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Author Topic: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite  (Read 1417 times)

rasworth

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Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« on: February 11, 2019, 10:37:08 am »

Looks like Datacolor is trying to get back in the game: https://spyderx.datacolor.com/shop/

One of the more interesting differences between pro and elite is the extra $100 buys you the ability to soft proof various printers.  Sounds interesting if it works.

So which of you guys got one free and can report on its goodness?

Richard Southworth
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digitaldog

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 11:27:37 am »

Looks like Datacolor is trying to get back in the game: https://spyderx.datacolor.com/shop/

One of the more interesting differences between pro and elite is the extra $100 buys you the ability to soft proof various printers.  Sounds interesting if it works.

So which of you guys got one free and can report on its goodness?

Richard Southworth
I don't understand; one can soft proof various printers with a printer profile. What are they promising now?
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Andrew Rodney
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rasworth

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 12:37:57 pm »

It appears from their website they have a standalone program, maybe aiming at the non-Adobe market.

Richard Southworth
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Doug Gray

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 01:42:58 pm »

Mostly their site is marketing fluff but one thing caught my eye that could, if done properly, be quite useful:

"Visual Fine Tuning for Side-by-side Display Match"

There is significant variation in human response to spectrally spikey displays. Especially with different technologies such as backlit LED/CFLs and wide gamut displays. People often don't match the CIE 1931 "standard observer" model exactly. This is much less an issue with prints because their spectral response is more smoother and more gradual and CYM curves tend to be quite similar across printers.

I'd like to see some detailed technical descriptions of what the process is. I've done a bit of that myself to get my second monitor to more closely match my Eizo by shifting the second one's CIExy to visually match. But this is a somewhat cumbersome process.
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digitaldog

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 01:49:27 pm »

It appears from their website they have a standalone program, maybe aiming at the non-Adobe market.

Richard Southworth
Non Adobe? Lots and lots of software provides soft proofing.
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Andrew Rodney
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rasworth

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 02:09:04 pm »

As you well know, there's various levels of "soft proof" capability.  So let's start the list.

I have DXO Photolab, Affinity, and Luminar loaded up on my system, afaik Affinity provides something akin to soft proofing, but I don't think it does the paper white shift as in Photoshop/LR.  Neither Photolab nor Luminar seem to have such.  I've mucked around with a lot of free/cheap software, again I don't remember any real soft proof functionality.  Not sure about Raw Therapee, haven't done much with it.

Of course, we don't know how well Datacolor will do.

Your turn.

Richard Southworth
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digitaldog

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 02:16:16 pm »

As you well know, there's various levels of "soft proof" capability.  So let's start the list.

I have DXO Photolab, Affinity, and Luminar loaded up on my system, afaik Affinity provides something akin to soft proofing, but I don't think it does the paper white shift as in Photoshop/LR.  Neither Photolab nor Luminar seem to have such.  I've mucked around with a lot of free/cheap software, again I don't remember any real soft proof functionality.  Not sure about Raw Therapee, haven't done much with it.

Of course, we don't know how well Datacolor will do.

Your turn.

Richard Southworth
Any product that can convert to an output color space better be soft proofing and as such, what DC is proving for an audience working with profiles is questionable at best.
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Andrew Rodney
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rasworth

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 02:39:13 pm »

IMO one of the better reasonably priced non-subscription software packages out there is DXO Photolab.  They even have a pretty good print module, with option to convert to output color space using selected profiles.  In spite of my many requests they don't yet offer a soft proof capability.

I'm not saying DC will offer a good product, just that it would make the "sell" easier to less experienced photographers to spend money for monitor calibration/profiling if it included a reasonable soft proof capability, assuming they want to print at all.

Richard Southworth
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digitaldog

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 02:59:27 pm »

IMO one of the better reasonably priced non-subscription software packages out there is DXO Photolab.  They even have a pretty good print module, with option to convert to output color space using selected profiles.  In spite of my many requests they don't yet offer a soft proof capability.
You're saying, that when you convert, you don't see any change of color appearance on-screen?
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Andrew Rodney
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rasworth

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 03:23:44 pm »

I'm saying when I go into the PhotoLab Print module there is no soft proof of the image, just margins, etc., although there is full color management wrt what is delivered to the printer.  I attached an example.

