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I contacted Datacolor via email about the differences in the Express, Pro, and Elite meters. I could not get the agent to tell me if these meters were the same or not. I asked that question directly twice, and all I got back was that they recommend either the Pro or Elite because it's "their belief" that JVC doesn't support the Express.:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #402 ·
I contacted Datacolor via email about the differences in the Express, Pro, and Elite meters. I could not get the agent to tell me if these meters were the same or not. I asked that question directly twice, and all I got back was that they recommend either the Pro or Elite because it's "their belief" that JVC doesn't support the Express.:confused:
The only models officially supported by JVC are the Pro and Elite. You can try the other models, at your own risk. Someone reported a different Spyder 4 model working with the old softwware, I can't remember which one, it's linked in the first post.

I personally recommend the Pro, but it's a free country :)
 

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As per a post I made earlier in the year, I contacted Datacolor and they said:
"Hi David, I am not personally familiar with the JVC AutoCal software but we do partner with other companies so they can use our calibration tools. All three models of Spyder5 are identical and the software is what varies by product. So, in theory all the calibrators should work. Elite is the only product we sell that includes projector calibration with our software.

I would verify with JVC and purchase the calibrator they recommend. Otherwise, I would purchase a PRO and make sure you are aware of the return policy if you want to try it out.

Best
John"

Yesterday I sent an enquiry to JVC Australia asking if there was any reason the Autocal software wouldn't work with the Express model.In Australia the Spyder 5 range sells for $190(Express), $290 (Pro) and $390(Elite), so if it works I can see no reason to buy anything other than the base model.
Unfortunately, the Oz return policy is nowhere near as generous as the rest of the world."If it ain't broke, then it's yours".
I will update any response I receive.
 

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Good Luck, $100 ain't nothing to sneeze at!
 

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So I just received a reply to yesterday's enquiry. ( Good work JVC ).

"Hi David,
I have checked with JVC Japan and below is there response to Spyder 5 Express compatibility:

For correct environment setting, ambient light sensor should be available for colour meter.
According to website of Datacolour, Spider 5 express don't have this feature("Room light monitoring" is not available)
This is the reason why it compatible with our calibration software."

My thoughts are that as my PJ is set up in a dedicated HT with light control ( maybe not a velvet lined black pit, but 9/10 :) )I will therefore not be using the Environment adjustment settings.
Consequently, with all other features of the Express model being the same as the PRO/Elite I will be the guinea pig and give the Express model a go. ( As you say Muzz, a $100 is $100).
 

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Then I did exactly the same thing with the brand new Spyder 5 Pro (using the V7.0 of the software, I used V6.01 with the Spyder 4 Pro).

It's not completely awful (I've seen worse), but it's poor compared to my golden Spyder 4 Pro

The blue filter is completely off which has a detrimental effect on both gamma (poor tracking of blue) and gamut (undersaturated blue).

The second issue could be dealt with with a custom colour profite using custom targets, but there is no solution for the first one, as using another color temp preset wouldn't solve this. When settings 100% white to D65, you get semi-decent results, but you lose both in brightness (53nits before setting 100% to D65, 47nits afterwards as you need around -20 on both red and green gains to balance the RGB, vs the Spyder4 giving 50nits right away with a near perfect RGB balance at 100% and zero adjustment on the gains) and in contrast.

This is not acceptable to me, so the Spyder 5 Pro is going back and I'm trying another one tomorrow. I'm picky, many people would be happy with this (especially if they can't compare to reference or near reference and don't care about maximizing brightness, contrast and gamut coverage). Not sure if this would be considered defective by Datacolor, probably not, I guess it's within their specs, but for me it's not acceptable to end up with such a poor greyscale and an undersaturated gamut.

I'm used to getting near-reference results from my Spyder 4 Pro which means I don't really need a 3D LUT on top, I'm not going for an upgrade which is, in fact a downgrade, especially when we have no solution yet to calibrate HDR on projectors. I need as good as possible out of the autocal, at least until we can calibrate HDR10 properly. Hopefully the second Spyder 5 will be better.

Although a sample of one isn't representative (it could be a fluke), this just shows what a lottery it still is to get a good Spyder. In my experience, there is no such variance with the i1display pro, which is more expensive but is probably worth it if you want an entry-level meter with some OOTB consistency. Sadly, not an option for the JVC Autocal software.

These poor results with the Spyder 5 aren't the JVC software's fault by the way, I tried both the Spyder 4 and the Spyder 5 a few times, and the results were consistent: near-reference for my good old Spyder 4 Pro, not so great for this brand new Spyder 5 Pro.

Just to clarify, this comparison is only valid for this specific Spyder 4 (arguably a golden unit, which is why I protected it from day one in a peli-case with dessicant, and it hasn't drifted one bit) and this specific Spyder 5 (not a very good one). This doesn't mean anything about each model. You could buy a Spyder 4 which will be worse than this specific 5 (easily, the Spyder 4 Elite I tried was worse than this Spyder 5 Pro), and you could buy a 5 better than my 4 (more difficult, but at least as good is I'm sure possible).

