White balance explained: how cameras correct the color of different types of light

White balance explained: how your camera corrects the colour of different kinds of lighting

White balance fine-tuning

You can adjust the White Balance presets manually if you need to and even get the camera to shoot alternatives

White balance fine-tuning: step 1

01 Select a preset

To modify one of the existing White Balance presets, first select it from the list of presets on the Shooting menu. Now instead of pressing the OK button, press the right button on the multi-selector to open the fine-tuning screen.


White balance fine-tuning: step 2

02 Fine-tuning

You can adjust the White Balance along two axes. Left to right adjusts the amber-blue component of the White Balance (equivalent to the colour temperature value). Up-down adjusts the green-magenta balance (tint).


White balance fine-tuning: step 3

03 Your adjusted preset
When you confirm your adjustments and return to the White Balance presets on the menu, you’ll see that the preset now has an asterisk (*) symbol next to its icon. This alerts you to the fact the preset has been modified.

 SEE MORE: How to focus a camera: setting your AF mode, staying sharp and when to use manual focus

White balance fine-tuning: step 4

04 Bracketing options
This is not the only way to try different White Balance tuning adjustments. Most D-SLRs offer a ‘bracketing’ function which is normally used for exposure bracketing. On this Nikon D5200, you find it on the Custom settings menu.


White balance fine-tuning: step 5

05 White Balance bracketing
If you press right on the multi-selector you’ll find other bracketing options, including White Balance bracketing. This time, the camera will take a single shot, but process it with three White Balance settings.


White balance fine-tuning: step 6

06 Choose the increment
The WB1, WB2 and WB3 settings control the degree of adjustment applied for the bracketed shots. The change is made along the amber-blue axis and is equivalent to trying new color temperature settings.

PAGE 1: White balance explained
PAGE 2: How to preset white balance manually
PAGE 3: White balance fine-tuning
PAGE 4: White balance and raw converters


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