The Free Color CheckerBoard for Filmmakers

How to fine tune an external monitor for your videos without buying an expensive color checkerboard.

Ok I am a cheap guy, so after investing 250€ for an external monitor to make music videos, I found the colors where a little off out of the box.

Looking on the Internet I found that to calibrate a monitor you need an expensive x-rite color checkerboard that doesn’t reflect light and is the gold standard for professionals.

But as I am a very cheap guy, I decided to make and share my home made color checkerboard so that anyone can try and maybe share his own results, let’s try this game!

All you need is a good tablet or smartphone, a grey card and an external monitor (or a camera with the possibility to edit the lcd settings in the menu).

1. Download the color board (or make a screen shot): Be sure to use my free board on a good tablet with the right luminosity and avoid strong reflections in your room

2. Set the white balance: Use a grey card and set custom white balance on your camera

3. Set focus and exposure: Looking at the grey card and at the color board on your tablet through your camera monitor try to match with your lens aperture what your eyes see. Of course you cannot set your eyes, that’s why you have to set your camera exposure and focus. I suggest keeping your camera in standard picture profile, iso 100 and shutter speed to 1/50

4. Connect your external monitor to your camera and begin to play with brightness, contrast and especially saturation and rgb values, fine tuning color settings to match the colour board you see with your eyes

5. Share the results, hoping that our beloved external monitor is at least as good as our camera monitor, yes with a little work it is!

With my Aputure vs-2 fine hd external monitor I had to lower the saturation to 40 and all rgb values by at least 10% to match my Sony a5000 monitor and my naked eyes.

What about your experience? Do you use and like external monitors?

Share your thoughts below and if you’re interested in video and music production follow me on

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