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Custom white balance looks bad/off when set on the 5d Mark iii


I got my Mark iii in June and every time I set a custom white balance it doesn't look right. I have used both a purchased grey card and a white piece of paper, both look bad. When I set it on my Rebel Xs it looks perfect, no adjustments needed in post processing, but not the case with the Mark iii. Shouldn't it be the other way around, considering the price tag on the iii ?



Are you, by chance, shooting RAW?


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

Yes, which is also what I shoot on my Rebel.

White balance is not applied when you shoot RAW.  It must be performed on the computer.  White balance is only applied when you shoot JPEG or video.


Depending on your image adjustment software, you can usually use an eye-dropper tool to pick a point on the gray card as the white balance reference point and it will correct the white balance.  That same white balance adjustment then has to be "copied" to all other images shot in the same light.



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

If that is true then why does the white balance import differently when I choose different white balance settings in my camera (ex. "Flash" "Auto WB" or "Custom" all look different in LR when imported with my RAW file)?


I have never heard that before and I have taken many courses on photography where all have taught to get everything right in camera, including the white balance, when shooting RAW. Why would it be necessary to get WB correct in camera if it doesn't import anyway?



Oops, I realize after re reading that, that it may have sounded a little haughty. Not meant to be at all.... I am seriously curious because I have never heard that before.

But anyway, that doesn't really answer my question, because what I'm seeing on my LCD screen on the back of my camera is the JPEG representation of my image, and that is where the WB is showing wacky too. I can clearly see the difference between a custom WB, the Auto, Kelvin and the other presets on my camera on the LCD screen as well as in post processing. And the custom looks the worst. I will actually try shooting in JPEG tomorrow to compare, but I'm pretty sure it's going to do the same thing. The custom has a very green tint to it. It's very frustrating because I prefer to not have to do a lot of processing in LR or PS.



Canon "tags" RAW images with meta-data regarding white balance (and other info) but does not actually alter the image. Depending on what you use to process the images on the computer, it can read those tags and decide to apply it's interpretation. But those white balance adjustments would be applied by your computer software (assuming they are being applied -- not all software does this) -- and not by the camera.

I use Aperture (Apple's pro photography software), which has a camera profile for each camera. The profiles can compensate if, for example, one camera is naturally "cooler" than another.
Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Ok, so I was understanding correctly then. I use Lightroom to import my RAW files and it does indeed apply the white balance settings (or very close to it) as I had set in camera. I know it does because outdoors I typically use Kelvin to set my WB in camera and the temperatures are usually the same or very close. So, this still doesn't fix my problem though. I also find with using AUTO WB in camera it is way off. I was hoping someone might chime in and say they had a similar problem and "this is how they fixed it" or tell me that their Mark iii is spot on and maybe I have an issue with my camera.



WB is a one click process in post processing so it should not take a lot of your time. However, I agree that if it looks that way it is annoying. Have you check to see if you have any white balance shift set?

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