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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old October 1st, 2007, 02:50 PM   #1
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White balance...

I'm seriously wondering if I should stick with auto white balance.

I have three cameras, 2x gs500 and a gs400 - and did this 3 camera shoot (not wedding) on Saturday in a hotel conference room with big round downlights - may have been energy savers but don't know. There was also some daylight coming in from each end of the room, and light from a data projector screen.

I manually white balanced each camera at the podium where the speaker was speaking from with the card facing the direction the camera would be placed.

The gs400 composition incorporated the screen or part thereof.

On downloading everything I found the colours didn't match - and I can't actually remember with the actual colours were!!!

The guy doing the intro had a shirt on which on the 2 gs500's looks blue, and in the gs400 looks green.

I really wonder if it would have been better to just have had the cameras on auto WB and left them to do the choosing, even though many say manual white balance is best.

(It was my first time white balancing with the gs400 but as I recall the colours looked ok on the screen - at least it did not alert me to any problem.)

I would like to avoid colour correction of tracks if possible because it blows render times through the roof.

I would quite like to know why WBing at the same spot ended up giving me different colours. I find that a bother.

Having now printed off a rough cut dvd of the project, it shows clearly that the gs500's both WB'd ok but my GS400 did not. I may have made a mistake with the latter seeing I've only had it a few days. I doubt it is the camera.

I manually WB'd a wedding earlier this year, which made both gs500's record with a pinkish tinge - and thus colour correction had to be applied. The last one I did, I used manual WB and it was OK.

I have another wedding on Saturday and am thinking I will simply leave the cameras on Auto, unless someone persuades me otherwise.

If with manual WB you still seem to have to do colour correction, why not just let the camera do auto WB and if it needs colour correction so be it. But if not, then great.

I would like to know why 2 cameras WB'd on a warm card were ok, but an essentially identical camera was not.
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Old October 1st, 2007, 05:10 PM   #2
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My first inclination is to say it probably IS the camera. Interesting how the two same models DO match and the other doesn't.

I say just try this. Go shoot something, whatever, and white balance. Then do it again, and don't. (ie, your living room.)

My instincts say it would not necessarily match with white balance and will require some correction (as you should have learned to expect shooting two different cameras), but be much closer than the version without any white balancing.

Of course, though, this would require a situation where white balance screws up.

Additionally, auto white balance is a problem not because of the automatic setting (though this isn't always best), but because it can fluctuate throughout an event.
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Old October 1st, 2007, 07:42 PM   #3
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One other option to consider (and different cams present issues, hard to avoid... they often don't "match" perfectly)... set to a preset so the cam doesn't "wander" should light conditions change during the shoot (that's where I'm leery of "auto").

If a preset looks good (I'd run a couple quick tests for matching), at least if you get it back to the edit and find it's "off", you only have to CC the track ONCE... rendering may take a while, but it's better letting the computer "fix" the glitch than having to do it all manually!
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 05:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renton Maclachlan View Post
I'm seriously wondering if I should stick with auto white balance.

I have three cameras, 2x gs500 and a gs400 - and did this 3 camera shoot (not wedding) on Saturday in a hotel conference room with big round downlights - may have been energy savers but don't know. There was also some daylight coming in from each end of the room, and light from a data projector screen.

I manually white balanced each camera at the podium where the speaker was speaking from with the card facing the direction the camera would be placed.

The gs400 composition incorporated the screen or part thereof.

On downloading everything I found the colours didn't match - and I can't actually remember with the actual colours were!!!

The guy doing the intro had a shirt on which on the 2 gs500's looks blue, and in the gs400 looks green.

I really wonder if it would have been better to just have had the cameras on auto WB and left them to do the choosing, even though many say manual white balance is best.

(It was my first time white balancing with the gs400 but as I recall the colours looked ok on the screen - at least it did not alert me to any problem.)


I would quite like to know why WBing at the same spot ended up giving me different colours. I find that a bother.

...I manually WB'd a wedding earlier this year, which made both gs500's record with a pinkish tinge - and thus colour correction had to be applied. The last one I did, I used manual WB and it was OK...

...If with manual WB you still seem to have to do colour correction, why not just let the camera do auto WB and if it needs colour correction so be it. But if not, then great.

I would like to know why 2 cameras WB'd on a warm card were ok, but an essentially identical camera was not.
Hi Renton,

Different models of cameras can look different. So even though they were all the same brand, they were different models. I'm not familiar with your particular model, but I know that the Sony PD150/170s will match nicely with the Sony VX2000/2100, but if you try to match a Sony Z1 with a Sony VX 2000, the cameras do not match up as nicely.

The problem with doing a multi camera shoot where all three cameras are in auto WB is that each camera will adjust it's WB depending on the background. So if a front camera has a window in the background, it will shift, where if the back camera does not have a window in the back ground, it will not shift to the same degree as the front camera.

If your WB is off slightly, it's better for it to be consistantly off and then you only have to correct it in post one time.

For the outdoor wedding, did you have your zebra bars turned on when you did the WB? If they were not turned on and the white card was way over exposed, it would make your WB inaccurate.
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 05:35 PM   #5
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Actually, if you want the cameras to match, I'd suggest pointing them at the same location from the same location. Then they'll match, wherever you move them. Of course it won't be perfectly white balanced for each angle, but it'll match overall.
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