White Balance

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Keeping Colors True

The color of the light reflected from an object varies with the color of the light source. The human brain is able to adapt to changes in the color of the light source, with the result that white objects appear white whether seen in the shade, direct sunlight, or under incandescent lighting. Unlike the film used in film cameras, digital cameras can mimic this adjustment by processing images according to the color of the light source. This is known as "white balance." For natural coloration, choose a white balance setting that matches the light source before shooting. When the mode dial is set to P, S, A, or M, white balance can be selected from the following options:


Approximate color temperature*




3,500-B,OOO K

White balance adjusted automatically based on color temperature from 1,005-pixel RGB sensor and CCD image sensor. For best results, use type G or D lens. With built-in Speedlight and optional SB-800 and 600 Speedlights, white balance reflects conditions in effect when Speedlight fires.


3,000 K

Use under incandescent lighting.



4,200 K

Use under fluorescent lighting.


Dir. sunlight

5,200 K

Use with subjects lit by direct sunlight.



5,4OO K

Use with Nikon Speedlights, including built-in Speedlight.



6,000 K

Use in daylight under overcast skies.



8,000 K

Use in daylight with subjects in the shade.



Use gray or white object or existing photograph as reference for white balance ^ 52).

Auto white balance is recommended with most light sources. If the desired results can not be achieved with auto white balance, choose an option from the list above or use preset white balance.

White balance can be set using the White bal. option in the shooting menu or by pressing the WB button and rotating the main command dial.

The White Balance Menu

Highlight White bal. in the shooting menu ( 132) and press the multi selector to the right.

Highlight the desired option and press the multi se I ector to the right. If Preset is selected, a menu of preset white balance options will be displayed ( 52). Otherwise a white-balance fine-tuning dialog will be displayed ( 50).

The WB Button

When the monitor is off, white balance can be set by pressing the WB button and rotating the main command dial. White balance is displayed in the control panel:


Optimize image

Si N

Long exp. NR



Image quality


Image size


White bal.






White bal.


A Auto □

^ Incandescent

$$ Fluorescent

# Dir. sunlight



▼ ▼

PRE Ml ft, Ml A Ml *

13 Speedlights Connected via a Sync Cable

Auto white balance may not produce the desired results when the AS-15 accessory shoe adapter is used to connect optional Speedlights via a sync cable. Use preset white balance or set white balance to Flash and use fine tuning to adjust white balance.

When WB bracketing is selected for Custom Setting 12 (BKT set), the camera will create several images each time the shutter is released. White balance will be varied with each image, "bracketing" the value currently selected for white balance.

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