ColorVision Spyder vs Pantone Huey Pro Monitor Calibration Review
If you are in the market for a monitor color calibrator, you probably know the two major prosumer brand devices – Pantone Huey and ColorVision Sypder. After going back and forth I settled on getting the Huey Pro.
Now I’ve used ColorVision Spyder Express to calibrate a lab of computers before. It works ok but ColorVision has a very unfriendly model/price options. The express is the same hardware unit as the pro or elite unit. However you pay alot more to get software that uses the same sensor to do more. The Pantone Huey is equal to the ColorVision Spyder Express. The Huey Pro is equal to the Spyder Pro but one is $75 and the other is $200.
Now I got my Pantone Huey Pro right as I went on a vacation so I packed the Huey Pro in with a mac laptop and a pc laptop. I first connected the unit to my pc laptop, installation was smooth and simple. The unit itself is much smaller and more interactive than the ColorVision Spyder. The Spyder is a massive unit in comparison without any indication that it is doing anything at all. Also the Huey color test program feels like it would do a better job than the Spyder but still seems lacking in thoroughness. The unit runs through a greyscale color bar but then only tests 100% Red, Green and Blue. Personally I don’t know why it doesn’t run through 0-100% of Black, Red, Blue, and Green to get the full curve for each color.
Once it completes you can choose screen temperature and screen gamma.
Going from a completely uncalibrated screen to a calibrated screen with the Pantone Huey Pro is disappointing.
My Intel Macbook running Snow Leopard failed to complete the calibration saying a sense misread occurred. Turns out Pantone’s software doesn’t support the latest version of Mac OS X.
My Windows 7 PC laptop completed the calibration and no visual color changes occurred. This may be a windows 7 error or a miscompatibility with the Intel Atom internal video card but it was just as disappointing as the Macbook’s failure. Or maybe my sensor is dead and a working Huey Pro works great (though I doubt it, I ran the calibration with the sensor not on the monitor and it failed to complete the calibration)
Don’t waste your time on the Pantone Huey Pro. They aren’t in the market for software development. The software hasn’t been updated in 3 years. Just buy the ColorVision Spyder even though on paper it is the more inferior monitor calibrator and more expensive because at least it works with modern computers.
Paul Coffman ( )
I’ve been using the Spyder for quite some time, but still not not very happy with it. I constantly switch from web to print color needs, and the problem is most people don’t have their monitor calibrated, so they don’t see the same thing when I send them a file. THanks for the info though.
yaro ( )
I’ll add that Huey Pro seems to be having lots of problems with reliability. Lots of people complain about it having colour shifts which renders it useless. With Huey’s 1 year warranty I’d say think twice…
Juno ( )
Thank you, this is most helpful. I was looking at the huey but I will go for the spyder now. I have only macs and need it to work. I have not used any calibration before so it will be good to try it out.
Jon B ( )
You should probably try using the Open Source ArgyllCMS. I use Hueys and have found that some of the newer monitors/displays ‘overwhelm’ Huey. (it seems to be the ones with Dynamic contrast). I can’t seem to get a good setup. I have been using Hueys for a long time, almost no problems – mostly on Windows OS. The Huey hardware (USB sensor) is all the same, the Pro version has updated Windows software.
I recently got a Samsung B2240, and the Huey software could not get it right (close but not dead on). I also run a Fedora Linux workstation on the same I/O Gear switch. Color Management is not well supported or an afterthought (like speech recognition) in Linux. The calibration process is a bit longer, but Argyll does a step curve (my term) to calibrate (be prepared for arm fatigue). The result was a dead-on display (I’m freakin’ picky). I am going to test it now on Windows.
I’m quite sure the issues are in the ‘assumptions’ made in the algorithmic approach of the Pantone software.
I’m going to write up my adventures later, and I will post a link
Good Luck to all.