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02-10-2015, 10:44 AM   #1
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What 'Multi Auto White Balance' actually means?

What 'Multi Auto White Balance' actually means besides being one more new option in K-3 camera menu? Is that White Balance function in-thorough explained by Pentax or by independend authors? What is the main difference of Multi AWB to well-known from previous Pentax DSLR models (and quite often unsuccesful) 'Auto White Balance''?

02-10-2015, 10:49 AM   #2
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I would assume that has something to do with the camera being able to meter for all the lighting conditions in the frame and expose properly. Example, in a corner you might have some tungsten light and in the right some LED lamp while trough the window you get some sun light.

K-3: New Multi Auto White Balance Feature | Ricoh Imaging Support
02-10-2015, 11:14 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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It means you can do this:



and everything works...

Multiple light sources ave different white balance requirements, and the camera will take that into account, yielding different white balance settings for different parts of the image.
02-10-2015, 11:15 AM   #4
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It means that the camera is supposed to be able to adjust the white balance differently in different parts of a scene. The only problem is that Lightroom doesn't do anything with this if you shoot raw. So your options are JPEG or silky pix.

02-10-2015, 11:21 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It means that the camera is supposed to be able to adjust the white balance differently in different parts of a scene. The only problem is that Lightroom doesn't do anything with this if you shoot raw. So your options are JPEG or silky pix.
That explains why I have never noticed anything with this feature. I wonder if I'm really missing out?

---------- Post added 02-10-15 at 11:24 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
It means you can do this:



and everything works...

Multiple light sources ave different white balance requirements, and the camera will take that into account, yielding different white balance settings for different parts of the image.
The tree looks good but everything else is too red to my eyes with those sodium lights.
This shot looks to me like AWB was set for the tree and the rest of the scene could have used a cooler setting.

I'm curious how this was shot and processed if you don't mind sharing. It's a nice shot but to me shows more the problem of multiple light sources being different temps rather than the camera overcoming those challenges.
02-10-2015, 11:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
It means you can do this:



and everything works...

Multiple light sources ave different white balance requirements, and the camera will take that into account, yielding different white balance settings for different parts of the image.
Good illustration! This is possible because the metering system on the K-3 uses an 86K pixel RGB sensor instead of the traditional SPD photo cell. The camera is able to evaluate all areas of the frame for spectral balance and adjust the white balance to suit.

Very cool...


Steve
02-10-2015, 12:00 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
That explains why I have never noticed anything with this feature. I wonder if I'm really missing out?
Good point. I have never specifically tested the feature and now I am curious as to how well it does with mixed light sources. I would expect that an in-camera JPEG would be needed or RAW processing using PCU.

For general shooting in RAW with processing by Lightroom, my experience has been similar to the example posted above by bdery. The camera does a very good job of evaluating the scene and applying an acceptable value.


Steve
02-10-2015, 01:44 PM   #8
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How did you learn that? I assumed that before as you did, but then I was very unsuccesful with mixing ambient (mostly fluorescent, some inandescent) light with on-camera flash light. To be honest the results of my shots were ugly when it comes to WB (faces colours).
Did you check Exif of your shots? Pls tell us what Exif of your shot says (WB). My Exif says i.e. 'Tungsten Strong Correction' (when shot with fluorescent 2700K lights). So I learn K-3 new-auto-super-hiper-multi AAAWB does not recognize common household FL light

-----
QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Multiple light sources ave different white balance requirements, and the camera will take that into account, yielding different white balance settings for different parts of the image.


02-10-2015, 01:49 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
It means you can do this:



and everything works...

Multiple light sources ave different white balance requirements, and the camera will take that into account, yielding different white balance settings for different parts of the image.
This is a news flash to me! Can you tell me if there are scenes where Multi AWB produces worse results than AWB? Your street scene is a telling success for the Multi setting. Why would a JPEG shooter ever NOT use Multi AWB. The Bourque and factory instruction books are of no help to me in answering this question, by the way.
02-11-2015, 07:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by waterfall Quote
This is a news flash to me! Can you tell me if there are scenes where Multi AWB produces worse results than AWB? Your street scene is a telling success for the Multi setting. Why would a JPEG shooter ever NOT use Multi AWB. The Bourque and factory instruction books are of no help to me in answering this question, by the way.
Since I've had the K-3, I have only ever used multi-AWB except in the studio where I use Flash (and I use the custom setting that changes the WB to flash when using an external flash, too). I have almost never had to adjust colours in post processing. for me multi-AWB is one of the best sleeper features of the K-3.

QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
The tree looks good but everything else is too red to my eyes with those sodium lights.
This shot looks to me like AWB was set for the tree and the rest of the scene could have used a cooler setting.
It looks exactly the way it was. A cooler setting would not have been as accurate, and there is no way a single WB setting could have preserved the whiteness of the LEDs in the tree with that scene.

QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
I'm curious how this was shot and processed if you don't mind sharing. It's a nice shot but to me shows more the problem of multiple light sources being different temps rather than the camera overcoming those challenges.
It was not processed, that's a JPEG STOC

I deduce from what you write (I could be wrong) that you and I see white balance differently. Some people want images all to look uniform, "neutral". I'd rather it looked mostly like what I was seeing, which is exactly the case here.

QuoteOriginally posted by Prakticant Quote
Did you check Exif of your shots? Pls tell us what Exif of your shot says (WB)
It says "auto" when viewed in Lightroom and the same applies when transferred to Smugmug.
02-11-2015, 08:50 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Since I've had the K-3, I have only ever used multi-AWB except in the studio where I use Flash (and I use the custom setting that changes the WB to flash when using an external flash, too). I have almost never had to adjust colours in post processing. for me multi-AWB is one of the best sleeper features of the K-3.



It looks exactly the way it was. A cooler setting would not have been as accurate, and there is no way a single WB setting could have preserved the whiteness of the LEDs in the tree with that scene.



It was not processed, that's a JPEG STOC

I deduce from what you write (I could be wrong) that you and I see white balance differently. Some people want images all to look uniform, "neutral". I'd rather it looked mostly like what I was seeing, which is exactly the case here.



It says "auto" when viewed in Lightroom and the same applies when transferred to Smugmug.
Yes, that may be true. I want it to be as accurate as possible for natural light, but with artificial light, and especially mixed, it gets more complicated.
But what I'm trying to say here (maybe not very well) is that it looks like a uniform WB was applied to the photo, which for better or worse isn't what I thought that feature was supposed to do. If that shot had been taken with a K-5 without this feature would it look different? That's what I'm trying to get at.
Or if the very same shot was processed from a RAW in LR which apparently doesn't support multi WB, how different would it look?

I'm just trying to identify what we are looking at or for here.
02-11-2015, 10:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
If that shot had been taken with a K-5 without this feature would it look different? That's what I'm trying to get at.
I of course cannot compare since I have no example under hand. I can only say that prior to the K-3, I had a K20D which didn't handle these types of lighting very well. I can also attest that a friend with a D7000 was wowed by that picture's colours.

I believe the camera made an excellent job of preserving the actual looks of the two light sources.
02-11-2015, 02:58 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
But what I'm trying to say here (maybe not very well) is that it looks like a uniform WB was applied to the photo
I think there is room here to do a controlled test. I am thinking a setup with cool LED on one side and tungsten on the other and a barrier in between to prevent mixing. The camera would be positioned with both sides in the shot. In-camera JPEG could then be done for Multi-Auto WB as well as standard WB for comparison.


Steve
02-11-2015, 03:13 PM   #14
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There certainly is. I'd love to see it, both with and without the barrier. I'd also like to see a comparison with a RAW file developed in LR so we could see a jpg/raw comparison.

I don't have time for anything like this at the moment. Are you volunteering?
02-11-2015, 04:38 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
I don't have time for anything like this at the moment. Are you volunteering?
Me? I am generally pretty lazy, but might be able to find the time. I will post if I do.


Steve
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