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Old August 13th, 2007, 07:43 PM   #1
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White balance or not?

I've been told by a very experienced pro that on HD cameras, I should always use the presets of 5600 or 3200 kelvin for my white balance, and never do a white balance with a white card in the scene.
But in school, I was taught to redo the white balance whenever the light changes. Which is right?

And what are the implications if I just use the presets? Thanks.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #2
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I always white balance with DV or HDV. Why would you not?
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Old August 13th, 2007, 10:16 PM   #3
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This sounds like some bad info, man. Remember, DV and especially HDV are HIGHLY compressed video signals (especially in the chroma), so the more you have to correct the image, the more noise you may introduce to the final picture. Why wouldn't you white balance? Seriously, I'd like to hear his rationale.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #4
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White Balance

I think the presets are a great help if you need to change locations quick
or need to get rolling without much prep. The presets are almost always very close to correct, but there is no substutution for a proper white balance
with the actual light in the actual shot.

Keep at it
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Old August 13th, 2007, 11:16 PM   #5
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custum WB is always best. I have a huge collection of wrattan filters to whiteblance on and then take off to achieve a warmer or cooler or any color tint really, works great.

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Old August 14th, 2007, 08:01 AM   #6
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At a minimum, for example, OnLocation comes with a little white card that you can use in Post to find proper white for color correction purposes. Sometimes there is no way to hop into the lions den and hold up a white card. But still, white balance when possible.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 08:16 AM   #7
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It depends on the look you want. I shoot a lot at night, and white balancing "kills" some natural lighting in town. I shot a short film all in preset white balance at 3.2k. Looks gorgeous.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 11:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergio Perez View Post
It depends on the look you want. I shoot a lot at night, and white balancing "kills" some natural lighting in town. I shot a short film all in preset white balance at 3.2k. Looks gorgeous.
Yes, there are no set rules. Quite a few camera people commonly use the presets on the high end cameras, on other occasions they fool the white balance for effect.

For a neutral effect you can take a white balance.

It's very much a matter of deciding on how you want your images to look and what works for you and your kit.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 07:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Wells View Post
I've been told by a very experienced pro that on HD cameras, I should always use the presets of 5600 or 3200 kelvin for my white balance, and never do a white balance with a white card in the scene.
But in school, I was taught to redo the white balance whenever the light changes. Which is right?

And what are the implications if I just use the presets? Thanks.
Although I've been on the talent side as a martial artist, I like to pester the pro camera operators with questions. I've heard all sorts of responses regarding white balance, including white balancing for fluorescents through a gel. Many use a piece of white paper, which is probably just a habit taught when the white balance accessory market hadn't, uh, what's the word, matured to selling $100+ products that require considerable knowledge to use.

The presets are generally fine is they actually match your light source. If you white balance everything, you will end up with correct but boring color.
Manual white balance always introduces the possibility for error, especially if you aren't getting an accurate reflection of the light source or don't wait for the bulb to warm up. Flourescent white balance can be totally messed up if your shutter speed is fast, such as over 1/125. Also, fluorescent bulbs come in many color temperatures: 2700, 3000, 3200, 3500, 4700, 5000, 5000, 6500K. A daylight setting of 5600K will not have enough correction for the green spike in fluorescent lighting.

Last edited by Gints Klimanis; August 14th, 2007 at 08:17 PM.
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