For that matter Lightroom does similarly, no soft proof in the Print module, one has to go back to Develop to view in soft proof mode.

Richard Southworth
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digitaldog

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 03:32:25 pm »

I'm saying when I go into the PhotoLab Print module there is no soft proof of the image, just margins, etc., although there is full color management wrt what is delivered to the printer.  I attached an example.

For that matter Lightroom does similarly, no soft proof in the Print module, one has to go back to Develop to view in soft proof mode.

Richard Southworth
What I'm asking is if that software changes the color appearance on screen when you convert? IF it does, it is soft proofing. No, not from the RGB working space but it's still soft proofing. On the Mac, Preview and the ColorSync utility will do this too, when you convert. So the DC option is of limited usefulness for anyone with a printer profile that will need to convert the data. I can't even see from their tiny screen grab if they allow Paper White and Ink Black simulation which is an advanced soft proof option but useful. Preview and CS utility will not do this. Also what about Black Point Compensation? Their CMM uses or doesn’t use it?


There's really little need to see a soft proof in LR's print module, it's FPO time. Plus, if you make a Proof Copy, that module will honor output specific edits and the rendering intent used in Develop (where edits should be supplied). In the Print Module, seeing a soft proof at this point would be of very limited usefulness. Much like the soft proof option (which may still be broken) in Photoshop's Print dialog.


Where the DC software may deserve the extra money is unlimited white point  and cd/m^2 settings instead of a set of presets. Not much different from X-rite's silly pricing structure.
Does this DC software allow control over contrast ratio? X-rite does at the higher price point for software.
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Andrew Rodney
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rasworth

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 03:45:10 pm »

I agree, LR does soft proof well, although I would prefer they carry it forth to the print module.

There is no Convert to Profile capability within PhotoLab, and no representation at any stage of the print, until it pops out of the printer.  And yes, I've checked, they do BPC by default in Relative intent.

I have no idea what the DC software allows, they're not providing it on the website, at least not yet.

Richard Southworth
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digitaldog

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 03:58:12 pm »

There is no Convert to Profile capability within PhotoLab, and no representation at any stage of the print, until it pops out of the printer.  And yes, I've checked, they do BPC by default in Relative intent.
Can you pick another rendering intent? If you can, this product is kind of silly as how would you know what to pick without a soft proof? And if it doesn't allow other RI's, it's kind of silly that it doesn't.  ;D
What would be interesting to know from Datacolor is if you buy the lesser expensive option, can you upgrade to the better software or are you stuck, like with X-rite. The lack of an upgrade path is infuriating IMHO.
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Andrew Rodney
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rasworth

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 04:12:27 pm »

One can choose any of the 4 intents.  I agree, the product is less desirable without soft proof, but they so far haven't listened to me.

The DC puck appears to be the same for either offering, so it will be up to marketing as to upgrade path.  Again, I was hoping one of the recognized experts on this forum would be given one, so as to report on the features.

Richard Southworth
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dmiller62

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 04:51:24 pm »

Can you pick another rendering intent? If you can, this product is kind of silly as how would you know what to pick without a soft proof? And if it doesn't allow other RI's, it's kind of silly that it doesn't.  ;D

Yes, you can select the rendering intent. And of course, it does change the color on the screen. So for a start, that answers your two questions here.

Soft Proofing (in both Spyder5Elite and SpyderXElite software) is a nice, advanced feature for anyone who wants to soft proof images through printer profiles.

It implements a full and technically correct color management workflow.

You can choose: any printer profile (and/or actually any other profile on the system if you want to cross-proof onto a different display or device profile). You can select rendering intent. You can turn out-of-gamut warnings on and off. You can toggle soft proofing itself on and off. Etc.

