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Old September 13th, 2015, 10:08 PM   #1
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White Balance. the 200 sucks

It makes no sense to me that there is not a way to dial in kelvin temp with this camera short of going through picture profiles. Does anyone know what logic Sony used for not allowing direct dial in without PP?

Also does anyone know why setting WB via picture profiles and setting WB using the white card look so different even if the temp are the same? In other words, 2700k in PP and 2700k via white card do not match in appearance in the monitor when going between the two.

I use two cameras for most shoots and I need to keep the temps the same so auto WB is not an option (I would never use it anyway).
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Old September 14th, 2015, 12:28 AM   #2
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

This has been a recurring issue with the Sony EX series. Preset tends to have a red-shift compared to using a white card. It's an Near-IR issue which a manual white balance somehow eliminates. (unless I'm wrong there, but it's always a red shift in preset compared to doing a manual white balance)

It's specifically the EX series that tends to have this problem, especially from artificial light sources. It does somewhat better under sunlight, but not by much.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 08:00 AM   #3
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

IS there a process to voice a concern/complaint to Sony about this? Also the lack of dial in white balance does not make any sense.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 08:13 AM   #4
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

My experience with Sony s that voicing concerns doesn't help much in getting firmware updates on existing models, it might get fixed on a updated model but there is never a guarantee.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 08:35 AM   #5
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

The color difference you see between doing a proper white balance with a white card vs. dialing in a random number illustrates why it is always a poor practice to just dial in a kelvin number. As you have seen, a number such as "2700" means nothing by itself. Look at a color wheel or a vectorscope and you'll see that colors do not run along a nice neat Warm-Cool diagonal. What about the Green-Magenta axis and other hues that combine to make up the color of the image? White balance is not just simply running a random Kelvin number up and down the scale until you see what you want.

Sony professional video cameras are not SLRs and they need to be operated properly to ensure good results, and that's why they don't allow you to dial in a kelvin number. In fact, in my opinion, Sony is saving people from their own bad practices.

Also, even if you could dial in a WB, what are you judging that color on? How are you selecting the number that looks good to you? The camera's LCD or EVF are not good enough. Dialing in a WB is essentially doing grading out in the field. Foolish. The camera and an uncontrolled viewing environment cannot replace a proper broadcast monitor or grading suite.

My advice is to white balance with a white card or a warm card not to fool with the colors beyond that out in the field.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 08:47 AM   #6
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

Great advice from Doug there - as always.

I've been using one of these to white balance my PMW-300 and it's great as it folds up quite small so I always have it with me when shooting. It's called a Lastolite 50cm Ezybalance Grey Card. It's 18% grey one side and "white" the other. UK amazon link below but I'm sure it would be available all over the place/from different suppliers.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...ilpage_o05_s00
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Old September 14th, 2015, 11:21 AM   #7
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

The problem I frequently have is that when you are shooting an event which has both windows and artificial light the room changes as evening approaches and artificial lights begins to be the dominant light source.. I prefer to have control of the WB myself so that I can adjust as needed.. Taking away my ability do make educated decisions does not seem to make any sense. Obviously I cannot recheck WB during the middle of an event. Also I need both cameras to be similar. Also where would you put the white card when a room has different light sources. I prefer to get a baseline using my experience and then do a very slight post production grading if needed.

I am still not sure why the preset is at 3200k Only theatrical lights and interview lights are at that temperature. Almost all other artificial light is at 2700k or 4100k

Last edited by Keith Forman; September 14th, 2015 at 12:07 PM.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 03:32 PM   #8
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

