X-Rite Photo Blog
Color Perfectionists Unite!

File Basics: How to Color Calibrate A Camera


by Jeff Lazell – August 19th, 2014

Welcome to File Basics, a new feature to the X-Rite blog where I hope to demystify a lot of the settings and terms associated with building an effective post processing workflow. I worked on the production side of the photo industry for almost a decade and I know that focused, succinct explanations are not only the best way to learn, but can sometimes get you out of a sticky situation. Today I would like to feature a webinar I recorded last month on how to color calibrate a camera.

When beginning to build your photographic workflow getting clean, accurate color out of your camera is an essential first step. Now unlike display calibration, calibrating a camera on the hardware side is not possible. So, our profiling  process must be done on the software side once we move into post production. This is where the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport comes in. It is a very simple and powerful tool for calibrating color on the capture side. The embedded video will teach you how to color calibrate a camera and take you through everything there is to know about the ColorChecker Passport. This is a very easy edition to any photographer’s workflow and it will make a world of difference.


I hope you find this information useful when setting up your own post processing workflow. If you have any questions please post them below. When I get enough questions about one topic I will turn to the answer into an article like this one. I hope that with the help of the readers of this blog I can create a good resource for photographers and production artists.




Learn how you can stop guessing and start knowing with color management solutions from X-Rite at www.xritephoto.com.

Get the latest news, special offers, webinar notifications and much more by reading the X-Rite Photo Blog and following @xritephoto on Twitter“Like” X-Rite Photo on Facebook. Now check us out on Google +. Start saving time and money with color management solutions from X-Rite. Visit www.xritephoto.com for information on all color management solutions for video and still photography.
Categories: Adobe Camera Raw, adobe lightroom, Camera Profile, Cameras, Color Management, ColorChecker, File Basics, How-To, Targets, Webinar, Webinar, White Balance, workflow | Tags: , , ,

4 responses to “File Basics: How to Color Calibrate A Camera”

  1. Louis Close says:

    In camera white balance calibration question-in the video you said shoot the white balance target in the light you are going to be using. In holding the camera up close to the card, it looks as if the card is in the shadow of the camera. I presume this is an artifact from studio lighting. The shot you take shouldn’t have the shadow in it, should it? Thanks

    • Jeff Lazell says:

      Hi Louis, yes in the video my card gets a bit of a shadow from the camera because of the way we had to light the room for the video. Ideally when doing this in real life you should adjust the angle of the card relative to the light so there is no shadow. Hope that helps.


    • Jeff Lazell says:

      Hi Larry. First yes there is an expiration date of sorts on all ColorChecker Passports. X-Rite guarantees the colors on the Passport will not fade or change for 2 years after the first use. The main cause for fade is exposure to UV light, and all of X-Rite’s Color Targets have been manufactured and packaged in a way that this process will not begin until you open and start using them. So, you can rest assured that there is no way you can purchase a ColorChecker that has faded or expired in anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *