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NNDman Nov 24, 2003 8:33 PM

Please Explain White Balance!!!!!!!!
What is this all about? Should I change it based on the conditions ie indoors, outdoors or leave it on automatic? Thanks for any replies.

koruvs Nov 24, 2003 8:48 PM

If I know the condition I'm in calls for (eg: Day Light) I'll hard-set the camera for it. Most of the time though I leave it on Auto as the 3 digital cameras I have had (Oly D-510, Nikon 5700 and now Kodak DX6490) have all been very accurate when it comes to Auto White Balance. Others may have had different experiences though.

Do some testing. Take some similar photos indoors, use Auto and then select what you think the White balance should be. Then compare and check the results.

Wildman Nov 24, 2003 8:54 PM

White balance is what the camera "believes" to be white. Your camera's automatic mode lets it decide what true "white" is. Sometimes your camera will be wrong in selecting white balance. Since white is a combination of all colors, it dramatically affects all colors in your pictures.

Most cameras let you select a basis, based on broad factors like sun, shade, flash, etc. If your camera has these settings, pick the one that is closest to the conditions you are shooting. Some cameras let you choose a custom white balance by using a white card. If yours allows this, your picture colors could be a bit closer to true.

Another alternative is to use a RAW file format if your camera can do that. This lets you alter the white balance after the picture is taken.

cowboy43 Nov 24, 2003 9:45 PM

Ive gotton in the habit of setting my white balance (with a grey card) every time I shoot. Once you have done it a few times its easy, and like wildman said the colors are better.

Mike_PEAT Nov 24, 2003 10:21 PM

Different light sources puts out different colour spectrums; just look at the difference in colour of an incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs...white balance is the camera's method of compensating for this difference for natural cameras do this too. With my camera I've found that automatic works best. You should use automatic especially with flash...if you do custom white balance, try it with an 18% grey card (rather than white).

shene Nov 25, 2003 2:15 AM

Re: Please Explain White Balance!!!!!!!!

Originally Posted by NNDman
What is this all about? Should I change it based on the conditions ie indoors, outdoors or leave it on automatic?

Please take a look at the "White Balance" section of my Nikon Coolpix 4500 User Guide.

Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500 User Guide

UrbanPhotos Nov 25, 2003 2:37 AM

I use automatic white balance for shooting outdoors in bright sun, but I use manual modes in other situations. Any time I'm shooting under available artificial light, I use a piece of white paper to manually white balance (not all cameras have a "one-push" manual mode like this). I also set the camera to the preset "sunlight" mode when I'm shooting under non-white light that I don't want to be white (sunsets, sunrises, or glowing late evening light reflecting off buildings). Forcing this white balance mode essentially makes the camera behave like standard film in terms of color. Shooting with this mode under incandescent lights will produce very orange images, and very green images under fluorescent light. Film meant to be used with incandescent light (most film isn't) will produce blue images when used in sunlight or with flash. I see being able to vary the white balance as one of the biggest advantages of digital over film. Without special filters, there's nothing you can do to get natural colors from artificial light with outdoor film. Digital is like being able to use a different kind of film for each picture.

If you ever plan to make a panorama by stitching together multiple images, you should use a manual white balance setting, because in auto mode, the camera will adjust for each shot, and the color will probably vary from picture to picture and complicate the panorama-making.

NNDman Nov 26, 2003 10:15 PM

Thanks to everyone for your assistance. Great information.

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