I have Nikon and Canon codec installed in windows 10 so I can open images directly. I also have lightroom for comparing images. When I open the same image shot on Nikon D3400 and Canon 200D on auto white balance and in RAW then the white balance is not same. I keep the lighting the same and shoot the same subject and also shoot RAW NOT JPEG. But I find that Nikon raw files have slight yellow/greenish tint. While Canon raw files have neutral color. So I think different camera brands process color differently in sensor level. Please share your opinion about this issue.


1 Answer 1


There are several possible things going on here.

1) You're probably looking at the JPEG preview

Most image view programs that can show RAW files but are not meant for processing them show the embedded JPEG preview. The camera creates this using its internal JPEG engine and stores it along with other data in the RAW file.

Showing this is a lot less effort and generally more useful than showing an opinionated default rendering of the raw file. (Remember, a RAW file doesn't have just one valid interpretation. See What does an unprocessed RAW file look like?).

But, if that's not it, also consider:

2) You can't shoot the same image on different cameras

The processing isn't the only thing that's different. The sensor itself is, as is the filter stack over the sensor (including the color filter array). And you probably didn't use the same lens. Even similar lenses transmit light slightly differently.

3) There could be differences in the scene itself

And if you took the exact same image at the same time, the cameras weren't in the same place; or, if they were in the same place, the images weren't taken at the same time. This could be particularly a big deal if you are shooting under fluorescent lights (including LEDs) and are using a fast shutter speed.

4) There are two ways you could be doing auto white-balance even with RAW files.

One could be to use your RAW converter's algorithm, which might produce different results simply due to the differences above. But it's also possible that the RAW converter is using the "as shot" white balance, read from metadata in the image (and the same as the camera's JPEG rendering).

  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for your answer. but i need some more clarification. I shot using their respective kit lenes. I dont know whether the kit lens has changed the white balance you tell me?. But I shot the 2 images one after another from a tripod. Maybe 1-2 mins apart so lighting was same and subject was same. But what I need to know is I opened .CR3 and .NEF files in my windows photo viewer. I opened raw files . How can jpeg preview be created? I did not create any jpegs. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2019 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would think it is point 3, the program uses the metadata to process the RAW file 'as shot'. Point 1 and 2 seem unlikely. The preview resolution is way to low to view, and minute differences in framing should not give a significant difference in white balance estimation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Orbit
    Apr 16, 2019 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Orbit Canon and Nikon both generate full-resolution (but low JPEG quality) previews. Note that this is not the JPEG thumbnail. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Apr 16, 2019 at 15:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm Thats quite interesting, thanks for the info. I may have been wrong about point 1. Do you know if image viewers just tend to use the embedded jpg? \$\endgroup\$
    – Orbit
    Apr 16, 2019 at 16:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The embedded preview has three advantages: it is fast to extract; it can be displayed using JPEG code the image viewer almost certainly already has; and it is likely to already be a fairly decent result since in-camera JPEGs are usually quite good. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Apr 16, 2019 at 16:56

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