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Paulpp
29th February 2008, 05:53 PM
Have decided I need to pay more attention to these settings - in particular the custom setting through use of the Function button. The useful Wrotniak article suggests this and quote "you take a reference from a neutral surface with the function button held down".
But for the ignorant does reference mean white in this context?

ianc
29th February 2008, 05:57 PM
Yes either white or a neutral grey.
Ian C.

Ian
29th February 2008, 05:57 PM
Have decided I need to pay more attention to these settings - in particular the custom setting through use of the Function button. The useful Wrotniak article suggests this and quote "you take a reference from a neutral surface with the function button held down".
But for the ignorant does reference mean white in this context?

If you shoot in RAW, this strategy is not really necessary as you can correct the white balance very easily in a RAW file later. It's much more difficult with a JPEG file, though.

But yes, a white piece of paper or card, or a neutral grey card will do.

Ian

Paulpp
29th February 2008, 06:42 PM
Thanks, something to try

250swb
29th February 2008, 10:35 PM
If for instance you were shooting a wedding (not that I ever have) many photographers will base their exposures and white balance values by taking a reading off a Kodak '18%' grey card, using it each time they see the light change. It stops false exposure readings off vast areas of white dress, and stops the sky reflecting off dresses etc affecting the true WB. This is important if using JPEG, but even if you are using RAW where the light balance can be customised in post processing, it is always a good idea to know what you read it as on the day.

I think it is more difficult indoors with the usual variety of artificial lighting and daylight coming through windows. For this I would always shoot RAW but make my best guess at a WB from the menu, planning to make any odd results balance later.

OlyFlyer
4th March 2008, 07:32 PM
I know everybody says using raw eliminates the need of correct WB, but I think they are wrong. The way I work is to try to have as many parameters as possible right from the start. This includes the WB. It saves me time later at PP.

The only thing I found irritating regarding my first E-3 was that the one touch WB was not working reliably in my home environment. I use low energy lights, but I have a lot of white and very good lighting. The E-500 I had worked fine in that environment, but not the E-3. I hope that was just one of the faults of that camera and my next one will be fine.

I also find Auto WB to be almost as (or equally) bad as the E-500. That is not a big issue, I can set it manually in most cases, but the One touch WB would be too bad to miss.

BTW, my second E-3 should arrive tomorrow.

Nova Invicta
4th March 2008, 08:19 PM
Even in RAW the Kodak 18% Grey card is the correct method even in professional video cameras we recommend this solution.

OlyFlyer
6th March 2008, 07:27 AM
As my second body arrived yesterday, I immediately got started testing, before updating the firmware.

One thing seems to be sure, the One touch WB is much worse than in the E-500 I had. I am convinced this is a global degradation for every E-3. I also find the the Auto WB being just as bad as in the E-500. As a matter of fact, I think the external WB sensor was selected for the E-3 because E-1 owners were (are) for some reason so traditional and Oly did not dare to use internal WB sensor as in the other bodies, even if that is absolutely the best way to measure colour temperature.

Who could even imagine the external light meter of a Zenit E (Made in USSR ~1970) control aperture and shutter speed directly when there is a possibility to use internal TTL light meter to do the job. Today everybody would call an external, non-TTL light meter a crazy idea for that task. Yet, Oly chose the external meter to measure colour temperature and set the WB according to this old, non-TTL way. Crazy. Yes, I know there are specific colour temperature meters on the market, just like there are light meters. But the thing is that these are specifically designed for that task and that task only. Also, those are normally used to measure light falling on the subject, not reflected from the subject. That's why the TTL measurement methode was invented. Unfortunatelly, I regard the external WB sensor of E-3/E-1 as a technology from the 1070s, it shold not be in a camera more than 30 years later.

Crouchy
6th March 2008, 10:34 AM
Just been reading the posts about white balance. The Kodak grey card is not suitable for digital work as it's grey shifts (metamerically) in different light. There are a couple of grey cards suitable for digital work, the one I use is by BasICColor. Also I use an Expoldisc for custom white balance. I do I lot of mixed lighting gallery work and the Expoldisc takes the hard work out of my post processing but I still need to tweak in Photoshop with Hue/Saturation layers and masks. Hope that helps?
Bye
Andy.

