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Old Jan 27, 2009, 10:50 AM   #1
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GladI finally started using different settings. Do you camera gurus use the different wb settings like sunset and incandescent etc.?
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Old Jan 27, 2009, 1:16 PM   #2
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antonlmo, I can't speak for everyone out there, obviously, but I can tell you that for 99.9% of my photography, I leave the camera set to "auto white balance". If I shoot available light, which is very seldom, I adjust the white balance in PP, which works most of the time. For tricky lighting, like flourescent, I will use the preset for that. I remember in my film days, flourescent light would wreak havoc with any shot done without the proper filter. Everything's so much easier now...

I'm sure other folks will have some input, it's all good...

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Old Jan 27, 2009, 3:02 PM   #3
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Generally I use the Auto WB. But I've also learned to set a custom white balance. I have a microfibre lens cleaning cloth that is 18% gray, and the results I get are quite good.
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Old Jan 27, 2009, 6:23 PM   #4
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I leave mine set to auto also. The only reason why I even started using different wb settings was the other night when I was taking a pic of my son in my bedroom. The pic came out looking yellow. So I chose the setting for lights mode and it made the walls white instead of yellow. Yesterday I was taking a ok of a sunset and the sunset didn't look like a sunset until I changed to that setting. I will try again and post the differences. Thanks for the comments.
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Old Jan 27, 2009, 9:17 PM   #5
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Not a guru, but if you have "Live View" try adjusting WB you may see something you like better than AWB, works well indoors for mixed lighting.
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Old Jan 28, 2009, 5:11 PM   #6
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For post processing get a Whibal http://www.rawworkflow.com/whibal/
IF do not want to do PP get an expodisc/expocap http://www.expodisc.com/index.php

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Old Jan 29, 2009, 7:38 AM   #7
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Auto, custom or RAW for me.

Custom for all my indoor sports shooting

RAW for most of my flash work (and this is more of an exposure than WB issue - my current camera/flash does a very good job of WB when using flash but if I can't do a FEL I find I get bad flash exposures so RAW helps me correct that issue)

Auto for everything else.

But, I think you'll find that different models of cameras do a better/worse job than others at auto WB. An earlier DSLR of mine didn't do such a great job at auto WB.

My advice is try auto in different environments and identify for yourself where you are not happy with the results. Those environments will dictate whether you use a pre-set WB, a custom WB (because none of the presets seem to work) or custom.
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Old Jan 29, 2009, 7:29 PM   #8
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I agree with John: try stuff and see what works for you. To be able to save a photo where you picked a seriously wrong setting, shoot RAW+JPEG while trying things. A major advantage of RAW is the ability to adjust the white balance after the shot, but it is somewhat of a pain in the tush to have to do that for a large number of shots. Much easier to get things right and shoot JPEG - but no one gets everything right every time.

RAW is a nice safety net to have, but you really don't want to land on it every time.
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 1:22 PM   #9
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Please forgive the bad pictures, I'm still leaning and took these while playing around with the camera. Although I like the looks of the top pic..It's too much yellow I think. Auto WB. The second pic is taken with wb incandescent. It looks more "real" for instance the walls now look white instead of gold or yellow. Any thoughts? Or is it that I just have to get better to make awb look ok.
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 1:42 PM   #10
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I think you'll find that Auto WB leaves a lot to be desired in Incandescent Lighting (usually turning out way too warm, which causes the orange/yellow cast you see).

You'll find this to be a common problem with the Auto White Balance in most camera models (poor results in Incandescent Lighting). Most of the time, I'll just use the Incandescent/Tungsten preset in that type of lighting. In most other types of artificial lighting(Flourescent, mixed types), I'll usually go with a Custom White Balance if more accurate color in JPEG images is needed. Most of the time, I also shoot RAW+JPEG. That way, I've got more leeway for post processing if I don't get it right the first time around since I can change the WB easily during raw conversion.

What the camera is doing is applying a set of RGB multipliers to the values stored at each pixel location after the demosaic portion of the JPEG conversion process. So, if it doesn't get the color right the first time around, this can create other issues degrading noise levels and dynamic range (and when you try to correct it in Post Processing, these problems can be even worse).

These RGB multipliers for White Balance are not applied to the RAW files (although they are stored in the metadata so that a raw converter can use them if desired).

Outdoors, Auto WB usually does a pretty good job, so I usually stick with Auto in Sunlight (although I sometimes use the Cloudy setting if I want a "warmer" look to the images).

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