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Changing the White Balance Setting on a Canon EOS Rebel T3 Series Camera

Compared with understanding some aspects of digital photography, making sense of your Canon Rebel T3 or T3i’s color options is easy-breezy. First, color problems aren’t all that common, and when they are, they’re usually simple to fix with a quick shift of your camera’s White Balance control.

You can access the White Balance setting only in the P, Tv, Av, M, or A-DEP modes. Use either of these methods:

  • WB button (top cross key): Press the WB button, then highlight the setting you want to use and press Set.

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    On this screen, as in the Shooting Settings and Quick Control displays, the various White Balance settings are represented by icons. You don’t need to memorize them, because as you scroll through the list of options, the name of the selected setting appears on the screen. Press Set once more after you select the option you want to use.

  • Quick Control screen: After pressing the Quick Control button to shift from the Shooting Settings screen to Quick Control mode, highlight the White Balance icon. The selected setting appears at the bottom of the screen, and you can then rotate the Main dial to cycle through the various options.

    If you want to see all settings at one time, press Set again instead of rotating the Main dial. Then you can use the Main dial or cross keys to make your choice. Press Set to lock in the new setting.

A couple quick tips related to white balance:

  • If the scene is lit by several sources, choose the setting that corresponds to the strongest one. The Tungsten Light setting is usually best for regular incandescent household bulbs, by the way. Selecting the right setting for the new energy-saving CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs can be a little tricky because the color temperature varies depending on the bulb you buy.

  • Your selected White Balance setting remains in force until you change it. To avoid accidentally using an incorrect setting later, get in the habit of resetting the option to the automatic setting (AWB) after you finish shooting whatever subject it was that caused you to switch from automatic to manual white balancing.

  • Not sure which setting to choose? Try switching to Live View temporarily. As you adjust the White Balance setting, the live preview shows you the impact on your scene. Then use the Quick Control screen to adjust the White Balance setting (the WB button doesn't work in Live View mode).

  • If none of the settings produce neutral colors, you can tweak the selected setting or even create a custom setting.

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