I think any Spyder will get you 80% there. But if you want as much of the remaining 20%, better find a way to check them and get them replaced until you get a good one.

By the way, I also tried the environment settings with V7 and the Spyder 5 Pro, it gave exactly the same results: same suggested settings, same awful results.

I also read claims that the Spyder 5 was much faster than the Spyder 4, but I wasn't able to reproduce this in my environment. Gamma+Color autocal took around 8mn, color only took around 2-3mn with both meters. If any one gets faster results with the Spyder 5 compared to the Spyder 4, please could you post detailed timings for gamma+color and color? Thanks!
Awesome info Manni, appreciate the update with the 5, cuz I have one here that I just loaded the drivers for last night.
Hopefully your next 1 is better, and it's not just a worse platform.

Thanks again

m
 

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So I just received a reply to yesterday's enquiry. ( Good work JVC ).

"Hi David,
I have checked with JVC Japan and below is there response to Spyder 5 Express compatibility:

For correct environment setting, ambient light sensor should be available for colour meter.
According to website of Datacolour, Spider 5 express don't have this feature("Room light monitoring" is not available)
This is the reason why it compatible with our calibration software."

My thoughts are that as my PJ is set up in a dedicated HT with light control ( maybe not a velvet lined black pit, but 9/10 :) )I will therefore not be using the Environment adjustment settings.
Consequently, with all other features of the Express model being the same as the PRO/Elite I will be the guinea pig and give the Express model a go. ( As you say Muzz, a $100 is $100).
Yep, and Manni doesn't use that Cal, as he's tried it (as above, AGAIN), and says it blows.
If it'll do everything else but environmental, seems like a way to save coin giving up a needless "feature".
Thanks for the update Dave, let us know how it works when ya get it so folks can save $.
 

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As always this thread owes a great deal to Manni's thorough approach and attention to detail. Love your work !!
Yes Muzz, great to see that for most of us the Environment adjustments would PROBABLY be detrimental to performance.
Unfortunately, having no way to check whether the Spyder 5 acquired is an accurate one, for me the whole process still becomes a bit of a lottery, so "buying the cheapest ticket" is still my preferred option.
Express it will be.
 

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Thank you, Manni, for your dedication to this thread and for providing such great information! I use a Radiance but I am looking forward to trying a new Spyder 5 Pro with the JVC autocal. I'll check the results with my i1D3 Pro in Calman to see if the Spyder 5 I receive is any good. I'll try to take some pictures and report my results in a similar way that you reported yours so we can have results from a few Spyder 5 Pro samples. I may not be able to get to it until next week, though.
 

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Thanks jstach. It'll be helpful for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #413 ·
Manni, Can I ask which Calman workflow your are using in the Spyder5 results you have posted in the other thread?
One I made for myself with Ultimate, it's a collection of various layouts I found useful over the years and keep at hand in my main workflow.

I have a version with settings for rec-709 and one for BT-2020 or DCI-P3 to speed up the process.
 

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I received a Spyder 5 a couple of days ago and within the next couple of days I plan on testing it against my i1Pro2 to check for accuracy. I'm using ChromaPure v3 and Tom H. updated my license to also support my new Spyder 5. I'll report how it goes.


As far as I know all generations of the Spyder probes have had significant unit-to-unit quality control issues in terms of their accuracy. Nowhere near as consistent as the more recent versions of the hobbyist-level i1 probes, such as the Display 3. Its hit and miss in getting an accurate Sypder 4 or Spyder 5 probe, so mine is going back to Amazon if it's not reasonably accurate.
 

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I'm a noob at calibrating--never done it. I REALLY wish there was someone in the group (or elsewhere) who could, for a fee of course, verify the accuracy of a Spyder 5, for some of us. There is no way I will take the gamble to buy one and never know if it is good enough to calibrate my RS600.

I can see where the logistics of this would be a mess--buying the S5, shipping it to the tester, he tests it and grades it, returns it. Now the buyer must decide is it good enough to keep, return it and do the process all over again. To me--this is much better than screwing up the pj calib.

Does JVC AutoCal have provision for a calibration table to be loaded into it that could then provide an accurate reading for a Spyder 5?

Room Eq Wizard (REW) has the provision of loading a calibration file to correct the response of a USB mic--a much simpler device to calibrate.
 
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Discussion Starter · #416 · (Edited)
2nd Spyder results and MadVR 3D LUT

OK, quick update:

- Fun fact: I checked and the time it takes for the new models to warm-up is the same as the old models. At least 25mn to get decent and at least 50mn to stop drifting. There is no point in doing ANY calibration (Autocal or other) if the PJ hasn't warmed up for one hour (provided the room temperature is controlled, otherwise it will keep drifting of course). For critical viewing, 30mn remains the minimum if you want to see something vaguely close to your calibration.

- The second Spyder 5 arrived... and is going back too. About the same level of accuracy as the first one. Not abysmal, but not as good as my golden Spyder 4. So I'm giving up for now, the Spyder 5 isn't faster with the JVC Autocal, it's not supported in Calman (yet). The V7.0 of the JVC software is absolutely identical to the V6.01, except it supports the Spyder 5 instead of the Spyder 4. I don't need one now, I'll try again when/if V7 brings any feature I must have at some point, or when/if I upgrade to a new model that only works with it.

