I don’t like Canon’s Auto White Balance. I’m not saying that it’s wrong, I’m saying that I don’t like it. I usually like the light balance to be warmer.

  1. There’s never an exact right white balance. Even when using a color meter, like the old Minolta or now Kenko’s.
  2. White balance is the reading of the white color and adjusting everything around it. The problem is what’s the right white? An 87% white, a 92% white, or the 18% grey card?
  3. CCD and CMOS sensors react differently by model and brand to the white balance. My Canon 7D is cooler than what I’m used to.
  4. I know about the various contraptions for getting the “right” white balance like ExpoDisk…
Color Temp Light Source
1000k Candles
2000k Twilight before sunrise
2500k - 3000k Household incandescent lights
3000k - 4000k Clear sunrise / sunset
4000k - 5000k Fluorescent bulbs, cool white - “daylight”
5000k - 5500k Small flash
5500k - 6000k Studio flash
6000k - 7000k Bright sunlight
7000k - 9000k Overcast
9000k - 11000k Rain… clear day in mountains
11000k - 20000k Overcast… snow in the mountains

I set my white balance to Daylight and that’s it! The colours are usually a little warmer and I will adjust if necessary in Lightroom, much less than ½ of the time. I don’t mess around with the white balance. RAW files are only affected by:

  1. ISO
  2. Shutter Speed
  3. Aperture

And that’s it!. Nothing else. The white balance is just a flag to indicate to the processing software, in my case Lightroom, how it should process it.

  • If colour accuracy in required, I have a grey card that I use in the photo.
  • The real problem is not establishing the WB but setting the white balance when there are 2 type of lighting involved, like fluorescent and incandescent.