Lightroom auto white balance

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 19,126
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 can't see how the camera has any more information than Lightroom, but maybe I am wrong.  The light hits the sensor and is converted to digital.  The camera software then sets the white balance when Auto WB is used.  Lightroom, I think, has the same info in the raw file to set the white balance.  By the way, the idea about the live view stream seems to me to not be valid in this case, but I may be wrong.  My DSLRs don't have a live view stream.  My mirrorless cameras are usually off or asleep and then I take a photo.  And yet the auto white balance still works pretty well most of the time.

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 the cameras also only have the data from the image.

But, I may be wrong.   I thought about this all some before posting though.

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Henry Richardson

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