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Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.
  
 
IndyFab
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


Does it matter what white balance you choose when shooting raw.. I do know it has an effect when shooting Jpeg.

The reason I ask is because I do know you can set it when processing a raw file in LR.

I always set mine to AWB auto in camera , then change from there in LR if I need to

Same thing with Picture style, I always set mine in post processing working off AWB auto.

Please share your thoughts and findings

Edited on Nov 02, 2017 at 04:46 AM · View previous versions



Nov 02, 2017 at 03:31 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


I like to shoot it how I want it. I have noticed differences on the image for the different camera settings for RAW processed in DPP. Although I havenít really tested for WB.

I do adjust the WB in the raw processor, too, though

I usually use daylight balance on outdoor photos, but AWB can be good indoors.



Nov 02, 2017 at 03:48 AM
Mike_5D
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


The preview you see on the camera's LCD will use the chosen WB as will the preview embedded in the raw file, so when you first open the file in LR, it'll show that WB. Beyond that, you can change it without penalty so it doesn't really matter what WB you choose in-camera.

I usually leave mine set to daylight since I'm either shooting in daylight or with a flash much of the time so the preview is close enough. Auto is fine too but I prefer the consistency of starting at the same point with every shot.



Nov 02, 2017 at 03:50 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


Do yourself a test.

Set your WB @ 2500, 6500, 10,000 and take the raw for each of the three settings (gray card, color checker, same scene / light). Now try to edit them to look the same as the D65, and see how close you can get them to be.

Alternatively, you could use your flash WB with flash for your "middle" (noting to also, actually use the flash for the 2500 & 10,000 setting as well).

Folks say it doesn't matter, because it is raw ... but I'm still inclined to believe that the closer you are to you're desired end game, the better. Using the extreme endpoints just makes it easier to illustrate how well the raw is "color-invariant".

That said, it just depends on what my workflow for shooting is. By that, if I'm in a hurried shooting mode, then I'm likely to just set it at daylight, 5500, 6000, or 6500 and go with it. If I'm shooting slow & studious, I'll make reference shots or bracket to the cooler / warmer temp. I don't usually make manual adjustments to tint in camera though.

Horseshoes & hand grenades ... how exacting you want / need to be will likely dictate if you need / want to spend the effort up front with your WB, or you just PP it where you want it.







Nov 02, 2017 at 03:59 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


It does seem that extremes in WB setting in the camera while shooting raw can have a noticeably affect on exposure. As long as you're in the ballpark for your WB, it's not an issue but it can be and the far extremes of what you can actually set. But, like most other things in digital photography it's easy enough to test your own shooting conditions and see how it works for you.


Nov 02, 2017 at 04:44 AM
TeamSpeed
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


It takes almost no effort to shoot a custom WB value, and saves a lot of time during post, and that is how I roll.


Nov 02, 2017 at 10:27 AM
shutterbug guy
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


I've accidentally shot RAW in B&W and changing it back to color in DPP isn't a problem, just a few clicks. I didn't notice any weird color shifts or balance.


Nov 02, 2017 at 11:10 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.




shutterbug guy wrote:
I've accidentally shot RAW in B&W and changing it back to color in DPP isn't a problem, just a few clicks. I didn't notice any weird color shifts or balance.


Yeah, you don't get any weird color shifts or anything, at least not that I've seen. And I don't worry about it too much really.

But one time I was shooting B&W, and the one I shot at highest contrast had just a bit more "pop" than the one shot on low contrast, and adjusted to highest contrast in DPP. Subtle, but potentially there.

I may have overstated it a bit in my post above, I don't know that I worry about it that much. I'd probably try to get the WB how I wanted, to some degree, though.

There does seem to be a difference between different camera settings in RAW images of the same scene.



Nov 02, 2017 at 04:39 PM
dreamlander
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


I almost always use AWB. I don't even think about it while shooting. I can concentrate on composition and exposure. 5DS AWB tends to be a little cool when shooting in golden light hours, but I would most likely want to adjust in post anyway, so setting it in camera would only waste time and energy for me.

If I have a bunch of photos in same light, I adjust one, and then set the rest the same. Takes about 15 seconds in post. I guess if that is wasting time in post, then I prefer to waste time in post rather than think about it while shooting.

To my understanding it makes NO difference what the camera is set to when shooting RAW. It is only for the preview, or the starting point when imported.



Nov 02, 2017 at 05:13 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


The color balance setting has no effect on the content of the raw file. Raw files (essentially) just hold the raw sensor data values prior to in-camera processing. (That's apparently not always totally true, but still...)

I understand that the color balance setting may affect the quality of what you see on the rear screen display, as that has to first convert raw to jpg before displaying.

Oh, and some raw conversion applications may "respect" the settings and use them as the starting point for raw conversion. However, if you have your own default you can use that in your conversion app instead.

And, of course, if you are the sort who uses gray cards and so forth, those still work in raw.

Edited on Nov 02, 2017 at 05:23 PM · View previous versions



Nov 02, 2017 at 05:20 PM
 

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Mike_5D
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


TeamSpeed wrote:
It takes almost no effort to shoot a custom WB value, and saves a lot of time during post, and that is how I roll.


So long as the lighting is consistent throughout the shoot.



Nov 02, 2017 at 05:21 PM
hotdog12
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


No, I don't think so, but I'm willing to be corrected. I had an assignment shooting in a Rice University petrochemical lab that used some VERY odd discontinuous lighting to protect the chemicals. I shot raw, tried different manual color and AWB color balances, everything I could think of and nothing made a bit of difference when I looked at the files. I think raw is raw--your basic rock-bottom camera sensor information.


