Can anyone please give some advice on setting the white balance on the NEX5N?
Note: I own a NEX-7 and not a NEX-5N, but I think the statement counts for all NEXs.
If you shoot mainly RAW, WB is not that important and can be left on AUTO at all times.
If you shoot mainly JPG, AUTO is normally giving you acceptable results, that may need a little treatment in post processing at times.
If you shoot indoors and JPG, you may want to either set it to incandescent or do manual WB by shooting a white surface. In extreme indoor situations, I normally get an error when setting the WB manually to a white surface I determine, but the results are still good.
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Many thanks for the reply. Apologies in the delay, have been away. That was very helpful, thanks.
Auto works well as stated, but whenever you need to (i.e. your screen doesn't match the colours you see), select custom WB, point & click at something white or grey (or carry a white/grey card), ignore any on-screen errors, and if the result still doesn't match the scene, keep re-doing custom WB until it works!
If you post-process RAW (or even jpg, but RAW is more flexible) you can shoot a white or grey card per shooting scene, and use that in pp to read white balance from with the eye-dropper WB tool in e.g. LightRoom or Adobe Camera Raw etc.