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Blue LED Lighting showing up as purple


Using a Canon 60D and having some issues taking photosgraphs that use intense blue LED lighting and showing up as purple instead of blue


Below is an example of  a set I am trying to shoot but the blue is turning out purple.



I have tried all the different color balance settings which will affect white causing it to be a cool white and all the way to warm white but the blue uplighting remains purple.


What I also found interesting is that I took some shots with my iphone and the blue comes out correctly.


Anybody know how I can fix the problem or is this a limit with the sensor on the 60D? Would a higher end Canon camera fix this?


I took a quick look at my image in similar situation. Changing the picture style does help a little bit. However, the problem occurs only if I pull the exposure level up. If image is underexposed, and I tried to increase the exposure, then blue light will become purple. Changing the picture style then only help a bit. However, if the shot is correctly exposure or near "correct" exposure level, it will not have a problem.
So, did you increase the exposure of your image in post?
Weekend Travelers Blog | Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide

The files I posted I just opened up in Photoshop and resized it and saved it out. I am no longer in California but have these same kind of lights that I will do some testing with. Will also try a nikon I have and see if it does the same.


I did some more testing and have some interesting results. I also have a Nikon D60 (and having a Canon 60D gets very confusing) and here are the results with setting them to full auto with flash off. Nikon D60 on the left and the Canon 60D on the right.



Some parts of the picture are turning Blue on the Canon but my cheap Nikon remains blue

If I step down the exposure on the Canon 60D I can get the wall to show blue but the intense reflection on top still has some purple in it.



My next test was to overexpose the photo and you can see my Nikon stays blue (Bottom Photo) even though the details are blown out but the Canon goes purple in the over exposed areas (Top Photo).



I tried all different kinds of white balance settings on the Canon but unless I underexposed the picture, it would turn to purple all the time.

I will try shooting in RAW and see if that helps any.



Well I just made a lot of progress. If I open up the RAW image in photoshop it looks much better and I can't even make it go purple like the JPG saved on the camera when changing any of the settings on the photoshop RAW importer.


Raw Image on the left and JPG on the right. 




My probelm now is I mostly got this camera to shoot video and the video always comes out purple.


You can see my problem in the video below. We have uplights that rotate between red, green, and blue and the blue comes out purple. Not sure how I can fix it since you really can't use RAW for video. Any ideas on how to fix this for video? Since the RAW image comes out good, it must have to do with the profiles built in the camera that takes the raw data and some funny stuff with intense blue.

Two known concerns with the 60D are:

White balance often excessively orange under artificial light, and

Slight tendency to overexpose in contrasty conditions


If either of these are true, you will not be able to alter them only diminish them with other settings.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Thanks for the info.


I have tried all kinds of settings and it seems the best is to place the picture style in "faithful" mode and set the color tempature all the way to 10K but still get purples and not near as faithful to the actual color as bringing in the RAW to photoshop which works perfectly and there are no purples. Also did not have much success with using the RAW -> JPG converter built into the camera.

Looks like the 60D is not going to work for me when trying to shoot video with this style of lighting. 😞

If "Faithful" isn't doing it, then the only other option I can think of is to use the Picture Style Editor to create a targeted color correction (you can make your own picture styles) for this color and load it into the camera.

With the "Faithful" setting, you would think you would not have to. BTW, it is possible to edit an existing picture style in the camera. The original "Faithful" settings (if you go to that picture style and press the "info" button it will let you change them) should all be set to "0". But the point of the "faithful" setting is that it is supposed to provide no color adjustment of any kind. The color you get out of video or a jpeg should be the same as the color you get when shooting RAW. If indeed you get correct color in RAW, but purple color in JPEG or video when using "faithful" then it makes me wonder if there's a bug in the firmware. I suppose you could eject the and re-insert the battery to make it "reboot" the firmware just in case it's somehow holding on to a previous picture style.

Canon has some YouTube videos which provide picture style and picture style editor tutorials.
Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

If this, know issue, "white balance often excessively orange under artificial light ...", is true, than even 'Faithful' will not correct his problem. Orange would likely cause the blue to look more magenta.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

The camera _does_ apply picture style when shooting video (as well as JPEG).  Set the picture style to "Faithful" -- this tells the camera not to manipulate color at all.  It should give you the most accurate color.  Neutral is similar but neutral actually desaturates slightly and also decreases contrast (and improves dynamic range).  


According to Canon, "Neutral" (and sometimes "Faithful") are the preferred chocies by digital film makers who plan to edit the color in post anyway -- because it gives them color that has not been pre-tampered with by the camera.




Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da


This has nothing to do with color balance or lens quality. The blue LEDs simply emit near UV, which is picked up by red pixels on the sensor. You can easily prove it by dispersing the light on a CD - there's a clearly visible blue band, and then a purple one. Here's a picture from a 60D:
This phenomenon is apparently more pronounced in Canon DSLR cameras than in some others. Standard UV filter doesn't help much - it only stops much shorter wavelengths.

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