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on Nov 4, 2009 in Camera Tech, Digital Darkroom, Just Out!

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

_BMP5735I was intrigued by the ColorChecker when I was asked to beta test it. It first reminded me of the good old D1 days when profiling your individual camera was the in thing. But when one delves a little more into the ColorChecker, it’s anything but days gone past revisited. The idea is really simple, create a custom profile for your camera that you use when you view and post process the file. While I’m not a Lightroom user, every Lightroom user I’ve talked to who has a ColorChecker swears by its results. The ColorChecker comes with software making it really easy for you to create your own custom profile, it really is amazing.

_BMP5735aIf I don’t use Lightroom, why do I have a ColorChecker Passport? I do a lot of product shooting and getting accurate color is really important. I tend to have to do it on the road and so I have always carried the mini ColorChecker Classic, but travel takes a tool on this expensive piece of cardboard. Well, the Passport comes in a great plastic case that permits you to carry it in you back pocket if you want without worry of damaging it. That’s great!

What’s the difference between these two images? The top image is a straight file taken with AutoWB under a desk lamp. The image to the left is the same image with the gray eye dropper in curves clicked on the 18% gray square on the color checker. With that, the color cast is removed and you see a color corrected scene. Now I don’t foresee hanging this on a Moose antler or putting it out in the middle of the Grand Canyon to achieve the correct color with a click. That’s not the point of this tool. You might want to give David’s write up a cruise to understand a little more of the power of this cool new tool.