White or grey card?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Archer, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Archer

    Archer TPF Noob!

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    I've re/searched whether gray cards or white cards are better when doing a manual WB preset in camera. Haven't come across an answer so decided they're interchangeable. Is this correct?

    I'm still shooting jpeg and using Picasa. Is life simpler shooting RAW and not worrying about WB until PP? (I'd have to switch to something besides Picasa) Or do you still try to get WB correct in camera shooting RAW?


     
  2. Crollo

    Crollo TPF Noob!

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    White balance is applied to the image. Raw is nothing more then raw camera data, there's no white balance. If you can manage to screw up white balance with a raw you're definitely doing something wrong.
     
  3. Archer

    Archer TPF Noob!

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    Wondering about white balance settings when shooting RAW. My understanding is that you can adjust white balance in post processing with Raw. So would you bother with using a manual white card preset or just adjust white balance in post processing?
     
  4. Crollo

    Crollo TPF Noob!

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    If you shoot jpeg or jpeg+raw you'd want to set your white balance so it get's applied to the jpeg properly.
    When you first open the raw it will show the image with the white balance settings you set, but unlike a jpeg you can change it just as you would change it in the camera itself.

    I personally find that custom or preset white balances never work as good as manually manipulating in PP so I leave it on default, shoot raw and correct later. Works fine for me, but I think it would be a better practice to shoot as best white balance as you can and then correct later if necessary.
     
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  5. pgriz

    pgriz Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When you shoot RAW, a small JPG file is attached to show what the RAW contains, and that is what you see on the camera screen. The camera presets ARE applied to the little JPG, but they do NOT affect the RAW. So, yes, you can adjust the WB in post when using RAW. But putting a grey or white card into the scene gives you a reference that you use to adjust your white balance to, as opposed to giving a general WB adjustment. The WB adjustments that are programmed into the various software are approximate, in that they assume a certain color temperature at each settings. Using a white or grey card allows you to show the software what the neutral point is, and it will ajust accordingly.
     
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  6. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    When you check your in-camera histogram, you are seeing it based on the embedded jpeg, which has the white balance applied to it. If your WB is incorrect, the histo(s) will be incorrect.
     
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  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Either will work equally well. The key is that you want something that is color neutral. In other words, if you look at it's color/tone digitally, all three RGB numbers should be equal.

    As for shooting RAW and doing it afterward...yes, that is a big advantage, but there is something to be said about getting it correct when shooting...even when shooting RAW.
     
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  8. Archer

    Archer TPF Noob!

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    Thanks all. Very helpful answers.
     
  9. DiskoJoe

    DiskoJoe Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    i always shoot raw because you can save a lot of images that would be unusable if shot in jpeg. PLus if you get the white balance correct to begin with or at least closer there is less to edit in post. The less you edit in post the better. You will get cleaner looking images and save lots of time later on.
     
  10. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    If someone needs to 'save' a lot of images by shooting Raw, I would suggest they have other more pressing photographic issues.

    I mostly shot Raw because being like a digital negative, Raw allowed me many more output options for the image. I can edit a Raw image in many ways. I can apply an edit to the entire image (a global edit), or to just part of the image (a local edit).

    A JPEG made in the camera is edited to be a final ready-to-print file. All of the edits done to a JPEG in the camera are global edits. Additionally, JPEG has a limited bit depth which severely limits the output options.
     
  11. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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  12. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I shoot raw 'cause chicks think it's sounds kinky. :lmao:
     

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