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X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo (MSCCPP)
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- Ideal for photographers shooting still images in a Raw workflow
- Creates professional, custom camera profiles in minutes using the industry standard 24 patch Classic target.
- Combines 3 photographic color-balance targets into one pocket size protective, multi-positionable patented case that adjusts to any scene
- EXCLUSIVE X-RITE TECHNOLOGY! Dual Illuminant profile creation – takes into account two different light sources to create a single profile which can be applied to a variety of lighting conditions
- Easy to use with Adobe® Lightroom® Plug-In or stand alone software for use in other image editing software
- Use Creative Enhancement target to quickly check and evaluate shadow details or highlight clipping; understand and control color shifting or neutralize and create a look with one click.
- Take one step closer to professional results creating custom, in-camera white-balance. Capturing a consistent white point in a set of images allows for adjustments to different lighting conditions and helps eliminate color casting
- Supported by several 3rd party software programs
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Color Control and Creativity for Photography – from Capture to Edit ColorChecker Passport Photo includes three powerful photographic targets in a portable protective case, enabling you to reduce your image processing time and improve quality control in your Raw or JPEG workflow. Quickly and easily capture accurate color, instantly enhance portraits and landscapes, and maintain color control and consistency from capture to edit. You’ll achieve superior color results in a fraction of the time.
From the Manufacturer
- Microsoft Windows XP 32 or 64 bit (with latest Service Pack installed)
- Microsoft Windows Vista® 32 or 64 bit (with latest Service Pack installed)
- Microsoft Windows 7, 32 or 64 bit (with latest Service Pack installed)
- 512MB RAM
- Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon XP or better CPU
- 200 MB of available disk space
- User must have Administrator rights to install, uninstall the application.
- Monitor resolution of 1024x768 pixels or higher
- Internet connection required for software update
- Mac OSX 10.5.x, 10.6, or 10.7 (with the latest updates installed)
- G4 Processor or higher (Intel recommended)
- 512 MB RAM
- 350 MB of available disk space
- User must have Administrator rights to install and uninstall the application
- Monitor resolution of 1024x768 pixels or higher
- Internet connection required for software update
ColorChecker Passport is a powerful 'capture to edit' color solution for any photographer looking for more accurate, consistent color and creative flexibility. And when you combine ColorChecker Passport with Adobe® Imaging solutions you'll gain even greater benefits. ColorChecker Passport combines three photographic targets into one pocket size protective, self-standing case that adjusts to any scene. Together with the included camera calibration software, you get the ultimate in functionality, flexibility and portability.
There are so many ways to incorporate X-Rite ColorChecker Passport into your Raw workflow. Whether you take advantage of the entire solution, or just a couple of ColorChecker Passport's many features, you'll realize improved quality and productivity almost immediately.
CREATIVE ENHANCEMENT TARGET
Two rows of warming and cooling patches in the middle guide you to create pleasing and repeatable edits. Creatively refine the color of your image by adding warmth to skin tones or boost the deep greens or blues in a landscape. Simply click through the patches to view the adjustment, and select the one that provides your optimal look. Then, save the setting and apply it to other images that were shot under that same lighting to create pleasing edits - it's that easy!
When it comes to clipping, the Enhancement target highlights the power of working in Raw. A row of clipping patches across the bottom serve as a visual reference for judging, controlling and editing images for shadow details or highlight clipping. Although it may appear from a preview that shadow or highlight details have been lost, it is possible that the processing software just clipped them and they are still available in the Raw file. With some careful adjustments, you may be able to bring them back.
The clipping patches are separated into two groups: light and dark. The light patches are ordered with 1/3 of an F-stop difference between them. The dark patches are ordered the same, with the exception of the last patch; which represents the blackest patch in the ColorChecker target. The exposure difference between the darkest and next darkest patch is approximately 1/10th of a stop, and the dynamic range of the target is about 32:1 (5 stops). In Adobe applications, use these patches along with the clipping preview to ensure you are not losing details.
Across the top of the Enhancement target, the top HSL (hue, saturation, lightness) row includes 8 spectrum patches to ensure color fidelity across all hues so you can evaluate and edit for any color shifts.
WHITE BALANCE TARGET
The ColorChecker White Balance target is an all-new spectrally flat target that provides a neutral reference point across different lighting conditions that you encounter during a photo shoot. Since the target reflects light equally across the visible spectrum, creating an in-camera custom white balance can properly compensate for varying lighting. You'll be able to:
- Eliminate color casts
- Improve the color preview on your camera's display so your histograms are more reliable
- Make post production color editing faster and easier by eliminating the need to neutralize each image individually
Setting a custom white balance for each lighting situation will make the previews on your camera's built in display more color correct, make your histograms more reliable, and speed up post production color editing. Raw shooters can capture anytime during the session to gain these benefits, while JPEG shooters should make it your first shot.
The ColorChecker Passport includes a travel-sized version of the Classic 24 patch target. When combined with camera calibration software you can produce DNG profiles of your camera's response to scene lighting to get consistent, predictable and repeatable results from image to image and camera to camera.
