Datacolor ColorReader Z: The camera roll of a designer’s smartphone would be usually teeming with hundred of random images they captured to draw inspiration from or simply because they liked a color. Regrettably, it is not the best tool for the job.
A designer would ideally fancy using a dedicated color detector for the job, given that it is more accurate when it comes to identifying colors. On the downside, a color detector isn’t easy on the pocketbook.
Much to the delight and relief of designers that have restlessly been waiting to get their hands on an inexpensive, yet feature-laden color detector, the Datacolor has launched the ColorReader EZ, a tool that not only fits inside the budget of most professional designers but also surpasses their expectations in terms of performance.
If you take a photo of a red object such as a ripe apple using your smartphone, the image of your phone will look red, but there are several factors such as image compression, time of day, lighting, and even the type of device you use and they process data coming from their image sensor, that determine and alter the color being stored and captured in an image file as compared to what you saw with your eyes in real life.
It is not a big issue in terms of photography, especially if you plan to later process the image in a photo editing software such as Photoshop, or add a color-altering filter on it before posting it to your social media account. If your goal is to do accurate color matching, however, like mixing up a can of paint that’s the exact shade of the red apple, a smartphone isn’t likely to do the trick.
You’d need a purpose-built device such as Datacolor’s new ColorReader EZ, which is definitely a better solution. ColorReader EZ adopts a built-in neutral white LED, in addition to a pop-up guide to make sure it is always positioned at the ideal distance, and it evenly illuminates a surface so that its color sensor can take an accurate reading.
It connects wirelessly to an Android or iOS-based smartphone, where the captured color swatch is stored, analyzed, and available as precise CIELAB, Hex, or RGB color values.
The app also does its best to match the color samples to shades provided by paint makers such as Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, and it can also recommend matching or coordinating color schemes. The ColorReader EZ carries a $59 price tag, making it the most inexpensive color detector that Datacolor sells, but its performance will not be in par with the company’s $249 ColorReader Pro.
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