Simply Undefeated: We Review the Datacolor Spyder X2 Elite

If you have not calibrated your monitor just lately — or maybe ever — chances are you’ll not notice the impression it may possibly have. It’s a somewhat dry subject and also you may need to allocate these {dollars} towards a brand new lens, which I perceive, however a color-calibrating software is a necessary piece of equipment and Datacolor are the most effective within the sport.

The older I get, the extra I recognize folks and firms that specialize and keep centered on it. Asides the occasional system that I demand the world from, comparable to my smartphone, I gravitate towards merchandise from firms which have put most of their eggs in that basket. It is no secret that doing one factor 1,000 occasions has extra worth than doing 1,000 issues as soon as. Few persons are keen to grind away at one thing till it turns into boring, however behind that uninteresting gate is the place it will get particular.

Datacolor is arguably probably the most well-known firm that works on colour administration. That’s, every thing they do revolves round colour and making certain the accuracy of it. I do know fantasic print outlets that use Datacolor merchandise, I do know a significant trend home that makes use of it, but when I settle for it may very well be bias, it appears to me that images is the place Datacolor is the undisputed champion of its craft. I’ve been taking photos with SLRs, DSLRs, mirrorless, and a few quirkier cameras, for shut to fifteen years now, and virtually all of that point, I have been utilizing Datacolor.

Now, I say “most of these years” as a result of for the primary 12 months or two, I used to be fully bored with buying a monitor calibrating software — I used to be busy shopping for each classic lens on eBay. Then, two issues occurred in fast succession. The primary was deciding to print my images for the primary time — an thrilling second for a brand new photographer. When the prints arrived, the colours had been terrible, the picture seemed nothing prefer it did on my PC, and I swore I would by no means use that printers once more. The second was that I uploaded a portrait I used to be very happy with on the time and as I had a deal with on what did effectively for me on social media and what did not, I could not wait to see the response. The responses had been all centered round how the topic seemed like a zombie. She was lovely; I used to be outraged. Nevertheless, the “zombie” feedback had been probably not about her, they had been saying the pores and skin tones had a robust greenish hue. They weren’t inexperienced on my monitor, however certain sufficient, as I checked different units, they had been proper. Maybe I will check out that colour calibration software in spite of everything.

Why did I select Datacolor? Truthfully, I am unable to bear in mind a wealth of choices, and the photographers I trusted all used a Spyder, so I purchased one. I shortly realized my screens had been each horrendously skewed with each colours and distinction, and because of 10 minutes of calibrating with the Spyder, now they had been excellent.

The Datacolor Spyder X2 Elite

Key Data

System Necessities

Win 10 32/64, Win 11
Mac OS X 10.10 – 13.0
Monitor decision 1,280×768 or better, 16-bit video card (24-bit advisable), 1 GB of accessible RAM, 500 MB of accessible exhausting disk
Web connection for software program obtain

Supported Languages

English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese language, Conventional Chinese language, Korean


$269.99 (contains Spyder X2 Elite Colorimeter, USB-C to USB-A adaptor, guarantee card, and serial quantity for software program activation.


The Datacolor Spyder X2 Elite is as boring as it’s essential, and that is an odd mixture. The product design appears to be like somewhat uninteresting and outdated, the packaging is obvious, and the software program is straightforward — the entire expertise is forgettable. And but, this is not a criticism. The Spyder X2 Elite was sat sealed on my desk and from the second I opened the field, to the second I returned it to the field was roughly 20 minutes. In that point, I took the system out, downloaded the newest software program, hooked up the USB adaptor, plugged it in, adopted the directions for my first monitor, accomplished the calibration, after which repeated it for my second monitor. It was intuitive, easy, and quick. Frankly, it was a masterclass in a software doing precisely what you need it to. There was no bloatware, elaborate advertising movies to instruct me, gaudy inventory pictures, or upselling; it got here, it noticed, it calibrated.

On the finish of the calibration course of, it did two issues that I appreciated, nonetheless. The primary was to permit me to select an interval at which to be prompted to recalibrate (I picked a month), and the second was to point out me a earlier than and after comparability. When you may have accomplished the calibration, you possibly can open a grid of various pictures full display, and by urgent house bar, you possibly can toggle between your calibrated monitor profile and the profile you had earlier than calibrating. I did not assume it had been that lengthy since I final calibrated, however the distinction was profound.

The Spyder X2 Elite is geared toward intermediate and superior photographers, videographers, and content material creators. The software program has been re-engineered to enhance the consumer expertise by means of the UI — which was evident — and so as to add extra colour customization choices and improved accuracy. There are a variety of cinema choices, printer profiles, a soft-proofing module for simulating different shows and units, and even a Studio Match module for side-by-side calibration of various shows to make sure constant colour replica.

An attention-grabbing be aware is that should you purchase the Elite model and need to begin working with HDR and excessive brightness screens (the important thing differentiator between Elite and Extremely is that the Extremely caters for these), you needn’t purchase new {hardware} and might simply pay to improve the software program.

What I Preferred

Ease of use, from the system to the UI
Velocity of use: begin to end, you may be calibrated in minutes.
Is aware of its job; does it — does not attempt to be anything

What Might Be Improved

I’ve at all times thought the unit’s design for attaching to the monitor is a bit of clumsy, however seemingly can’t be simply improved
Ought to take longer to calibrate, so I do know it labored exhausting for these outcomes

This text is not sponsored, however Datacolor did present the unit for assessment.