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Datacolor SpyderX Pro review

 

Review of the Datacolor SpyderX Pro - New in 2019
Published on February 11, 2019 / Updated on March 09, 2019

 

The previous Spyder5 Pro (Syder5Pro was very popular and was very well placed in terms of price). However, some details, especially software, made me prefer its direct competitor. But what about this new generation of Spyder version 2019? Well, to make a long story short, the game has changed significantly with this new SpyderX Pro. Of course it is pleasant to be able to calibrate it very quickly - a striking point - but it is even better, especially on entry-level or mid-range displays, markets that I think are directly targeted by this new feature at the beginning of 2019.


Datacolor's new SpyderX Pro screen calibration solution replaces the well-known Spyder5Pro. Its introductory price is 169.99 dollars - and it is the entry-level or mid-range solution if Datacolor's marketing department is strictly respected. It is thus aimed at amateur or professional photographers and of course at anyone who has a slight desire to see "real" colours displayed on their desktop or laptop screens, especially if you have a recent screen. Here are the main new features:

  • New generation of sensor with lens placed in front of the sensor and filters to improve reading accuracy and protect them for an even better lifetime a priori but this was already a quality of the Spyder5,
  • Recognizes the latest display technologies (various and varied LEDs) and different gamut (sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, etc...),
  • The express calibration speed: less than a minute during my tests to read all the color patches!
  • Software almost identical to the previous version 5 so we are in familiar territory.

Note! The Elite version allows you to calibrate a video projector, gives access to more options, the report at the end of the calibration...


 
 

In a few words...

 

SpyderX PRO

$169.99

This mid-range Datacolor colorimeter is therefore the new direct competitor of the famous ColorMunki Display X-Rite and becomes my new favorite to calibrate - very quickly! - entry-level or mid-range screens! Read my conclusion  

 
  Other offers...
 
$169.99
CDN$ 229.99
$169.99
 
     

 

 

Introduction to the Datacolor SpyderX Pro

Upgrading... SpyderX Pro and the Elite version use a brand new colorimeter compared to the old Spyder5, the SpyderX. As the Pro version uses the same SpyderX colorimeter as the Elite version, the differences will be made by the software and the possibilities of settings or target values. Evolution thanks to a simple software upgrade is therefore possible without having to buy a new sensor! As a result, you will not find any software in the box but only the download link on the site.

 

Datacolor SpyderX Pro colorimeter

As well finished as the old Spyder5 but now white, the new SpyderX sensor, is sold in the same packaging as the Elite version.


The calibration kit and its box

Datacolor's new SpyderX colorimeter, now with a white finish, is sold with a new lens colorimeter very well manufactured whose reading window (sensor + filters) is now protected by this lens. It is therefore good to note or even repeat because it is always a striking quality of Datacolor sensors in this Pro version that it is the same as in the Elite version. The kit contains very simply the colorimeter and its long USB cable and... the serial number. Gone are the days when you also found the software on a CD. You will need to go directly to the manufacturer's website to download the latest updated version directly. Well done because this way we are sure to install the latest version and it's more ecological!

Datacolor SpyderX photos
 
  Technical specifications  
  Datacolor SpyderX PRO Launch price: $169.99
Colorimeter
SpyderX RGB + ambient light sensor
 
Software
SpyderX Pro 5.5 Mac / 5.4 PC
  Panel technology Manual selection + gamut
 
Luminance
Yes
 
Color temperature
12 user selections
  Gamma setting Yes : from 1,0 to 2,4 + L Star
 
Ambient light control
Yes (improved - 5 settings)
  Multi-screen alignment Yes - StudioMatch
  Projector calibration No
  Company datacolor.com
   
 

The setup of the SpyderX Pro software (in its latest version)

Very important note! Download the latest version of SpyderX Pro 5.5 (Mac) and 5.4 (PC) in February 2019 to maintain maximum compatibility with the latest display technologies.

   
 
 

Download the latest version of the software!

SpyderX Pro software (PC and MAC), sold with the SpyderX Pro, is available for free download in its latest version - Download SpyderX Pro 5.5 or 5.4 (SpyderX Pro runs on Mac OS Mojave and Windows 10).

 
   
 

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Preparing the calibration with SpyderX Pro....

The SpyderX Pro software allows you to characterize a computer or laptop screen from its main window. It is necessary to take the time to choose, during the first calibration, the different options - target values - on the other hand the actual calibration will go very quickly with this new generation of colorimeter and software!

   
Datacolor SpyderX Pro box
   
 

Installing SpyderX Pro software

It is simple and basic. Nothing particular to say, so! When you click on the application icon, the language detection will be done automatically and the software will welcome you with a welcome message by displaying an online help link. It also tells you what you can do with your sensor. Click on the "Do not display this message again" check mark at the bottom left and click on OK!

