017, 4:14pm

of you can also justify the added cost of proper software for it .. I highly(strongly) recommend the use of non Spyder software for it too.

BasICColor is good stuff ... in that for me its completely transparent. I can do geeky stuff with it, and I tried a little, but I just set it to do it's thing and it works and I'm not bothered by it's thing, that it's doing.

21-09-2017, 10:27am
The good news is I managed to get the Spyder 3 for $40 incl post, and even though its an older model it should be perfectly adequate for what I want and infinitely better than no colour calibration / management at all :)

Arthur I had a look at that site, but would appreciate if you could link or tell me specifically what the software package you have in mind is?

21-09-2017, 10:36am
Well done LL!

Arthur will need to explain what the different software is going to achieve. Presumably it adds some useful extra function, though I can't imagine what that might be. The standard Spyder software does all the important things and, although a bit clunky, is perfectly adequate.

10-10-2017, 2:22pm
I use Spyder 4 Pro. Figuring out how the controls on the monitors work is more difficult than using the Spyder software.

10-10-2017, 2:46pm
I have had the Spyder 3 for maybe 5+ yrs and it mostly works fine. Two things to keep in mind, the importance of ensuring your monitor has been on for a while, maybe not so important with LED / LCD but can still impact correctness all the same. The other thing is to ensure you do the calibration with the lighting you use when editing. I use it every now and then (maybe every 2 months) but find my Dell Ultra sharp rarely drifts much from the previous calibration. I always run it more than once back to back to ensure it has done the job as on my old monitor it didnt always get it right and was obvious. Now I just do it out of interest but rarely does the second run change the result enough to notice.
You have done well at that price, on the day I paid quite a bit as it was the new model at the time.