Mac users, we're pleased to announce Macphun's all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for purchase with special launch pricing. (Existing Macphun customers get a further discount.)
We rated Luminar as "Highly Recommended", and you can now visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.
Once you have your profile, you'll see a results screen that lets you compare the before and after settings. Even though I used a new MacBook Pro with the anti-glare screen for my testing, I was surprised at how far off my color balance was. I expected the luminance to be very far off, and in fact it was - I had to reduce screen brightness by about 50% to approach the ideal level. My original settings were much cooler in tone than the after as you can see in the images below.
One feature I like here is the ability to zoom in on any of these sample images. If you're concerned about how the highlight and shadow detail is doing, the grayscale images are perfect for this review. For skin tones or saturation, there are image samples that showcase this area nicely.
After running the calibration, I used the Profile Overview feature to see how my new profile compared to the original. You can also see how your display compares to sRGB and AdobeRGB color spaces, which is very useful when printing. The increase in color gamut is very impressive, with the new calibration essentially covering all of sRGB and going beyond it on the greens. As you can see in the screen below, the laptop covers 78% of AdobeRGB.
There are also a number of other reports available to you in the Elite version, including tone response charts, monitor ratings, color accuracy, and detailed information.
The new version of Spyder Elite claims to be 19% better in performance. Although I didn't measure the time difference between the version 3 and version 4 devices, the calibration process is faster, and the color profile is larger in volume and more accurate in reproduction.
If you have an iPad, you can also download a free app, Spyder Gallery, that serves as a photo viewer. Nothing new here right? After all, the iPad includes the Photos app which is a viewer, so why download another? Because with the Spyder4Elite, you can now use the Spyder Gallery app in unison with your Mac or PC and calibrate the iPad display. Yes - the iPad display is calibrated for more accurate color! The changes only work within the Spyder Gallery app, but if you use an iPad for portfolio presentation, this is a great feature. As you can see from the screen capture below, there is a noticeable improvement in color between the normal and calibrated views.
Calibrating an iPad