by Mike McNamee Published 01/12/2009
The Macbeth ColorChecker is a standardised colour chart which was published in 1976 by the Journal of Applied Photographic Engineering by three scientists (McCamy, Marcus and Davidson).
At the time the three of them worked for Macbeth, a division of Kollmorgen Corporation. Their chart is still in use some 33 years later and with the advent of digital photography has become more popular than ever. There is no doubt that the original creators of the chart would be pleased and flattered by this latest incarnation of their chart and its stylish packaging and presentation.
The size of a standard passport (hence the name), the chart is encased in a sturdy plastic housing which opens two ways, to present either the Macbeth Chart (and an additional warming/cooling patch set), or an off-white patch for setting a camera's colour balance. The assembly is sturdy enough to be free standing in an image and to pack away, in a pocket, in safety - one of the features of a Macbeth Chart is that they are a precision device and should be treated accordingly, ie keep your fingers off the colour patches and keep them out of strong light for prolonged periods. The final goodie in the packaging is a CD containing software for the creation of camera profiles for use with either Adobe DNG converters or Adobe Camera RAW.
Using the Macbeth series of charts to create profiles for cameras has been ongoing for some time and there are a number of free utilities available on the web to carry the process out. Here, though, Macbeth have simplified and speeded the process up somewhat.
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