D2Xs vs. D200 AWB Performance

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR' started by Jonathan, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Jonathan

    Jonathan

    676
    Jun 11, 2005
    Southern Maine
    I'm hoping to get a bit of advice on white balance. Over the weekend I was shooting with my D200 and D2Xs at the same time to save changing lenses and also to compare a bit.

    One thing I really noticed was that the D200 seemed much more accurate on auto white balance(some of these were jpeg's).

    I really prefer the D2Xs, but the white balance is sort of cold, almost bluish.


    Can someone offer a bit of advice? The D200 is always right on the money, but the D2X seems to be fussier. Maybe minus 1 would help?
     
  2. Baywing

    Baywing

    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    I had a D200 and I did notice that the WB was quite good in auto, for the little that I shot that way. I've had a D2x for over a year now, and to be honest, I set the WB manually to 5600°K and haven't changed it. Heck, I don't even know if I could do a preset WB without the manual, or if it even works! I would expect your findings to be accurate, the D200 came out after the D2x, so I would expect it to be better in that regard. It's also closer to a consumer camera, I would think there aren't many pros shooting a D2x in auto WB, but I could be wrong.
    I think you could dial in some warmer comp, or shoot RAW or try manual WB or preset. Is there any reason you need/want auto WB?
     
  3. jfenton

    jfenton

    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Hi Johnathan...

    I've gone to shooting auto WB on my Xs whenever I'm shooting outdoors and I find that it's almost perfectly on the money when I do WB balance.

    I used to shoot everything outdoors at 5300 and adjust accordingly but I now find it to be so good, that I don't have to.

    With my camera at least, if it seems blue...it's because it was :)
     
  4. Doug

    Doug

    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    Auto white balance is fine if you shoot raw, you can change it to whatever you wish after the fact in raw processing. Only for JPG does it come into play, and outside of the pro that is shooting for many many shots, where control is not as large an issue, most pros probably prefer the control of raw processing anyway.

    I'm no pro, but I would not think of shooting a critical image in anything but RAW. If I was shooting sports where I was shooting thousands of images, of course, I could change my tune, or even news print, or even directory people shooting and such...

    But in general, I see no real value to have a camera like a D2X or D200 and shoot jpg. The camera has to make certain data assumptions for JPG processing, and once those assumptions are made, that data that was compressed becomes unrecoverable. If your in RAW, then that data is ALWAYS there. YOU decide what data level compression is acceptable. Very important I think.

    Doug
     
  5. jfenton

    jfenton

    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Doug Is Of Course Correct

    I always shoot Raw plus jpeg and just use the jpeg files for selection purposes.

    I hadn't considered the use for jpeg shooting only.
     
  6. ckdamascus

    ckdamascus

    928
    May 14, 2005
    New Jersey
    DSLRs tend to lag in AWB performance compared to the P&S (yeah go figure).

    That said, I am not surprised the D200 has better AWB. You can always hard lock the White Balance ahead of time. It is not too hard once you get the hang of the different lighting environments.

    Adjusting WB in RAW is NOT the same. The coefficient ratios for the RGB is hard set in WB during the shot. Adjusting it afterwards in RAW is NOT the same as it is an approximation and does not always work as well. Please note, I said it does not always work as well. It works a lot of the time, but not always.

    If you are using Capture NX, try this in white balance. "Recorded Value" compared to "Automatically Calculate" while adjusting the sliders. For some of my images, even if the Kelvin is set identically, the color cast is different. I realize that some other applications have another slider for WB such as tone or hue?, but this is inferring what people like Illiah has mentioned.

    WB in post-process RAW is an approximation. For accuracy, you want to set the WB in the camera properly or hope your AWB is good.

    Regarding shooting JPEG, even though I always shoot RAW, you can do an amazing amount of corrections without needing RAW. I just find RAW is faster with WB adjustments (if you are close to the mark, you are usually OK in fine tuning). Otherwise, I use curves to defeat color casts on images when I pick the wrong WB during the shot that RAW cannot recover (see previous paragraphs).

    So, shoot RAW if you can, but JPEG isn't THAT bad.
     
  7. yamo

    yamo

    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Greetings. Carroll writes:
    So I'm trying to understand how WB works, perhaps, you can help me out. If WB isn't completely adjustable in RAW that would imply that it's somehow appled before the sensor output? That doesn't quite sound right. My (er, limited) understanding of the differences that can occur between two images set to the same Kelvin is that there is a green-magenta shift applied depending on what type of light (usually to cover artificial light sources) is designated.

    Since RAW converters (well, ACR & Lightroom) can make both temperature and tint (the green-magenta axis) adjustments, it seems that they have the full range of adjustments for setting any white balance. Am I missing something?

    Cheers,

    -Yamo-
     
  8. Baywing

    Baywing

    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    I think what happens here has to do with the RGB channels. If you were to pick a particular WB setting, and take your shot, you capture certain RGB information. Later, when processing the RAW image, you attempt to change the WB, you might not have enough latitude to get where you want to go due to the available RGB info. Same arguement holds for exposure, many seem to think they can just wing it, shoot RAW and fix everything later. If you've blown out the red channel (or any of them), you won't be able to get that data back.
    You should be looking to get as close as possible for both WB and exposure even in RAW. Minor tweaks should be fine, but if you miss by alot, there may be data missing you won't be able to compensate for.
     
  9. yamo

    yamo

    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Greetings. Baywing writes:
    I understand that one can only make a limited amount of adjustment for exposure from RAW (depending on the headroom available in highlights and shadows), but I was to understand that WB occured in the RAW conversion step. As such, the full range of adjustments are available in temperature and tint. Consequently, blowing reds (for instance) in RAW would be unalterable irrespective of white balance. Applying a WB that results in a blown channel where it wasn't in some other WB can be recovered (with curves, exposure or recovery adjustments).

    Is there a step before RAW where WB is applied in camera?

    Cheers,

    -Yamo-
     
  10. bluish??... are you sure it is not set to flash?

    anyway... shooting raw and dropping a grey card takes out any uncertainty and corrects for all forms of ambient lighting that hits the card. i alway preset to a card... and shoot a few to have later just in case.
     
  11. Jonathan

    Jonathan

    676
    Jun 11, 2005
    Southern Maine
    No, it was set to auto. I'm not trying auto -1 and hue -3, which seems a bit better.
     
  12. ckdamascus

    ckdamascus

    928
    May 14, 2005
    New Jersey
    According to Illiah and others like him, there is. However, he no longer frequents the cafe anymore.

    The coefficients or ratios of the RGB are set before the RAW is taken for WB. The approximation isn't bad though but sometimes it is off.
     
  13. yamo

    yamo

    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Greetings... Jonathan writes:
    In perusing the web about white balance I came across this article by Moose Peterson, where if you scroll down a bit you will see that he uses an 81A filter all the time on all his lenses to warm up his images. Perhaps, to solve the cold rendition you dislike:

    http://www.nikondigital.org/articles/white_balance.htm

    And regarding my question about in camera WB effects before RAW from ckdamascus...
    Interesting... I guess I'll have to learn more how that all works... Thanks.


    Cheers,

    -Yamo-
     
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