Lightroom auto white balance

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
ggbutcher
ggbutcher Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: Lightroom auto white balance

Tom Axford wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

There is something that I have been somewhat perplexed about for years. I have been using Lightroom for 10 years and for the last 4 years I have had the subscription plan so I have the latest version of Classic. The auto white balance setting is awful and always has been. While adjusting white balance in Lightroom for my raw files I will usually give it a try just to see what it will do. I don't think I have ever seen it give even a half way decent result a single time in a decade. Not even close.

In contrast, the auto white balance setting of my Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, Sony, etc. cameras is usually pretty good, often great. The algorithm used by various camera companies is much better than the one in Lightroom, but why is that?

Just a guess:

The in-camera algorithm has more information to go on. It can use previous images from the live view stream to gain a much better idea of the overall ambient light balance.

I have no idea if cameras really do that, but one thing is certain: Lightroom cannot do it because it has to compute the WB from that image alone; it has no other data to use.

I think this is the right perspective.  The camera sits at the scene, regarding the illumination.  I don't know if/how cameras are programmed to use this, but the actual light temperature is available to the camera for consideration.  All LR or any other software has are the light measurements taken through the bandpass so-called RGB filters of the sensor.

I pretty much keep my camera WB mode set to Auto, as I use that in batch processing of proofs, I find it really works pretty well for most situations.  Sometimes it doesn't, or I have multiple light sources to contend with, and I've not found many Auto modes in PP software that do well...

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