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11-15-2007, 08:48 AM   #1
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K10D Auto White Balance Indoors

Does anyone else find the Auto White balance to be horrible indoors? I want to know if this this is typical or if something is wrong with my camera.

I was shooting indoors (incandescent recessed lighting) with no flash last night, using my new 50mm F/1.4 and all the pictures looked yellow...

I shoot RAW so this was correctable, but still a pain in the ass Is there some advanced setting to that make the Auto White Balance perform better indoors or do I need to always remember to set it manually when shooting indoors with no Flash?

Seems like a pretty basic feature for Pentax to have goofed this badly on, perhaps they can improve this in a later firmware upgrade...

11-15-2007, 09:19 AM   #2
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let's hope they will improve!!!
auto white balance and flash mode are really horrible indoor, always yellow, that's i use custom mode and prefer it to post-process...
halil
11-15-2007, 09:21 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sponge Worthy Quote
Does anyone else find the Auto White balance to be horrible indoors? I want to know if this this is typical or if something is wrong with my camera.

I was shooting indoors (incandescent recessed lighting) with no flash last night, using my new 50mm F/1.4 and all the pictures looked yellow...

I shoot RAW so this was correctable, but still a pain in the ass Is there some advanced setting to that make the Auto White Balance perform better indoors or do I need to always remember to set it manually when shooting indoors with no Flash?

Seems like a pretty basic feature for Pentax to have goofed this badly on, perhaps they can improve this in a later firmware upgrade...
BY DESIGN it is err...not functional in low color temps... AWB only goes to 4000K (p123 of the K10 manual Range 8000-4000K approx. which is NOT low enough for tungsten in general)
Now the tungsten pre-set is 2850K. Use that and tweak it....
So is it "goofed"? Depends on your definition. AWB certainly wasn't designed for tungsten by choice. I believe othr DSLR's are similar, at least some Nikons. P&S's seem to be a different story but then they have a whole shutter lagged, high MP sensor to "guess" the color temp. I doubt that this is the whole story. apparently Pentax likes "moody" tungsten...
11-15-2007, 09:25 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by hll Quote
let's hope they will improve!!!
auto white balance and flash mode are really horrible indoor, always yellow, that's i use custom mode and prefer it to post-process...
halil
Actually, I have found it to work quite well with flash... I have it set to automatically switch the WB to Flash, when the flash is used. Its the incandescent lighting performance that appears to be make the AWB perform subpar...

11-15-2007, 09:30 AM   #5
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I think it is a subjective choice on the part of pentax. If I do a custom white balance for the lighting, depending on how I do it, whites come out stark white. Which is not what things really looked like. If the color temp is very tungsteny, when white is corrected to pure white, some other colors start looking unnatural.

AWB gives a very tungsten look. The tungsten light setting gives what is probably pretty close to a honest depiction of the scene (depending on your bulbs, tinted compact flourescents aren't quite the same as real tungsten lighting). Custom white balance can make your whites very white.

I thik basically pentax likes things to look natural and to reatain the maximum ammount of color and dynamic range if shooting in JPEG.
11-15-2007, 09:33 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
BY DESIGN it is err...not functional in low color temps... AWB only goes to 4000K (p123 of the K10 manual Range 8000-4000K approx. which is NOT low enough for tungsten in general)
Now the tungsten pre-set is 2850K. Use that and tweak it....
So is it "goofed"? Depends on your definition. AWB certainly wasn't designed for tungsten by choice. I believe othr DSLR's are similar, at least some Nikons. P&S's seem to be a different story but then they have a whole shutter lagged, high MP sensor to "guess" the color temp. I doubt that this is the whole story. apparently Pentax likes "moody" tungsten...
Thanks for the detailed info.

Interesting... I guess it one of those RTFM situations.

But based on what you say, it would be nice if the AWB could be manually set to work at lower ranges... other than the default 4000K-8000K. Is there a "technical reason" for this to be a limitation?

Anyway, glad to know my camera isn't a lemon and the AWB is performing as expected.
11-15-2007, 09:36 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sponge Worthy Quote
Does anyone else find the Auto White balance to be horrible indoors? I want to know if this this is typical or if something is wrong with my camera.
Yes, AWB is horrible in artificial lighting. Is it a real hassle for you to change WB to tungsten preset or use Manual WB for such conditions?

