Reviews |Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video review

Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video review

A fast way to boost your video quality and a great partner for the DJI RS 4 Pro

Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video colour swatches

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Our Verdict

The Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video is a deceptively small gadget about the size of a standard wallet; however, it’s an incredibly handy addition to any video production. It features a variety of charts for accurately setting colour, focus, and exposure.

The method of use is straightforward: film the chart at the start of each scene and use it as a reference point for post-production grading. The chart includes a high-contrast focus star, making it easier to gauge focus compared to other methods. The real value of this device shines in post-production, where its colour and grayscale swatches become essential reference points.

Adjustments to white balance, hue, and saturation become quick and efficient, potentially saving hours in the editing suite. Despite its high price, the time savings and quality improvements the Datacolor Video Checkr offers make it a worthwhile investment for any serious video creator.


  • Compact, Pocket-Friendly Size
  • Sturdy, Durable Build
  • User-Friendly Operation


  • Workflow Integration Needed

What is the Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video?

The Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video is a compact, portable tool designed for video creators who prioritize colour accuracy and focus in their work. It is essentially a colour and focus chart, compact enough to be carried easily, much like a wallet, ensuring it’s always on hand when needed.

This product is primarily intended for videographers and filmmakers to provide a consistent reference for colour balance and exposure settings in different shooting scenarios. By filming the chart at the start of a scene or when lighting conditions change, the Spyder Checkr Video offers a benchmark for post-production colour grading and exposure correction. This process helps in achieving high-quality results that are true to the actual conditions of the scene, rather than relying solely on the camera’s automatic settings or the videographer’s perception.

The Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video is not a standalone device; it works in conjunction with video cameras and post-production software. By capturing the chart on camera, the captured image can then be used in editing software to adjust and correct the footage’s colour balance, exposure, and focus settings. This tool is particularly valuable for professionals and serious enthusiasts who seek precision in their video work, making it a vital accessory in both studio and on-location filming.

Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video easy to transport

While it adds an extra step to the filming process, the Spyder Checkr Video’s role in ensuring consistent, accurate colours and exposure settings cannot be overstated. Its design and functionality align it more with video production rather than photography, addressing the specific needs of videographers in various shooting environments. Compared to previous colour charts or focus tools, the Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video stands out for its portability, ease of use, and the significant time it saves in post-production, all contributing to a more efficient workflow and superior final product.


  • Dimensions: 122.1mm x 97.5mm x 13.4mm
  • Weight: 10g
  • Charts: 5 replaceable cards– 4 housed within the case + a patch card in a protective sleeve

Build and Handling

The Datacolor Spyder Video Checkr is a sleek, wallet-sized set of colour charts, a perfect design if you’re a videographer or photographer who values both portability and precision. It’s a striking departure from the traditional, bulky charts used for focusing and colour correction. Encased in robust hard plastic, this device is an ideal choice for all sorts of location shoots.

On the first opening, the Spyder Video Checkr, four neatly hinged charts are revealed. These include a focus star, Gray Scale, Color pattern, and an 18% grey chart – all the essentials. What makes this even more versatile is the additional Color Patch, safely tucked in a card sleeve. This patch is particularly useful if you’re a photographer and can be an automatic colour reference for studio work with certain editing software.

In practice, the Checkr is exceptionally user-friendly. You simply hold up the selected chart to your camera, capturing a reference image that becomes an invaluable asset when editing. This process, though adding an extra step to your workflow, is straightforward and enables you to easily achieve accurate colour grading and focus across all clips, cutting down on time colour matching.

Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video and camera

The focus star features a traditional design with a high-contrast black-and-white pattern. It essentially gives a target for your camera’s autofocus system, and if you want to manually focus, this high-contrast edge really helps, especially with peaking on your camera activated.


The Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video is an essential tool if you’re serious about video production, as it offers a host of features that streamline and enhance the colour calibration process. At its core, it includes charts like the Focus star, Gray Scale, Color pattern, and 18% grey, alongside the innovative Color Patch, catering to a comprehensive range of calibration needs.

A standout feature is the patent-pending Color Pattern Card. This innovative addition is designed with video editing software processing in mind, offering you more colour information at a glance. Whether you’re a novice or professional, this feature provides an intuitive, faster route to accurate colour calibration.

