Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Adjusting white balance automatically, part of Shooting with the Canon 60D.
Different types of light shine with different colors. For example, tungsten lights are redder or warmer than fluorescent lights. While your eye does an amazing job of adjusting automatically to different types of light so that colors always look correct, your camera doesn't fair so well. Your camera has to be calibrated to the type of light that you're shooting in. If it's not, color is going to appear wrong. This process is called White Balancing. 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 other 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. There is no external control on the camera for changing white balance. This is, I think, partly Canon's confidence in their auto white balance mechanism. To change white balance, you go into the menu and go over to the second shooting menu and scroll down to White Balance. You can see right now that I am set to AWB; that's Auto White Balance. That's the camera's default. If you haven't changed white balance and you want to be on auto, you don't have to do anything.
It will probably just be there. I can open it up though, and there is my full White Balance menu. Now, it may seem like it's a bit of a drag to have to come all the way into the menu to change white balance, but I want you to notice something about menu behavior. I am going to close the menu and now maybe I go off and I do some shooting. When I come back into the menu, it's exactly where I left off. So, what's great about this is... let's say I normally shoot on Auto White Balance, I go into a fluorescently lit room and decide that I don't trust my Auto White Balance, so I change over to Fluorescent, and I do my shooting.
Then I leave and go back out into daylight and I want to just switch back to Auto, all I have to do is just pop into here--I am already on White Balance-- I can switch it back to the Auto White Balance. But the menu page is also smart enough that--I am going to go out of the menu-- when I come back in, it still comes to where I left off, but each page of the menu system also remembers what you were last on. So when I go to the second page, I'm already at white balance setting. So, though white balance is buried in the menu, because of menu behavior it's pretty easy to get to white balance if it's something you use regularly. And as you will see later, there's a way that you can stick it in a custom menu.
You'll probably find that you can stick with auto white balance for most of your shots. Where it will start to let you down though is in shady light or situations with mixed lighting--say, sunlight streaming into a fluorescently lit room. In those instances you'll need to change to a different white balance setting.
- What is an SLR?
- Attaching a lens to a camera
- Deciding how many batteries and media cards are needed
- Setting Auto mode
- Changing ISO
- Changing image format and size
- Manually selecting a focus point
- Correcting exposure while shooting
- Controlling white balance
- Using a driver and self-timer
- Auto exposure bracketing
- Selecting a picture style
- Using Live View
- Shooting video
- Using custom functions, such as ISO expansion and mirror lockup
- Cleaning the camera and sensor
Skill Level Beginner
1. Getting to Know Your Canon SLR
2. Shooting in Auto Mode
3. Shooting in Program Mode
4. Controlling Autofocus
5. Controlling White Balance
Using white balance presets2m 28s
6. Using Drive Mode and the Self-Timer
7. Using Exposure Control Options
8. More Playback Options
9. Shooting with Scene Modes
10. Shooting with Flash
11. Shooting with Picture Styles
12. Using Live View
13. Shooting Video
14. Customizing Menus and Functions
15. Using Custom Functions
16. Caring for Your Camera
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