Software & Accessories / Re: Is Xrite color checker package worth getting (with sektonic light meter)?« on: July 23, 2013, 11:24:55 AM »
All of the Macbeth-style color charts are designed to help with camera calibration, which is different from white balance. They ensure that the relative hues of your R/G/B channels are accurate, but the image still won't be a perfect copy of 'reality' if the color temperature is out, so you need to apply the calibration profile and then pick the WB target. To benefit from these calibrations you need to be shooting raw, and to be using Lightroom - the Colorchecker app only reads DNG files.
Camera calibration is very important for commercial photographers, whose clients want their new car to be exactly the same shade of blue in the photo as it is in the showroom, but for general-purpose shots it's often very hard to see the difference (and if you're artistically manipulating the image, whether you start from accurate pixel values is less of an issue). If you're shooting several bodies (or old lenses with a noticeable color cast) then profiling them can allow you to match the colors in post. You can also use the chips as a proxy target for selective adjustment tools (there's a chip for each of the common colors in an image, from sky blue to skintone).
You can of course use the gray card on the X-Rite Passport for WB, but any gray card will do that. Sekonic's version is different from the normal Passport in that it has a 50% gray card instead of an 18% gray card - which makes it work for exposure checking as well as providing a WB target. Aside from that they're identical. What you can't do is sample white and black points off a Macbeth card (lots of people try to as there's a "black" and "white" chip on the card, but they're nowhere near pure 0,0,0 or 255,255,255 in the resulting photos).
If you shoot multi-cam video a Macbeth card is essential to match the footage, as the color profiles for different video and digital cinema cameras are totally different.
Thanks for the reply!!
I only shoot RAW (doesn't most everyone these days with a dslr?)....
And from watching the videos on the Xrite stuff, they said that you set the original profile in DNG, but after that, you can apply it to any images once you have the profile set. Until I saw that, that was going to be a hanging point on me.
I'm mostly interested in the light meter, and saw the bundle, and it appeared that since it was only a few $$ more to get the bundle, I might should go ahead and get it. I figured I could use that color card and grey card for my video work too with the 5D3....to try to correct WB in post there too.
I'm a little worried about the gray card being 50% vs 18%...hmmm
I'm buying Adobe Production Suite CS6 and LR5 right now...so, I will be moving from Aperture to LR, and hence another reason I was looking at the Xrite stuff in the bundle...
Thanks, ya'll have given me a lot to consider here...