Muzzlehatch
14th March 2008, 10:48 PM
I find the AWB in the E-3 FAR superior to what the E-500 provided. The only instance where it isn't spot on for me is in tungsten light. In tungsten light, it is better to set the white balance to tugsten. Otherwise, the auto white balance is truly amazing.

As for the external WB sensor, have a look in the manual. I beileve it's in there that I read the E-3 uses a combination of internal and external wb sensing. The external sensor, I'm given to understand, is most helpful detecting non-continuous spectrum light like flourescent and sodium. (My results bear this out: E-3's awb handles such lighting with grace and only falls down with tungsten... a very minor thing to me as when set to "tungsten" in such light it works well.)

As my second body arrived yesterday, I immediately got started testing, before updating the firmware.

One thing seems to be sure, the One touch WB is much worse than in the E-500 I had. I am convinced this is a global degradation for every E-3. I also find the the Auto WB being just as bad as in the E-500. As a matter of fact, I think the external WB sensor was selected for the E-3 because E-1 owners were (are) for some reason so traditional and Oly did not dare to use internal WB sensor as in the other bodies, even if that is absolutely the best way to measure colour temperature.

Who could even imagine the external light meter of a Zenit E (Made in USSR ~1970) control aperture and shutter speed directly when there is a possibility to use internal TTL light meter to do the job. Today everybody would call an external, non-TTL light meter a crazy idea for that task. Yet, Oly chose the external meter to measure colour temperature and set the WB according to this old, non-TTL way. Crazy. Yes, I know there are specific colour temperature meters on the market, just like there are light meters. But the thing is that these are specifically designed for that task and that task only. Also, those are normally used to measure light falling on the subject, not reflected from the subject. That's why the TTL measurement methode was invented. Unfortunatelly, I regard the external WB sensor of E-3/E-1 as a technology from the 1070s, it shold not be in a camera more than 30 years later.

Nick Temple-Fry
15th March 2008, 12:34 AM
I find the AWB in the E-3 FAR superior to what the E-500 provided. The only instance where it isn't spot on for me is in tungsten light. In tungsten light, it is better to set the white balance to tugsten. Otherwise, the auto white balance is truly amazing.



I have to agree - the awb on my E-500 was problemmatic using low enery bulbs and only reasonable shooting daylight scenes with a combination of light and shadow. The E-3 is a great improvement, I find that I am only having to alter white balance for 'artistic' reasons (say I want to warm an image) rather than to correct faults in shooting.

Nick

OlyFlyer
15th March 2008, 11:01 PM
I find the AWB in the E-3 FAR superior to what the E-500 provided. The only instance where it isn't spot on for me is in tungsten light. In tungsten light, it is better to set the white balance to tugsten. Otherwise, the auto white balance is truly amazing. Well, I disagree. The AWB is bad just when you need it most. It works well outdoors, but come on, outdoors not much can go wrong with the WB. Anyway, I never used AWB much, it was bad in the E-500, it is bad now. Possibly better now, but not something usable IMO. However, that is not a problem for me, what I think is bad is that the One Touch WB is almost completely useless as well. That is definitly way better in every other body with internal WB sensor. At least, the E-500 I had was 100% reliable under the same conditions where the E-3 is just giving an error message, a message I never saw on the E-500 display during the 1 year 10 months I used the camera. Anyway, I can learn to live without the One Touch WB, but I think it should work on a pro model without any problem. Regardless of which, if the WB sensor was placed inside the body, it would definitely be better.

As for the external WB sensor, have a look in the manual. I beileve it's in there that I read the E-3 uses a combination of internal and external wb sensing. The external sensor, I'm given to understand, is most helpful detecting non-continuous spectrum light like flourescent and sodium. (My results bear this out: E-3's awb handles such lighting with grace and only falls down with tungsten... a very minor thing to me as when set to "tungsten" in such light it works well.)Could you please point me to the page where it says it has an internal WB sensor? I have honestly read the manual both in English and in Swedish from the first to the last page, but not found anything about internal WB sensor. You can switch off the external WB sensor, but AFAIK there is no internal WB sensor.

