White balance

White balance ensures that white objects appear white, regardless of the color of the light source. The default setting (auto white balance, or j) is recommended with most light sources; if the desired results cannot be achieved with auto white balance, choose another option as described below.

Adjusting white balance

  • White balance can be selected using the [White balance] items in the i menu and the photo shooting menu or video recording menu (White balance, White balance, White balance).
  • At default settings, white balance can also be selected by holding the Fn button and rotating the main command dial (The Fn button).
  • When 4 [Auto] or I [Fluorescent] is selected, you can choose a sub-option by holding the Fn button and rotating the sub-command dial.
OptionColor temperature* Description
4 [Auto]White balance is adjusted automatically 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 KEliminate the warm color cast produced by incandescent lighting.
j [Keep overall atmosphere]Approx. 3500–8000 KPartially preserve the warm color cast produced by incandescent lighting.
k [Keep warm lighting colors]Approx. 3500–8000 KPreserve the warm color cast produced by incandescent lighting.
D [Natural light auto]Approx. 4500–8000 KWhen used under natural light in place of 4 [Auto], this option produces colors closer to those seen by the naked eye.
H [Direct sunlight]Approx. 5200 KUse with subjects lit by direct sunlight.
G [Cloudy]Approx. 6000 KUse in daylight under overcast skies.
M [Shade]Approx. 8000 KUse in daylight with subjects in shade.
J [Incandescent]Approx. 3000 KUse under incandescent lighting.
I [Fluorescent]Use under fluorescent lighting; choose the bulb type according to the light source.
[Cool-white fluorescent]Approx. 4200 K
[Day white fluorescent]Approx. 5000 K
[Daylight fluorescent]Approx. 6500 K
5 [Flash]Approx. 5400 KUse for flash photography.
K [Choose color temperature]Approx. 2500–10000 K
  • Choose the color temperature directly.
  • To choose a color temperature, hold the Fn button and rotate the sub-command dial.
L [Preset manual]
  • Measure white balance for the subject or light source or copy white balance from an existing photograph.
  • To choose a white balance preset, hold the Fn button and rotate the sub-command dial.
  • To enter direct measurement mode, press and hold the Fn button (Preset manual).
  1. 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.

White balance fine-tuning

At settings other than K [Choose color temperature], white balance can be fine-tuned. Use the [White balance] items in the i menu, the photo shooting menu, or video recording menu (Fine-tuning white balance, The white balance menu: Fine-tuning).

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.

Color temperature when shooting with 4 or D

  • The photo info for pictures shot using 4 [Auto] or D [Natural light auto] lists the color temperature selected by the camera at the time the picture was taken. You can use this as reference when choosing a value for K [Choose color temperature].
  • To view shooting data during playback, select [Playback display options] > [Additional photo info] in the playback menu and place a check (M) next to [Shooting data].

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.