Choosing White Balance Options

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If you would rather spend your time shooting instead of sitting at the computer color-correcting images, then learning about and using the 40D's White Balance options are very important. Different shooting scenes, the type and consistency of light, the

About ICC Profiles

ICC is an abbreviation for International Color Consortium, which promotes the use and adoption of open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management systems. This group introduced the standard device profile format used to characterize color devices.

Photoshop and other applications that support ICC profiles, use the profiles to produce colors more accurately, so that colors look consistent when printed or viewed on different devices. Photoshop also uses profiles to convert RGB values to CMYK (a color space used in commercial printing) and CMYK to RGB, to display photo CD image color more accurately, and to soft-proof an image at different settings so that you can see how the image will look.

amount of time you have to set up the camera before and during a shoot are some of the factors that can influence which White Balance option you use.

On the 40D, White Balance options give you a variety of ways to ensure color is accurately rendered in the image. You can set the white balance by choosing one of the seven preset options, by setting a specific color temperature, or a custom white balance.

3.5 This image was captured using the Daylight White Balance setting and the Standard Picture Style. The colors are warm yet accurate. Exposure: ISO 100, f/8, 1/200 sec.

3.6 This image was captured using the Tungsten White Balance setting and the Standard Picture Style. The image has a noticeable yellow/green tint because the white balance setting did not match the light temperature in the scene.

Table 3.1 provides the White Balance Ho If you shoot RAW or sRAW , ., ■ * ■ * "p . ' . options, and the approximate color temperimages, you can set or adjust r r.r . r the white balance in the RAW ature as measured in Kelvin. conversion program after the image is captured.

What Is White Balance?

Unlike a mechanical camera, the human eye automatically adjusts to the changing colors (temperatures) of light. For example, we see a white shirt as being white in tungsten, fluorescent, or daylight; in other words, regardless of the type of light in which we view a white object, it appears to be white. Digital image sensors are not as adaptable as the human eye, however, and sensors cannot distinguish white in different types of light unless they are told what the light temperature is. And that's what a white balance setting does — it tells the camera what the light temperature is in the scene so that the camera can accurately represent the colors in the scene in the image.

Light temperature is measured on the Kelvin scale and is expressed in Kelvin (K). Once the camera knows the light temperature, it can render white as white. On the 40D, a preset White Balance option covers a range of light temperatures, so rendering white is more approximate than specific; whereas, setting a custom white balance, or setting a specific light temperature is more specific and typically renders more neutral (or accurate) color.

40D White Balance Temperature Ranges

White Balance Option

Approximate Range in Kelvin (K)

EOS 40D Setting and Corresponding Color Temperature (K)

Auto (AWB)


3000 to 7000


5000 to 7000




Cloudy, twilight, sunset

6000 to 8000



2500 to 3200


White fluorescent




4500 to 6000




2000 to 10,000

Color temperature


2500 to 10,000

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