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Colorimeters and Imaging Spectrocolorimeters: A Closer Look

Colorimeters and Imaging Spectrocolorimeters: What's the Difference?

Color measurement is an essential part of quality control in various industries, such as printing, automotive, textile, and packaging. Colorimeters and imaging spectrocolorimeters are two commonly used devices in color measurement. However, many people are not familiar with the differences between these devices. In this post, we will discuss the differences between colorimeters and imaging spectrocolorimeters, and the best applications for each.


Colorimeters are simple and user-friendly devices used for measuring color. They use a photodetector, a light source, and filters to detect the amount of light at various wavelengths. The device then converts this information into numerical values that represent the color of the sample being measured. Colorimeters are simple to use and portable, making them ideal for fieldwork.

Colorimeters are highly accurate for basic color measurements but have limitations in measuring more complex color properties, such as metamerism, shade matching, and texture. Applications of colorimeters include checking the color of materials such as paint, textiles, plastics, and other materials with different finishes.

Imaging Spectrocolorimeters

Imaging spectrocolorimeters are much more complex than colorimeters and are designed to capture detailed color information. Unlike colorimeters, imaging spectrocolorimeters capture spectral data and images. They use a combination of a spectrophotometer and a camera to analyze the spectral data of the sample and its color image. The collected data is processed to provide a wide range of information, including hue, saturation, luminance, and even texture.

Spectrocolorimeters are ideal for advanced color measurement and can be used for color matching and quality control. They provide accurate and reliable color data, making them important tools for research and development.

Choosing the Right Device

The choice between a colorimeter and an imaging spectrocolorimeter depends on the intended application and level of detail required. Colorimeters are suitable for basic color measurements, where the difference between the colors of the materials is large enough to distinguish easily. On the other hand, imaging spectrocolorimeters are ideal for applications that require more detailed and scientific measurements, such as color matching, quality control, and research and development.


Colorimeters and imaging spectrocolorimeters are both valuable tools in color measurement and have a wide range of applications in various industries. Understanding the differences between the two devices, as well as their specific applications, can help you choose the right device for your color measurement needs. When selecting a device, consider the level of detail required for your specific application, as well as the reliability and accuracy necessary to ensure the quality of your finished product.