Beware of "Keep Warm Colors" with the E-M5II (and other Olympus cameras)

Started Mar 17, 2015 | Discussions
Robert Deutsch Forum Pro • Posts: 10,227
Beware of "Keep Warm Colors" with the E-M5II (and other Olympus cameras)

I've been shooting jpegs with the E-M5II, using AWB, and noticed that the white balance of the images was decidedly on the warm side, particularly indoor shots with mixed lighting. Some were quite pleasant, but not natural-looking. (I used the Natural setting.) And then reading a new review of the camera reminded me that there's a setting called Keep Warm Colors that biases WB in the warm direction, and it's set to be On by default. See http://www.tomsguide.com/us/olympus-omd-em5-mark-ii,review-2675.html. I then remember that I had set this to be Off early during my experience with the E-M5 (Mk.I), and, shooting RAW, it was not an issue. If you do a search for Keep Warm Colors, you'll find a lot of discussion of it on this web site and elsewhere. Alhough I appreciate the fact that some prefer this setting to be On, I can't see why Olympus would set this as the default, with the control located deep in the menu structure. I think it's an effect that's better handled in post processing.

And now I wish I had it turned off for all the shots I've taken so far...

Bob

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Olympus E-M5 II
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 9,549
Surprisingly I've been using it more
8

I would want to turn it off if shooting jpegs, but lately I've been experimenting with keeping it on (I shoot raw). I think the reason they introduced the "keep warm colors" option was because the auto wb is now so good at finding a neutral white balance that it can actually look a little cold and clinical and unnatural. If you shoot in warm light as the sun dips, for instance, the camera will usually neutralize that warmth. Same for indoor lighting. I compared the "keep warm" setting with indoor lighting and it was actually quite accurate in reflecting how the light looked to the naked eye. So it depends on what you want.

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Fri13 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,116
Re: Beware of "Keep Warm Colors" with the E-M5II (and other Olympus cameras)

No need to beware that, it is good setting and beginners usually prefer warmer colors for sun and indoor lights. It is there enabled for a reason, and possible to be disabled. And doesn't get in RAW.

Fri13 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,116
Re: Surprisingly I've been using it more
1

jkrumm wrote:

I think the reason they introduced the "keep warm colors" option was because the auto wb is now so good at finding a neutral white balance that it can actually look a little cold and clinical and unnatural.

Exactly, Olympus Auto White Balance (AWB) is best that is out there. >99% hit rate for correct or so close to correct white balance that there isn't need to correct white balance. It was one of the first differences to spot with Olympus compared Sony, Nikon and Canon.

I compared the "keep warm" setting with indoor lighting and it was actually quite accurate in reflecting how the light looked to the naked eye. So it depends on what you want.

That is the idea. Take a photo indoors and people really prefer warmer colors. Cold or pure white makes home feel cold. In some situations (like swimming pools indoors) are set so they are colder, so it requires then to be disabled for that.

Tapper123
Tapper123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,907
Re: Beware of "Keep Warm Colors" with the E-M5II (and other Olympus cameras)
2

Yes, it's very true. When I first got my Em5ii I thought the auto white balance was bad. But then I turned off the awful "Keep Warm Colors" option and the white balance is superb.

IMO Olympus should stop shipping cameras with that option defaulted to on. I see no positive advantage to it at all. These cameras are already aggressive with red in Caucasian skin tones with that option turned off.

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SpinOne Veteran Member • Posts: 3,984
Re: Surprisingly I've been using it more

Fri13 wrote:

Exactly, Olympus Auto White Balance (AWB) is best that is out there.

It almost always misses with indoor compact fluorescent lights.  Outdoors seems pretty good.

At any rate, easy WB adjustment is a major reason I stick to RAW.

Bruce Clarke
Bruce Clarke Senior Member • Posts: 2,688
Re: Beware of "Keep Warm Colors" with the E-M5II (and other Olympus cameras)
1

Tapper123 wrote:

Yes, it's very true. When I first got my Em5ii I thought the auto white balance was bad. But then I turned off the awful "Keep Warm Colors" option and the white balance is superb.

IMO Olympus should stop shipping cameras with that option defaulted to on. I see no positive advantage to it at all. These cameras are already aggressive with red in Caucasian skin tones with that option turned off.

Having it set on only affects low light shots under incandescent light. I tend to leave it on, as neutral lighting usually looks too cold.

Bruce

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epozar Senior Member • Posts: 1,401
Re: Beware of "Keep Warm Colors" with the E-M5II (and other Olympus cameras)
1

This setting if enabled gives better looking vegetation (less magenta)

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bikenerd
bikenerd Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: Surprisingly I've been using it more
1

After reading numerous setup tips from Robin Wong and others, I've always kept the Keep Warm Colors option disabled on my Oly cameras. But I do agree that the result can be a bit cold, and I find that sometimes other photogs opinions of 'accurate' colors look blah to me. My fix has been to bump the amber in-camera WB adjustment up one notch to add a tiny bit of warmth. That's now my default setting in my EM1.2, on my Pen F I have up 3 notches as an experiment.

Play with things, YMMV.

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Pixels are for peepers.

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jonnieb
jonnieb Contributing Member • Posts: 593
Re: Beware of "Keep Warm Colors" with the E-M5II (and other Olympus cameras)

I used to keep it off, but now leave it on. It primarily works indoors in multiple lighting source pics, so no reason to leave it off. Plus I shoot RAW

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Jonnieb

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