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How to Setup Auto White Balance on the Sony A7III

November 6th, 2018

Steven in New Jersey says:

I am a run (sprint) and gun kind of guy. Recently, I switched from a crop sensor, Nikon D5300 to a Sony A7III, and while I knew there would be a big learning curve, I find there are some things in the Sony that are just a bit odd, or I just haven’t figured out the proper settings. I shoot RAW and use LR5 but I strive to spend as little time in post as possible. I find that with the Sony, more often than not, the windows are blown out, and sometimes the Auto White Balance is on vacation so the colors will often appear too blue. It would be great to hear from some other A7III owners.

I’m not a Sony A7III owner but based on my research, the auto white balance on the Sony A7III and A7RIII require a bit of set up. The above video steps you through that process.

Ok, Sony A7III owners, let us hear more answers from an owners perspective.

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7 Responses to “How to Setup Auto White Balance on the Sony A7III”

  • Steven, I have to qualify my responce by saying I am using the crop sensor Sony A 6500, but I imagine the character of the sensor is much the same. I really, really hate the Sony interface but I love the camera. But what I have found with my model is that the whites blow out really fast while the shadows hold decent detail that can be brought out in PS or LR. So unlike my Canon 80D where I put the histogram exposure right in the middle, with the Sony I put the bulk into the bottom (left) third. Then in post I pick the exposure (I bracket) with the best highlight detail, like Windows, and then bring up the shadow slider and am still amazed how much of what looks too dark to have decent detail and little noise actually has a lot more to use than my experience with my Canon would lead me to expect. So try using exposures darker than you expect to work with successfully, and see what happens. Users of flash with ambient would find even better detail in that dark area.

    I have found the auto white color balance to work quite well but I only use it for video and even with that not very often unless I have a lot of mixed lightin. Since I bracket my exposures with stills and work with a lot of HDR, I don’t want to risk the different exposures to have different color balances. I have found at time, that the highlight exposure can have a different color balance than the exposure for the shadows. Another reason I use a color meter as per the last topic here and set the color balance by Kelvin and sometimes I have to fiddle with the green/magenta balances as well. I have found some LED “daylight” 5k Kelvin light bulbs can have a green cast. Life as a photographer is seldom boring or lacking challenge.

  • Why use auto whitebalance when you want to speed up post? I learned to put it in one standard mode like daylight.

    Then youll be able to easy edit one basic image and synchronise it through the series in the same rooms.

    Auto whitebalance Will change to easy in the individual image so then youll need to edit every image.

    Also use a loupedeck+ for fast editing in lightroom. It helps me to short down an edit to 20 minutes or less.

  • I would say you shouldn’t assume the windows are blown out necessarily. The Sony have a pretty long range. In LR, if you can pull down the exposure slider and you get window detail, then they’re not blown. This is quite common, and the rear screen preview will never show what’s available in the file. You can easily be 2-3 stops over-exposed on the windows and still process for detail in them.

    I generally export 2 files in that situation – one where the room looks normal, and one where the outside looks normal, and then paint them together. IF you try to get there using just one exported file, by pulling highlights down and shadows up, you will end up with an ugly tone-mapped look.

    If you pull the exposure slider all the way down in LR and you still don’t have detail, for run-n-gun you have to add more light to the room and change your exposure. I would say that on a sunny day, I can go as much as ISO400 1/80 f8 and still render normal exterior detail as long as I’m not shooting towards the sunny part of the sky. And those setting are also doable with supplemental flash – but probably not as a single ambient frame.

  • As for WB, I wouldn’t recommend Auto WB inside a home no matter what. Set it at 4600k.

    The one exception might be basements with no natural light, only incandescent or something else. That might be the one area where AWB might be close. Assuming that the homeowner has installed matched bulbs 🙁

  • @Peter I have found that all my Sony camera sensors have hyper color sensitivity. Not sure if you use LR, but if you do, or if your HDR program allows it, use Camera Neutral instead of an Adobe color profile, and the blues and greens and magentas that reflect on walls, floors, and ceilings will be greatly reduced.

  • I currently use an A7RII so slightly different. I reallty don’t have WB issues that the dropper in Lightroom Classic CC doesn’t quickly take care of with ballpark accuracy. Run and gun wouldn’t support more time consuming gray scale card exposures for more precise WB. There are two issues that may be independent of Sony. I don’t have problems with blown out widows and suspect run n gun = HDR which has color balance issues anyway, and windows are not quite as clear as my off camera lighting setup. The other issue is LR5. You do realize LR5 (and LR6) are no longer updated and does not have a camera profile for the A7RIII, and possibly not even lens profiles. Try a 30 day trial of LR Classic CC and see if that resolves the WB issue. Also, don’t rule out Capture One, which in my view is superior to LR with a few exceptions, but haven’t perfected it into my workflow (yet) to use with RE shoots. Despite their lack of support for color checker gray scale card profiles, I find their ‘normal’ color renditions to be better than LR.

  • Larry, did you try http://www.lumariver.com for color checker in C1P? Is know it’s a less smoothed out workflow as with other software, but for high end studio work, I often use this. It works great imo. With this LR could not keep me on board and jumped ship to C1P two years ago.

    Good luck,
    Kevin

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