EM-5: Confused by Auto White-Balance results

Started Feb 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
gollywop Veteran Member • Posts: 8,215
Re: Auto White Balance is magic, and magic can go wrong ...

Timur Born wrote:

gollywop wrote:

Timur, since you're shooting raw, use a gray card. It's easy and typically only need be shot once in a repeated-light scene.

You mean except for the malignant glances I will get from my family for chasing them around with gray cards. And the missed opportunities to ​quickly​ take a snap of kids playing who have no interest in posing or waiting whatsoever.

Yeah, but it really isn't this way, Timur.  It doesn't get in the way of your shooting at all.  You just shoot away just exactly the same as you normally would.  Then, when you get a moment (either before the shooting or after), shoot the gray card in the relevant lighting(s).  In processing, you then transfer the WB obtained from the gray card to the related images.  It really isn't difficult or encumbering in the slightest.  Don't knock it till you try it.  And it sure solves the WB problem.

The WhiBal card (credit-card sized version) is easy to carry and completely adequate.

The only thing that amazes me about this thread is that you appear to have begun with some belief in the efficacy of AutoWB. It might do well enough in good sunlight, but it is readily sent off track -- far more often than not in any but the best of conditions -- as your OP demonstrates.

Well, I did not expect Auto WB to work perfectly or even hit the spot in many situations. But I expected to be more consistent when the scenery/colors don't change at all. Once I get my hands on the X10 I will do some comparison, but after seeing the rather bad Face Detection on the E-M5 compared to the X10 I wouldn't be surprised if Auto WB was another (software) part where Olympus had to catch up.

One measure I am thinking about for some time now is to replace most of our lights with full spectrum halogen lights (preferably 3000K or maybe even a bit cooler if available). That would at least help some with the mixed light situations and generally be more pleasing (I am sick of the yellow spiked spectrum energy saving bulbs). But the bath tub shots don't look too promising (it's the only room that's already fully lit by halogen bulbs only).

I use 5000K° fluorescent full-spectrum CFLs, such as you can get here in all sizes, throughout the house.  They're not that expensive, and they are now shaped properly to fit in most "standard bulb" fixtures. You can also get them in dimmable versions, but it does require an appropriate dimmer switch for them to operate properly.

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