About White Balance

White balance ensures that colors appear natural regardless of the color of the light source. The default setting (4) is suitable for use with most light sources, but if it fails to produce the desired results, other settings can be selected according to the weather or light source.

Adjusting White Balance

To choose a white balance option, hold the U button and rotate the main command dial. The selected option is shown by an icon in the shooting display.

Options for the selected setting, if any, can be selected by holding the U button and rotating the sub-command dial.

Option

Color temperature *

Description

4 [Auto]

The camera adjusts white balance for optimal results with most light sources. If an optional flash unit is used, white balance will be adjusted in accord with the conditions in effect when the flash fires.

i [Keep white (reduce warm colors)]

Approx. 3500–8000 K

Eliminate the warm color cast produced by incandescent lighting.

j [Keep overall atmosphere]

Approx. 3500–8000 K

Partially preserve the warm color cast produced by incandescent lighting.

k [Keep warm lighting colors]

Approx. 3500–8000 K

Preserve the warm color cast produced by incandescent lighting.

D [Natural light auto]

Approx. 4500–8000 K

White balance is adjusted for non-artificial light sources, producing more life-like colors than does [Auto] when used under natural light.

H [Direct sunlight]

Approx. 5200 K

Use with subjects lit by direct sunlight.

G [Cloudy]

Approx. 6000K

Use in daylight under overcast skies.

M [Shade]

Approx. 8000K

Use in daylight with subjects in shade.

J [Incandescent]

Approx. 3000K

Use under incandescent lighting.

I [Fluorescent]

Use under fluorescent lighting; choose bulb type according to light source.

[Cool-white fluorescent]

Approx. 4200K

[Day white fluorescent]

Approx. 5000K

[Daylight fluorescent]

Approx. 6500K

5 [Flash]

Approx. 5400K

Use for flash photography.

K [Choose color temperature]

Approx. 2500–10000K

Direct color-temperature selection.

  • To choose a color temperature, hold the U button and rotate the sub-command dial.

L [Preset manual]

Measure white balance directly from a subject or light source or copy white balance from an existing photograph.

  • To choose a white balance preset, hold the U button and rotate the sub-command dial.

  • To enter direct measurement mode, press and hold the U button (Preset Manual).

  • Values when fine-tuning is set to 0.

D [Natural Light Auto]

D [Natural light auto] may not produce the desired results under artificial light. Choose 4 [Auto] or an option that matches the light source.

Studio Flash Lighting

4 [Auto] may not produce the desired results with large studio flash units. Use preset manual white balance or set white balance to 5 [Flash] and use fine-tuning to adjust white balance.

Auto
  • The photo info [Basic shooting data] page for pictures shot with 4 [Auto] or D [Natural light auto] selected for white balance lists the color temperature selected by the camera at the time the picture was taken (Shooting Data). You can use this as reference when choosing a value for K [Choose color temperature].

  • To view the [Basic shooting data] page during playback, go to [Playback display options] in the playback menu and place checks (M) next to [Shooting data] and [Basic shooting data].

The [White Balance] Options

White balance can also be adjusted from the photo shooting and video recording menus.

Color Temperature

The perceived color of a light source varies with the viewer; some may have a red cast while others appear blue. Color temperature is an objective measure of the color of a light source, expressed in Kelvins (K). The lower the color temperature, the redder the cast (q); the higher the temperature, the bluer the cast (w).

Choosing a Color Temperature

In general, choose lower values if your pictures have a red cast or to intentionally make pictures bluer, higher values if your pictures are tinged blue or to intentionally make pictures redder.

Fine-Tuning White Balance

  1. Select [White balance] in the photo shooting menu, highlight the desired option, and press 2 as often as necessary to display fine-tuning options.

    For information on fine-tuning [Preset manual] white balance, see “Fine-Tuning Preset Manual White Balance” (Fine-Tuning Preset Manual White Balance).

  2. Fine-tune white balance.

    • Use the multi selector to position the cursor on the grid. The cursor can be moved up to six steps from the center along either of the A (amber)–B (blue) and G (green)–M (magenta) axes. The selected value is displayed to the right of the grid.

