14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
I have been photographing paintings to do prints from and was looking for a way to not only get more accurate colors but make it faster to do so. I really had reservations about paying this much for "a piece of printed paper" I mean yeah it has a magnetic closure but still. So I got it anyway profiled the camera and shoot it in the frame of all my pics. I use it for black grey and white on my curves adjustment and apply the color profile in RAW. I have fallen in love now that I no longer have to fiddle with color adjustments for 30min per image anymore. Just a quick crop and clean up any small areas and good to go.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2011
For those of us merrily clicking away on our point-and-shoot cameras, what could be better than the ever increasing megapixel resolution of these electronic marvels? Most of us are quite happy with the photos taken with our cameras set on automatic. However there's more that can be done in post processing your images using a photo editor program. Sure, you can play around with the software settings until the image looks right, but how do you know that it's accurate? First of all, there are many different light sources, from natural sunlight, to indoor incandescent and fluorescent lights, all with different color "temperatures" that will shift the hue of your photos. Again, most cameras can compensate for this lighting automatically, especially if you specifically tell it which light source you are using- but it can be fooled. For instance, there may be a large colored object nearby that changes the lighting thus affecting the color temperature. That's were the camera reference card comes in. Before taking your first picture, use your camera's manual white balance control to sample the image of the CameraTrax's large greyscale rectangle in the same light that you will be shooting your photos in. This accurately sets the camera so that all the red/green/blue (RGB) pixels in your photos track each other and the grays turn out to be true grays without colorization. Once this is done, snap a photo of the bottom half of the card with all the color squares, again in the same lighting conditions. This image will be used later in your photo editor to color correct your photos.
The product: The CameraTrax 24ColorCard 3x5 comes in a 9" x 6" tear-proof envelope packed in a packing pouch and tucked in a 30+ page user's guide. I received my card in perfect condition. The card itself is quality constructed with hard plastic backing both of the camera reference surfaces, and enclosed in a tough backing material that also acts as the product's hinge. Embedded within the plastic are magnets that keep the card solidly closed when not in use to protect the interior images. I had to grasp the edges quite firmly to get it open, but once opened it stayed open. The user's guide is quite detailed, with some light theory on color correction and white balancing, and instructions on how to use with four popular image editing programs. My image editor was not listed among them (Pixelmator for the iMac). I found that adjusting the white balance on my camera (an older Canon SD400 PowerShot) was very easy. Just set the camera in manual mode, select manual white balance, and then press the Menu button while focusing on the large grey rectangle on the CameraTrax card. I then took a picture of the reference color squares. My source light for this test was a fluorescent desk lamp, quite harsh, but I wanted to see what would happen. I also took a picture of the color squares with the camera set in automatic mode for comparison. Importing the two photos into my iMac and opening with Pixelmator, I looked at the image colors using the eyedropper tool set to an 11x11 square averaging. All the grayscale patches had RGB values within 2 units of each other- excellent! By comparison, the non-white balanced image RGB values were off by as much as 25 units (but visually didn't look that bad to my eyes.) Now, onto the color correction. As mentioned, my photo editor wasn't covered in the CameraTrax manual, so I had to experiment a bit. All the color samples on the card have their RGB values printed below them which makes it super easy to compare to what I got with my eyedropper tool. What I found was my color values were way off in scale, both overall and in relation to each other. So much for trusting my own eyes! I played around with Pixelmator's color channel and other color correction controls and got the values closer, but I see it can take some time to get the values to fall in line and I'll have to play with this some more. It could be that performing the color corrections with one of the four programs supported in the user's guide would be easier, but I have no interest in other photo editor programs outside of Pixelmator. Ideally there should be some mechanism where this task can be performed automatically, but I'm not aware if anyone has a solution to this. Overall this is a high quality reference card that showed me the error of my (photo taking) ways and hopefully I'll repent and start taking better notice of color correcting my important images, however I'll still be taking most of my photo's in automatic mode since it is very quick.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2012
The product works for me. I like the size.
When you receive it you'll see it's more of less a high-quality color-corrected (inkjet?) print-out stuck on a folding card. Slightly expensive for what it is, but much less expensive than the "official" color/white balance cards. Used it to correct a very large number of pictures shot in my home "studio". Happy with the end results. Saved me a lot of time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2013
The quality of this is excellent. It has very accurate color boxes for color representation. This isn't the first product to do this kind of thing, but for the price this is definitely the best deal.
It is not glossy, so it won't reflect light in the wrong way.
It has the unique RGB values printed under each color box, so that helps with color calibration in Adobe Photoshop. The manual tells you how to use Photoshop with this product.
It has a nice manual that comes with the product that additionally covers how to use the product in Adobe Lightroom and Google Picasa for novices. But, you really want to use Adobe Photoshop for this kind of product.
In case anyone is not aware, these color calibration cards are principally designed for image processing with JPG files, not RAW files. As long as that caveat is known, I don't see any reason why anybody would purchase any other color calibration card.
X-Rite makes a terrific product as well. The X-Rite Passport (which is the most comparable product) can do a couple of extra things that this can't (skin tone and landscape white balance gradients.) This product has one thing that the X-Rite Passport doesn't (actual RGB values that are individually tested and printed for each unique card.) This product accomplishes what is necessary and it's substantially less expensive than the X-Rite Passport. So I give this a strong buy recommendation.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2011
Works as advertised. I used the free Adobe DNG profile software to create profiles for use in LightRoom 3.5. You can also follow the instructions from the vendor which involve using a custom white balance setting and can be used in any software that supports click to set white balance.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2013
Since i started setting custom white balance in my camera with this card before every lighting change I have not had to make ONE skin tone adjustment in post processing. It is very precise even in mixed lighting. I have saved too many hours of processing to count and my customers all love the skin tone in their portraits. Auto White Balance cannot come close. If your camera permits custom white balance do yourself a favor and get this card. Also having the white balance set precisely makes any other adjustments you have to make at least twice as easy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2013
Proper 12% grey, matt card surface.
But too expensive for the paper! I put it in a transparent passport case to protect from fingerprints and humidity.
It must be made of plastic for that money, 4 stars because of that!
on May 16, 2015
I've had mixed luck with this. Probably because I'm new at this, and don't have the best monitor etc. It's good for white balance, using the eyedropper in my Canon software. However, I'd give a "C" to the instruction "manual" they give you. While it does cover several different programs (photoshop is what I use, there are instructions for others as well) at least for a beginner, they only helped get the white balance, I still have not been able to get close on all the colors. It's possibly the printing is not as accurate as it should be, but I think I just need better instructions, or a better 'eye'.
on February 28, 2015
I use this colour card in all my photoshoot sessions.
Especially portraits where I need the skin tone to be accurate (or as close to accurate before I edit it for with my color preferences).
I have created color profiles for Lightroom and it has sped up my editing workflow to no end.
It has also been extremely helpful in environments where the light source changes (natural light, to florescent, to tungsten etc...)
For the price, I have yet to find anything to match it in build quality and accuracy.
I would definitely recommend it to all my colleagues.
on March 23, 2015
Really good budget friendly card! The card itself is great, nice size, heavy duty, well designed. The software integration is a little different. Essentially for lightroom you take a picture of it and set your point, then apply that setting to all your photos. My results were pretty good, but I would have liked better software integration like you get with some other cards.
Overall for the price it's hard to beat! I would recommend it as a great card for anyone looking for accurate color.