Previous news story    Next news story

Datacolor launches Spyder4 range of colorimeters

By dpreview staff on Jan 6, 2012 at 03:16 GMT

Pre-CES: Color calibration company Datacolor has launched the Spyder4, the latest in its range of affordable colorimeters. The Spyder4 range includes Express, Pro and Elite versions that vary in terms of the complexity of calibration you can conduct and how many devices you can calibrate. Datacolor claims the latest versions offer 26% better color accuracy than the Spyder3 models. Prices range from $119 for the Spyder4 Express to $249 for the Elite version.

Press Release:

Datacolor Launches Spyder4, Offers Simplicity and Accuracy in Color Calibration for all Display Devices

Spyder4 Express, Spyder4 Pro and Spyder4 Elite Provide Full Spectrum Color Calibration for Creative Professionals

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Datacolor® (, a global leader in color management solutions, today introduced Spyder4, a line of highly advanced colorimeters able to calibrate monitors, laptops, projectors, TVs, iPads and even iPhones. Designed to provide photographers and creative professionals with accurate and consistent results, Spyder4 makes quick work of the color correction process.

Spyder4 is designed for the way photographers work, combining an easy-to-use interface with advanced levels of brightness and color control. The full-spectrum color capture technology uses a seven-channel sensor, which registers color in the same way as the human eye, ensuring the colors on the screen are true-to-life.

Since no two devices display the exact same color, precise calibration is imperative in order to ensure consistent, true color representation. In addition, even calibrated monitors, TVs and tablets will gradually decrease in accuracy, requiring color calibration every one to two months in order to display sharp, accurate colors, shadows and highlights.

“Spyder 4 provides an easy-to-use calibration solution for all display devices, which greatly improves workflow efficiency for busy professionals and photo enthusiasts,” said Dave Faulkner, Product Manager, Imaging Color Solutions at Datacolor. “Our team is dedicated to developing color management tools that are extremely intuitive while still delivering the highest levels of accuracy that professional photographers demand. The industry is competitive, and anything that gives photographers an advantage, especially with the technical details of color management, is a huge asset. Photographers need to be able quickly edit and process shots to deliver to clients on deadline, and the Spyder4 will calibrate all their monitors in just minutes.”

A range of Spyder 4 devices are available, enabling users to choose the model that best matches their color management needs. The Spyder4 calibrates a variety of wide-gamut and normal-gamut displays. All models feature a simple install wizard, and deliver an average of 26% more accuracy and improved low luminance performance over previous Spyder3 technology.

Spyder4 Express is a cost-effective colorimeter that quickly calibrates a single display computer or laptop right out of the box. iPad and iPhone calibration is also available with Datacolor’s free SpyderGallery app.

Spyder4 Pro is ideal for those that want more control over light and color management, offering ambient light measurement and the ability to calibrate multiple displays, as well as iOS devices.

Spyder4 Elite offers the highest level of customization. In addition to the previously noted displays, it can also be used to calibrate projectors. Developed for professional photographers, videographers and others who must match colors precisely, the Spyder4 Elite provides the tools to manage multiple displays and calibrate them using a full set of gamma and non-gamma tone response curves to create custom workflow settings. The user can even define a custom calibration. The Spyder4 Elite includes the L-Star workflow and supports the video standards Cineon, NTSC, PAL and HDTV.

Pricing and Availability

Spyder4 products are available at photography and consumer electronic retailers nationwide or online at The Spyder4Express is priced at $119, Spyder4Pro is $169, and Spyder4Elite is $249.


Total comments: 25
Paul Laletin
By Paul Laletin (11 months ago)

Look elsewhere. Bought and returned Spyder4Studio. Support is atrocious and products, especially Spyder Print, do not work at all.

Dave ONeill
By Dave ONeill (Feb 7, 2012)

Windows Users of Spyder 4 Express - take note of revised Datacolor steps below to make a good profile:
-Dave O'Neill
Northlight Editions

Dear David,

thank you very much for your message and your faith in Datacolor products.