    • The A (amber)–B (blue) axis corresponds to color temperature and is ruled in increments of 0.5. A change of 1 is equivalent to approximately 5 mired.

    • The G (green)–M (magenta) axis has effects similar to color compensation filters and is ruled in increments of 0.25. A change of 1 is equivalent to approximately 0.05 diffuse density units.

  3. Save changes.

    • Press J to save changes and exit to the menus.

    • If white balance has been fine-tuned, an asterisk (“U”) will appear in the white balance icon.

The i Menu

Pressing J when [White balance] is highlighted in the i menu displays a list of white balance options. If an option other than K [Choose color temperature] is highlighted, fine-tuning options can be displayed by pressing 3. Any changes to fine-tuning options can be previewed in the display.

G

Increase green

B

Increase blue

A

Increase amber

M

Increase magenta

  • Tap the arrows in the display or use the multi selector to fine-tune white balance.

  • Press J to save changes and return to the i menu.

  • If white balance has been fine-tuned, an asterisk (“U”) will appear in the white balance icon.

The Information Display

To choose a white balance setting using the command dials, press the U button while shooting information is displayed. The selected setting can be fine-tuned using the multi selector while the U button is pressed.

White Balance Fine-Tuning

The colors on the fine-tuning axes are relative, not absolute. Selecting more of a color on a given axis does not necessarily result in that color appearing in pictures. For example, moving the cursor to B (blue) when a “warm” setting such as J [Incandescent] is selected will make pictures slightly “colder” but will not actually make them blue.

“Mired”

Values in mired are calculated by multiplying the inverse of the color temperature by 106. Any given change in color temperature produces a greater difference in color at low color temperatures than it would at higher color temperatures. For example, a change of 1000 K produces a much greater change in color at 3000 K than at 6000 K. Mired is a measure of color temperature that takes such variation into account, and as such is the unit used in color-temperature compensation filters.

E.g.: Change in color temperature (in Kelvin) : Value in mired

  • 4000 K – 3000 K = 1000 K : 83 mired

  • 7000 K – 6000 K = 1000 K : 24 mired

Choosing a Color Temperature

Using the Menus

Choose a color temperature by entering values for the A (amber)–B (blue) and G (green)–M (magenta) axes.

  1. Select [White balance] in the photo shooting menu, then highlight K [Choose color temperature] and press 2.

  2. Choose a color temperature.

    • Press 4 or 2 to highlight digits on the amber (A)–blue (B) axis and press 1 or 3 to change.

    • Press 4 or 2 to highlight the value for the green (G)–magenta (M) axis and press 1 or 3 to change.

  3. Save changes.

    • Press J to save changes and exit to the menus.

    • If a value other than 0 is selected for the green (G)–magenta (M) axis, an asterisk (“U”) will appear in the white balance icon.

Using Buttons (Amber–Blue Only)

To adjust color temperature when [Choose color temperature] is selected for white balance, hold the U button and use the multi selector or rotate the sub-command dial.

  • Hold the U button and rotate the sub-command dial to choose a color temperature in mireds.

  • To highlight a digit, hold the U button and press 4 or 2. Press 1 or 3 to edit the highlighted digit.

  • Changes apply only to the A (amber)–B (blue) axis.

  • The selected setting takes effect when the U button is released.

Cautions: Color-Temperature Selection
  • Do not use color-temperature selection with fluorescent light sources; instead, use the I [Fluorescent] option.

  • When using color-temperature selection with other light sources, take a test shot to determine if the selected value is appropriate.

The i Menu

Pressing J when [White balance] is highlighted in the i menu displays a list of white balance options. When K [Choose color temperature] is highlighted, color temperature options can be viewed by pressing 3.

Value for Amber–Blue axis

Value for Green–Magenta axis

  • Press 4 or 2 to highlight digits on the A–B (amber–blue) axis. You can also highlight the G–M (green–magenta) axis.

  • Press 1 or 3 to edit the selected item.

  • Press J to save changes and return to the i menu.

