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Old October 18th, 2004, 01:07 AM   #1
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Location: San Diego, CA
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White balance issues with the DVC30


I've been recording with the Panasonic DVC30 for about two weeks now. I video local music performances. I sometimes have trouble getting the manual white balance to lock and I was wondering if there is anything I can do about it. The venues are usually kind of dark - and the musician has a colored spot light on him/her. I take the lens cap off and turn on the camera. In auto mode, the subject is usually very orange. I then go to manual mode and start flipping through the white balance options. Once I get to Set mode, the colors improve alot, but it never completes the adjustments, since the flower thing keeps on blinking. It looks like it is in constant adjust mode, since when the subject moves in and out of the spotlight, the colors change.
Is there anything you can do to fix the white balance once you are happy with the colors?

Also I see in the manual there is a W. Lock mode in white balance, but it doesn't explain how to use it.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Old October 18th, 2004, 01:47 PM   #2
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I don't own this camera yet but I think I'm pretty close to getting one. I've looked over the PAL version owner's manual (haven't located an NTSC copy yet) and it does describe how to manually set the white balance... take a closer look, it should be there under "White balance adjustments" and "Adjusting the white balance manually." The W.Lock simply locks in your manually set white balance. You'll need a bounce card (a large piece of plain white cardboard might do). The procedure is in the PAL manual so it's gotta be in the NTSC manual too.

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Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 18th, 2004, 08:39 PM   #3
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Get it to the "set" mode, and hold down the w.balance button while pointing at a lighted white card. The screen will go black for a second then will stop flashing the "set white balance" symbol. If you don't have a properly lit surface, or not enough white you can sometimes not get it to set. If you do get it to work, then press the w.balance button 2 more times to the "lock whitebalance " mode. Remember though, if you put the camera back in "auto" mode you will usually lose the white balance calibration, also I notice this when powering down the camera.
I definately love this camera, but it's not one you just power up in auto mode and start shooting with. My white balance fluctuates substantially if I shoot the same scene in auto mode, power down, then power up and shoot the same scene with same lighting while camera is left in auto mode, in other words, I never use it in automode;)

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Old October 18th, 2004, 10:40 PM   #4
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Hi Chris and Bill,

Thanks for your input.

Chris - The DVC-30 is a great camera. I was torn between the Canon GL-2 and the Pana GS400. The only advantage of the GS400 was 16:9 - and I can live without that for now. And since the GL-2 was just older technology, I decided to go for the DVC-30 - and have been very happy with the decision - except for this white balance thing. I looked in the NTSC manual - and it is very vague about the white balance settings. Plus, I also have a Canon Elura 50, which has no manual white balance feature. When I shoot these two cameras side-by-side indoors, the auto white balance of the Elura 50 it much better than the auto white balance of the DVC-30 (the DVC-30 is very orange in auto mode indoors). So when I put the DVC-30 into manual, the colors improve significantly - but alot of times it never sets.

Bill - When I start to shoot, many times I can't get a white card (or white T-shirt, or white table cloth) in the subject area to shoot at. This is the problem. I watch the colors change while the camera is in manual and is constantly calibrating. There are times when I am happy with the colors, but I have no way of manually locking the white balance - ie. even though it is in "manual" mode - it is still and automatic process to get to the set mode. I was just wondering if anybody knew how to override the automatic to set mode process in the "manual" mode. I agree that in most cases, the auto white balance mode is not very good - so you should almost always use manual mode for white balance.

Anybody else?

Isaac Kim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 19th, 2004, 02:16 PM   #5
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For the white balane, just keep a white hankerchief in your camera bag, works great. But I do see you point that you can't just run up on stage and ask the singer to hold your hanky while you set up your camera!
I was just looking back at my first reply to you, and after doing some testing I found I was wrong on a few points, so here's what I've found:

To set the white balance, have camera in manual mode.
1.Place a white card or cloth in front of camera , in focus,in lighting you want it calibrated to then hold down the "white bal" button (doesn't matter what w.bal mode your in) till the "set white balance symbol" stops flashing. The screen will go black than normal again.
2.The camera will be calibrated to the lighting.

.****( This is where I screwed up in my first reply)***
To keep it at that setting, make sure you leave it in the "set w.bal" mode. If you push the white balance button again, it goes to auto mode,push it again and its in lock mode, but it will be locked to what ever auto mode determines what it's suppose to be- which has nothing to do with your calibration!

Push the button again, it does incandescent preset. Push it again for sunlight preset. Push (don't hold it down or it will calibrate again) the button again to "set mode" and it will go back to how you originally calibrated it. After some testing it apears that even powering it down then turning back on again will keep your previous calibration. This calibration only aplies while the white balance displays the icon for "set mode".

***Now for the part that may help you with locking w. bal***

The "white balance lock" mode will only lock what the "auto white balance mode" last determined as the right white balance. So if it's in auto balance mode, and you like it, just hit the white bal button one more time for "lock" mode and it will stay locked to that setting.But again, the "lock" mode will NOT lock it to your calibration.
If your "set white balance" icon is flashing when you cycle to that mode, then it mean that the last time you tried to calibrate it was unsuccessful. But if you like the way the color looks, it appears you can just leave it in " set mode" with the icon flashing and it will stay at that white balance (you'll just see an annoying flashing symbol).
Think of the white balance modes as having 4 settings - 3 locked levels( incandesent, sunlight,setmode) and auto mode. The "lock white balance" only freezes the automode.

You can also assign one of the user buttons to do a "white balance lock" if this is something you constanly mess with and want to make it quicker than cycling through the white balance modes.
Sorry for the wrong info on my first post - I'm still getting use to this camera myself.

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