If you've ever tried to do a custom white balance using a card like this and a set up like this, then you probably already know what the problem is. The problem is that this card isn't big enough to fill the frame. See, in camera, if you want to create a custom white balance, then you fill the frame or at least mostly fill the frame with your white subject and set a custom white balance in camera. And if you can't fill the frame with this white, then you're not gonna get an accurate white balance.
Well, the easy and obvious solution is to pick up the camera, move it closer, get your white balance and then put the camera back where you want it. But, the problem is that I'm not willing to move my camera. My camera is locked. It is in the perfect position. It took me a long time to get it there and I am not about to move it to get my white balance. So, what are my solutions? Well, what about putting a longer lens on there? If I put a telephoto lens on there, zoom in, fill the frame and get it that will work, but that lens could have a slightly different color cast than the lens that I'm using right now and so I may end up with an inaccurate white balance. So, I don't wanna do that. Can I just move this closer to the camera? No, because the lighting is set up for this position right here. I can't just move this closer. The lighting will not be the same as I get this closer to the camera. This also poses a problem if you're using one of these. This is a video checker with your black, gray and white levels meant to be viewed on a waveform monitor. And while you can view this chart on a waveform monitor around all this other data, you will be able to pick out these lines in the midst of everything else, it's certainly a lot easier if you can zoom in close and fill the frame with it.
So that's what we're gonna do. I'm gonna show you how to fill the frame with this chart without having to change lenses or move your camera.
My GH5 is now set to do a custom white balance and if I flip this around to the white side of the card you can see that I can't quite fill that frame. So that's the problem that we're dealing with. So first thing I wanna do is just get this centered because I am gonna need to punch into this. So I'll just use these books to get this centered and then let's go behind the camera.
If you go into the menu in your camera you will find somewhere in there a digital zoom feature. Now this is something you'll find on pretty much any mirrorless camera where you can simply zoom into the frame to fill the frame with your subject. And this is not the kind of thing you would normally wanna do for any regular shooting, but for something like this it works out perfectly. Now that I've zoomed in I've clearly filled the frame there so I'm gonna go ahead back into my white balance, go to my custom set, hit the set button and there we go. We've created a custom white balance using the full card.
Let me flip this around so that we're looking at the video side of this and head back to the camera. And I'm feeding the HDMI out of my GH5 into this Atomos recorder which includes the ability to show me the waveform monitor. Now here I can see those waves very nice and easily. If I zoom back out of the frame by going in and turning off the digital zoom, you'll see here that, while technically, I can still see those lines, they're a lot harder to pick out amongst all this data.
And that's all there is to it. That's all it takes to fill the frame with your card to get an accurate white balance or an easier view of your white form monitor.