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Old February 14th, 2015, 08:07 AM   #1
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C100 and white balance

This question probably applies to any camera but since I shoot with C100 I thought I would ask specifically about C100. I can never get the white balance right. Custom white balance doesn't always work for me either when there are mixed light sources. Is this something I can learn to do right in the camera? Is there a way I can get better at setting white balance? Or is this something everyone struggles with? Do I simply resort to post processing?
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Old February 14th, 2015, 04:32 PM   #2
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Re: C100 and white balance

What are you doing to white balance? What are you pointing your camera at? What do you have your camera's WB set to? What button do you push to do the balance?
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Old February 14th, 2015, 04:47 PM   #3
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Re: C100 and white balance

Hey Kathy,
It is often a compromise to get a good white balance in the field in mixed color temp situations. Question does you camera look correct under controlled situations or is the white balance off all the time. In this case this could be a set up issue or even something wrong with the camera. Also could be the viewfinder is not calibrated to what the camera is recording leading you to poor conclusions of what the camera is actually recording.
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Old February 14th, 2015, 08:06 PM   #4
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Re: C100 and white balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy Smith View Post
...Custom white balance doesn't always work for me either when there are mixed light sources. Is this something I can learn to do right in the camera? Is there a way I can get better at setting white balance? Or is this something everyone struggles with? Do I simply resort to post processing?
In a mixed environment you can only balance to one of the sources. IMHO the best you can do:
Balance to whatever source is most prevalent for skin tones. Try to control the action (if possible) so that faces are illuminated by that source!

In my experience it's the skin tones that matter most. Backlight & backgrounds - let them go warm or cold.

Don't know what you're shooting, but having a soft light with you that can balance to daylight can be a lifesaver when dealing with interiors that have some daylight in them. If you can light at all...
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Old February 15th, 2015, 02:35 AM   #5
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Re: C100 and white balance

Because I"m often pressed for time I like working with a expodisc, I just stand on the spot what I"m about to shoot and point the camera to the spot where my camera is going to be placed and then whitebalance which works well enough to have a startpoint to tweak further in post if needed.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 10:15 AM   #6
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Re: C100 and white balance

One issue that the C100 MK1 has that trips up, say, the users of Sony cameras, is that the frame needs to filled with your white or grey target, an that target needs to be in the light that your subject will be in, And facing the camera - or where it SHOULD be.

This is because you really don't want to be changing lenses to do a WB, so you need to move the camera to a position close to the target so it fills the wretched frame (growl, mutter, mutter).

Most cameras I have used in the past have a centre weighted WB approach, so so long as you get something white in the centre bit (e.g. 30-50% of the frame) you're fine. Sony's EX1/3 and PMW line are pretty tolerant and even almost intelligent in doing what one could call an 'ambient white set' (just push the button an the camera does an okay to pretty fair job).

The final forehead-slap moment on the C100's Mk1's custom white set is the built-in LCD monitor is not trustworthy to judge colour balance, being way too blue/cyan to what you' see on the actual recording.

Sadly there is a real difference between using a white set rather than dialing in a Kelvin value, but the latter gives you consistency and speed of change under rapidly changing conditions. It's your call when to use proper taget based white set or manual entered Kelvin values.

FWIW, all my lit setups are using a custom WB, all 'Run & Gun' stuff uses manually entered K, based on previous experience and if I have use of my Ninja Blade.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 10:21 AM   #7
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Re: C100 and white balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy Smith View Post
I can never get the white balance right.
Meaning... what? What is it about your captures that you object to? And how are you judging white balance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy Smith View Post
Custom white balance doesn't always work for me either when there are mixed light sources. Is this something I can learn to do right in the camera?
When working in mixed lighting, a custom white balance is almost mandatory. Setting a numerical K value, like 3000K, sets just one axis -- the orange-blue axis. It doesn't do anything at all for the green-magenta axis since that's not included in the "classical definition" of white balance. But most modern cameras now include quite a lot more than simple orange-blue corrections in a custom white balance. In particular, they tend to include the magenta-green axis because of the green spikes in discharge lighting. They do this to improve skin tones under crappy building fluorescent lighting, etc.

Best way to custom white balance is to use a calibrated gray card. Don't white balance with a white card. Use a gray card. This puts the exposure in the middle of the range that the sensor can handle, so that none of the color channels are anywhere near clipping. This should give you your best correction in the skin tone range. If you do use a white card, adjust your exposure so that the camera puts the white card in the middle of its range (effectively turning it into a gray card).

Once you've done this, you've done about all you can do at capture. This should (but won't always) get rid of most of your color casts. What's left for post is mostly secondary corrections (make a certain red less orange, or a certain green more blue, etc.).

One thing - never believe your on-board LCD screen or VF. If you want to make judgements of color quality in the field at capture time, you'll have to bring a calibrated production monitor to the field to use for that. The camera LCD isn't going to be accurate enough, or big enough, and it's not going to be calibrated.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 02:11 PM   #8
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Re: C100 and white balance

Yes its hard to believe but the custom white balance is not always your best option with this camera. I use it most of the time, but there are times when one of the presets does a better job. I made a post not that long ago about my C100 turning the color teal into the color blue when doing a custom white balance, and this was under studio lighting!. Overall its a great camera and I am VERY happy with it. But when it comes to the white balance its not always cut and dry.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 06:40 PM   #9
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Re: C100 and white balance

Well, of course there are situations where you shouldn't white balance. Say with colored lighting. That wouldn't be smart.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 10:24 PM   #10
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Re: C100 and white balance

Personally when dealing with mixed sources with the C100, and run and gun, I've found the AWB to work pretty well.... usually better than me. Which I rarely did with my 5D, or my other cameras. If I do see something off, I'll flip it over to the kelvin scale and take over, but AWB hasn't been too bad for the most part. I've been one-manning two cameras, audio, lighting and interviews... in a rushed environment - so it is nice to have help, and if I have it on AWB and change locations or reverse the shot, I don't have to remember to adjust WB.

When I shoot two cams, I'll get the AWB temp, and lock it there, and set my other cam to the same.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 07:11 AM   #11
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Re: C100 and white balance

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Originally Posted by Gary Huff View Post
What are you doing to white balance? What are you pointing your camera at? What do you have your camera's WB set to? What button do you push to do the balance?
Pointing my camera at a person. The WB is set to whatever K I think it should be but I'm just always wrong. I set the balance by dialing K degrees.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 07:12 AM   #12
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Re: C100 and white balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Huff View Post
What are you doing to white balance? What are you pointing your camera at? What do you have your camera's WB set to? What button do you push to do the balance?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Epstein View Post
Hey Kathy,
It is often a compromise to get a good white balance in the field in mixed color temp situations. Question does you camera look correct under controlled situations or is the white balance off all the time. In this case this could be a set up issue or even something wrong with the camera. Also could be the viewfinder is not calibrated to what the camera is recording leading you to poor conclusions of what the camera is actually recording.
That's the thing I can't tell by looking at the screen so I simply set it to whatever I think it should be but then I look on the computer and it's always wrong
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Old February 16th, 2015, 07:16 AM   #13
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Re: C100 and white balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Because I"m often pressed for time I like working with a expodisc, I just stand on the spot what I"m about to shoot and point the camera to the spot where my camera is going to be placed and then whitebalance which works well enough to have a startpoint to tweak further in post if needed.
Can you describe how you do this again? I guess I don't know what the expodisc is and how it works. I understand what you do until you say "and then whitebalance".
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Old February 16th, 2015, 07:18 AM   #14
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Re: C100 and white balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Because I"m often pressed for time I like working with a expodisc, I just stand on the spot what I"m about to shoot and point the camera to the spot where my camera is going to be placed and then whitebalance which works well enough to have a startpoint to tweak further in post if needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
Personally when dealing with mixed sources with the C100, and run and gun, I've found the AWB to work pretty well.... usually better than me. Which I rarely did with my 5D, or my other cameras. If I do see something off, I'll flip it over to the kelvin scale and take over, but AWB hasn't been too bad for the most part. I've been one-manning two cameras, audio, lighting and interviews... in a rushed environment - so it is nice to have help, and if I have it on AWB and change locations or reverse the shot, I don't have to remember to adjust WB.

When I shoot two cams, I'll get the AWB temp, and lock it there, and set my other cam to the same.
But doesn't the AWB change mid-shoot if you are outside for example and the lighting changes?
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Old February 16th, 2015, 07:21 AM   #15
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Re: C100 and white balance

If I'm shooting at night outside with lots of different lights (I'm going to a festival of lights) and I want to shoot a person let's say walking by all these different light sources. How do I set my white balance?
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