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Different types of light shine with different colors. For example, tungsten lights are redder or warmer than fluorescent light. Now, while your eye does an amazing job of adjusting automatically to different types of light so the colors always look correct, your camera doesn't fare so well. Your camera has to be calibrated to the type of light that you're shooting, and if it's not, then colors can appear wrong. This process of calibration is called white balancing. Now, the idea is that you calibrate the camera so that white appears correct. Because white contains all other colors, if you can get white looking good, then you get all the colors for free.
By default, your camera is set to Auto White Balance. With Auto White Balance, the camera will attempt to continuously white balance itself on the fly as you shoot. White Balance is displayed here at the bottom of the status display. There is a little icon that says W/B to remind you that that's what this is. And if you see an A there, that means that you are currently set for Auto White Balance.
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