Simply put, the White Balance function tells the camera what is white under different colour temperatures. The light colour itself is measured in Kelvin degrees, which corresponds to what colour a chunk of iron glows when it’s heated at certain temperatures: about 3200 Kelvin the iron glows orange-red, but at 5600 Kelvin the iron will glow a blue-white.
The camera sees light for what it is – areas lit by sunshine, about 5600 Kelvin, will look blue-ish; indoor lighting, at about 3200 Kelvin, will look to the camera as reddish. Therefore, for the most accurate rendition of colour in the image, it’s crucial to get proper white balance.
The Canon XF200 has 4 different methods to set the White Balance to ensure accurate colours under different lighting conditions.
In the WHITE BAL settings, you can toggle between A channel, B channel and the PRESET.
The PRESET can set the white balance to daylight settings, tungsten or Kelvin mode. The daylight and tungsten settings can be further fine-tuned within a range of -9 to +9.
The PRESET in your camera will likely default to the AWB (Automatic White Balance) mode, which automatically adjusts the white balance to the optimal level. But you can change the settings in the MENU.
- MENU > Camera Setup > White Balance > PRESET > Mode > Preset
- You can change between colour temperature presets - Daylight, Tungsten, Kelvin - or to AWB (Kelvin enables you to control the colour temperature manually in Kelvin degrees).
To adjust the PRESET settings (make sure the camera is in manual mode)
- Set the WHITE BAL switch to PRESET
- Using the joystick, press SET and move it left/right until the white balance icon is highlighted
- Push the joystick up/down to toggle between the colour temperature preset or AWB mode. Press SET to make a selection.
If you set to daylight or tungsten settings, using the joystick, press SET again to display the fine-tune adjustment range. Push the joystick up/down to fine-tune the daylight range.
Setting the White Balance Manually (Custom White Balance)
When the lighting conditions don’t change, such as when you set up lights in a room for an interview, then setting the white balance manually will help you get more accurate colour renditions.
IMPORTANT: You need to place a white card under the same lighting that falls on the subject. Don’t hold the white card directly in front of the camera lens. Then zoom in to fill the frame entirely with the white card.
- Set the WHITE BAL switch to either A or B
- Using the joystick, press SET and push the joystick left/right until the white balance icon is highlighted
- Push the joystick up/down to select A or B
- Point the camera at a white card and press the white balance icon button.
- The white balance icon on the screen will flash quickly and will then stop when the procedure is completed. The setting is even retained when the camera is turned off.
White Balance Errors
- If you don’t have enough light, the camera will not do a white balance
- If you have too much light, the camera will not do a white balance
- If your lighting conditions change, then you need to set a new white balance.