Is "keep warm color" wise?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by crossen, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. crossen

    crossen Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2014
    The default setting on Oly EM 10 cameras and some others is : "auto WB: keep warm color."

    This results in a yellow or orange color pervading indoor shots.

    Would it be better aesthetically to change this setting to "no," to turn off the orange/yellow tone in the indoor images? The result looks a bit sharper to me but it also looks a bi blue.

    I know there are color sliders in iPhoto for Mac but I have found them much too difficult to adjust satisfactorily.

    Another option would be to "copy" the color from a well balanced image and paste it on a yellow toned image, using iPhoto. Does this make sense to you?
  2. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    I find that "Keep Warm Colour" makes the AWB function like Canon. It tends to lower the measured colour temperature to keep everything kind-of brownish. Lots of people like that. I don't really, so I turn it off.

    I actually like my images to be a little bit bluer-to-neutral. I really like blues and reds but I'm not a fan of that warm rusty look that it causes in jpegs.

    But, like you say, if you're working in raw, or even jpeg, you can cut and paste your settings (including WB changes) onto images as you work. I do that in Aperture all the time.
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  3. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    I turned it off after the first few images I took with my E-M5.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    If you would like to see what your relatives would look like if they were Oompa Loompas, sure, keep it on. This setting does terrible things to color temperature, it's just an annoyance.
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  5. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Keep it off for accurate color, especially skin tones. Oly's AWB is the best I've seen and MUCH better than Canon (T2i, S100, etc.) which too yellow in incandescent light.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I liked to turn it off until I shot Canon for a while. After that I realized that I like Canon colors, and keeping things warm made it quicker to get a Canon look.

    Its the Nikon/Canon switch, IMO.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. jjinh

    jjinh Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2014
    99.99% of the time I keep warm colours off.

    But sometimes when I take photos at outdoors at night the jpg colours are too cold and neutral. In those cases 'keep warm' looks more accurate.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I shoot raw, so keep warm colours off is a more useful starting point. If it looks too cool I decrease the colour temperature in post.
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  9. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    Use it in "Golden Hour" only. I read that is really what it's for - to stop the auto white balance overcompensating when you are shooting in the orange glow of sunrise/sunset.

    Why you cannot turn it off in iAuto mode if this is the case, I don't know!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. jaomul

    jaomul Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 22, 2013
    First thing I did was turn it off. It may be as others said here to help mimic a look, but I found it to strong in temp increase.

    I use Nikon and have used Canon in the past. I do agree with above that Olympus is very good with auto wb, I leave it on this all the time, and shooting raw rarely have to adjust. Of course this is all subjective to the person.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ellsass

    Ellsass Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2014
    Just a thought—maybe it’s the lighting. Most lightbulbs give off a yellow/orange color compared to the sun.
  12. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    I wonder how much longer this will be the case. Incandescent lightbulbs are rapidly being discontinued in favour of wretched CFL lights and (less wretched) LED lighting. So we're heading towards home lighting technology that works more like traditional fluorescent. Unfortunately, that type of lighting has odd, large spectral gaps and becomes quite unreliable - especially at faster shutter speeds indoors.

    I find taking photos in rooms with flourescent or CFL lighting requires a shutter speed down around 1/40 to keep the light as neutral as possible because these lights alternate through the colour spectra on the AC sine-wave (which, depending on your country is either 50 or 60 times a second). Using "Keep Warm Colour" really botches this kind of lighting.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    Real Name:
    I set mine to off
  14. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    I also fall into the camp of turning it off. If I want a warmer look, I do so in post.
  15. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 26, 2014
    A lot of work has gone into making LEDs yellower (warmer) to make them more like incandescent light bulbs. Even the bluer ones are nothing like as blue as daylight. So don't expect to ever have light inside that has the colour of daylight unless you buy specialist lighting.

    The point of the option is to add a bias to AWB inside, which would normally make interiors look more blue than we expect to see - and we expect to see yellow. So it gives us yellow.
  16. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    Some of the guys on DPR have tested what color temp is chosen by AWB when you have Keep Warm Colors on or off.

    AWB will guess a colour temp of the light in the scene. If it guesses a low colour temp (more red), the white balance will compensate by adding more blue to balance the bright parts of the image to a neutral white. Likewise if it guesses a high colour temp (more blue), it will add more red to balance to neutral white.

    What Keep Warm Colors seems to do is shift the guessed colour temp to the blue end, and it does this more if the original AWB derived colour temp is low, and the effect gets less and less as the AWB derived colour temp gets higher. It seems to stop having any effect at all around 6500K, which is the D65 standard illuminator spec for outdoor midday sun in Northern Europe. So what it's doing is "colour temp compression".

    By shifting the AWB derived colour temp towards Blue, when the image is colour balanced, less blue/more red is added to the image, and so the final image comes out warmer, and this effect is more pronounced the more the image started at the red end in the first place. Incandescent bulbs are a long way to the red end (about 2700K), so taking photos indoors lit with these bulbs and setting Keep Warm Colors on will make everyone look like they've got jaundice. Just to add to the fun, LED bulbs you can get now are trying to match the "warm light" colour temperature of incandescent bulbs.

    However, if you are outside taking an image of something bathed in the orange light of sunset, you really want AWB to behave as though the light is midday sun. Otherwise, the camera will have an attempt at rebalancing the tone of the image so that the orange light is more towards white, taking away that "Golden Hour" effect.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    On my E-M10 I have it set to off, but on my E-PM2 I set it back to on. For some reason that camera's AWB leans way to blue. I think I need to get a second E-M10 down the road! :biggrin:
  18. crossen

    crossen Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2014
    My thanks t you and all the people who have responded to my inquiry, it has been very "illuminating" and I appreciate the time you each took to reply.