Howdy, Stranger!

If you're just starting out in the world of photography and want to learn how to get the most out of your camera, then this forum is your new secret hangout spot!

Take better photos today with my Nikon D3200 Cheat SheetsCheck 'em out!

Custom white balance

edited January 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
Is it possible to set the white balance to a specific Kelvin temperature (like 5775K) on the D3200? If so, how? I know I can approximate using presets, grey card, etc., but I'm wondering if it can be exacted. Thanks!


  • edited January 2016
    As far as I've looked, unfortunately not. It is possible in post processing to use either View NX2 or Capture NXD to set white balance to a particular color temperature, but the images saved cannot then be read by the camera.

    One would have thought that the camera could read a NEF file modified and saved back as NEF by the Nikon program, but it cannot, it seems, read any modifications but its own. I'm still experimenting, but so far it does not seem that Nikon has done very well on this one.

    I just tried to make sure, and if you take a JPG image, it can be read for white balance, but if you modify that and reinstall it on the card, it also cannot be read. As far as I can see, there is no way you can modify an image outside the camera and then re-read it.

    I can see no particular way to get around this except by tedious trial and error, trying a white balance, checking its numbers in View NX2, and trying again until it gives the numbers you want. On the other hand, if you have a particular white balance you want, it's fairly easy to do a batch job on it in View NX2, if you shoot Raw.

    Since you can't adjust white balance in post processing on a JPG file, there's no way to do this unless you shoot Raw. You can, of course, also then save the results in JPG also with a batch command.

    The camera can read any modifications it makes, and any image that is modified entirely within the camera can be used to set white balance. This means that you can take a Raw image, and using the Raw processing, tickle the white balance, and save the image, but there is no Kelvin temperature listing to do this. The adjustments you can make are coarse units based on color (R1, G1, etc.). It might theoretically be possible to figure out what the Kelvin equivalent of those steps is, but the modifications are saved only as JPG, and no program I have reads color temperature of a JPG file. Another dead end, I'm afraid.

  • It's all good. I only shoot in RAW and I adjust, if necessary, in Photoshop Elements. I just wondered if it might be possible but in my tinkering couldn't find a way. Thanks for the input!
  • There's no easy way to do it, I'm afraid. You can do it by numbers on some more expensive models, including the D7100.

    The only way to do it on ours is very roundabout, and seems not very precise, involving figuring out how many "mireds" the increment in Raw processing changes, and taking successive readings in Capture NXD, which shows the color temp of a shot.

    You could also just keep trying different presets, reading the resulting temp in NXD, and saving whichever one comes closest.
Sign In or Register to comment.