• Price: £459 plus VAT

  • Company: Pantone

  • Pros: Nifty way to capture colours when out and about; very accurate.

  • Cons: Too expensive for most creatives; matches Pantone colours only; iPhone app does much the same.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 5 out of 10 We rate this 5 out of 10

We’ve all been out and about and spotted a colour that would look just perfect in our next project – it could be that of a painted surface or the fur of a cat passing by. You could capture that colour using your camera or phone, but how can you be sure the result is accurate unless you have additional tools like SpyderCheckr?

This is where the phone-sized Capsure could prove useful. You pop this new device from Pantone over the object of interest, press a button and it tells you the nearest Pantone colour.

The Capsure is incredibly accurate, and it boasts some nifty tools. You can narrow the sensor to pick out one colour in a pattern – it can separate two colours in a woven fabric, for example. However, while your inner geek may find this gadget intriguing, it has two major flaws.

Pantone’s Capsure accurately tells you the Pantone colour that best matches what you point it at – but its price is out of reach of most creatives

First, there’s the hefty price – you’d either have to be a spendthrift or have a serious need for colour accuracy to shell out for it. We can see couture fashion houses buying it to check fabrics are precisely the right colour, or ad agencies using it to check corporate colours, but not the average designer or artist.

Secondly, it can only report Pantone colours – not RGB or CMYK values. This seriously limits its usefulness for the creative community.

For £5.99 you can get Pantone’s myPANTONE iPhone app instead. While it’s nowhere near as accurate as the Capsure, relying on ambient lighting rather than performing true colour measurement, it does much of what creatives could want.