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 and raw converters

Different raw programs don’t always agree about White Balance settings…

White balance and raw converters

Direct Sunlight
This is how our picture should actually look. It was taken using the Direct Sunlight setting on a Nikon D5200, and this is the colour rendition Nikon thinks the camera should produce.

 

White balance and raw converters: Lightroom 'as shot'

Lightroom ‘As Shot’
This is how it looks in Adobe Lightroom. Interestingly, Lightroom is reporting the Temperature as 5000K and the Tint as +1. According to Nikon, the Direct Sunlight preset is 5200K with no tint.

 

White balance and raw converters: Lightroom 'daylight'

Lightroom ‘Daylight’
Lightroom has its own White Balance presets. If we choose its ‘Daylight’ preset, the colours are visibly warmer, and Lightroom has applied a Temperature value of 5500K and a tint of +10.

 

White balance and raw converters: Lightroom manual values

Lightroom manual values
If we type in Nikon’s official Direct Sunlight value, the result is much warmer. With third-party programs you need to adjust White Balance settings according to your software’s own interpretation.

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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