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Most of the time Auto White Balance will work great, and by work great I mean it will yield good color in your images. There will be times when Auto White Balance will get confused or not do a very good job in the lighting that you're currently in. In those times you'll want to either switch to a white balance preset or a manual white balance. To change white balance on the D800, I just press the White Balance button right here. Here's my white balance display down here. You can see I'm set to A, which is Auto. If I turn the main command dial, I can cycle through other presets.
These are simply pre-designated white balance settings for particular kinds of lightning. So that's Incandescent. That's Florescent, Daylight, Flash, Cloudy, Shady, a manual type of white balance where I can dial in a specific color temperature, and then finally, a completely manual white balance, which we'll look at in another movie. As I said, Auto White Balance on the D800 is very good.
Probably the only time you'll really feel it fall down is when you're in a shady situation shooting portraits. So if you've got someone standing under a tree, under the eave of a house, or any other shady location, or maybe it's a completely overcast day, you ought to try either the Cloudy preset or the Shady preset. I think what you'll find, if you try it with Auto and with one of these, is that while the Auto doesn't look bad, the preset white balance is going to give you slightly warmer skin tones that are going to be more appealing.
Now, there are many different kinds of fluorescent light bulbs, and the D800 lets you pick very specific florescent white balance. To select any of these white balances that I've dialed in, I just half-press the Shutter button. I'm going to go here into the menu now, and in my Shooting menu, there's something called White Balance. Here I can do the same thing that I'm doing up on top of the camera, which is just pick a white balance preset, but some of these have additional options. Fluorescent, as you can see out here, is a menu that I can go to, and now I've got lots and lots of different fluorescent light bulb options.
If you look on page 145 of your D800 manual, you can find specific color temperatures for each of these entries and a little more detail about what each one is. These options that have OK next to them are just what they are: there are no sub-options. The only other one that has an additional option is Auto. By default Auto is set to Normal mode, but if you're shooting in incandescent light, you may want to try Keep warm lighting colors. That will give you a little bit more of that extra warmth that you get from incandescent light when you're shooting in Auto.
Again, for white balance, most of the time you'll stick with Auto. You might need to make some manual adjustments when you're shooting in fluorescent light. But most likely anytime you're shooting in cloud or shade, particularly if you're shooting people, you're going to want to switch to one of those. For the finest degree of white balance control though, you're going to want to do a completely manual white balance, which we'll look at in the next movie.
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