Shade determination for restorations has always been a challenging aspect of esthetic dentistry. This in- vitro study compared the shade matching abilities of an intra-oral spectrophotometer and the conventional visual method using two shade guides. Results revealed that visual method had greater accuracy than the spectrophotometer. The spectrophotometer, however exhibited significantly better inter rater agreement as compared to the visual method. Comparison between visual and instrumental methods revealed the pros and cons of both methods. While the spectrophotometric system does not solve all the problems involved, it ensures that the base shade is captured correctly. Even though visual shade matching is subjective, it is not inferior and should not be underrated If both analyses are combined, digital determination of the basic shade and visual determination of the effects can provide the best possible esthetic outcome.Although human eye will be the final arbitrator, success can best be achieved by combining traditional artistic techniques with advancements in technology.