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Thread: Spyder 3

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    Spyder 3

    Not a full review, but my first impressions. I ordered this on Wednesday after reading the discussion on here about calibrating monitors. It arrived today (thanks imagescience).

    Anyway, first impressions:

    OS: Windows 7 (64 bit)

    The installation went without hitch although it didn't tell me that it installed successfully, but that was a minor annoyance.

    I've so far calibrated one display (my main display) and it was surprisingly easy. The software prompts for each step were clear and easy to follow. After entering basic details about my monitors the software asked me to attach the calibrating device onto the monitor. You can either use the provided suction cap to attach it or dangle the device over the back of the monitor so sit rests on the screen (this is the method I used). The software then did a series of tests and created a profile for my monitor.

    So, I have to identical displays with same settings and my first impression on the calibration is this: my newly calibrated display is much darker than it was before and a little bit cooler (bluer).

    Based on my limited experience of 30 minutes or so I would have to say I am very satisfied with the product.

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    I got mine a few days ago, so I'll add some observations.
    • A neater, more refined physical design than the old Spyder II
    • A more streamlined, more finished software product too
    • Terrible documentation ..... because there isn't any! This is not good enough.
    • Poor packaging - it would have been easy to include a storage case as part of the retail packaging. Instead, you get a lot of environmentally unfriendly plastic but nothing you can use to keep it in - worst of both worlds.
    • Installation doesn't tell you it has completed successfully. (Windows 2000 and 32 bit XP.)
    • The software talks about a suction cup but it is apparently not supplied with this model. Only a day later did I discover it hidden amongst the excessive packaging - a small, clear plastic part hidden invisibly in the clear plastic packaging.
    • The software talks about a counterweight but provides no hint as to where you might find such a thing. There is a device attached to the cable which might be a counterweight or might be a balun. It is in a location that is obviously inappropriate for use as a counterweight (a couple of inches from the plug). There is no documentation at all, so you have to try to figure it out yourself. There are no buttons, catches, or similar things on the object to suggest that it can slide; gentle experimentation demonstrates that it is apparently fixed in place - i.e., it's probably a balun. The cable is quite thin, so I am unwilling to use more force in case I damage it. I make do with an improvised way of suspending the thing over the screen. Later on I re-examine the balun and discover that it does slide, and it is, in fact, a counterweight.
    • Everything else works just fine.
    • Overall, a very worthwhile and practical product, but one which badly needs some basic attention to detail in the oackaging, software UI, and documentation departments. It doesn't need much money spent on it, it just needs some common-sense basics. For example, an "Installation complete" message in the installer; non-hidden, more obvious links to the on-line update, two arrows moulded into the counterweight so you can see at a glance what it does and how to use it, and decent packaging. This isn't rocket science, it's easy - far easier than the precise colour-measurement engineering they have already done. Perhaps the Spyder IV will take care of it. Overall, it's a worthwhile and practical product, but what a pity they didn't finish the job properly.
    Tony

    Edit and critique at will. Tokina 10-17 fish, Canon 10-22, 24-105, 100-400, TS-E 24, 35/1.4, 60 macro, 100L macro, 500/4, Wimberley, MT-24EX, 580EX-II, 1D IV, 7D, 5D II, 50D.

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    Thanks Tony. I also agree with everything you've added.

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    Hi guys, did you get the express or pro model? What is the major difference? Guess I better go to the website and have a look...

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    I have the express one, and even though it is not as advanced as the pro one, but the difference in quality of my Samsung 2333SW is significant, it is much better now
    7D | 40D | 24-70L | 70-200L 2.8IS | Tamron 18-270mm | Tamron 17-50 2.8 | Sigma 30mm | Canon 50mm 1.8 | 430EXII

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amadeus View Post
    Hi guys, did you get the express or pro model? What is the major difference? Guess I better go to the website and have a look...
    I got the pro model. Can't recall what the differences were, but the price at imagescience (I got the link from this site's sponser list) for the pro was not that much more than the express, so it was a no-brainer at the time regarding which model to buy

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    Hi All,

    heard about this product the last few monthes and thing it is a good idea.

    Can i Ask :

    Have you noticed a difference in the monitor's resolution now after the calibration? darker, lighter, more/less contrast, etc ?
    once calibrated is that it!? when do you have to calibrate it next time?

