I have a Nikon D750 and D800e. I was attempting to run an ISO test on the two, but I can't put my finger on why the two came out with such a different color balance.

enter image description here

Here was my method:

Put D750 with 14mm rokinon on tripod, focus. Shoot manual, f2.8, 30sec, ISO12800. Then I removed the D750 and replaced it with the D800e, attached the same lens to it without moving the focus, and also set it to f2.8, 30sec, ISO12800.

Now, I did accidentally leave the white balance on auto. However, since these were both shot in RAW I was able to adjust that in Lightroom. Both white balances were set to a temp of 4150 and tint of +14 in Lightroom.

Why are the colors so different? The D800e (right side) has a much stronger yellow/orange tint to it than the D750 (again, same lens) almost as if the white balance were warmer, but the white balance has been set to the same now. Is it normal to see such a vast difference in colors between two similar cameras?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Not sure why you're seeing the difference. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the two cameras. While ISO 12800 is native on the D750, it's a boosted ISO on the D800e. Might be a contributing factor. Also, Lightroom has the Camera Calibration section in the Develop module. Is the same Profile and Process used in that section for both the cameras? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 22:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see more of a difference in saturation levels than in the actual color temperature. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 23:05

3 Answers 3


Both white balances were set to a temp of 4150 and tint of +14 in Lightroom

Same color temperature and tint does not mean the same white balance on two different cameras, even if the profile is set to Adobe Standard for both, and same process is used. The reason for that is that color temperature and tint depend on the profile, and profiles for different cameras are not equally (in)accurate. "Click-on-grey" is a better way to equalize the white balance between two shots with two different cameras.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer. I was worried that I had botched the test by not setting the WB the same in each camera, but it sounds like I would be facing the same problem even if I had. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vcize
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 1:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ To make sure I'm completely understanding correctly, do I have the following two scenarios correct. Scenario 1) With the same camera, you take two photos, one at 4000k and one at 5500k. In Lightroom, you change the WB of the 2nd photo to 4000k. The two photos would end up identical, the same as if each had been set to 4000k in camera. Scenario 2) With two different cameras, you take two photos both set at the same 4000k WB in camera. The two photos would (likely) end up looking different since each camera handles 4000k differently. Is this correct? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vcize
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 1:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vcize : Yes to Scenario 1. To Scenario 2, setting white balance in camera is not the same as setting white balance in an Adobe converter, so there is no definite answer. Now, Scenario 3: two different cameras are set to some white balance (same, different, auto), and opening both raw files in an Adobe converter one sets the same colour temperature and tint. In this scenario the images often look differently, as the white balance is in fact different because of the difference in Adobe Standard profiles (dcp files). \$\endgroup\$
    – Iliah Borg
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 2:55

Different sensors do have (beside all the other different properties) also a different color depth. Meaning that one sensor most likely can pick up more colors than the other. Also two identical sensors could potentially see colors slightly different, thats why each decent camera has a calibration setting to compensate. Better cameras are pre-calibrated and are usually ok. I had to calibrate my canon 500D, but didnt have to calibrate the 60D and 6D. It should also be noted that images could be using different color spaces, and/or be saved with or without the ICC Profile: sRGB IEC61966-2.1.

All these things COULD lead to different color rappresentation between two pictures, but it is impossible to find out what exactly is the cause via web. You would have to try the various settings and find what causes the color difference.


It looks to me as if the images differ significantly in saturation.


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