How to Use the Custom White Balance on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

Through the Custom White Balance option on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D, you can create a white balance setting that’s based on the color of the light hitting your subject, whether that light comes from one or many sources. To use this technique, you need a piece of card stock that’s either neutral gray or absolute white — not eggshell white, sand white, or any other close-but-not-perfect white.

After positioning the reference card in the lighting you plan to use for your subject, follow these steps to create the custom setting:

  1. Set the camera to the P, TV, Av, or M exposure modes.

    You can’t use this feature in other modes, although after you create your custom setting, you can tell the camera to use that setting.

    If you want to set a custom White Balance to use in Movie mode, set your camera to one of the above modes and follow these steps.

  2. Take a picture of the reference card.

    Frame the shot so that the reference card fills the viewfinder (or, if you’re using Live View, the monitor). For best results, focus manually.

    If you want to shoot movies, switch to Movie mode before continuing to Step 3.

  3. Display Shooting Menu 2 (Movie Menu 3 if in Movie mode) and highlight Custom White Balance, as shown on the left in the figure below.

  4. Press Set to display the screen shown on the right in the figure below.

    The image you just captured should appear in the display, along with a message that tells you that the camera will display only that image and others that are compatible with the Custom White Balance option. If your picture doesn’t appear on the screen, press the right or left cross key to scroll to it.

  5. Press Set to select the displayed image as the basis for your custom white balance reference.

    You’re asked to confirm that you want to use the image to create the Custom White Balance setting.

  6. Press the right cross key to highlight OK and then press Set.

    A message tells you that the custom setting is stored. The little icon in the message area represents the custom setting.

  7. Press Set one more time to finalize things.

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Your custom setting remains stored until the next time you work your way through these steps.