Lightroom auto white balance

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 19,117
My 1999 digicam auto WB was fairly good

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?

As far as I know, all camera companies have developed auto white balance algorithms that work pretty well analyzing the raw data in the photo.  Why does Lightroom do a poor job?

I bought my first digicam just to play with in January 2000, but it came out in January 1999 so already an old model when I bought it.  Looking at the old photos from it I see that the auto WB in that 1999 model was fairly good and usually better than 2021 Lightroom.  Of course, more recent cameras in the last 15 years do an even better job.  With all the financial resources of Adobe and the computing resources in modern computers why does Lightroom do a poor job?  So far, no one seems to have any ideas about this.

How is the auto WB in other programs?  C1, DXO, Affinity, ACDSee, On1, etc.?

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Henry Richardson

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