QuoteOriginally posted by Sponge Worthy Quote
Seems like a pretty basic feature for Pentax to have goofed this badly on, perhaps they can improve this in a later firmware upgrade...
Do you know DSLR which has good WB in artificial lighting? According to DPreview reviews NONE of DSLRs do proper AWB in artificial lighting. Probably there are some problems implementing that in DSLR...
11-15-2007, 09:38 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sponge Worthy Quote
Is there a "technical reason" for this to be a limitation?
I believe it is a function of speed vs automatic features, but I am not sure where I read this now.

Note, I never use AWB and there is no reason for you to either. The K1-0D has a neat interactive feature. Take a shot, press Fn, then select white balance. What you see is your last shot, and if you change the white balance, you see the change directly applied to the image. you have no reason to get it wrong, since you can set it exactly how you like.

11-15-2007, 09:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sponge Worthy Quote
But based on what you say, it would be nice if the AWB could be manually set to work at lower ranges... other than the default 4000K-8000K. Is there a "technical reason" for this to be a limitation?
Perhaps something like "Low AWB" option which goes from 2500K-4000K could work. I can definitely understand the difficulty of making it magically do the right thing in any lighting.
11-15-2007, 09:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
I believe othr DSLR's are similar, at least some Nikons. P&S's seem to be a different story but then they have a whole shutter lagged, high MP sensor to "guess" the color temp.
Hmmm. I thought this too, but couldn't the white balance get applied in the camera's post-processing phase after it has the full raw data from the sensor?
11-15-2007, 09:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
Yes, AWB is horrible in artificial lighting. Is it a real hassle for you to change WB to tungsten preset or use Manual WB for such conditions?
Nah, not that big of a hassle... just another thing to remember. But since I shoot RAW I can always correct it after the fact if I forget. So no big deal...


Funny thing is I have the opposite problem with my Panasonic HD Camcorder, does perfect AWB indoors, awful outdoors.... Go figure....

Last edited by Sponge Worthy; 11-15-2007 at 09:59 AM.
11-15-2007, 09:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Hmmm. I thought this too, but couldn't the white balance get applied in the camera's post-processing phase after it has the full raw data from the sensor?
Playing with my new K10D and the 12-24 that arrived a few hours ago, I took some really amber shots of my bookcase and plugged the camera into my trusty laptop. It promptly fired up Lightroom (even though I have installed the Pentax software) and I clicked the WB -> auto button and everything came out very very close to neutral. I had the camera in AWB, of course for the test.

I did read somewhere that Pentax did this so that sunsets (!) come out sunset colored. This sort of makes sense - the camera doesn't know why the image is so low temperature.
11-16-2007, 05:28 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Playing with my new K10D and the 12-24 that arrived a few hours ago, I took some really amber shots of my bookcase and plugged the camera into my trusty laptop. It promptly fired up Lightroom (even though I have installed the Pentax software) and I clicked the WB -> auto button and everything came out very very close to neutral. I had the camera in AWB, of course for the test.

I did read somewhere that Pentax did this so that sunsets (!) come out sunset colored. This sort of makes sense - the camera doesn't know why the image is so low temperature.
I repeat my earlier comment.

"Note, I never use AWB and there is no reason for you to either. The K10D has a neat interactive feature. Take a shot, press Fn, then select white balance. What you see is your last shot, and if you change the white balance, you see the change directly applied to the image. you have no reason to get it wrong, since you can set it exactly how you like."

There is no need to have to correct anything in a photo editor, you can get it all sorted out with one reference shot right in the camera!
11-16-2007, 05:35 AM   #14
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i never use AWB, i just take the time to set it myself

sometimes i muff it up and get oompa loopmas in all my shots
11-16-2007, 06:36 AM   #15
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I think the expectation is that if you go for a K10D, you're clearly in enthusiast territory which means you will be shooting RAW or manual WB anyway (whether its needed or not!), so why waste money on a feature Pentax doesn't expect its buyers to use anyway? I'd rather not pay for features I am not likely to use.

Instead I applaud the effort Pentax has put in to give the user such an easy interface to set the WB manually.
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