Lumix G9 – Auto White Balance

The Lumix G9 mirrorless camera has some unique Auto White Balance features.

Watch the video below to learn more.

If you can’t see the video, you can watch it on YouTube.

White Balance is really about color.

Adjusting your camera white balance adjusts the color of “white” to match the light source, so that the overall color hue is closer to what is seen by the eye.

The camera isn’t magic. It doesn’t actually know if the sun is shining or you’re shooting in your basement under a tungsten lightbulb. You’ve got to help it out a bit so that you can get good colour in your photos and videos.

A unique thing about the Lumix G9 is that it has two Auto White Balance (AWB) settings: AWB and AWBc.

I’ve made the mistake of setting it on regular AWB without realizing the effect it had on my photos.

  • AWB gives a warm look to your photos
  • AWBc gives a cool look to your photos

Shot using the AWB setting – Gives a warm look


Shot using the AWBc setting – Gives a cool look

But only under certain conditions.

If you’re shooting outdoors on a bright and sunny day, you likely won’t notice much difference on either of these settings.

But if you’re shooting indoors under warm colour termperature lights, such as tungsten bulbs, the AWB setting will retain the warmth. Which in most cases will retain the mood of your photo.

If you change it to AWBc, it will add blue and cyan to your photo and your photo will look more neutral.

For best colour, you might want to use a white balance calibration tool like the X-Rite Color Checker Passport. I use mine all the time in the studio.

I mostly use the built-in White Balance pre-sets of the Lumix G9

  • Daylight – on bright sunny days
  • Cloudy – on overcast days
  • Shade – when I’m shooting in the shade
  • Tungsten – when shooting under Edison lightbulbs
  • Flash – when using my flash. This often gets set automatically if you’re using a Lumix flash with a Lumix camera
  • AWB or AWBc – when I’m just not sure about the light source

Learn more about color and auto white balance in this post.

Here’s a color chart showing warm and cool colors

Photographic colour wheel

  • Magenta, red and yellow are warm colours
  • Green, cyan and blue are cool colors

Opposite colors on the wheel balance each other out

  • If your image is too yellow, you can add blue to neutralize the yellow
  • If your image is too green, you can add magenta to neutralize the green

One more side note:

In Photography Color is measured in degrees Kelvin. That’s why we use the term Color Temperature. Color temperature in the “visible spectrum” (which we see and use in photography) goes from warm to cool. Warm temperatures are produced from things like candles, sunsets and tungsten light bulbs. Neutral temperature is midday sunshine. Cool temperatures happen in the shade, on overcast days and at high altitudes.

Color is a huge and important topic in photography!

It always has been, even in the days of shooting film.

Reproducing color accurately and creatively is what can make or break your photos.

For that reason it’s something you need to understand. And the best way to start is by learning how to set up White Balance in your camera.