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Do you set white balance before recording or in premiere?

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Tommy DavidDo you set white balance before recording or in premiere?
by on Jul 8, 2015 at 2:40:53 am

I have always used a grey card before recording and never messed with it in post. However, not having to take that grey card out sometimes on the run and gun might be useful. Will I see any big difference? I have a slate with proper colors on it for this, I just pick each color and I get the same kind of results as the greycard before recording? Or is one better than the other?


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Shane RossRe: Do you set white balance before recording or in premiere?
by on Jul 8, 2015 at 3:36:18 am

Field...ALWAYS in the field. Trying to tweak it in post can be tricky...and take some skill. We do enough fixing in post...please do more fixing on set. White balance is a BASIC need before shooting.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Tommy DavidRe: Do you set white balance before recording or in premiere?
by on Jul 8, 2015 at 5:54:47 am

Well, that's what I've always done. But I was reading forums where these guys were speaking of doing it the other way around. Understand that I am a photographer, I am not new to video, I've been doing video since the 5D Mark ii. But I'm still learning certain things. It seems that I know a lot more technical aspects about video rather than the simple things sometimes.

With photography I shoot RAW so there is no need for any white balance card or doing anything like that.

Now with Go Pro Raw, I have to choose the white balance in post with like the single color corrector right? Why doesn't lumetri have a white balance picker?


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Blaise DourosRe: Do you set white balance before recording or in premiere?
by on Jul 8, 2015 at 3:12:06 pm

Compressed video has a white balance value baked in, and it doesn't have the color correction latitude that a RAW file does. If you take video with a DSLR, and the white balance is wrong, you are almost assuredly screwed, because the 8-bit 4:2:0 footage doesn't have enough color information to allow for any but the most miniscule corrections.

Even when you shoot RAW, the camera is determining a white balance value to a certain extent; the difference is that the RAW file retains all of the color information, and can be easily, and usually losslessly, corrected.

These days, I am shooting with a Sony FS7 a lot, which shoots a 10-bit 4:2:2 XAVC codec. It has plenty of latitude for me to correct white balance later--but I usually still set one on set. Why? Because it gives me an image that is that much closer to "correct," and so when I, or another editor, go to cut the footage, it's one less area to have to worry about. No editor wants to f*ck around trying to fix a white balance that some idiot camera op didn't bother to do on-set. That's a sure-fire way to not get called back up for the next gig.

TL;DR--always set a white balance on set.


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Jon DoughtieRe: Do you set white balance before recording or in premiere?
by on Jul 9, 2015 at 7:11:13 pm

What Blaise said.

All things being equal, most video recording formats just don't have the "maneuvering room".

Video isn't stills in RAW. Apples and Buicks. They're just different, and video requires we do more homework up front (before and during shoot) so we still have some hair left during and after post.

Been shooting video for decades. Never regretted white balancing in the field.


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