The Classic target also provides a visual point of color reference. Photograph it in the same lighting as your images; then open it in your photo processing software as a reference to help with color correction. Each of the 24 color patches represents the colors of natural objects, such as sky blue, skin tones and leaf green; and each patch reflects light just like its real world counterpart. Each square is individually colored using a solid tone to produce pure, flat, rich color without dots or mixed tints.
The Classic can help you make global corrections based on accurate information. If you shoot a large number of images that all require the same color correction, you know that editing a few key photos and applying your changes can sometimes change colors you didn't intend to be changed. A shot of the ColorChecker Classic captured under the same lighting as your images will provide a point of reference, so you can see exactly how changes will affect the rest of your colors before you apply them. Since your changes can be applied to one photo or a group of images, you'll achieve consistency throughout your images.
CAMERA CALIBRATION SOFTWARE With the included ColorChecker Passport Camera Calibration Application and Lightroom® Plug-In, you can quickly and easily build DNG profiles for Adobe® Imaging solutions including Lightroom®, Photoshop®, Photoshop® Elements, Camera Raw (ACR) and Adobe® Bridge.
This new advanced profiling technology provides excellent results with just the small 24-patch ColorChecker Classic target, producing DNG profiles that work exceptionally well, even in unusual artificial light sources. Plus, software auto-detection will locate the target automatically. Whether you are shooting with just one camera or multiple cameras, you'll easily establish an accurate color foundation and maintain control of your colors. A very powerful feature of the software is the ability to create dual-illuminant DNG profiles. This type of profile takes into account two different light sources to create a single profile, which can be applied to an even wider variety of lighting conditions. Dual-Illuminant profiles can be made with any two of twenty-one supported illuminants, allowing you to create a profile for just about any kind of lighting condition you may encounter. Dual-illuminant profiles allow you the freedom to move between the represented lighting conditions without switching profiles.
- Camera calibration for Raw shooters enables greater capability to calibrate and correct color
- Accurate color gives a consistent foundation for creative interpretation
- Minimize color differences between cameras and lenses
- Adapt for mixed lighting
- Make color balance match across different scenes
SHOOTING JPEG NOT RAW?
You'll still gain many great benefits when you include ColorChecker Passport in your workflow.
White Balance Target
- Ensure your JPEG files are captured with the correct white point
- Eliminate the chance of any extreme white balance errors which cannot be corrected later in JPEG workflow
- Save time on post production edits of each individual shot
Creative Enhancement Target
- Evaluate and optimize shadow details or highlight clipping with gray ramp patches
- Use as visual reference for color spectrum and color adjustment with HSL (hue, saturation, lightness) patches
- Warm or cool images
- Photograph the Classic target in the same lighting as your images and use as a visual reference to help with color correction
Top customer reviews
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I am not talking about using it as a color picker even though that does come in handy when matching cameras. I am talking about when you are color correcting before your grade.
We all know unless you spend a fortune on the right monitor and calibrate it -- nothing is going to be better than your scopes. Using this to reference accompanied by scopes and other tools we have at our disposal, I do not see how anyone serious about nailing imagery can go on without something like this.
There are too many YouTube tutorials that teach the wrong thing and it is frustrating to see this being done. This is why I like the X-Rite. Let me elaborate.
People teach the wrong way to white balance and correctly white balancing is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL for getting all the color information that was there when you were recording. Especially if you record RAW or ProRes. You want all the dynamic range in not just your highlights and shadows but you want it to show in your colors. Without properly white balancing first; this is not possible. The X-Rite has THE BEST white balance reference on the rear end that I have used and I have used so called 'certified' white balance cards. Simply crop your clip with the white board, set your vector-scope to 2x and boost your RGB levels (NOT SATURATION). Then bring your kelvin (if shooting RAW) or warmth/cool and tint to a point where the cropped white balance card shows as a dot right in the center of your vector-scope. DONE.. NAILED every damn time. White balance in post perfectly every time in less than 30 seconds.
The next thing I like to do is use the clip of the front of the X-Rite to make sure my exposure is perfect a la scopes. Make sure the front of the board is in the light of your scene and adjust your highlights to ensure the white (highlights) are showing as 95 IRE in your waveform, adjust your gamma so the mid-tones (second to last grey swatch) are roughly in the center and adjust your shadows so your blacks (shadows) are right around 0 IRE in your waveform. This way, when you look at the scene with your talent and the highlights are not hitting 95 IRE, you know you are where you should be and don't boost your highlights too much. Then, adjust mid-tones for taste and start your grade. (I don't like crushing my blacks so I will clip them in my grade, not my color correction). I don't usually adjust exposure in the RAW file and will almost always use my levels for exposure. However, if I over exposed a lot in a scene (which I often do when shooting RAW) and highlights aren't clipped (otherwise the footage is scrapped), I may dial down the ISO (RAW adjustment only) so I have a better starting point (general crushed wave is in the center of the waveform scope).
Sorry to turn this into a tutorial but I just feel this is an invaluable tool and worth every penny because of how fast it can help you get a scene color corrected and on to the fun stuff.
