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Olympus E-3 E-3 specific discussion.

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  #1  
Old 29th February 2008
Paulpp
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White Balance

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?
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  #2  
Old 29th February 2008
ianc ianc is offline
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Re: White Balance

Yes either white or a neutral grey.
Ian C.
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  #3  
Old 29th February 2008
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Re: White Balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulpp View Post
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
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  #4  
Old 29th February 2008
Paulpp
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Re: White Balance

Thanks, something to try
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  #5  
Old 29th February 2008
250swb
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Re: White Balance

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.
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  #6  
Old 4th March 2008
OlyFlyer
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Re: White Balance

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.
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  #7  
Old 4th March 2008
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Re: White Balance

Even in RAW the Kodak 18% Grey card is the correct method even in professional video cameras we recommend this solution.
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  #8  
Old 6th March 2008
OlyFlyer
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Re: White Balance

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.
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  #9  
Old 6th March 2008
Crouchy
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Re: White Balance

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.
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  #10  
Old 14th March 2008
Muzzlehatch
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Re: White Balance

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.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OlyFlyer View Post
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.
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  #11  
Old 15th March 2008
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Re: White Balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzzlehatch View Post
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.

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  #12  
Old 15th March 2008
OlyFlyer
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Re: White Balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzzlehatch View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzzlehatch View Post
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.
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  #13  
Old 15th March 2008
OlyFlyer
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Re: White Balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Temple-Fry View Post
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.
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  #14  
Old 15th March 2008
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Re: White Balance

Quote:
Originally Posted by OlyFlyer View Post
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:

Quote:
Hybrid detection system with High-speed Live MOS sensor and dedicated external sensor
http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/ds...ifications.htm

scroll to the white balance section.
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  #15  
Old 15th March 2008
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Re: White Balance

For low-energ light blubs it would be useful to know the actual colour temperture.

Interesting comment from Oly on this subject

Quote:
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
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