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Low-cost colour calibration from Atomos

14 September 2013
Low-cost colour calibration from Atomos

Getting colour accurate at acquisition means less time in post, but this isn’t possible without a properly calibrated monitor, which is why Atomos is bringing out a new €149 calibration device for its recorders. The Spyder, which is built by Datacolor, but with software by Atomos, can calibrate the monitor to Rec. 709 or 6500K white point automatically in about a minute. It will also be usable, with (extra cost) software from Datacolor, for any other monitor or computer display.

“Lots of customers are spending a lot of time on colour correction and the right place to fix something is when you’re shooting,” said Atomos CEO, Jeromy Young.

Atomos has to calibrate its own screens before shipping, which was a lot of work, but then realised that the app it wrote to do this had wider use. “This is the first time this has been brought to a small portable device. When you add the waveform, vectorscope and calibration, you really know what you are recording. It means you save time in post and you can be more creative,” he added.

“If you want accurate colour, you do need to do it regularly. LCDs degrade in colour over time. We recommend recalibrating every month,” although he would do it for every location (but you’d need a laptop to do it).

In future he hopes to have auto calibration without the computer, plugging the Spyder straight into the recorder.

“The monitor market is massive. Every camera needs one, and being able to record on it is a bonus,” said Young. Datacolor did tests on all the small built-in LCD screens on numerous cameras, “and found the colour readings were all over the place”.
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