OlyFlyer
15th March 2008, 11:09 PM
I have to agree - the awb on my E-500 was problemmatic using low enery bulbs... That's where the E-3 fails as well. That is also where I used the E-500 One Touch WB with success, but the E-3 is useless.

Invicta
15th March 2008, 11:14 PM
Could you please point me to the page where it says it has an internal WB sensor? I have honestly read the manual both in English and in Swedish from the first to the last page, but not found anything about internal WB sensor. You can switch off the external WB sensor, but AFAIK there is no internal WB sensor.



Says two white balance sensors on the Oly web site:

Hybrid detection system with High-speed Live MOS sensor and dedicated external sensor

http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/dslr_E-3_Specifications.htm

scroll to the white balance section.

Invicta
15th March 2008, 11:29 PM
For low-energ light blubs it would be useful to know the actual colour temperture.

Interesting comment from Oly on this subject

Most offices and public buildings use fluorescent lighting and, with the introduction of low-energy fluorescent bulbs, so now do many of our homes. In many indoor situations, there are often combined lighting sources – fluorescent lighting and camera flash – and in these situations, the White Balance can usually be left on the Auto setting; the camera will identify the flash as the prominent light source and balance accordingly.

If, however, the fluorescent light is bright enough, you can turn the flash off. and shoot without the on-camera flash if possible, as a well-lit room will produce a picture with a more even light -and avoid the harsh shadows associated with on camera flash. This is one situation where Auto-White Balance simply won’t do. Using your camera’s menu, select the White Balance icon that corresponds to fluorescent light (there may be more than one).

If your camera has a Custom White Balance setting, this will allow you to store an accurate reading in your camera’s memory, which will correspond exactly to the fluorescent lighting in your home. Once stored, you will be able to recall this exact setting via the White Balance menu when required.

From this article:

http://olympus.co.uk/corporate/25_1363.htm

OlyFlyer
16th March 2008, 10:55 AM
Thank you for the links. Unfortunately, the manual is not so clear about that, nowhere in the manual I have seen any other reference to WB sensor in any other form than in singularis. Page 64 clearly says "this camera has a white balance sensor..." and there is a drawing pointing to the external WB sensor. If the camera had two WB sensors, I'd use plural form and explained about both of the WB sensors. On the other hand, if there is no internal WB sensor than the tips on page 66 makes no sense, since it says to increase shutter speed or aperture if WB reading fails.

Strangely, I just did a test, I turned the external WB sensor off and tried the One Touch WB function. It seems to give a reading now in my office room, but I can not darken the room totally to protect from the sun outside, so it is not the same as night reading in my living room, which is very well lit, a lot of white walls and lit up by a lot of low energy light. I will try this evening with the external WB off. The manual says on page 99 that the external WB sensor can be disabled when the light near the camera is different to the actual image area. Clearly, the reason to use internal WB sensor, but where is the refernece to it? No mentioning of the internal WB sensor in the manual.

BTW, the image Olympus uses as an example is I think terrible. WB is way off in that image, so if that's all that can be done than it is definitely bad.

http://olympus.co.uk/corporate/images/party_girls.jpg

Invicta
16th March 2008, 02:33 PM
The manual is not ideal in places. Reference to the Dual White Balance is tucked away in the specifiations section, page 150 in the English version.

OlyFlyer
16th March 2008, 05:46 PM
The manual is not ideal in places. Reference to the Dual White Balance is tucked away in the specifiations section, page 150 in the English version.Are you sure? I have the English version (pdf) page 150 in front of me right now. It is about warranty and trademarks. No reference to WB sensor. Page 142, 143 where the specs are says nothing about dual WB sensors, reference to WB sensor is on top of page 143.

Invicta
16th March 2008, 08:01 PM
I am sure... !!!

