White balance ensures that colors are unaffected by the color of the light source. Auto white balance is recommended with most light sources. If the desired results cannot be achieved with auto white balance, choose an option from the list below or use preset white balance.

Option (Color temp. *) Description
vAuto White balance is adjusted automatically for optimal results with most light sources. For best results, use type G, E or D lens. If optional flash fires, results are adjusted appropriately. Color temperature can be viewed in the playback info display after shooting (0 Photo Information).
  Keep white (reduce warm colors; 3500–8000 K)
Normal (3500–8000 K)
Keep warm lighting colors (3500–8000 K)
DNatural light auto (4500–8000 K) White balance is adjusted for natural light, producing colors closer to those seen by the naked eye.
JIncandescent (3000 K) Use under incandescent lighting.
IFluorescent Use with:
  Sodium-vapor lamps (2700 K) Sodium-vapor lighting (found in sports venues).
Warm-white fluorescent (3000 K) Warm-white fluorescent lights.
White fluorescent (3700 K) White fluorescent lights.
Cool-white fluorescent (4200 K) Cool-white fluorescent lights.
Day white fluorescent (5000 K) Daylight white fluorescent lights.
Daylight fluorescent (6500 K) Daylight fluorescent lights.
High temp. mercury-vapor (7200 K) High color temperature light sources (e.g. mercury-vapor lamps).
HDirect sunlight (5200 K) Use with subjects lit by direct sunlight.
NFlash (5400 K) Use with optional flash units.
GCloudy (6000 K) Use in daylight under overcast skies.
MShade (8000 K) Use in daylight with subjects in the shade.
KChoose color temp. (2500–10,000 K) Choose color temperature from list of values (0 Choosing a Color Temperature).
LPreset manual Use subject, light source, or existing photograph as reference for white balance (0 Preset Manual).

All values are approximate and do not reflect fine-tuning (if applicable).

White balance can be selected by pressing the U button and rotating the main command dial until the desired setting is displayed in the control panel.

U button

Main command dial

When v (Auto) or I (Fluorescent) is selected, you can choose a sub-option by pressing the U button and rotating the sub-command dial.

U button

Sub-command dial

The Shooting Menus

White balance can also be adjusted using the White balance option in the photo or movie shooting menu (0 White Balance, White Balance), which also can be used to fine-tune white balance (0 Fine-Tuning White Balance) or manage white-balance presets (0 Preset Manual).

v (“Auto”)

v (Auto) offers a choice of v0 (Keep white (reduce warm colors)), v1 (Normal), and v2 (Keep warm lighting colors). v0 (Keep white (reduce warm colors)) makes whites recorded under incandescent lighting appear white, while v2 (Keep warm lighting colors) preserves the warm tints we normally perceive under incandescent lighting.

D (“Natural Light Auto”)

D (Natural light auto) may not produce the desired results under artificial light. Choose v (Auto) or an option that matches the light source.

Studio Flash Lighting

v (Auto) may not produce the desired results with large studio flash units. Use preset white balance or set white balance to N (Flash) and use fine-tuning to adjust white balance.

See Also

For information on varying white balance to “bracket” the current value, see “Bracketing” (0 Bracketing).

Color Temperature

The perceived color of a light source varies with the viewer and other conditions. Color temperature is an objective measure of the color of a light source, defined with reference to the temperature to which an object would have to be heated to radiate light in the same wavelengths. While light sources with a color temperature in the neighborhood of 5000–5500 K appear white, light sources with a lower color temperature, such as incandescent light bulbs, appear slightly yellow or red. Light sources with a higher color temperature appear tinged with blue.

“Warmer” (redder) colors “Cooler” (bluer) colors  

I (sodium-vapor lamps): 2700 K
J (incandescent)/I (warm-white fluorescent.): 3000 K
I (white fluorescent): 3700 K
I (cool-white fluorescent): 4200 K
I (day white fluorescent): 5000 K
H (direct sunlight): 5200 K
N (flash): 5400 K
G (cloudy): 6000 K
I (daylight fluorescent): 6500 K
I (high temp. mercury-vapor): 7200 K
M (shade): 8000 K

Note: All figures are approximate.