Copyright Scott Bourne 2008 – All Rights Reserved

Kent asked me a question.

“What effect does a camera’s white balance setting have on a raw file? Why should I bother with a white balance setting in camera when shooting raw?”

When you shoot RAW you can in effect change the white balance you shot with in post. So at first blush it might seem that there’s no reason to mess with white balance if you shoot RAW. But there is at least one reason to reconsider that position.

If you are shooting in a high production environment and you are making lots of exposures, then you have to think about the time you can save in post.

If you have the white balance right in camera, and don’t have to reset it when you import the image, and work on it in post, you save time. How much time depends on how many photos you’re making. If you’re in a high production environment such as a commercial shoot, a sports shoot or maybe a serious of portraits for a school yearbook, and you’re making hundreds or even thousands of photos, resetting the white balance in post – even with batch processing, can take more time than you’d spend just properly setting the white balance in camera.


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