On Windows, make sure to use this very latest version of Spyder4Express:

Now, please try the following:

-use the Shortcuts menu and go to Display Type
-in the Display Type screen,
-Hold down the Control key and while holding the key select the "Next" button
-this will take you to the "Make and Model" screen
-while still holding down the Control key select the Next button one more time
-you should now be in the Display Technology screen

For "Gamut" select Unknown
For "Backlight" select Unknown

Now calibrate again and let us know how it did go.

Thank you and best regards,

Raphael Graf

Datacolor AG
CH-8305 Dietlikon

Many Feathers
By Many Feathers (Feb 9, 2012)

Thanks so much. I've been having much difficulty with my a replacement and it still didn't work. Didn't know if it's my old monitor or the Spyder4. This makes it much better...although my Spyder4Pro is NOT measuring ambient light before doing the I'm not sure I have Pro. Me thinks Datacolor needs to work out some more bugs.... but this makes it useable, so thanks :-)

By WayneMunn (Jan 30, 2012)

Datacolor (Switzerland) send me links to some clean-up utilities, the latest release of the Spyder4Elite software, and a multi-step process to make sure there was a clean install. It still creates a useless, null profile where Spyder3Elite works very well. I sent them samples of a good profile and the bad Spyder4 one to inspect, but I think they have a glitch in the software. I can't test using the "4" colorimeter with "3" or vice versa since the software does a serial number check and won't run.

By WayneMunn (Jan 27, 2012)

Sorry for the long 3-part post that follows (in reverse order!) but I thought you might like a heads up from someone who has been using Spyder3Elite and just received and installed the "4" version.

I don't Post here often so apologies if there is another way I should have put this "First Look" info for members.

Wayne Munn

By WayneMunn (Jan 27, 2012)

Part 3. . .contd.

This is software, so I'll just try going thru the procedure a couple more times and see if it corrects itself. This is an Win7 Pro 64-bit Intel 2600K processor-based ASUS Sandy Bridge MoBo, 16 GB DDR3 DRAM with a stable build only a couple months old. A build that was working perfectly with "3" on the Intel integrated HD graphics. With this build I was also able to create, with "3", separate profiles for the two LCD panels on the PC. The secondary LCD needed MUCH more correction than the IPS, but after using "3" they were stunningly close and matches to color prints were excellent.


By WayneMunn (Jan 27, 2012)

Part 2:

When it gets to the end and shows the SpyderProof image I find that toggling Calibration ON and OFF makes NO difference. This monitor doesn't need a huge correction, but it is significantly noticeable when you toggle with "3".

As before the system has only a brochureware type User Guide, inexcusable for such a potentially powerful piece of software and with the added tweakability Datacolor is marketing.

Note that there is NO User Manual on the Datacolor website, in fact there isn't even a PDF of the mediocre User Guide.

I sent a message to Datacolor a couple hours ago and got a reply that they had a large backlog to handle but would try to respond. . .

See Part 3. . .

By WayneMunn (Jan 27, 2012)

Part 1:

Don't dump your Spyder3 yet!

Just received the Spyder4Elite. Uninstalled the Spyder3Elite I have, rebooted and installed the Spyder4Elite software update from the Datacolor website. (Notes there indicated a couple of serious bugs were in the release on the website.

Installed fine.

During calibration all OK until it gets to the Whitepoint set. I have an IPS LCD screen that calibrated VERY well with the Spyder3Elite. In behavior I had never seen with the "3" when the software stopped for me to tweak the brightness the color of the screen was a strong CYAN hued white!

OK, so maybe that is a feature, but I'd think not when setting the whitepoint :-)

I assume the software knows better than me, so I match the level closely and the calibration continues thru to the end.

See Part 2. . .

