What 3 Things Should You Do to Manually White Balance a Video Camera?

White balance is one of the most important settings you need to adjust on your video camera to ensure that the colors in your footage look accurate and natural. When the white balance is not set correctly, your video can end up with an unpleasant color cast that can be difficult to correct in post-production. In this tutorial, we will discuss three things you need to do to manually white balance a video camera.

1. Find a White Balance Reference

The first step in manually white balancing your video camera is finding a white balance reference. This could be anything that is neutral in color and reflects light evenly. A popular choice is a white card or piece of paper, but you can also use a gray card or even a wall that is painted white.

Using a White Card or Paper

To use a white card or paper, simply place it in front of your camera and aim it towards your scene. Make sure the card fills up most of the frame so that your camera can accurately measure the color temperature of the scene. Then, set your camera’s white balance setting to custom or manual mode and follow the instructions for setting a custom white balance using your camera’s menu.

Using a Gray Card

If you don’t have access to a pure white reference, you can also use a gray card. The process for using a gray card is similar to using a white card, but instead of filling up most of the frame with the reference object, you only need to include it in one corner of the frame.

Using a White Wall

If you don’t have access to any reference cards, you can also use a plain white wall as your reference. Simply aim your camera at the wall and follow the same process as using a white card or paper.

2. Set Your Camera’s White Balance Mode to Custom or Manual

Once you have your white balance reference, the next step is to set your camera’s white balance mode to custom or manual. This will allow you to manually adjust the color temperature of the camera to match the color temperature of the reference object.

3. Follow Your Camera’s Instructions for Setting a Custom White Balance

The final step is to follow your camera’s instructions for setting a custom white balance. This will vary depending on the make and model of your camera, but generally involves placing your white balance reference in front of your camera and pressing a button or navigating through menus to set the custom white balance.

  • Tip: It’s a good idea to check your camera’s manual for specific instructions on how to set a custom white balance before attempting this process.
  • Tip: If you are shooting in a location with changing lighting conditions, it’s important to periodically recheck and adjust your camera’s white balance throughout your shoot.

In conclusion, manually white balancing your video camera can seem daunting at first, but it is an essential step in creating high-quality footage with accurate colors. By finding a neutral reference object, setting your camera’s mode to custom or manual, and following your camera’s instructions for setting a custom white balance, you can ensure that your footage looks its best.