How to Change the White Balance Settings on a Canon EOS 60D - dummies

How to Change the White Balance Settings on a Canon EOS 60D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

A digital camera compensates for different colors of light through a feature known as white balancing. Simply put, white balancing neutralizes light so that whites are always white, which in turn ensures that other colors are rendered accurately. If the camera senses warm light, it shifts colors slightly to the cool side of the color spectrum; in cool light, the camera shifts colors in the opposite direction.

You can select a specific white balance setting only in the Creative Zone modes (P, Tv, Av, M, B, and C). To adjust the setting, you can use either of the following two methods:

  • Quick Control screen: From the Shooting Settings screen, press the Quick Control button to bring up the Quick Control screen. Then 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 see the screen shown on the right, and you can use the Quick Control dial or multicontroller to make your choice.

    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, however, because as you scroll through the list of options, the name of the selected setting appears on the screen. For most settings, the camera also displays the approximate Kelvin temperature (K) of the selected light source. Press Set once more after you select the option you want to use.

    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 shooting scenes lit by regular incandescent household bulbs, by the way. Use the White Fluorescent setting when the scene is lit by fluorescent bulbs, provided the bulbs are “Cool White” and in the range of 4000 degrees Kelvin. However, you can’t always use the White Fluorescent setting, even in rooms with fluorescent lights. If you have trouble, your best bet is to create a custom White Balance setting that’s precisely tuned to the light.

  • Shooting Menu 2: Press Menu, go to Shooting Menu 2, and select White balance. Press Set and then choose settings, which are identical to those on the Quick Control screen. Highlight the setting you want to use and press Set.

Your selected White Balance setting remains in force for the P, Tv, Av, M, B, and C exposure modes until you change it again. To avoid accidentally using an incorrect setting later, you may want to 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 to manual white balance mode.