By kostona (Jan 7, 2012)

any reviews out yet?

also I do get a pink cast on Dell U2711 screen after calibrating it with Spyder 3 Elite and version 4 software. The problem is well documented online (even on DPReview forums) with no solution available.

I am seriously considering colour munki because of that, but would happily buy Spyder 4 Elite if the problem is solved.

Jack A. Zucker
By Jack A. Zucker (Jan 6, 2012)

my spyder3 is arriving today too. I guess I'll return it...

By treepop (Jan 6, 2012)

DUDE! I literally just bought my Spyder 3 :( I guess I can take it back and get the new one :( What a pain in the rear.

By PhotoArtKC (Jan 6, 2012)

WTS Spyder 3 Elite, slightly used... *grin*

Comment edited 9 seconds after posting
By T3 (Jan 6, 2012)

Great. I just got my Spyder3 a few weeks ago. Murphy's Law in action once again.

1 upvote
By Mssimo (Jan 6, 2012)

Anyone ever use these? Are the adjustments software based or on the monitor or both?

By PhotoArtKC (Jan 6, 2012)

That depends on your hardware. "Hardware calibration" and a "monitor profile" are two different things but coexist together. My LaCie 324i uses my Spyder 3 or ColorMunki device (yes I own both) to calibrate the monitor directly using the internal 10bit LUT (look up table) without touching the video cards 8bit LUT. This is ideal since the 10bit internal LUT is more accurate. Then the monitor gets a "software profile" which is used by applications that can utilize color management. The combination of this gives me the most accurate color possible.

1 upvote
By fus (Jan 6, 2012)

interesting. Well Spyder elite runs 4.X now...

Anyhow, I just noticed their lion compatibility has been updated on their website. Back to ambient light real time recordings!

By PhotoArtKC (Jan 6, 2012)

That is only the software. This is a new hardware calibration device.

By Albino_BlacMan (Jan 6, 2012)

I don't see how you can get that much better than spyder 3. My Spyder 3 calibrated Monitor matches my prints exactly as far as I can tell

1 upvote
By almanacia (Jan 6, 2012)

which version of Spyder 3 do you use? Express, Pro, or Elite?

By PhotoArtKC (Jan 6, 2012)

All of the Spyder 3 devices are the same. The software is the only difference. The Elite software has more advanced controls and in theory is "more accurate".

In response to Albino_BlacMan, I've tested the Spyder 3 (Elite model) back to back with the ColorMunki Photo (old style) using the LaCie Blue Eye Pro Proof Edition software (which can use either devices and others) on my LaCie 324i monitor (P-IPS 30bit display) and the ColorMunki actually gave me better "deep" colors, slightly more neutral overall tones (grayscale) and based on the UDACT certification verification tests the calibrations where also better with the ColorMunki. I'm not saying you should or should not get either or device, I'm just stating my experiences and test results. The Spyder 4 may actually be better, I dunno yet as I do not own one.

By Gusse (Jan 7, 2012)

Spyder3 express device does not have ambient light sensor. So the three devices are not exactly the same. Only the elite and pro devices are identical.

By PhotoArtKC (Jan 7, 2012)

Ah, that must have been released after I purchased mine. Thanks for the correction.

By HeezDeadJim (Jan 8, 2012)


I have the Eye-One Display 2. I think my version uses the same "calibrator" that Lacie used for a long time (maybe still?).

You say the Lacie software can use other brands' calibration hardware? I don't necessarily have a problem with X-rite's app, but it never hurts to try other software. Would I be able to try Lacie's version?

Jack A. Zucker
By Jack A. Zucker (Jan 9, 2012)

Weird, my spyder 3 produced sepia tinged B&W photos on two different computers/monitors. Additionally, prints on my 3880 using the epson profiles come out much darker than on the monitor.


I am just wondering if spyder4 pro or elite will calibrate my imac 24 inch screen,2013 Mac 10.8?

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
Total comments: 25