I really don't understand your problem, except that you want a menu-less way to change your white preset. Yes, your Preset white is determined in your picture profile. Of course if you want to go and change the kelvin value of your preset, all you need to do is go into the White Menu your picture profile and adjust it. You can even do this while you are recording.
Or of course you could also do a little PP editing in advance and have several profiles set almost the same - with the exception of different preset color temperatures, and use your PP selection to adjust your color. (which you can do directly from the express menu on your lcd screen if pushing the picture profile button takes too long.) Naturally you will need to coordinate with the other cameras so everyone changes at the same time.
No, you don't have as much control as you would with one of the bigger, more expensive cameras, but you also don't need to remember 100 different menus either. And of course you can tweak your color settings in the picture profiles as well. I think you'll find that the cameras colors can be adjusted to suit your taste. Just be sure to use a decent scope and test chart, and then to verify in real-life situations before shooting.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 04:29 PM   #9
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Forman View Post
...does anyone know why setting WB via picture profiles and setting WB using the white card look so different even if the temp are the same?
Possibly. When you "dial in" a K number, all you're doing is setting the camera's "location" on the orange-blue axis. It does nothing about any other hue.

When you do a manual white balance using a gray card (and it should be gray and not white, so that you don't put the camera anywhere near clipping for R, G, or B), most any modern camera will take care of at least the orange-blue and magenta-green axes, and more besides. This is done because of the mixed light sources that so many people end up using, particularly cheap building fluorescent and cheap LED lighting.

My guess is (and it's only a guess) is that Sony is "discouraging" you from dialing in a K value, and is instead encouraging you to do a manual white balance with a gray card, because Sony wants your colors to be correct.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 04:38 PM   #10
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

Yes, that is what I was saying earlier. We are in agreement.
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Last edited by Doug Jensen; September 14th, 2015 at 05:09 PM.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 06:06 PM   #11
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

If you look at this picture you will see the worklights on the top. As sunset comes there is a constant need to re-adjust the kevin from 5600k to 4100k During a performance there is no ability to re white balance.

My previously owned Sonys did allow WB (Z5, Z7, FS100, etc...) simply by pressing the while balance button while in preset mode and then using the menu dial.

Keith
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Old September 14th, 2015, 07:27 PM   #12
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

In my opinion, and 35 years of shooting stands behind it, mixed lighting situations do not require the ability to dial in a random kelvin number. Other people may disagree, but I myself have never needed that particular feature on any camera now or before. Even if you dial in a number, you still have the mixed lighting situation to deal with. But I contend that dialing in a random number may just dig you a deeper hole because it doesn't address Green-Magenta, you can't really tell from the viewfinder what you are getting, and dialing in a random number does not take into account the true color temperature of the prevailing light.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 08:46 PM   #13
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

Doug I am not really talking about different light sources I am talking about changing light (daylight to incandescent) during either sunset or on a cumulus cloudy day (bright sun to darker overcast within minutes while indoors with windows and incandescent lights also on). I am pretty experienced at looking at a lighting situation and judging what the white balance will be before I even color balance. I just want to be able to access the wb controls without going through pic profiles. As I stated earlier, this is something that could easily be done on many Sony cameras such as the Z5, Z7, FS100, FS700 etc.

My other concern is when the white balance is done using a white card and then the picture profile is set to the same temperature, A/B between the two are very different looking, This make no sense to me. see pictures.
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White Balance. the 200 sucks-vlcsnap-2015-09-14-21h53m11s948.png   White Balance. the 200 sucks-vlcsnap-2015-09-14-21h52m50s947.png  

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Old September 14th, 2015, 10:43 PM   #14
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

Your pictures just display exactly what Doug and Bruce are talking about.
When you white balance using a card it adjusts not only the Red-Blue kelvin setting, but the green-magenta balance as well.
It looks like the light sources have a significant green spike in their spectrum - which the white balance is compensating for. Preset settings are designed for smooth spectrum sources such as daylight and tungsten, not for overly green sources such as fluorescents and emission bulbs.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 11:21 PM   #15
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Re: White Balance. the 200 sucks

Interesting however I am not sure why I have not experienced this phenomenon with other Sony cameras or why it also does it in daylight.

Keith
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