How to Create a Custom White Balance on Your Canon EOS 6D

By Doug Sahlin

When you photograph a scene that’s illuminated with several different light sources, your Canon may have difficulty figuring out how to set the white balance. And if the camera has a hard time, chances are you can’t use one of the presets to accurately set the white balance. You can, however, set a custom white balance by following these steps:

  1. Photograph a white object.

    Photograph the object under the light source that will be used to illuminate your scene. Photograph something that’s pure white, such as a sheet of paper without lines. You won’t get accurate results if you photograph something that’s off-white. You’ll also get better results if you use the Neutral picture style. If you use the Monochrome picture style, you can’t obtain a white balance reading.

    Note: Some papers contain optical brighteners. If you use one of those to set your white balance, your images may be a little warmer (more reddish-orange in color) than normal.

    You can purchase an 18-percent gray card from your favorite camera retailer and use this in place of a white object in Step 1. The 18-percent gray card gives you extremely accurate results.

  2. Press the Menu button.

    The last used menu command is displayed.

  3. Use the Multi-controller to navigate to the Shooting Settings 3 tab and then use the Multi-controller or the Quick Control dial to highlight Custom White Balance.

  4. Press the Set button.

    The image you just photographed displays onscreen.


  5. Press Set.

    A dialog box appears asking you to confirm that you want to use the image to set the white balance.

  6. Use the Multi-controller or the Quick Control dial to highlight OK and press Set.

    The camera calculates the color temperature for the light source. After the camera completes the calculation, a dialog box appears, asking you whether you want to assign the color temperature derived from the calculation to the Custom White Balance setting.


  7. Use the Multi-controller or the Quick Control dial to select OK and then press Set.

  8. When the menu reappears, use the Quick Control dial or Multi-controller to highlight White Balance and then press Set.

    The white balance options appear.

  9. Use the Multi-controller or the Quick Control dial to highlight Custom.

  10. Press Set.

    Your custom white balance determines the image’s white balance until you select a different White Balance option.


The custom white balance remains in effect and is used whenever you select the Custom White Balance option. You can register only one custom white balance. When you encounter a different lighting scenario that requires a custom white balance, repeat these steps.