Advanced Video Editing

Canon XF300

White Balance

White balance is an electronic function that tells the camcorder what is white under different colour temperatures. The temperature scale is expressed in Kelvin degrees, named after physicist Lord Kelvin. 

The designation for Kelvin temperatures is with a capital K, which means that when you convey a temperature in Kelvin, you usually just say the K, e.g., 3200K, or Thirty-two hundred Kelvins. 

The scale is based on the colour that is emitted when a chunk of metal is heated. At lower temperatures, the metal turns red. As the temperatures get hotter, the colours change to orange and then to yellow. At even hotter temperatures, the metal turns white and then blue. 

In photography, the image appears to be tinted reddish or yellowish under indoor lighting and bluish outdoors. That's because the colour temperature for most indoor lights is usually about 3200K, whilst outdoor lighting (from the Sun) registers near 5600K. 

Image Courtesy: Digital Camera Life website

The white balance process in the Canon XF300 calibrates the picture for accurate colour reproduction under different lighting conditions. There are 4 methods for setting the white balance. 

  • Auto White Balance (AWB) - the camcorder automatically adjusts the white balance
  • Preset White Balance - sets the white balance to either daylight or tungsten (outdoors or indoors)
  • Setting the Colour Temperature - you can actually set the colour temperature between 2,000K and 15,000K
  • Custom White Balance - use a white object to measure the white balance and set it to one of the two preset positions. 
The manufacturer recommends that when recording under fluorescent lights to use the auto white balance or set the custom white balance. 


Automatic White Balance

  • Set the AWB switch to ON (the A icon appears in the viewfinder next to the colour temperature)
When the camera is set to full auto mode, the white balance will be automatic. The camera will adjust the white balance as the light source changes. 

Preset White Balance

The camera uses Outdoor and Indoor presets for custom white balance.

  • Set the AWB switch to OFF 
  • Set the WHITE BAL switch to PRESET
  • In the menu under Camera Setup, select White Balance.
The desired options in the menu under White Balance include: Daylight, Tungsten and Kelvin.

Daylight - use this for recordings made during sunrises and sunsets or for fireworks and night scenes.
Tungsten - use this setting for indoor settings where the lighting conditions are always changing, such as parties, or use it for studio setups. 
Kelvin - use this when you want to set the colour temperature value (helpful if you're using a light meter)

  • Fine-tune the PRESET option by pressing the white balance button (the black button under the white balance symbol)
  • The white balance icon is highlighted in the viewfinder. 
  • Change the desired level using the SELECT wheel
  • Then press the white balance button to set.


Custom White Balance

You might get better results when using this mode, especially when the lighting conditions change, when shooting close-ups, when subjects appear in a single colour, or under mercury lamps and certain types of fluorescent lights.

  • Set the AWB switch to OFF
  • Set the WHITE BAL switch to A or B
  • Point the camera at a white object so that it fills the entire screen
  • Press the white balance button. The icon in the viewfinder will flash quickly.
  • The procedure is complete when the icon stops flashing and the setting is retained in the camcorder