Color Readers vs. Spectrophotometers

Colors play wide range of role in our daily lives, it influences our purchases and also our taste in foods. Unlike dimension or weight where we can measure with a ruler or scale, color can be perceived differently by different people. For example, when we say ‘blue’, different people imagine different shades of blue. In order to express colors like how we express dimension or weight numerically, color measuring instruments such as color readers and spectrophotometers are used.

Color readers uses three sensors (red, green and blue filters) that are similar to how human eye see colors. The sensors measure the light reflected or transmitted by an object and transmit the data to the microcomputer which will calculate the X, Y and Z values that represent red, green and blue respectively.

These values can help in adjusting color components or compare colors against a standard or reference. These instruments are comparatively low price, compact in size and portable. They are primarily used for reflectance measurements and are not suitable for complex color analysis such as metamerism.

On the other hand, spectrophotometers use multiple sensors to measure the spectral reflectance color across the visible wavelengths spectrum (400mm to 700mm), which is why they are more precise and accurate as compared to color readers. These instruments can be more expensive than color readers but with their high precision and accuracy, they are the ideal instruments for quality control of color, color formulation and complex color analysis.

Konica Minolta Sensing offers a wide range of color readers and spectrophotometers that caters to different needs and requirements.

To understand more about color science, color application or the selection of color measuring instrument, please call us at 6563 5533 or write to us at