You load image file(s) into a list in the left side of the UI interface window and the file list (whether it contains one or many files) is the basis of which file(s) you can switch to, load, and view this way. The starting contents of the list are loaded from any individual file (or folder) on your system that you designate as the starting point (this is remembered between application launches). By default, it's set to load a single image into the list - the "standard" Datacolor set of 16 images - in this case, they're all part of the same large image file so that this "matrix" of 16 images is loaded as a complete set, and the initial scaling is best fit so that you see all of them in the viewer window.

While the window is open: you can drag-and-drop (or click buttons to load) any image(s) or folder(s) that you want into the file list. Image file(s) are appended to the list. Folder(s) will have their contents scanned and files they contain will be added to the list. (See notes on recursively scanning subfolders below)

ALSO (and this is a nice power user feature) you can change that starting point to any file or folder on your system; and if it's a folder, optionally, all of the subfolders can also have their contents scanned and added to the list recursively (this is either "on" so this happens, or "off" so that you only get the top-level items in the folder). So what you can do, if you want, is set up a folder structure of your own images, any way that you like, and every time you invoke this feature, ALL of the images in the top level folder and its children will appear in the list.

You can load images that are physically very large, by pixel dimensions. There's a VM system implemented under the hood so that images too large to fit in memory are automatically handled that with VM to whatever your startup drive is (an SSD is obviously a good thing here). On modern systems this would typically be the case only for larger than normal image files, such as multi-gigabyte TIFF files - but even in those cases, it does work; it'll handle multi-GB JPEG and TIFF if you want it to.

Once an image is selected in the list on the left, it gets loaded and displayed in the viewer section. Initially with best it scaling. You can use use the usual magnifier tool to zoom in/out and a hand tool to pan around. You can zoom in either by clicking, or by dragging a selection rectangle, and then the zoom expands the image crop to fit into the viewer. You can zoom way in, down past the pixel level, on images if you want (or more typically, zoom way in on very large/high resolution image files). You can immediately get back to best fit scaling to see the entire image through a tool click. (There are also keyboard shortcuts for all of these things).

Multiple displays are supported, including wide gamut, and/or mixes of wide and standard gamut displays. If you have more than one display attached, you can drag the Soft Proof dialog to a different display, it will automatically pick up that display's profile and adjust its color managed display accordingly. (You'll immediately see the effect of display gamut on highly saturated colors, as you'd expect to).

There's also a full-screen mode you can switch to which expands whatever you're currently viewing to fit the entire display, where you can use a key command to toggle soft proofing on and off.

Hope that answers questions about this particular feature.

David Miller
Manager/Lead Developer, Consumer Graphics
Datacolor





« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 04:59:39 pm by dmiller62 »
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dmiller62

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2019, 04:58:32 pm »

I don't understand; one can soft proof various printers with a printer profile. What are they promising now?

The ability to soft proof through printer profiles, in a nice, advanced user interface, if you don't happen to have (or subscribe to) Photoshop, or Lightroom; or another piece of 3rd party software that supports soft proofing.

It's been a feature implemented in Spyder5Elite software as part of the "+" upgrade for more than two years now, so that promise has been shipping and fulfilled for quite a while. As of today, it's also implemented in SpyderXElite.

David Miller
Manager/Lead Developer, Consumer Graphics
Datacolor


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rasworth

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2019, 05:12:21 pm »

David,

Thanks for checking in to the forum.  You have provided a lot of info as to the program's UI.

However within this forum you can anticipate questions wrt the specific technical approach used for soft proofing.  For example, when representing the image after conversion thru the printer profile, is it rendered back to the display in relative intent mode, or is there an attempt to reflect the paper "color" and white point on the display?  Is the black level adjusted so that it more accurately reflects media limitations?

Also, from a workflow point of view, one may be in an editor trying to make final changes for the printed representation.  Does one have to save out of the editor program and open the file in your program for review, or is there some way to invoke your program, so that the image can be soft proofed without leaving the editor?

Richard Southworth
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digitaldog

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2019, 05:18:12 pm »

Yes, you can select the rendering intent. And of course, it does change the color on the screen. So for a start, that answers your two questions here.
PhotoLab Print? That's where two questions were addressed.

