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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-17-2015

can pics taken with white balance set to b&w be converted back to color?

took 28 pics with white balance on b&w with T5I. Is there a way to comvert them back to color?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,558
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: can pics taken with white balance set to b&w be converted back to color?

If the pictures were taken in RAW mode, open them in a good editor (e.g., DPP or PS). You should be able to change the WB setting back to "Auto" or to one of the color values.

 

If the pictures were taken in JPEG, you're probably out of luck. There's no going back, because the necessary information wasn't saved.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: can pics taken with white balance set to b&w be converted back to color?

Exactly. One more reason to shoot in RAW.  

 

Rather than locking yourself into something like that, just shoot in color in RAW and you can decide in post processing whether you want to do color or B&W.  With JPG your ability to fix bad white balance is limited and attempts to push WB or exposure changes too far in a JPEG result in some ugly ugly images. Even a less extreme WB change, like daylight to shade is dicey with a JPG.  Because I am imperfect and I regularly forget to change my WB when I walk into different light I will not shoot JPG.  

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
VIP
Posts: 13,998
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: can pics taken with white balance set to b&w be converted back to color?

If this image were RAW, the color might still be there.  Might be!  But since it is JPEG, it is not. The RGB format for each pixel is set to a gray scale value. That is, they're all just levels of gray. 256 levels to be exact.

When the image was mapped to 256 gray levels, all the original color information was irreversibly lost.

JPEG is a destructive process. It is a lossy compression scheme, which means it is a one-way process. It is impossible to reconstruct what was deleted. There are some methods, that will asign color to a specific gray scale level but it is not easy or fast.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
VIP
Posts: 13,998
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: can pics taken with white balance set to b&w be converted back to color?

[ Edited ]

When you shoot and save raw files the camera makes a header file which holds all of the camera settings, such as sharpening, contrast, saturation, colour temperature, I.E., white balance, etc. The image is not changed at all by these settings, it is simply tagged onto the raw data.  You can not view a raw file without the meta data file.  The raw converter, like ACR9, uses this meta data file to construct a viewable picture on your screen.

This raw data, exactly what the sensor recorded, along with the tag file, called the meta data is saved to the SD card. It is done losslessly so there is no deterioration of the file due to compression, with Canon cameras anyway.  Brand-N does do some lossy compression to their raw files.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 102
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Re: can pics taken with white balance set to b&w be converted back to color?

[ Edited ]

I shoot RAW+JPEG.   JPEG to have easily opened photos on other devices and programs and RAW to do post processing if I want to.  It might be over kill but I like the versitality.  Most of my shots get the DELETE treatment anyway.   LoL

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