I've done my first MadVR LUT after redoing a JVC autocal with the Spyder 4, and the results are exceptional. I love using the JVC Autocal because I can get a near reference calibration for my non-MadVR sources and a reference calibration in 10 minutes with a Lightning LUT using Calman.

As you can see the Spyder 4 does a very good job with the JVC Autocal and provides an excellent baseline (average dE on Colorchecker SG of 1.5, max dE of 2.5), but Calman and MadVR with the Discus bring it to another level entirely (average dE on Colorchecker SG of 0.3, max dE of 1.3!). Don't pay attention to the spike at 90-95% white, that's bulb instability, all the JVCs do this.
 

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Thanks for doing all these tests, Manni, you are a true asset to us folks trying to learn how to get our displays looking its best with the tools available. It's unfortunate that these Spyders are so inconsistent and the fact that you had two consecutive bad spyder 5 units is not encouraging. I just ordered one myself and fingers are crossed that it is a good one.
 

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...
The V7.0 of the JVC software is absolutely identical to the V6.01, except it supports the Spyder 5 instead of the Spyder 4.
...
"Instead of" or "in addition to"? Meaning can I use my Spyder 4 with V7.0 autocal software?

Thanks for all your work. Terrific results.
 

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OK, quick update:

- Fun fact: I checked and the time it takes for the new models to warm-up is the same as the old models. At least 25mn to get decent and at least 50mn to stop drifting. There is no point in doing ANY calibration (Autocal or other) if the PJ hasn't warmed up for one hour (provided the room temperature is controlled, otherwise it will keep drifting of course). For critical viewing, 30mn remains the minimum if you want to see something vaguely close to your calibration.

- The second Spyder 5 arrived... and is going back too. About the same level of accuracy as the first one. Not abysmal, but not as good as my golden Spyder 4. So I'm giving up for now, the Spyder 5 isn't faster with the JVC Autocal, it's not supported in Calman (yet). The V7.0 of the JVC software is absolutely identical to the V6.01, except it supports the Spyder 5 instead of the Spyder 4. I don't need one now, I'll try again when/if V7 brings any feature I must have at some point, or when/if I upgrade to a new model that only works with it.

I've done my first MadVR LUT after redoing a JVC autocal with the Spyder 4, and the results are exceptional. I love using the JVC Autocal because I can get a near reference calibration for my non-MadVR sources and a reference calibration in 10 minutes with a Lightning LUT using Calman.

As you can see the Spyder 4 does a very good job with the JVC Autocal and provides an excellent baseline (average dE on Colorchecker SG of 1.5, max dE of 1.5), but Calman and MadVR with the Discus bring it to another level entirely (average dE on Colorchecker SG of 0.3, max dE of 1.3!). Don't pay attention to the spike at 90-95% white, that's bulb instability, all the JVCs do this.
That's excellent greyscale tracking Manni, after the MadVR cal.

Have you been able to run a 3D LUT for Rec2020 yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #420 · (Edited)
Thanks for doing all these tests, Manni, you are a true asset to us folks trying to learn how to get our displays looking its best with the tools available. It's unfortunate that these Spyders are so inconsistent and the fact that you had two consecutive bad spyder 5 units is not encouraging. I just ordered one myself and fingers are crossed that it is a good one.
These two Spyders were not bad. They were only worse than my Golden Spyder 4. If you have a way to set 100% white to D65 after calibration, most people would be extremely happy with the results. If you look at the results just after the Autocal, they are "OK". Not what you'd get from a Pro calibration, or with a better unit, but they are not awful, and certainly better than what you'd get after a few hundred hours without being able to calibrate. The blue filter was off and led to a slight undersaturation in blue, which I don't want, but I doubt this would be visible with real content. Also, after the JVC Autocal, the gamut linearity was close to perfect, and that only would make a huge PQ difference.

Remember, the "before" calibration when I did my tests was the Autocal made with the Spyder 4 a few weeks ago. That was much better than what you'd get OOTB, or even more after a few hundreds hours without any calibration whatsoever.

As I said, any Spyder will get you 80% there, which for the price isn't bad. Especially if you autocal my rec-709 profile (or the BT2020 profile). If you're picky, or if you're replacing an excellent unit like I am, then yes, you need to be careful.

Not warming-up the projector for at least 30mn produces worse errors than the Spyder 5s.

"Instead of" or "in addition to"? Meaning can I use my Spyder 4 with V7.0 autocal software?

Thanks for all your work. Terrific results.
As reported earlier in the thread, the V7.0 doesn't support the Spyder 4. Only the Spyder 5. This is the only reason why I attempted to replace my Spyder 4, as it looks like future versions of the software (including for future models) will only support the 5, and that 6.01 is the last version supporting the 4.

Look up in the thread, I reported this when the V7 and Spyder 5 support was announced.
 
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