Then, to continue the installation, the software needs to activate your version of the software and for that you need:

  • Connect your sensor to a USB port,
  • Take the serial number from the bottom of the box.

You can make a manual connection later but to continue installing the software, it absolutely needs a valid serial number right away so an internet connection.

First launch...

At each launch, the software connects to check your license. (I don't try without an Internet connection). Then, you can start by going to the "preferences" side of the software (SpyderX Pro Menu / Preferences) to choose two or three interesting options:

 

Software preferences of SpyderX Pro

 

1 - Sensor selection - If several colorimeters (calibration sensors or calibration sensors) are connected, the software will ask you to choose one. This is the new SpyderX.

2 - Choice of calibration reminder - You can never choose either from one day to six months and I confess that sometimes I only do it every six months!

My recommendation! 

A professional retoucher, so someone who works for others, will obviously do it more often, as well if your screen is more than five years old because its performance can "drop" quickly.

The others.... - Check for software updates - Why not enable it / Share calibration data with Datacolor - For statistical purposes.

3 - Advanced settings - (For advanced users) -

 

Paramètres avancés du logiciel de calibrage Spyder5Elite

 

The advanced settings will allow you to choose the warning level of Delta E so synonymous with too much deviation from the standard and if you want to control the display of the color temperature of your screen through the RGB sliders of it (This naturally excludes laptop screens) then you will first have to check the appropriate option here.

My advice!  Leave 3.0 because it is only a warning. If you put it underneath, except on a high-end screen, there are risks that it will quickly start ringing!

Click on "ICC settings..."

 

 

My recommendation!   Finally, the ICC settings should be left by default: ICC version 2.0 (Version 4.0 is still far from being a standard and poses real display problems, still in 2019, with some amateur software or even in Windows 10 ! Those who are familiar with color management will choose V4 (especially if they are on a Mac) and Bradford Color Matching Mode, the most powerful.

1 - Welcome screen!

Four very usual recommendations:

  • Warming up your screen for at least 15 minutes;

  • Check the lighting conditions in your room;
  • Reset the settings on your display and set the color temperature to TC 6500 K AND choose a brightness level that makes you feel comfortable - Read below.
  • And plug in the colorimeter!
   
Écran de bienvenue du logiciel de calibrage SpyderX Pro
   
 

The software even goes so far as to ask you to tick each step performed in order to click on the "Next" button.

Click on "Next"...

2 - Select the screen you want to calibrate...

In the drop-down menu, you select the screen you want to calibrate and the window will automatically be placed on it. Practical!

 

Sélectionner l'écran à calibrer avec SpyderX Pro

 

The software allows you to choose the screen to calibrate and the window will be placed on it automatically. Very practical!

Click on "Next"...

3 - Select the type of screen you want to calibrate...

The software then asks you if it is a desktop screen (so with possibilities of brightness/contrast/ etc...), a laptop screen (only the brightness is adjustable).

 

Sélectionner le type d'écran à calibrer avec SpyderX

 

4 - Select the screen settings that you can adjust...

The software then asks you what types of settings you can make on the OSD menu of the software.

The Kelvin presets are only available if you have enabled the option in the software preferences as described above.

 

The SpyderX Elite and Pro version shares the same window at this stage of the settings.


Click on "Next"...

5 - Select the backlight technology for your display...New in 2019!

The software then asks you what is the backlighting technology of your display among the now classic "LEDs" that you should translate as standard LED (so sRGB), extended LED (Adobe RGB), etc...

 

 

Click on "Next"...

6 - Select the desired target setting level...

The Pro software allows you to choose between two target value setting processes: Step-by-step wizard and StudioMatch to align multiple screens.

 

 

Click on "Step by step wizard" and on "Next"...

5 - Choice of target values in the "Step-by-step assistant..." process

 

Advanced parameters before calibration with  SpyderX Pro

 

Choice of target values - I refer you to my page "How to calibrate a screen?"

My recommendation!   Choose Gamma 2.2, White point at 6500K and brightness at 80/90 (Cd/m2) if you are in a rather dark environment and you print a lot, 100/110 if you are in a "normal" light environment and possibly 120 Cd/m2 if you work mainly for the Internet and what is more in a bright environment.

e) Advanced settings (2) - If you have purchased the Pro version it is also to have access to these target values:

 

Advanced parameters before calibration with  SpyderX Pro

 

  • Selection of predefined target values if necessary; Just follow the sensible advice.
  • Enable ambient light control;

    My recommendation!  Personally, I don't like to activate the ambient light measurement because with experience I managed to find target values that, overall, matched me very well throughout the day and year. However, as the image below suggests, the Datacolor recommendations seem a little high to me.

  • Calibration of the gray balance;

    My advice!  I choose "The best" in order to obtain the most "beautiful" grayscales, i.e. the most progressive and without dominant colors.


