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A quick question about RAW


14 Nov 2010 3:50PM
I know this is a topic thats done to death, but this is just a quick one.
I take all my pictures in RAW, so does it matter what WB setting I have it on?

Thanks

Chris

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miyaguchi e2
4 136 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2010 4:05PM
No as the WB can be corrected for in the Camera Raw Software., although it is wise to try and remember to have the correct WB set at the time of taking the Photograph, but if you are like me the memory fails. Smile
User_Removed 10 17.9k 8 Norway
14 Nov 2010 4:13PM

Quote:although it is wise to try and remember to have the correct WB set at the time of taking the Photograph


Not necessarily... Smile

Depending which package being used to carry out the RAW post-production, it is very straightforward to to get the WB spot-on using the appropriate tool. In Lightroom it just takes a single click of the 'eye-dropper' on the right point of the image to be bang-on.
KatieR e2
10 6.2k 6
14 Nov 2010 6:36PM
I try and get it as good as possible in camera because I take RAW + JPEG - sometimes I do use the JPEGs if they're particularly good or someone wants a quick email.

As far as the RAW file is concerned, there are still shots I have taken that I cannot correct to my satisfaction in post processing. I keep going back and trying again every few months! In this case, I wish I had taken two or three shots using different JPEG settings at the time to see if it helped me figure out what the colours really should be like, as well as doing a custom WB and RAW shot!

Personally, I don't find Canon's DPP as easy to use for processing RAW as the equivalent (ACR) in Elements... things seem to take longer in DPP.
14 Nov 2010 6:42PM
Most packages use the white balance metadata when importing to select the white balance for the image.

It doesn't make any difference to the actual RAW data and you can easily change white balance after the fact, all it does is make life easier when importing, if you selected the appropriate white balance at capture it saves changing it later.
JJGEE 9 6.4k 18 England
14 Nov 2010 6:52PM
For 25+ years I used "daylight" balanced film and bothering about the correct "white balance" never entered my mind.
Admittedly, I never took product shots where the precise colour was critical.

So, I just wonder why it has become such a topic with digital cameras amongst, in general, "amateurs" ?
KatieR e2
10 6.2k 6
14 Nov 2010 7:01PM
Because of access to information and the internet, amongst other things.

And it's clearly an important issue for the pro, not just the amateur. We have more time to talk about it perhaps...
14 Nov 2010 7:18PM
Because when shooting with JPEG the wrong white balance is irreversible, many people have found pictures ruined by having the wrong white balance set.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
14 Nov 2010 10:04PM
Don't forget that, when shooting in RAW, the wee jpeg that appears on the rear LCD screen of your camera will use the WB setting that you have set. So, to avoid weird jpgs in the back panel, best to have WB set to auto. Doesn't affect the RAW file that you them import to your computer.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
14 Nov 2010 10:06PM
....also worth remembering that the histogram on the camera is based on that wee jpeg which uses all the redundant camera settings that don't affect your RAW file. That's why, when you import your RAW to (say) Lightroom or ACR, the histogram shown in the computer program might be quite different from that shown on your camera.
keith selmes
11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2010 1:29PM
I've begun setting WB approximately on the camera just to improve the chimping experience.
It may also save some time when processing the raw, as the software (Capture One) will start with the WB "as shot".

What did we do before digital ? we took what the film manufacturer and the process lab handed out to us. When I started scanning film, I was amazed at how much I could change or even improve an image with quite small adjustments. It was more noticeable with print than slides, as I 'd always accepted that what you picked up from the shop was what you'd got.

When I wanted to try moonlight photography, it was reccommended to use T64 transparency, as for tungsten light, or at least use transparency film, as the lab would process prints for normal daylight, and they would turn out pretty awful. Nowadays we have more choice.
miptog e2
9 3.5k 61 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2010 1:50PM

Quote:As far as the RAW file is concerned, there are still shots I have taken that I cannot correct to my satisfaction in post processing.


This has also been my experience. Getting it correct at time of capture is a good policy to adopt. A correct exposure will make a noticeable difference to any post processing. How good the RAW processor that you use for your camera is also a factor. For example as a Nikon shooter I have found that Capture NX gets the most detail from my RAW files.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
15 Nov 2010 4:43PM

Quote: A correct exposure will make a noticeable difference to any post processing.


But that depends upon what you (or your camera's AE system) defines as "correct".

If you habitually "shoot to the right" you are using a slight over-exposure, compared to the AE "correct" value - because there is more data in the right end of the histogram. Because you can recover more detail from highlights than from shadows, the "correct" exposure and the "optimum" exposure differ slightly.

But we were talking about WB - where the camera setting does not affect the RAW file (although, as has been stated, it may affect the initial treatment when the RAW file is opened - and thus save a second or two of sliding the temp and tint sliders).
KatieR e2
10 6.2k 6
15 Nov 2010 4:57PM
I was reading about light temperature and other light stuff recently - sorry I can't get the terminology right here but I'm hoping someone might know what I mean... there is light where all wavelengths exists but some are more prominent, and light where some chunks are missing (nice English, very elegant Tongue) I think it's like the difference between tungsten and fluorescent???

Sorry... can't think of the correct terms at all!!

What I wanted to know was, can all "light colour aberrations" be corrected to the same degree in WB processing, or is there a difference.

I'll go and Google for some proper words now Smile
miptog e2
9 3.5k 61 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2010 5:11PM

Quote:A correct exposure will make a noticeable difference to any post processing.

But that depends upon what you (or your camera's AE system) defines as "correct".



Yes, that is what I was trying to say. The correct exposure for what you are trying to achieve. Often, well in my case, I get the exposure incorrect, and then fix in post process. With minor variations its just a tweak, where it is way off, by say 1 to 2 stops, I find it difficult to get what I wanted. It does depend on the subject you are shooting. Skin tones in portraits is one example where good exposure is critical.

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