Feel free to comment below for any questions.
Recently I took delivery of an Xrite Color Checker Passport and I must confess, I own probably every such device ever hawked by the camera con men.. always searching for something that really helps not only get the proper on-site white balance, but the proper balance of colors as well. This product includes plug-ins for ACR CS5 and Lightroom.
Most people.. when you talk "Correct White Balance" they focus on skin tones, and indeed correct skin tones are indeed the most obvious and easy way to tell if someone got the colors close.. assuming there's a person with skin in the composition. However, it's entirely possible ane even most common, to get the skin tones close but still have your color balance totally off. This is especially true in mixed light.
There is nothing so "right" about an image then the proper balance of color throughout the entire exposure and tonal range. We've all seen them, and they almost always occur under very unusual perfect light or by way of Photoshop and a real experienced pro. But what does the normal guy do when there's heavy cloud cover and you're taking a picture of your son in front of a colorful building? Do you want it to look like its drab and dreary? This usually means their skin tones are grayish and not natural looking at all, and the surrounding colors are flat and don't look right.
I've only used the Color Checker Passport for a week, but I plan on testing it much more in the coming week(s). Regardless, it's easy to see this device is in a class by itself and not only does it help you obtain the most perfect on-site White Balance of any device I've previously used, but it also computer generates a custom DNG color profile for each lighting situation that can instantly and easily be applied to one to hundreds of images at a time.
How long does it take to use it? Just two shots, two exposures and you've got what you need for each lighting situation. About 3-5 seconds depending on the technique required by the camera to set a custom WB.. and even the custom WB is optional. You can still build the custom DNG profile with just one shot.. awesome technology!
Hands on Demonstration with Examples in Lightroom 3.0
First, using the spot focusing area in your viewfinder fill it on the grey card contained in the Passport. Follow the directions for your specific camera to create a custom white balance. This step is optional, but recommended and for many this custom white balance will be head and shoulders better than their auto white balance setting or what they can do by eye. But we'll take it several steps further towards better accuracy below.. J
With the Canon 5d Mark II, you take an exposure/image of the grey card, go to the menu systems second tab (or be smart and add these commands to your custom menu) and choose "Custom White Balance", it will automatically show the last image you captured (but you can spin the wheel and choose more), hit the "set" button in the middle of your big wheel, and it will then ask you "Use WB Data from this image for Custom WB?" Choose "OK" and then set your camera to use the "Custom White Balance" setting (add this to your custom menu too).
Next, take a picture of the color checker portion of the Passport in the light you'll be using. You don't need to fill the frame with it, but I've found it needs to occupy approximately 15-20% of the frame to work. Otherwise it won't register with the automatic profiler in the plug-in.
Once you've imported your images into Lightroom you can see here where the standard color profile is selected by default in the "Camera Calibration" area of Lightroom.
Right click on the image, navigate to "Export", and then to "Color Checker Passport" and click on it.
Now it will ask you for a name for the custom profile you're about to create. In this case I named it "N1."
If the profile creation was successful you'll get a dialog box telling you the profile was completed and you'll need to exit and then re-enter Lightroom before the new profile is available.
If like me, you took several "sets" of images in different locations, just go ahead and create all your profiles and then exit/enter Lightroom once.
Now you can select your profile and `immediately' you'll see the effects. Notice the blue shirt has drastically changed (to the right hue) and the green paint as well.. not to mention the skin tones are near perfect.
Now you have the opportunity to use the "Warming Squares" to change the skin tones to your taste. As I've said many times before, the "correct" white balance might not be the "best" white balance, so these squares allow you to adjust to taste. Use the White Balance Eyedropper and select your first warming square.
Note 1: The Eyedropper doesn't `stick' with screen captures so I put a black dot on the selected warming square.
Note 2: The color checker is upside down, though it really doesn't matter.
Notice the subtle change when selecting the second warming square?
And another subtle change with the third warming square?
The first warming square was too blue, the second warming square was too neutral, and the third warming square was too yellow.. but the fourth warming square was just right and I ate the entire bowl.. wait.. wrong story.. but you get the idea..
With years of experience adjusting white balance both by eye and many other means, I could not achieve this sort of accuracy. It's stunning how easily it is to achieve perfect white balance and then bespoke skin tones using this device.
I'm easily seeing 'more capability' in the realm of color and exposure from my cameras, and this includes my professional DSLR's, my new Sony NEX-5, and even my point and shoots, than any single feature or improvement I can think of other than proper exposure in the first place.
I'll be incorporating this into my workshops immediately, both in the field and software sections. I'm obviously impressed and I plan on mastering the smaller points of this device over the next few weeks.
And of course it only has a consistent and proper effect if used on a color managed system, so once again I'll be running some future pieces on properly color managing your monitors, your browsers, your applications, and how to tell if they're done right and which color versions each is compatible with.
(I'm off to throw a few previous such devices in that ever growing box of "equipment I no longer use" with great pleasure)
A full review (with very necessary photos) is posted here: [...]
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