  • If a value other than 0 is selected for the green (G)–magenta (M) axis, an asterisk (“U”) will appear in the white balance icon.

Preset Manual

White balance settings such as 4 [Auto], J [Incandescent], and K [Choose color temperature] may fail to produce the desired results under mixed lighting or lighting with a strong color cast. Should this occur, white balance can be set to a value measured under the light source used in the final photograph. Two methods are available for setting preset white balance:

Method

Description

Direct measurement

Measure white balance in a selected area of the frame (Direct Measurement).

Copying a value from existing photograph

Copy white balance from a photo on a memory card (Copying White Balance from a Photograph).

White Balance Presets

Changes to white balance presets d-1 through d-6 apply to all shooting menu banks (A–D). For example, changes to presets made when shooting menu bank A is selected also apply to shooting menu banks B through D.

Direct Measurement

The camera can store up to six values for preset manual white balance.

  1. Hold the U button and rotate the main command dial to select L.

  2. Select a preset.

    Hold the U button and rotate the sub-command dial until the desired white balance preset (d-1 to d-6) is displayed.

  3. Select direct measurement mode.
    • Release the U button briefly and then press the U button until the L icon in the monitor starts to flash.

    • A white balance target (r) will appear in the center of the frame.

  4. Position the white balance target (r) over a white or gray object and measure a value for preset manual white balance.
    • Position the target (r) using the multi selector.

    • To measure white balance, press the shutter-release button all the way down or press J.

    • You can also position the target (r) and measure white balance by tapping the display.

    • Target selection will not be available if an optional flash unit is attached. Frame the shot so that the white or gray reference object is in the center of the display.

    • If the camera is unable to measure white balance, a message will be displayed and the camera will return to direct measurement mode. Try measuring white balance again, for example with the target (r) positioned over a different area of the subject.

  5. Press the i button to exit direct measurement mode.

The Preset Manual White Balance Menu

The preset manual white balance menu can be accessed by selecting [White balance] > L [Preset manual] in the photo shooting menu. The preset manual white balance menu offers options for copying values for preset manual white balance from an existing photograph or adding comments to or protecting white balance presets.

Protected Presets

White balance presets indicated by g icons are protected and cannot be changed.

Preset Manual: Selecting a Preset
  • At shipment, presets d-1 through d-6 are set to 5200 K, equivalent to the H [Direct sunlight] white balance option.

  • White balance presets can be viewed by selecting [White balance] > L [Preset manual] in the photo shooting menu. To recall a stored value, highlight a preset using the multi selector and press J.

Direct Measurement Mode

Direct measurement mode will end if no operations are performed in the time selected for Custom Setting c3 [Power off delay] > [Standby timer].

Measuring White Balance

Preset manual white balance cannot be measured during high-speed frame capture or multiple exposures.

Copying White Balance from a Photograph

Follow the steps below to copy a value for white balance from an existing photograph to a selected preset.

  1. Select [White balance] in the photo shooting menu, then highlight [Preset manual] and press 2.
  2. Select a destination.
    • Using the multi selector, highlight the destination preset (d-1 to d-6).

    • Press X to view the preset manual white balance menu.

  3. Choose [Select picture].

    Highlight [Select picture] and press 2 to view the pictures on the current memory card.

  4. Highlight the source picture.
    • Highlight the desired picture using the multi selector.

    • To view the highlighted picture full frame, press and hold the X button.

  5. Copy white balance.

    • Press J to copy the white balance value for the highlighted photograph to the selected preset.

    • If the highlighted photograph has a comment, the comment will be copied to the comment for the selected preset.

Fine-Tuning Preset Manual White Balance

The selected preset can be fine-tuned by selecting [Fine-tune] in the preset manual white balance menu.

“Edit Comment”

To enter a descriptive comment of up to 36 characters for the current white balance preset, select [Edit comment] in the preset manual white balance menu. Enter a comment as described in “Text Entry” (Text Entry).

“Protect”

To protect the current white balance preset, select [ON] for [Protect] in the preset manual white balance menu. The preset cannot be modified as long as [ON] is selected for [Protect].