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My 6D gives a strange white balance when shooting pictures, it's very green when a high temperature white balance is used. I've tried resetting my settings to the manufacturing default, but I still get a strange green tone.

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The first image is shot with the auto white-balance under natural sunlight from the window in my room. For the second image, I changed the white-balance manually to shade (approx. 7000 K). I guess other settings are the default, as I cleared all camera settings before I took these images. I feel the tone of the picture is not as accurate as before when I got this second-hand 6D one year ago.

  • Can you be more specific? Telling us what settings you're using, what kind of light you're shooting in, and perhaps linking to an example image or two would all help. – Caleb Mar 20 '16 at 17:46
  • Does this happen only at the "high temps" or does it happen with all images? What do you consider "high temp"? – inkista Mar 20 '16 at 18:41
  • What kind of light are you shooting in when this occurs? – Michael C Mar 20 '16 at 20:36
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    If possible, could you link some example photos from an image hosting site that allows the EXIF info to be viewable? – Michael C Mar 20 '16 at 20:37
  • fyi, higher temperature (K values) tend towards green while lower values tend towards red. This is opposite to what you would think when referring to "warm" and "cool" colors. – Octopus Apr 20 '16 at 20:07
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The first image is shot with the auto white-balance under natural sunlight from the window in my room. For the second image, I changed the white-balance manually to shade (approx. 7000 K).

Your results are what I'd expect. The "shade" setting is meant for open outdoor shade, like the shade provided by a building. In that case, the ambient light is the blue light from the sky. The atmosphere scatters blue light more than other colors like yellow or red (which is why the sky is blue), and when direct sunlight is blocked the remaining light is that scattered blue light.

I can't tell exactly what the light source is in your photo — it looks like daylight from a window — but wherever it comes from you have to consider that the light is reflecting off the floor, walls, and ceiling, so it's color is going to be quite different from that of outdoor shade.

The difference between the photos, then, is that the camera calculated the white balance in the first image (and it looks like it got it about right), while in the second you specifically set the camera to expect "white" to look as it would if it were lit with light at 7000°K. But the white objects in the scene aren't lit that way, they're lit with a warmer light, and the camera records them as looking warmer than what your brain (which adjusts quickly to changes in the color of ambient light) expects.

I don't think most people would describe the second image as "too green," they'd probably say that it's "too yellow" or "too warm," or they'd say it looks about right but assume that you took it in the evening or early morning when the sun is low in the sky and the daylight is much warmer.

I feel the tone of the picture is not as accurate as before when I got this second-hand 6D one year ago.

The easy solution is to set the white balance correctly, or just set the camera to auto white balance (AWB).

Not quite so easy, but much more interesting, is to learn to manipulate the white balance to get exactly the tone that you want in your image, even when the scene in front of you doesn't look the way you want it to. Photographers do this all the time to get beautiful deep blue skies, or correct the very yellow-orange light we get from incandescent bulbs, or correct the greenish hue from fluorescent lights, or to make a scene shot at noon look like it was shot at sunset, or to make a scene shot at sunset look like the middle of the day...

Like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, white balance is one of the parameters that you can adjust to create the image you want. You can set it to automatic mode and get decent results, or you can learn to use it to your advantage and get better shots (and also have one more thing that you'll screw up occasionally). Unlike shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, however, white balance is not set in stone when you take the shot -- you can adjust it later, especially if you shoot in RAW mode instead of JPEG. But perhaps that's a topic for a different question.

  • thx for your answer, but one of my friends tell me the reason my camera got strange tone image is because there's something wrong with the CMOS sensor and it's normal after long video shooting or 80 thousands of – Sinan_Clearsky Mar 22 '16 at 2:07
  • 80 thousands of shutter count.I am worried about the CMOS sensor is burinng out after long time use. Am I worried the right thing? – Sinan_Clearsky Mar 22 '16 at 2:13
  • @Sinan_Clearsky If there were a problem with the sensor you'd see it in every shot you take. There's nothing wrong -- you just told the camera to expect the ambient light to be a different color. You can make it go the other way, too -- take the same photo with the same light, but set the color temperature to something very low, maybe 2000°K. Take another shot with the white balance set to auto for comparison. The first one will look too blue instead of too yellow -- the camera will expect very warm light, and will shift the color toward blue to compensate. – Caleb Mar 22 '16 at 3:17
  • Also, the camera has a shutter counter because the shutter itself is a mechanical device that will eventually wear out. The sensor, though, isn't subject to that kind of wear. Over time a sensor may develop some dead pixels here and there, but you won't see the entire image degrade. – Caleb Mar 22 '16 at 3:51
  • many thanks @Caleb a lot that helps a lot ! By the way is taking long time video harmful to the camera? – Sinan_Clearsky Mar 22 '16 at 4:25

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