Many agree that one of the most vexing things about photography is getting your exposure and white balance correct in camera. Sure, you can fix it in the post-processing phase if you shoot in RAW (and I generally recommend that you shoot in RAW. It makes all the difference in the world). Still, if you could make your life easier, cut down on your workload, and make sure your photos look consistently great, then wouldn’t you go that route?
Seems like a no-brainer to me. That’s why I’m going to review the Impact Quikbalance 12″ Gray Panel. This review will focus on getting your white balance accurate in camera.
Here’s a photo of the unfolded Impact Quikbalance 12″ Gray Panel next to one of my lenses, so you can get a sense of its scale:
The first thing you’ll need to do is fill the frame with the panel and take a sample photo. It has a handy target in the middle for your camera to focus on as well. I also like that the size of it is big enough to fill the frame, but small enough to be portable, especially when it’s folded.
After you take the shot, you’ll need to set your camera’s custom white balance to be based on that image.
I shoot Canon, so if you use something other than Canon, then check your manual (sorry). You would go to your Custom White Balance settings from your menu and select the previous photo of the grey panel.
From there, you need to go to your White Balance menu and select the Custom White Balance icon:
From there, you can continue on with your shoot as long as the lighting conditions stay the same. However, if the light changes, you will have to take another shot with the Impact Quikbalance and reset your custom white balance.
Below are two comparison photos. The first is without the Quikbalance, set on Auto white balance, and was taken in my office, which was full of mixed light.
The next photo was taken with the custom white balance setting using the Quikbalance Panel. Definitely more neutral:
A Few Notes
It’s a handy tool for getting your white balance correct in camera. As I mentioned, it’s portable size is convenient, and yet it’s beg enough to make filling the frame easy. It’s drawbacks are few. One thing I did notice was that it gets wrinkled easily, although it doesn’t affect the reading. For me, the hardest part was just refolding the darn thing. It takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes like second nature. And if you have a portable 5×7 backdrop, you already know what I’m talking about.
Overall, I was quite pleased, and have already slipped it into my camera bag for future use.