I reckon a decent starting point at an entry level cost would be the Datacolor Spyder 5, I've seen good resilts with those, especially when the Soyder 5 colorimeter is used with a subsequent upgrade to my favourite display software "basICColor display".
so that's my recommendation. Do it in 2 stages over time.
At a slightly higher price the XRite i1 display pro is worth a look As I am sure many will point out.
Again I prefer to run the colorimeter with basICColor software.
if you are in Europe and contact me directly I can give you a -20% discount code for the spyder.
I hope that helps, please mark as helpful if so
if youre OK now, please mark as answered so others can see theres useful info in this thread.
best of luck
The Spyder is fine. Note that Spyders have a somewhat bad reputation, which stems from many years back with the Spyder 2, which really was bad. Since then they have tightened up their operation and the new models are very good.
That said, the i1 Display Pro is generally regarded the best sensor, with excellent inter-unit consistency, and the whole package is worth the price for the sensor alone.
Stay away from the Spyder Express edition. The software is severely crippled, with only single display support, and limited options for tuning the calibration parameters. You'll want to do that when you get some experience.
Long term, you may want to look at high-end monitors with fully integrated calibration software (NEC Spectraview and Eizo Colornavigator). These open up a whole new world and run rings around third-party calibrators, both in ultimate quality and practical use. Both support Spyder and x-rite sensors.
I'd avoid anything Spyder:
The higher the reported dE, the worse the unit preformed. So you'll see two Spyder's (newest models) were 9.9 and 7.2 which is pretty awful. The X-rite products were 1.4 and as low as 0.8!
In all fairness, the white point accuracy isn't critical - you'll adjust that visually anyway, right? D65 may not give you a very good match to paper white, whatever the sensor returns. Much more important is how accurately the primaries are placed relative to that white point. That has a direct impact on how colors are actually reproduced.
Not that I have any particular views on the Spyders (I use the i1 myself) - but that test is pretty limited in scope.
The dE errors across the board are quite fair. The Spyder products are far from best in class or in conforming to the same product measurements over samples. Not good. If you have one, it's better than a stick in the eye. If you're looking for a good instrument, it's not the one to consider by a long shot.
Poor consistency from unit to unit is not a good sign, agreed.
The best sensor? I'd say that's the basICColor DISCUS.
It has pro level pricing though.
DISCUS was a selected by high end proofing company gmg for their softproofing system, which has to say a lot.
"Proven Stability: Using premium coated optical glass filters, and combination with sensors offering high inter-instrument agreement, the DISCUS guarantees long life stability.
Each device is individually calibrated and can also be recertified. This provides peace of mind that the measurements and results achieve the highest possible standard."
"Lab-grade Precision: The DISCUS is the only competitive device offering a temperature sensor, which combined with unique circuitry, compensates for device warming that occurs during the course of repeated measurements. The device maintains perfect reference to absolute black and insures accuracy in the shadow region measurements."
neil barstow, colourmanagement
The best sensor? I'd say that's the basICColor DISCUS
Oh, absolutely, no argument. A tad expensive, though, at nearly 1000 euro (roughly $1200)...that takes you two-thirds of the way towards an Eizo CG247, which BTW has a very good internal sensor (made by Konica Minolta IIRC), with an excellent display thrown in for good measure
Hey D Fosse,
yes DISCUS is expensive I agree.
The glass filters and temperature sensor, development and build quality for a small market device are likely to blame.
Nice that it's out there though, also that Eizo support it as an instrument in Colordege.
have a good week
neil barstow, colourmanagement
I would like to know what type of monitor and computer you are using?
I am using Macs, mainly a macbook and an iMac, I have an Eizo Coloredge connected - as those screens have a high level of accuracy when calibrated. Also good uniformity.