How To White-Balance Camcorders and Video Recorders

Ever wondered about that white-balance on your cameras? It is a setting that should be adjusted to get the colors in your images as precise as possible. At its simplest, it makes the white in your image look as white as in the real scene. 

You might notice that some images come out with an orange, blue or yellow tint different from what is seen with the naked eye. With the aid of technology, you can adjust how the lighting of the image appears on your camera.

Your video camera might have been set on "automatic white balance" ever since the day you bought it. Setting white balance can be tricky, but once you've learned how to adjust it, you will be taking pictures just like a pro. For starters, here are some modes and features that are usually available with camcorders: 

  • Auto or Automatic White Balance (AWB) is the default setting of your camera. This is good both for indoors and outdoors if the flash is on.
  • Custom (the one with a dot and two triangles) allows you to pre-set your image using a known gray or some neutral color.
  • Kelvin ("K") is a setting where you can adjust the color temperature over a very wide range.
  • Tungsten (its symbol is the light bulb) or sometimes called the "indoor" setting, adds blue to an image.
  • Fluorescent (its symbol is a long rectangle or a fluorescent tube) can be used if your photos are too green or when you are under fluorescent lights. This setting is designed for the latest daylight-calibrated fluorescence.
  • Daylight (symbolized by a sun) This is a softer blue than the tungsten setting. This is good for use in direct sunlight.
  • Cloudy (symbolized by a cloud) is a little warmer than the daylight setting and is best for use outdoors with indirect sunlight. It adds a touch more warmth than the "daylight mode".
  • Shade (symbolized by a house with its shadow) gives your image a very warm color. This is perfect for shooting on a partly cloudy day when most of its light is coming from the blue sky instead of the sun. You can use it too for images when you want them to look warm.

Now here are the steps to white balance your camcorders:

  1. Camcorders nowadays usually have a specialized button for white balance, while others have a menu option particularly for white balance. The first step is to read through your camcorder's manual in order to find the camera's white balance button, or to simply know where to find the white balance's menu option.
  2. Now, to test the white balance of your camcorder, you will need to find a white wall, or you can use a white piece of paper.
  3. Lastly, test your camcorder by zooming in on any white object. Then press the button for white balance, or choose the white balance in the option menu. 

There are a variety of settings you can use for your white balance that would definitely make your image a lot better. Now your images won't look blue, orange, yellow or even green when you don't want them to be.


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