The Spyder Checkr Video doesn’t just stop at colour accuracy. It includes five high-gloss target cards, each serving a unique purpose. You have two types of colour cards tailored for different workflows:

  • A 22-step gradient grey scale card
  • A solid, neutral grey card for white balance
  • A focus star card

These glossy cards not only allow for high colour saturation and a wider colour gamut but also make it easier to identify lens flare, a common challenge in video production.

This tool is perfect for a wide array of users, from professional videographers to hybrid photographers/videographers and even content creators who integrate video into their work. Its ease of use makes it accessible for those new to video colour editing, while the depth of colour information it provides will be handy if you’re more experienced.

The ergonomic case design has been made to fit comfortably and securely in your hand when in use, and the slimline form makes it possible to slip into a back pocket easily.


The Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video, despite its small, seemingly simple design, does make a substantial impact on video production quality. Its performance, when used consistently, is obvious, and the small form factor means that it strikes a balance between convenience and functionality.

The device’s compact design is a major bonus, allowing it to be easily carried at all times, fitting snugly in a back pocket. The hard case not only keeps the charts in pristine condition but also ensures they are protected from the wear and tear of on-location and even studio shooting. This portability aspect doesn’t compromise its durability, thanks to the strong plastic construction of the case, complete with a reliable button pressure lock that stops the wallet from accidentally opening.

When the case is opened, the four inserted charts can be seen, each serving a crucial function in the filming process. The Focus star chart, for instance, might seem an odd chart at first glance. However, its high-contrast, black-and-white design is ingeniously effective for camera focusing. It’s especially beneficial when switching to manual focus, where the contrast of the edges accentuates the camera’s focus peaking, making manual focusing significantly easier.

Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video focus star

The 18% grey card, while compact, serves well as a reference point for setting the camera’s custom white balance. Its smaller size is a trade-off for portability, yet it remains a useful tool within a scene.

The Gray Scale chart is another vital component. When isolated in a video editor and used alongside the waveform view, it facilitates precise adjustments in white balance and contrast, streamlining the post-production process.

Perhaps the most significant of all is the Color Pattern chart. This chart becomes central in colour correction within video editing applications, allowing for subtle yet impactful adjustments in hue and saturation. Since the chart is known to be colour-correct, it provides a reliable reference, ensuring that the adjustments you make are based on accurate data.

In the box as an addition is the Color Patch chart. This can be swapped out for one of the other charts if you’re more of a hybrid shooter, and it’s nice to see its inclusion here as part of the package rather than a paid-for addition.

Integrating the Spyder Checkr Video into your workflow might take some time and effort, particularly in ensuring that reference shots are taken consistently. However, the payoff is immense. The efficiency and accuracy it brings to colour adjustment across different scenes are invaluable, saving time in post-production and enhancing the overall quality of the footage.

Through the test I had DJI RS 4 Pro and using the focus star as a reference in combination with the DJI LiDAR Focus motor was invaluable.

Final thoughts

The Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video may be small and seemingly simple, but it’s a transformative tool if you’re engaged in video production. This compact, wallet-sized device proves to be essential for achieving precise colour accuracy and focus in your projects. Its design, which blends portability with robustness, means it’s always on hand without being a burden, fitting easily into your workflow and your back pocket.

The inclusion of a variety of charts, each serving a distinct purpose, from the Focus star to the Color Pattern chart, addresses the need for colour calibration and focus accuracy in video production from the camera itself through the colour grading during the edit.

While integrating the Spyder Checkr Video into your regular workflow might require a bit of initial effort and adjustment, the benefits are undeniable. It significantly streamlines the colour grading process, ensuring that what you capture on camera can be accurately represented and enhanced in post-production. This accuracy is invaluable, particularly when working across multiple scenes or lighting conditions, ensuring consistency and quality in your final production.

For videographers, content creators, and hybrid photographer-videographers, the Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video will help to elevate the quality of your work by providing a reliable, precise reference for colour and focus, saving you time in post-production and enhancing the overall visual appeal of your videos.

So, is the Datacolor Spyder Checkr Video essential? Absolutely. It is expensive, but that investment can make a significant difference in the efficiency of your workflow and the quality of your video projects.

If you’re looking for how to calibrate your camera check out our feature highlighting the process.