Datacolor Spydercheckr Snap Verdict

Need to upgrade your image quality then look no further than the Datacolor Spydercheckr.

This 48 swatch colour card ensures you get exposure, contrast and colour right everytime.

The colour and grey cards are protected by a hinged hard case that makes it easy to transport and carry the delicate charts within.

It also features a tripod mount and fade indicators, all handy and essential.

As colour cards go, the design and features are as ever simple but essential, offering a decent sized colour management solution that I would highly recommend.

For Datacolor Spydercheckr

  • Decent size
  • 48 Colour Swatches
  • Grey card

Against Datacolor Spydercheckr

  • Heavier than compition
  • Expensive

Colour management is a photographic process so often overlooked, which is ridiculous because it can save you both time and money.

If you’re not familiar with the magic of colour cards then prepare to be amazed, they will quite literally revolutionise your photographic world.

Imagine one device that would enable you to irradicate colour casts, sort exposures and balance contrast all with a single, well almost, click.

Ultimately this is possible with the Datacolor Spydercheckr, and of course like all the best things on the surface at least it all looks very unassuming.


Usually, aside from reeling off the swatch values, there would be little else to cover on features for what is ultimately a colour card.

OK, with the SpyderCheckr there are two colour cards, and each is reversible with grey swatches on the back, there’s a hard case a 1/4-inch thread on the base and retractable 1/4-inch thread on the top.

But are these additional features needed or are they gloss on what is essentially a straightforward product.

A colour cards basic function is to ensure that you get colours right; take a picture of the card in the lighting conditions you’ll be using for the rest of the shoot, and then use it later as the colour reference.

Datacolor being colour experts have put a little more thought into the card to ensure that their solution is fully tuned to the jobbing photographer. Or anyone who likes to get things right.

The first big difference between this and the competition is that it arrives in a hard case. This is part of the design and integral to the cards ease of use.

There are other colour cards out there that also arrive in a hard case but not at this size.

Full dimensions closed are 15 x 23 x 1.5cm (w x h x d), roughly the same size as an iPad mini.

This makes it nice, tactile and easy to handle. Opening the chart out and the width efficiently doubles.

The design is very like a book, and using book terminology to describe the parts you’ll find a 1/4-inch thread at the tail enabling the charts to be mounted on a tripod. There’s another 1/4-inch retractable screw at the head where a calibration cube or other device could be installed.

On the inner covers, (I’ve now tired of book terminology) are the two colour charts one saturated and the other low saturated.

Each chart is held in place by a magnetic frame which can be undone so the cards can be removed and flipped to reveal the grey cards.

The grey squares on each chart go in 20% steps, or if you cross between the two charts in a zigzag then 10% steps.

The colours cover skin tones, white tints, black tints and RGBCM&Y Saturation.

How to calibrate your camera for accurate colours

On the edge of the colour chart is a small red indicator that will highlight if the charts have started to fade.

Due to the design if any charts do get damaged, then new charts are available.

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Datacolor Spydercheckr
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