The recommendation of Datacolor seems a little high to me. If I choose 120 Cd/m2 at home as well as in the test measurement, I assure you that I will find it too high.

 

Click on "Next"...

7 - Place your colorimeter on the screen.

This is still the same fixing system as on the Spyder5 since, seen from the front, only the color of the SpyderX has changed.

 

Place SpyderX Pro  on laptop monitor before begin calibration


Place SpyderX Pro on your monitor to begin calibration

 

Click on Next and the calibration and then the actual calibration starts. The software will help you to set the brightness target value if you have ticked the option above: with the brightness buttons on your screen (+ -) adjust it according to the software indication. (The same can be done with the white point (color temperature) and contrast if necessary. Don't worry if you don't need to adjust these other two options then.

 

Setup luminance

 

The characterization continues and now lasts less than a minute on my computer - This novelty, if not striking, is in any case welcome because it is still spectacular. When it is finished, click on "Finish" to name the ICC profile.

8 - Choose the name of the screen (to automatically name the ICC profile)....

By giving you the ability to choose the make and model of the screen you are calibrating, the software knows what name it will automatically give to the ICC profile you are creating.

 

Recording the ICC screen profile after calibration with SpyderX PRO

 

Tip!  If, like me, you have at least two identical screens, it will be easy to add "_left" or "_right" to your screen template, for example, so as not to mix ICC profiles later on because, as you probably know if you have read the pages on this site dedicated to screen calibration, each ICC profile is really proprietary and cannot be shared with a screen, even if it is similar. All you have to do is try it as I can at home to see for myself!

Click on "Save". The software then tells you where it has stored the ICC profile.

9 - Before / after comparison and calibration analysis

Once the characterization process is complete, your screen is calibrated and the software offers you a before and after comparison.

   

Before/After calibration with SpyderX Pro

The new software v5.5 SpyderX Pro uses the same image wall as Spyder5...

 

Before after screen calibration with SpyderX Pro Datacolor

 

By clicking on the "Swap" button, you can see the effect of the calibration live. Click on "Next"... to save your profile and select a possible reminder.

The following window displays a report on your calibration, including in the CIEXYZ space, the gamut of your screen and the percentage of the sRGB space on your screen.

 

Gamut monitor after calibration with SpyderX PRO

Note that this window displays the % of the sRGB space on your screen as on the Elite version and this as on the previous version of Spyder5.


The calibration is complete!

 

 

Use and verification of the ICC profile

As indicated on the Photoshop color preferences page, it is prudent to verify that Photoshop is using this new ICC profile to correctly display the colors on your screen.

   
  Datacolor SpyderX Pro  
Color fidelity 10/10
Implementation 10/10
Settings 8,0/10
Manufacturing quality 9,0/10
Quality / Price ratio 10/10
  I like it very much...  
 
  • The best colorimeter (early 2019) for calibrating entry-level or mid-range displays,
  • Excellent calibration quality, significantly improved even with the naked eye compared to versions 5, especially on mid- and low-end displays,
  • Perfectly neutralized grey (without slight dominance),
  • Calibration speed: less than one minute in fast mode under two minutes in precise mode. How convenient it is after all!
  • Essential update to take into account the latest screen technologies,
  • But the software interface is always the same and therefore known,
  • The best current price/quality ratio,
  • A favorite product!
 
     
  I regret...  
 
  • Launch price a little high but it should quickly settle down!..... That said, this new SpyderX is better than version 5, undoubtedly, on my Asus VC239H, Dell XPS laptops, etc....,
  • No possibility to choose a 287:1 contrast for those who print a lot,
  • Software interface less "beautiful" than the competitor! Personal opinion obviously so do not consider this as a defect!
  • Frankly, there are few or no defects at this price and in the face of so many qualitative or practical improvements!
 
     
  My overall rating...  
  9,75 / 10, My favorite!  
     
  My conclusion...  
 

SpyderX Pro colorimeter on laptopProduct still significantly improved compared to the excellent Spyder5 Pro: much faster calibration and taking into account the latest display technologies. To buy blindly to calibrate all kinds of entry-level or mid-range displays. It's clearly my new favorite if you have this type of screen!

 
     
   
 
Datacolor SpyderX Pro

$169.99

$169.99
CDN$ 229.99
$169.99
 
   
 
 
Here is my review of the SpyderX Pro from Datacolor.
 
- Review of the Datacolor SpyderX Pro
  - Introduction to the SpyderX Pro
- Calibration with the SpyderX Pro
- Conclusion and rating

- Why and how to calibrate your monitor?
- How to choose your monitor?


 

Calibrate your photo printer with the best quality/price ratio: X-Rite i1 STUDIO !

Read my full review...  

$439.00

Calibrate your monitor with the best value
for money: X-Rite Colormunki Display !

Read my full review...

$168.99

   
 

 

     

 

 

 
 

 

       

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