Quote

Soft Proofing (in both Spyder5Elite and SpyderXElite software) is a nice, advanced feature for anyone who wants to soft proof images through printer profiles.
And any product that converts to output profiles should be able to do the same as I asked about PhotoLab Print. Lots or other products that provide conversions to an output color space provide a soft proof.
Now since you can answer questions specifically about this new product:
Out of gamut warnings are rather useless.
Does the OOG overlay update as you change rendering intent? Does it treat 1% OOG and 85% OOG the same with the same overlay? If so, like Photoshop, kind of useless.
Does it provide paper white and ink black simulation and handle Black Point Compensation?
Does it actually convert the source data into the output data and if not, BPC and the CMM may elsewhere may produce differing results than predicted I would imagine.
Is there an upgrade path for the lesser expensive product to the more expensive software product if indeed, the hardware is identical (is it?).
Does either product allow calibration of display and alter contrast ratio?
Quote
The ability to soft proof through printer profiles, in a nice, advanced user interface, if you don't happen to have (or subscribe to) Photoshop, or Lightroom; or another piece of 3rd party software that supports soft proofing.
That be true if those were the only two products that provided soft proofing. That isn't the case. I provided TWO free Mac OS products that provide soft proofing. AND actually convert that data using profiles!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 05:21:25 pm by digitaldog »
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Andrew Rodney
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dmiller62

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2019, 05:32:36 pm »

David,

Thanks for checking in to the forum.  You have provided a lot of info as to the program's UI.

However within this forum you can anticipate questions wrt the specific technical approach used for soft proofing.  For example, when representing the image after conversion thru the printer profile, is it rendered back to the display in relative intent mode, or is there an attempt to reflect the paper "color" and white point on the display?  Is the black level adjusted so that it more accurately reflects media limitations?

Also, from a workflow point of view, one may be in an editor trying to make final changes for the printed representation.  Does one have to save out of the editor program and open the file in your program for review, or is there some way to invoke your program, so that the image can be soft proofed without leaving the editor?

Richard Southworth

Hi Richard!

You get a soft proofed view of the image that's comparable to what you see in Photoshop if you have Paper White and Black Ink simulation turned on. There's also a black point compensation checkbox. (So it doesn't currently provide a soft proof that's "not" showing the lighter blacks you get from going through a printer profile built for matte paper, for instance).

Another technical point: you can also choose a working space from the usual suspects; the default is Adobe RGB.

The feature exists entirely in the Spyder5Elite and SpyderXElite main application, and it's implemented in a movable modal dialog that you can drag around on the screen and/or move to a different display, at which point that display's profile is switched-to automatically and the ICC profile chain that's in effect under the hood is updated. (This is the same kind of thing that the Adobe applications do so well).

To use the feature: you launch the main application as noted above; and from the first UI screen, choose the Soft Proofing path; then on the next UI screen (where some brief documentation appears), click a button and the modal dialog for Soft Proofing opens up and fills most of the screen. The starting file list is filled with whatever image (or images, if you've customized it) are loaded from the "starting point" image or folder, and the first file in the list is auto-selected and loaded into the viewer area, with best fit scaling as the starting point.

The UI is not a resizable window, but there are 3 different fixed-size layout versions of it implemented internally. When you launch it from the main application, it looks at the attached screen sizes and goes with the modal dialog size which is the largest that will fit on the smallest screen you've got attached. The idea here was to provide larger viewing areas for people who had larger displays, but also to be able to handle smaller screens; without making the viewer dialog itself resizable on the fly.

There's no ability to save a soft proofed image preview; it's there on the screen to look at; and of course you could take a screen-shot (in which case the display profile of the display it happens to be sitting on would be embedded as a tag in the screenshot; at least, if you're doing this in OS X)....

David Miller
Manager/Lead Developer, Consumer Graphics
Datacolor



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rasworth

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Re: Datacolor Spyderx - Pro and Elite
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2019, 05:51:10 pm »

David,
If I understand correctly I would have to save an image out of whatever editor I'm using and bring it into your application for soft proofing.  This makes it difficult to iteratively adjust my image within an editor while preparing for print, such as one can do in Photoshop or Lightroom.
Richard Southworth
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