Testing color balance and color reproduction with a color checker


Color checkers are boards with colorized tiles, each with a precisely defined color. Having such tiles and the color data we can then use them to set proper color balance for photographs or check how well colors are reproduced by a given camera, or webcam.

Color checker
Color checker in direct sunlight - Canon EOS R50 auto
Color checker
Color checker in LED light - Canon EOS R50 auto

For photography you want to take a few additional pictures where the color checker is in focus and next to the photographed target. You can use those shots to create a color balance profile and apply it to actual shots.

When testing cameras, webcams, and other image/video devices you can use such a board to see how well colors are reproduced in given lighting conditions. This is especially handy for devices that do a lot of auto-correction.

Some branded color checkers will have profiles ready to use by popular editing software like Adobe Lightroom. No-name ones will have just raw data, which you will have to use manually.

Packaging and color reference table
Packaging and color reference table

I got one basic color checker from Aliexpress and it comes in a nice packaging and a color reference table. As you can see there are multiple shapes and sizes available. On top of that, you can notice monochrome test charts with multiple lines and markers - those are used to test focus, image sharpness, imaging circle quality, and achieved resolution.

How to Use a Color Checker
Comment article