Why do a preset white balance?
The cameras made today are extremely sophisticated and they can judge pretty accurately what kind of photograph is being shot under what lighting conditions. But sometimes, you need to give them a little push so that they are able to serve you better. If you feel that your photographs are too warm or too cool for your taste, maybe it is time for you to do a custom white balance or as Nikon calls it - preset white balance. We are going to take a look at the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to white balance Nikon cameras. If you want to know about custom white balance on Canon cameras, please read this article here.
White balance is nothing but getting rid of the colour casts on your photographs by telling the camera, "Hey! This is white! Please make other adjustments accordingly!" So logically, the easiest way of doing this is by showing the camera a piece of white paper and telling it that this is white. Different cameras have different ways of measuring white under different lighting conditions, though internally the process remains the same.
How to white balance Nikon cameras
Nikon calls this adjusting the PRESET white balance and it is done by pressing the WB(white balance) button on the camera and turning the command dial until the display show "PRE". You then release the WB button and press it again. The PRE now begins to flash. This means that the camera is in ready mode to take the new white balance setting. Now all you need to to do is put a white paper in front of the camera and press the shutter button while the PRE is still flashing. The display should read "GOOD" which means your preset white balance was successful.
- The white paper should fill the entire frame - nothing else should be visible.
- If you are shooting a wide shot, zoom in to the white paper or move closer to the paper.
- Do not get the paper close to the camera as the light falling on the paper has to match the light falling on your subject. Get the camera closer to the paper instead.
- If the camera is hunting for focus, switch to manual focus. It will not make a difference if the paper is out of focus to take the white balance reading.
- If the camera displays "NO GOOD" that means that the camera was unable to get a proper reading. Check if your exposure is correct. Underexposure or over exposure might cause a bad reading.
- Make sure that the PRE is flashing when you press the shutter button.
Please watch the short video below to understand this process better. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments and if you like the video, please subscribe to our channel by clicking here.
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