Review of X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo

Did you know that for a camera it is complicated to produce accurate colors? Cameras have different settings that controls the colors in the photos. They are all different from brand to brand and are more decided upon eye pleasing colors rather than accurate colors.

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo has been created to be used by photographers who aims for true-to-life colors as a starting point when post-editing or in the final image.

The main use of the ColorChecker Passport Photo is when you need to set the white balance of your camera or when you want to create a colour profile for your photos.

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo

The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport photo is as small as a passport (thereof its name) and is made of plastic making it sturdy. However for maximal performance its advised to replace it every 2 years from its initial use.

The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo combines the following three targets:

  • Creative Enhancement (with 16 reference color and 10 gray patches)
  • ColorChecker (with 24 reference color patches)
  • White balance (1 large light-grey patch)

How to use X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo

Using the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo is very easy. You simply bring it with you when you have a photo session in a new light condition. Before starting taking photos, take a photo of the colorchecker (in RAW) in the same direction where you will be capturing the rest of your images.

There are two different ways of creating the color profile:

  1. In Lightroom, export the passport photo as a dng file by going to File -> Export with Preset -> Export to DNG. Open the ColorChecker passport software (download here) and import the dng file. The ColorChecker Passport software will now create a profile and it will automatically be saved in Lightroom Camera Calibration panel. In order to find it in Lightroom you need to re-start Lightroom after the profile has been created. Then you will find the Colorchecker profile under Lightroom presets.

2. A faster alternative is to export the file immediately with ColorChecker Camera Calibration : in Lightroom go to File -> Export with preset -> ColorChecker Camera Calibration. Re-start your Lightroom.

When you have re-started your Lightroom, click on the photo you wish to edit, then click on Develop and in the right column menu go to Profile and click on Browse… There you will find the profile you created.

Photo to the left using profile Adobe Standard v2 and photo the the right using profile created with X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo. As you can see, the colors are more vibrant in the photo using the customized profile and are more accurate with the true-to-life colors that were seen in the moment when the photo was taken.


X-rite Colorchecker Passport Photo is a powerful tool for photographers. It is indispensable  when you shoot in controlled lightning such as in the studio, food photography in a restaurant, portrait and wedding photography indoors or outdoors and product photography.

It is also useful in landscape photography when you are taking photos in a shorter period of time. I would not advise it for when taking sunrise or sunset photos as the lightning conditions change rapidly in those situations.

Before I spent quiet a lot of time on finding the colors I remembered to have seen in the field, trying to re-create them in Lightroom. With the X-Rite Colorchecker I save time and I begin my post-processing immediately with the true colors as they were in the field at the very moment when the photo was captured. Using the natural colors as a base point is important for me as a photographer and my artistic style.  Further on in the post processing I can chose how far to go when it comes to enhancing the photo until I am satisfied.

When it comes to the quality of the Colorchecker Passport Photo I am very pleased. Its compact, easy to use and has saved me lots of time in the reproduction of colors in my photos.

About Author

This Paris blog is created and maintained by Solli, a Swedish Expat living in Paris working as a Photographer. When she is not behind the lens or setting off to a new destination she loves to be in the kitchen and play around with whole, organic and seasonal food. In this blog she shares some glimpses of her everyday life as a bonne vivante wherever in the world she might be. Enjoy following her journey through life...

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