My manual page 150, covers white balance, recording, playback etc

I guess there are differences in the PDF and the local country printed versions, all those in country regulations to cover in the opening pages etc must mean the actual page numbers vary a bit.

OlyFlyer
16th March 2008, 09:27 PM
Not only the page numbers, but even the contents. My manual says nothing about two WB sensors.

DerekW
17th March 2008, 10:46 AM
I have a PDF version of the manual that I downloaded in November and on Page 145 in Section 12 it says

White Balance
Product Type :Image pickup device

In the hardcopy version of the manual that came with my replacement camera on Page 150 Sction 12 it says

White balance
Product Type : Image Pickup Device and white balance sensor.

The print date of this manual is 10/2007 Printed in Germany, the camera was manaufactured in December 2007.

A quick check of the current PDF version of the manual has the White balance section on Page 143 and mentioning both Image Pickup Device and white balance sensor.


This PDF can be found at

http://www.olympus.co.jp/en/support/imsg/digicamera/download/manual/

OlyFlyer
17th March 2008, 12:10 PM
The Japoneese manual download page keeps crashing, so I found a better one.

http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/208_manuals.cfm?prodID=P_N2932492

The manual is printed in Germany, 10/2007. On page 150 it says:

Image pickup device and white balance sensor

On page 63 where the WB sensor is explained it still talks in singular form saying:

White balance sensor

This camera has a white balance sensor for determining the light source in the shooting environment. The white balance sensor measures and calculates the infrared and visible light, and determines whether the light source is sunlight, fluorescent lighting, floodlighting, a blue flat lamp, or other lighting. When shooting, be careful not to cover or shade the sensor.

And on page 70 it says:

After pressing the shutter button, [WB NG RETRY] is displayed:

When there is not enough white in the image, or when the image is too right, too dark or the colors look unnatural, you cannot register the white balance. Change the aperture and shutter speed settings, then repeat the procedure from Step 1.

Which is not making any sense if there is no internal WB sensor, but which is not working in my well lit living room, I still get the error message, regardless of shutter speed or aperture. Anyway, as far as I can see so far, no difference in the text contents from what I read before, except on the specs pages. Nowhere in the text any explanation other than concerning the external WB sensor.

On the other hand, there must be something, because I managed to take a One touch WB reading in my office yesterday when my external WB sensor was set to off. So, logically, there must even be an internal one, unless there is an error in the firmware. Unfortunately, I had no time to test last night, maybe tonight I will be able to do a test in my living room with the external sensor off.

The manual from the UK site is 163 pages long, compared to the 150 my downloaded one from JP is. This UK manual is probably identical to the manual included with cameras sold in UK and maybe other English markets as well. I must print it to see if there is more difference. Too bad they have different versions available, but maybe they have discovered that as well and removed the Japaneese site's English version and replaced with something bad, that's why it keeps crashing. I am however sure I onece downloaded the manual from that site, that explains the differences.

Regardless of which, it seems than that the internal WB sensor is not as good as, or not as sensitive as the E-500, which only had one internal sensor, no external and always worked reliably.

DerekW
17th March 2008, 01:12 PM
The Japanese site I referred to has the Manual in two parts - the Quick Start Guide and the Reference Manual type guide, the UK site has both parts of the manual folded into one document.

Re the Internal WB sensor - it could be the actual sensor that is used to record the image - the shutter is open in the one touch process using the FN button.

OlyFlyer
17th March 2008, 01:54 PM
The Japanese site I referred to has the Manual in two parts - the Quick Start Guide and the Reference Manual type guide, the UK site has both parts of the manual folded into one document. That explains the page number differences and that when the actual text is read, there seems to be no differences.

Re the Internal WB sensor - it could be the actual sensor that is used to record the image - the shutter is open in the one touch process using the FN button.That is my interpretation as well. While the E-500 had a dedicated internal WB sensor, the E-3 has not.

I know the shutter is opened during the one touch WB process, not by the FN button, but when the shutter relese is pressed, but it makes no difference for how long time or at which aperture. At least not in my case.