    Does it work on laptops as well? have you guys tried it?

    Is it worth the money to buy it? some places is for $249.00 to $299+

    Can you hire it anywhere as well?

    Is the primary reason to buy it so your print-outs have correct resolution, e.g. what you see on screen, is exactly what you see in the print-out.

    Sounds like a good product.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectPicture View Post
    Hi All,

    heard about this product the last few monthes and thing it is a good idea.

    Can i Ask :

    Have you noticed a difference in the monitor's resolution now after the calibration? darker, lighter, more/less contrast, etc ?
    once calibrated is that it!? when do you have to calibrate it next time?

    Does it work on laptops as well? have you guys tried it?

    Is it worth the money to buy it? some places is for $249.00 to $299+

    Can you hire it anywhere as well?

    Is the primary reason to buy it so your print-outs have correct resolution, e.g. what you see on screen, is exactly what you see in the print-out.

    Sounds like a good product.

    Cheers
    My two main observations are: a) My monitors were too bright before; and b) Both of my monitors now look exactly the same. Before I got the Spyder I'd move a photo between both monitors and PP to get an "average" look that looked OK on both. Not a great way to do things

    You can set the Spyder software to prompt for recalibration after any amount of time has passed (I've got mine set to ask me to recalibrate every 3 weeks). After it nicely asks you (which of course you can ignore) you plug the spyder back in and it does some tests. If recalibration is necessary it will suggest you do that, otherwise it says that the monitor is still within spec. The 4 or 5 times the software has so far checked for me has resulted in no recalibration necessary.

    Yes, I've calibrated my laptop also.

    Yes, I think it's worth the money

    Edit: Yes, prints are much more accurate. But also because my monitors were not "right" before my PP resulted in photos that were too dark and cold (because my monitors were too bright and warm). So it's useful, to me, for images that I post on the web as well. Now if someone suggests that my photo is too dark I can make a better informed decision as to whether or not I take that feedback on board
    Last edited by gcflora; 30-01-2010 at 4:28am.

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    Robert,

    You can also leave the spyder plugged in and sitting in it's cradle so that it can monitor ambient light levels and brighten or darken your screen automatically to compensate

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    I ended up hiring one from a printing place and that will do me for now until I decide to buy my own.

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    I got my Spyder 3 Pro yesterday and can vouch for the accuracy of the good information provided above by gcflora and Tannin. My experience has been very similar to theirs.

    All that I can add is that the Spyder 3 Pro is very easy to use and calibration of the the PC and Laptop have provided consistent results.
    I too had my monitors too bright and slightly to warm. I hope my posted shots look better from now on.
    Cheers
    Darey

    Nikon user, Thick skinned and wanting to improve, genuine C & C welcomed.

    Photographs don't lie ! - Anonymous Liar

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    Re: Spyder 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Amadeus
    Hi guys, did you get the express or pro model? What is the major difference? Guess I better go to the website and have a look...
    The website gives a good comparison but I found it compares the Spyder2express to the Spyder3pro. For more details, this is cross-posted from another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Darchangel
    You asked about the difference between the Express and Pro. Basically, you get a lot more fine-tuning control with the Pro, and it supports different colour profiles per-monitor if you're using a multi-mon setup. This will help if you have different brands\sizes of monitor on the same system, since there's usually a pretty dramatic difference in colour temp's between monitor makes and models even if you fine tune them using the OnScreen Display.

    A full review and walkthrough of the software can be found at the following link; whilst it shows you the Syder3Pro, I understand the software is almost the same on the Express, and it shows you a more complete comparison of their full model range than DataColor's own website shows (which compares the Spyder3Pro to the Spyder2Express. It also links to another review they did of the Elite: http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/r...pyder3pro.html
    Hope it helps
    ~Darchangel (aka Pete)
    Please CC my images.

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    Picked up a Spyder 3 pro on Saturday, yep all the same issues, the wife even commented on the excess packaging.

    The new software version seems to address some of the issues, it tells you when it is installed, and even now tels you that you can remove the sensor once it has done it's thing.

    My desk top screen was actually very close to right, maybe just a bit dark, my laptop and my work laptop were certainly very blue.

    The AP skin looks way different now, very pleased that I made the descision to do this
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    Cheers, Mark


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