21 October 2009

Photography tip: Use an ExpoDisc to set white balance on your point-and-shoot camera

One of the ubiquitous hassles in digital photography is achieving the correct white balance. I bought an ExpoDisc originally to do quick white balancing for my hockey dSLR shots.

A few months later, I was getting sick and tired of crappy white balance on my point-and-shoot camera (a Canon SD870 IS Powershot). I tried a gray card but it didn't work at all. Then I decided to put the ExpoDisc over the camera lens and use that to set white balance, using the camera's custom white balance function. Lo and behold -- perfect white balance!

What I learned:
  • You use the ExpoDisc to do white balancing for both dSLR and point-and-shoot cameras. All you need is the ability to set up a custom white balance profile in your particular point-and-shoot camera.
  • Getting the white balance correct is especially crucial for point-and-shoots since most point-and-shoot cameras can only save photos in JPEG and not RAW. It is very difficult to adjust the white balance in a JPEG.
  • Since the lens of the point-and-shoot camera is so small, you can use the smallest and cheapest ExpoDisc (52 mm filter size).
  • Unless you have special needs, use the neutral ExpoDisc.
  • The ExpoDisc is so small and light that you can bring it anywhere. Plus, it's much more durable than a gray card. Not quite as small as a gray card, but that's no big deal unless you're one of those people who likes to count grams.

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