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05-14-2013, 03:05 AM   #1
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Hey K-30, Why so blue?

In low light conditions I'm getting lotta heavy blues in different locations, with different lenses. It seems the Auto White Balance just fails in low light conditions. No luck with different scene modes either.

Is AWB accuracy this bad on the K-30? My comparisons are with the Sony RX-100, which has phenomenal auto mode.

Photos in this album were taken with a 18-135mm WR and FA 50mm f/1.7 lenses. Uploads are full res with exif preserved on Picasa.

https://picasaweb.google.com/115055220406235410003/K30WhySoBlue?authuser=0&a...eat=directlink

Please help.

05-14-2013, 05:08 AM   #2
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There is no exif Info in any of the photos in your album.

I've not had this problem with the K30 it's auto WB has been pretty reliable for me.

Auto WB is not a cure all especially when there is mixed light as is the case in your photo's.
It is sometimes necessary to manually select the WB or shoot mixed light photos in RAW to adjust later.
05-14-2013, 07:05 AM   #3
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Is your monitor calibrated, out from the factory they are often too blue.
05-14-2013, 07:08 AM   #4
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I don't think the photos are blue at all. The WB seems reasonably normal, it does seem the blue light is bluer than you saw with your eyes since your brain adjusts your 'inner WB' and maybe a little overexposed, thats all IMHO.

05-14-2013, 07:14 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by incidentflux Quote
In low light conditions I'm getting lotta heavy blues in different locations, with different lenses. It seems the Auto White Balance just fails in low light conditions. No luck with different scene modes either.

Is AWB accuracy this bad on the K-30? My comparisons are with the Sony RX-100, which has phenomenal auto mode.

Photos in this album were taken with a 18-135mm WR and FA 50mm f/1.7 lenses. Uploads are full res with exif preserved on Picasa.

https://picasaweb.google.com/115055220406235410003/K30WhySoBlue?authuser=0&a...eat=directlink

Please help.
Never had an issue with K 30 white balance. There is minimal EXIF data so can't tell what program mode are you using or are you using a scene mode? What do you have custom image set to? I always use Natural. BTW, the images I could access were not even close to full res.

As someone else suggested try same/similar shot with RAW capture and check colour temp and adjust as needed in RAW . . .although again I have seldom if ever needed to adjust from as shot.

Last edited by bcorson; 05-14-2013 at 07:20 AM.
05-14-2013, 07:18 AM   #6
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Yes, I also think the photos are normal. Let me explain:
1) shades actually are "blue", that is why if you change white balance to "shade" or "cloudy" it compensates and makes things look more orange (you can try this in daylight).
2) night time shots are often weird. The sky is dark blue, but any artificial light will appear very saturated and unnatural. This depends on the scene, though.
3) the camera's auto WB cannot be quite sure what the end of a long exposure will look like. In these cases its usually best to preset a custom white balance or take the photo as raw and edit it in raw converter software. You can try using WB settings like tungsten or daylight, but its still best to shoot raw and edit this yourself later on.

If you use a flash, that just complicates things even more. Night time long exposures with artificial lights is a very difficult type of photography. I sometimes turn such photos into black and white, just to avoid conflicting colours everywhere.

But I don't know what your other camera does. Can you maybe upload the same scene taken with the two cameras? Also, keep in mind that "automation" isn't the strong point of DSLR cameras - their main purpose is that the photographer can decide things and make the photo look the way he wants

Last edited by Na Horuk; 05-14-2013 at 07:26 AM.
05-14-2013, 08:06 AM   #7
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From looking at it on my phone, the ambient lights are blue.
05-14-2013, 08:25 AM   #8
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I took an outdoor shot yesterday with my new K-30.This shot was a toss off to show a distant friend the snow piles still in everyone's front yard. The white balance for areas in full daylight was dead on (about half the frame). The snow in full shade had a decided blue cast. My K-r would have given me an AWB between the two - truly 'average', and I would have adjusted levels in PP. In my book, the k-30 gave a more accurate rendition of the scene.

05-14-2013, 09:02 AM   #9
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GPlus is limiting exif view in its infinite wisdom. Full details page on Picasa show the following.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/kCoYBU9FpXjYa5EAvvR1Mx_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/rO5K32PV68b-7qYm9b-lvx_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mEHito3aElA_PkJU0sXvGB_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6QxNBZiISYnxwzcxHfMgLh_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true

I never used the Green mode or flash in any of these photos or in general (flash, it just aggressively washes out everything), I use lowlight scene modes. I prefer to capture the "true look" in most occasions. I'm not in post production. I do keep the RAWs for some very special family photos.

What measures can I take to get the white balance to tone down the blues at night at bit, so they look accurate right from camera jpegs?
05-14-2013, 09:16 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by incidentflux Quote
GPlus is limiting exif view in its infinite wisdom. Full details page on Picasa show the following.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/kCoYBU9FpXjYa5EAvvR1Mx_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/rO5K32PV68b-7qYm9b-lvx_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mEHito3aElA_PkJU0sXvGB_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6QxNBZiISYnxwzcxHfMgLh_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true

I never used the Green mode or flash in any of these photos or in general (flash, it just aggressively washes out everything), I use lowlight scene modes. I prefer to capture the "true look" in most occasions. I'm not in post production. I do keep the RAWs for some very special family photos.

What measures can I take to get the white balance to tone down the blues at night at bit, so they look accurate right from camera jpegs?
First of all try shots without a scene mode . . .use p or manual or whatever. Some of the scene modes set parameters and without reading details on each one don't know if they change white balance or add a hue or whatever. Also make sure that Custom Image is set to "natural". Also shoot saving RAW and jpeg. That way if the jpeg looks bad (blue) you can process the RAW file and see what it is showing for colour temperature and if it is opening showing white balance "as shot".

Try that and see what happens.
05-14-2013, 10:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by incidentflux Quote
GPlus is limiting exif view in its infinite wisdom. Full details page on Picasa show the following.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/kCoYBU9FpXjYa5EAvvR1Mx_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/rO5K32PV68b-7qYm9b-lvx_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mEHito3aElA_PkJU0sXvGB_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6QxNBZiISYnxwzcxHfMgLh_met8adCTWFzTj7I...full-exif=true

I never used the Green mode or flash in any of these photos or in general (flash, it just aggressively washes out everything), I use lowlight scene modes. I prefer to capture the "true look" in most occasions. I'm not in post production. I do keep the RAWs for some very special family photos.

What measures can I take to get the white balance to tone down the blues at night at bit, so they look accurate right from camera jpegs?
OK I finally found where to get a download of full size.and have had a bit of time to look at the images and EXIF more closely.

As several of the other posters have said looks to me like the color balance is fine. For example if you look at the first two images there are some of the lights that are a perfect white light while some of the lights are blue and in second shot some of the lights that were blue are red or pink . . .looks like these are coloured lights that are changing colour. Also possible that some of these lights are of a nature (mercury vapour) that give off a cloured hue. Also look at the last picture of the cabana and again you have some nice white lights and some blue. This must be as the scene was. If the colour balance were off it wouldn't be selective like that.

In looking at the EXIF I noticed you are on Firmware Ver 1.0. I would suggest upgrading to 1.04 . . .not because of white balance but there were other issues that have been corrected/improved. Also, what colour space are you using? Also in the first 2 pictures white balance is set to AUTO or ) in the exif but in the next 2 it is set to 1 and I am not sure what that is as I never use anything but auto.

I finally saw how to get a full sized version and downloaded into PS picture 1. Colour balance is fine according to curves in PS and according to what I see in the photo.
05-14-2013, 10:27 AM   #12
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Not only are the ambient lights blue, I suspect they're LEDs, which raise holy hell on a sensor. Something about LED lighting just blasts its way onto a sensor and shows much stronger than 'normal' lighting. There isn't too much you can do about it, its something to do with the physics involved and a modern camera sensor.

This is the link to a flickr search on 'blue LEDs' - you'll see what I mean better by seeing the results.

http://www.flickr.com/search/?ss=2&w=all&q=blue+LEDs&m=text
05-17-2013, 02:54 AM   #13
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So this is the same problem.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/209880-k-5-over-sensetive-led-lights.html

My Sony RX-100 efficiently handles LEDs.
http://sdrv.ms/16DEQwX
05-17-2013, 03:09 AM   #14
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Yes, LEDs are evil
05-17-2013, 03:33 AM   #15
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They might be evil, but Sony knows how to handle them easily in full auto modes.

I think this is a Pentax specific issue. All my fast wide aperture Pentax lenses (f/1.4, f1.7, f/2) can't do anything if the sensor can't handle some simple LED lamps. I don't think Pentax engineers would've missed something so glaring obvious.

Surely this must've been reported to them?
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