Cant set and save Custom white balance in memory

Started 10 months ago | Questions thread
AlephNull Veteran Member • Posts: 4,011
Re: Cant set and save Custom white balance in memory

Fella wrote:

AlephNull wrote:

Fella wrote:

I'm pretty gobsmacked by this. I have the A7S3 and you can't set or even change what the custom WB was previously set to in any of the memory modes. So that means you can't even jump out to a non-memory mode, custom white balance and switch back to memory mode as it will still have the 3 custom white balances you set when you saved the custom memory mode in the first place, presumably at an entirely different time and place!
It's bizarre, we have this wonderful run and gun machine, which they've part crippled with this white balance nonsense. It's not even a new issue, Sony has seemingly made this a deliberate design choice for years. I mean someone must have programmed in the option to be able to choose which white balance mode you can set a memory mode to and then deliberately program out the custom white balance part of that! It must have taken more coding to exclude part of the white balance menu than to not have. Way to go Development Team!
You have to switch out of memory mode and hope you haven't overlooked some other camera setting which you'd previously carefully stored in a memory mode and shoot there if you want to be able to custom white balance.
The only other workaround I've found so far is to set a custom button to toggle Automatic White Balance Lock and then try and fill enough of your frame with a grey card in the light you want to measure and wait till the camera has settled and lock the white balance.
Why has Sony done this? My Nikon Z6 doesn't have this problem, I have a custom button assigned, which works in its memory mode and when pressed and held (if WB was already set to measure mode) takes and sets a custom white balance. Job done - unless you are mounted on a gimbal and have a USB C cable attached, in which case it just doesn't work...Why do they hate us?

When you switch into a memory mode, it sets the camera to what was memorised. That's the point.

You can override those settings (for example, if you memorised f/2.8, you can change the aperture to f/4), and the change will work. But if you move to another mode, and then back to the memory mode, then it re-sets the memorised settings - that's how it is meant to work. It lets you make a temporary change, and then revert to the memorised settings by rotating the dial to another setting and back. So your description of changing to another mode is exactly the wrong thing to do - when you switch back to the memory it will restore the settings, as it is meant to do.

If you want to change a memorised setting, then change it, and record it over the top of the previous setting. In other words, you repeat the step where you record the current state to one of the memories.

Or am I not understanding what you are trying to do?

I'm fine with it reverting to what you changed it to, although white balance is something that can be constantly changing and isn't suited to be set in stone the way it is. It's the fact that it is impossible to change the custom white balance when you are in any memory mode, they are greyed out and permanently set to what they were when you set that memory position up.
To change any of them, you'd have to switch out back to a non-memory setting, set your camera up exactly as you had it in the memory mode, capture a new white balance and save it to one of the custom WB positions and the save all of that back to your memory position. It's not practical at all. - Or am I missing something?
On my Nikon, I simply press and hold the white balance custom button (assuming I'd left it pointing to the custom white balance option) and it is then ready to measure white balance and save it to one of the custom white balance slots. That's as good a way of doing it as I could think of, Sony's is the worst. It renders the memory functions almost useless in any environment where you want to be able to take a custom white balance. it's a major dropped ball in an otherwise excellent camera.
And why can't you change your exposure mode either in memory mode, it's like they got so far with memory mode and thought, that'll do, can't be bothered finishing it off, we'll save the rest for a future camera.

The problem with user interfaces is that they can be simple, or flexible, but almost never can they be both.

Sony went with simple. You set the camera to the state you want remembered, then remember it in one of the custom modes. Nice and simple. Then when you turn the dial to that custom mode, it applies those settings quickly, and shows you the settings it is applying. You can then make temporary changes to those settings in the usual ways. Basically the custom mode position on the dial is a way to put your camera into a known state.

You want to be able to edit those settings, which would require a (much) more complicated user interface. Instead of allowing a temporary change which can be wiped when you turn the dial, you want to turn the dial, make a change, and then (somehow) record that change (but not others) into the custom mode.

In the Unix world they often do this kind of thing by having a config file that you can edit, but first you have to understand the format and content of that config file, and the limitations and restrictions between conflicting settings. It can be quite frustrating to learn that the "simple change" you want to make is more complicated than you expect because of conflicts between settings (and even more frustrating to get incomprehensible error messages when trying to use the config file). Unix is flexible, but it's often not simple.

To support "editing" a custom mode it would be necessary to be able to tell the camera what you are trying to change, and have it remember just that, but not the other changes that happen along the way - you want to remember a different custom white balance, but not the shooting mode that you use to record that white balance. The user interface to tell it which thing/s you want to change would not be simple.

Maybe Sony could have, say, four custom white balance  memories, and you could have a custom mode setting that used "custom white balance 1", and by changing the content of that white balance memory you could get the effect you want. But now you've introduced another variable - does the custom mode on the mode dial always use the current white balance memories, or does it record their contents at the time the custom mode was recorded? Some users would argue for the first (which I think is what you want), some would argue for the second ("I want one set of custom white balances for custom mode 1, and a different set for custom mode 2 - why can't Sony get this right?!?!?"). The latter would following the principle of "putting the camera into a known state", but would be more painful to change (which I think is what is aggravating you).

User interface design is hard. It has reached the point where the UX designer is a critical member of the team in software development. Sadly, it's also an under-appreciated art, and I have been in meetings where someone repeatedly told the UX designer about a "simple change" to the design that they wanted, not understanding the implications of what they wanted. I'm not saying that the UX designer is always right, nor that they resist suggestions, but they are more likely to be aware of problems that others may not (and no, I am not a UX designer).

I'm still tuning the custom modes on my A1, and it's complicated - the A1 has a lot of settings, and it is very easy to end up in a state where the camera is not doing what I want, not because it is faulty, but because I have neglected to change a setting. I'm actually grateful that there are only three custom modes on the dial, because if there were too many more I would quickly lose track of what each was supposed to do!

 AlephNull's gear list:AlephNull's gear list
Sony a7R IV Sony a1 Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sony FE 85mm F1.8 Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM +5 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow