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12-19-2010, 11:56 AM   #1
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K-x AWB better than K-5 AWB

I've never ever had a shot from my K-x where the AWB was off. 1 year of ownership ~5000 shots.

But within 2 days of owning the K-5 I have had two shots that were not all all difficult lighting wise where it has applied a very yellow cast to the WB. ~500 shots

Not a major problem for me as I shoot raw, just an observation. Also not even remotely hard evidence of a problem or that my title is fact. But perhaps others can report they have found similar things.

12-19-2010, 12:29 PM   #2
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Hmm... Interesting observation. I currently don't own a K-5, but I sure know that my K-7 throws a yellow WB quite often in AWB. I owned the K-x before that and now that you mention it, I think it maybe did do a better job at WB then my K-7...
12-19-2010, 01:38 PM   #3
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Really???

My k-x is pretty good but certainly not perfect AWB. Fine outdoors but does require setting for Incandescent most of the time indoors. The problems start when I forget to change it back to AWB!
12-19-2010, 02:13 PM   #4
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Indoor artificial lighting is always difficult unless you shoot raw (which I do) or manually WB on a piece of white paper beforehand.

The worst WB situations I found so far for the K20D have been:

1. Small theatre lighting - very blue.

2. Evening cityscape with illuminated people in the foreground. I was demonstrating to some workmates how to use slow sync flash to take shots of people in front of a night cityscape. I tried without flash too, but there was sodium lighting where we were - very yellow. If I had of adjusted for that, the cityscape would have looked shocking. What is needed is to shoot raw, duplicate layers, mask, apply separate WBs to the cityscape and the foreground subjects. No camera can do that.

Dan

12-19-2010, 02:29 PM   #5
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I have once found the K5 to shoot blue cast in one shot, and yellowed the next. Of course there was flourecent, incandescent and natural light. I would think the phase of the florescent lights or the color palette of the objects in the scene could greatly vary how the camera might adjust things.
Dunno if I'd blame the camera there.
Otherwise its been pretty much spot-on. Have not seen inconsistent or wildly inaccurate AWB.
12-19-2010, 06:05 PM   #6
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I think a lot of it is personal preference too because I find that I change the WB a lot when I PP (I have a Kx also) and it's not that the Kx always adds a yellow tint or always adds a blue tint, it varies. I also cannot say that it misses the WB in certain conditions. I change the WB for outdoor and indoor photos. In the Understanding Exposure book the author says he leaves his WB on cloudy because he likes the warmness of the photos. I find the cloudy setting too warm but this just goes to show there is no "wrong" WB because what works for me will not work for everyone else.
12-19-2010, 10:10 PM   #7
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This is not a subtle personal preference.. I was shooting outside in shade with no artificial lighting. and the K-5 went with a VERY yellow cast... and then the next image would be perfect. (ie two shots within seconds of each other)

I probably would have just fixed it and dismissed it but then i realised that I've hardly ever had to play with the white balance with my K-x since owning it and its certainly never gotten it THIS wrong. (so very far out that i thought i had taken it off auto)

If i had come from a k20d instead of the K-x i probably would not have noticed because that was pretty hopeless sometimes.

With the K-x i found 99% of the time it was better than auto mode from light room and very few times did i actual feel the need to even tweak it even a little bit. (that might be personal preference)

Last edited by WerTicus; 12-19-2010 at 10:21 PM.
12-19-2010, 11:39 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
This is not a subtle personal preference..
With the K-x i found 99% of the time it was better than auto mode from light room and very few times did i actual feel the need to even tweak it even a little bit. (that might be personal preference)
I agree.

This is one of the things I noticed very early on with my K-x is that the AWB was very good indeed - on par with some of the better compacts - especially handling artificial lighting.

Later on I found there was even a a fine adjustment of strong and subtle tungsten correction - which made it even better.

The K-x's good AWB is probably one of the exceptions among dSLRs (of almost any brand - tungsten correction seems to be the weak point in almost all dSLR reviews)

12-20-2010, 07:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
But within 2 days of owning the K-5 I have had two shots that were not all all difficult lighting wise where it has applied a very yellow cast to the WB
Have you checked the WB fine tuning and custom settings on the K-5? It gives you more control over WB than K-x, and that also means more chance of getting it wrong.
12-20-2010, 08:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
Really???

My k-x is pretty good but certainly not perfect AWB. Fine outdoors but does require setting for Incandescent most of the time indoors. The problems start when I forget to change it back to AWB!
That's not surprising, insofar as the color temperature of incandescent lighting is outside the range of AWB.
12-20-2010, 09:07 AM   #11
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I do find that the Kx has the best AWB of any camera I've owned. The only time I end up with a lot of pp for the white balance is when there are two light sources--daylight and artificial. I am surprised that this did not carry through to the K5 though.
12-20-2010, 09:26 AM   #12
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I have had varied results with k-x's AWB in artifical light: sometimes it figures things out correctly, sometimes there is too much of yellowish tint to my taste. I suspect that the better result is tied to the bulbs being actual tungsten ones (works better) as opposed to their energy-saving replacements with similar nominal color temperature. In both cases the explicit 'tungsten bulb' setting seems to produce consistent, good results.
12-20-2010, 09:33 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by simico Quote
Have you checked the WB fine tuning and custom settings on the K-5?
not looked at it yet but ill have a look, i dont see how this will help the K-5s auto white balance though...
12-20-2010, 02:11 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
I have had varied results with k-x's AWB in artifical light: sometimes it figures things out correctly, sometimes there is too much of yellowish tint to my taste. I suspect that the better result is tied to the bulbs being actual tungsten ones (works better) as opposed to their energy-saving replacements with similar nominal color temperature. In both cases the explicit 'tungsten bulb' setting seems to produce consistent, good results.
Tungsten light has a color temperature of 2850K. AWB has a range of 4000K to 8000K. It is simply unreasonable to expect AWB to perform well outside of its range.
12-20-2010, 02:31 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
Tungsten light has a color temperature of 2850K. AWB has a range of 4000K to 8000K. It is simply unreasonable to expect AWB to perform well outside of its range.
IMO, that range of the AWB system doesn't seem reasonable: tungsten lights (or replacements with similar color temperature) are rather common. Also, if tungsten light is out of spec one has to wonder why they put in an option for the degree of WB correction in tungsten light in the k-x menu. This would seem an odd thing to do, if they cannot tell whether the light source might be tungsten :-o
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