Working in the video world there are some vital bits of kit, a camera, a tripod, editing software, ok great. What about lens, batteries, memory cards, sure. Lights, audio equipment, monitors. The list will go on and on if you let it and my wife will testify, I’ve bought way too much kit over the years (and it never stops).
But there is a category of kit I like to call the ‘I don’t really absolutely need this but it will make my life easier in many ways if I had it’ category. Colour checking kit falls into this category.
All cameras and camera brands have their own colour ‘look’. Pointing a Sony camera and a Canon camera at the same subject will most certainly not end up with footage that looks the same, and this can be a big problem. Even with cameras from the same company, heck, even identical cameras with different lenses attached can create colour differences when you get the footage into the edit suite.
So how do you counter this? Step in the X-rite colourchecker passport video (sorry, Colorchecker for the ‘correct’ spelling). This is a small, somewhat expensive piece of plastic the size of a passport (funny that), with reference colours that set a baseline for the colour in the edit.
Place the colour checker in your frame with lighting conditions set and record a second of it on all the cameras you’ll eventually need to match. Later on in your workflow you can use software to readjust the colour to match, using the colour checker as a baseline.
I’ve only just received the checker and I’ve not used it in anger on a client project yet, but from some simple tests I’ve conducted with my different cameras the results have been positive. In effect, a short amount of time at the beginning of a shoot to make sure a frame is recorded, is going to save me significant time in the edit trying to match different colours.
The X-rite Colourchecker Passport Video, definitely a recommend from me.