Nov 02, 2017 at 05:28 PM
alundeb
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


When I open raw files, my perception of how the image looks with the initial settings affect how I adjust color. If an image opens with a too cold WB, I tend to settle for a colder WB as 'correct' because a small adjustment towards warmer immediately makes it look right. There is a color bias in my head.

The question of actual raw data is settled, those are not affected by camera settings.



Nov 02, 2017 at 06:04 PM
Mike_5D
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


alundeb wrote:
When I open raw files, my perception of how the image looks with the initial settings affect how I adjust color. If an image opens with a too cold WB, I tend to settle for a colder WB as 'correct' because a small adjustment towards warmer immediately makes it look right. There is a color bias in my head.


I like to sleep on WB changes if possible. Some times a temp that looks good when I'm editing a bunch of photos will look horrible the next day.



Nov 02, 2017 at 06:19 PM
TeamSpeed
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


hotdog12 wrote:
No, I don't think so, but I'm willing to be corrected. I had an assignment shooting in a Rice University petrochemical lab that used some VERY odd discontinuous lighting to protect the chemicals. I shot raw, tried different manual color and AWB color balances, everything I could think of and nothing made a bit of difference when I looked at the files. I think raw is raw--your basic rock-bottom camera sensor information.


Most likely you were falling victim to cycling lights and the different colors you get in the phases, and even spread across a single frame if you catch a phase just right. No WB setting is going to fix that, your shutter speeds will however.



Nov 02, 2017 at 07:06 PM
JohanEickmeyer
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


Peter Figen wrote:
It does seem that extremes in WB setting in the camera while shooting raw can have a noticeably affect on exposure. As long as you're in the ballpark for your WB, it's not an issue but it can be and the far extremes of what you can actually set. But, like most other things in digital photography it's easy enough to test your own shooting conditions and see how it works for you.


Too lazy to test, but I wonder if custom WB also alters the histogram which is based on the JPG conversion of the RAW file.

Overall, I think Canon cameras have top-notch AWB. It's rare to need to alter it at all, unlike when I owned a D800 which had to be fine tuned for every single freakin shot in post because of the poor AWB consistency.



Nov 02, 2017 at 07:25 PM
John Caldwell
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


I believe the camera histogram is based upon the in-camera jpg, where that jpg reflects current camera settings. To the extent that the camera settings of exposure, contrast color and WB are not those you'd choose in processing your raw file, the histogram could mislead you in assessing your exposure.

I use AWB, except where I have either controlled or consistent light temperature, in which case Custom WB can be nice.

John-



Nov 02, 2017 at 07:55 PM
hotdog12
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


TeamSpeed wrote:
Most likely you were falling victim to cycling lights and the different colors you get in the phases, and even spread across a single frame if you catch a phase just right. No WB setting is going to fix that, your shutter speeds will however.


No, it was a true discontinuous light spectrum. I used shutter speeds all the way down to 1/4 sec. (it was REALLY dark). I've worked under different vapor, fluorescent and LED lights in the past, but these critters were truly weird.



Nov 02, 2017 at 08:38 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


John Caldwell wrote:
I believe the camera histogram is based upon the in-camera jpg, where that jpg reflects current camera settings. To the extent that the camera settings of exposure, contrast color and WB are not those you'd choose in processing your raw file, the histogram could mislead you in assessing your exposure.

I use AWB, except where I have either controlled or consistent light temperature, in which case Custom WB can be nice.

John-


its my understanding that raw is mostly the same regardless of white balance - you just have register where it records the wb for passing to your processing software (dpp lr photoshop dxo...) ditto on colour space (argb vs srgb) lens info etc.. so from the perspective of processing it only matters to the extent of getting it right saves you time in not having to change it in post processing. The colour pixel data should be the same regardless of wb.

The histogram is based on a jpg colour distribution. In making the jpg your camera is making the processing decisions in camera. It may choose to clip (show white on really bright spot) in order to show more detail in blacks in the jpg which becomes the histogram. And my understand is that it uses the wb you set. Which means that the histogram might show clipping that does not exist -- and this may be effected by the wb depending on the jpg algorithm in your camera. Practically though if you are pushing the exposure so tight to the minimize clipping you risk clipping even in your raws - so its practical to use the jpg histogram and limit the clipping but you must realize that too much limiting avoidance of clipping can cause noise in the dark areas. You are making a choice - avoidance of noise in the darks vs risk of clipping or minimization of clipping. I doubt that which white balance you use is a practical consideration in this real time decision.

And practically again:

I use kelvin 3200 for night - because it minimizes post processing work. And if I forget to set the WB first it leads to wonky colours because I can't see what the camera can see - and 3200 should be close to true to start the processing.

I use a fixed wb setting (cloudy or sunny) whenever I am likely to stich because stictching creates a mess if the white balance varies side to side. [I also fix the exposure]. This is not likely to be an issue with AEB but it could be in theory.

I tend to fixing the wb to sunny or cloudy to enable global changes to raw files after the fact - 1 fix to all instead of many many fixes

And when I am lazy or in a hurry (C1, C2, C3 setting) , it uses AWB in my c1,c2,c3 settings.


Just my thoughts - Scott



Nov 02, 2017 at 09:12 PM
IndyFab
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Question on White Balance when shooting Raw.


Dan.... Scott.... I was under the same understanding that when shooting raw, it had no effect for setting WB, it was also my understanding it only applied for Jpeg

Team Speed, I believe there is a new feature in the newer bodies to account for florescent lighting cycle.

Interesting that a few said shooting raw only effects what you see on your LCD, depending how you set your WB

An old timer told me once to set WB when you wanted to set WB by using the back of your palm in the light your shooting, no need for gray cards. Said it works every time.

Lots of good dialogue, I am glad I started the thread, as there seems to be different thoughts on the subject of WB shooting raw.



Nov 03, 2017 at 03:24 AM
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