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White Balance on Multi Camera shoots

alisterchapman
Top Contributor

It's often tempting to rely on white balance presets as generally these will be in the right ball park for most things. On previous generations of cameras you had to use presets when shooting Log. But the latest cameras have the ability to take a white balance off a white or grey card even when shooting log.

Presets cannot compensate for differences in lenses and there can be some minor variations between any 2 cameras, they will not always be identical at the same preset white balance. So when shooting with multiple cameras you will often get a better colour match if you take a white balance from a white/grey card and this can save a lot of time in post production. It can be surprising how big a difference having all cameras correctly balanced will make to the colours in your images.

To get an accurate white balance the card should be large enough to fill at least 75% of the frame for the FX6 and FX9. It can be smaller for the FX3 and FX30. Use a good quality card and place it in the center of the scene you are shooting and angle it half way between the scenes main light source and the camera. But you don't want and shiny reflections. Expose it so that it is bright but not over exposed in any way (typically the exposure for the card will be no different to the exposure for the scene). If the card isn't large enough in the frame, don't move the card out of the scene or away from the light illuminating the scene, instead move the camera closer to the card. Try to white balance all your cameras at the same time and once you have set the white balance don't change it unless you re-white balance all the cameras again.

Alister Chapman
Cinematographer/Producer/Trainer
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