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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2008
When I first got this card, I thought all my white balance problems were fixed. However, as I used it for a few months, it became clear that it is not a dummy-proof solution.

It is imperative that you get a shot of the card in exactly the same lighting conditions as the picture you want to adjust in post-processing. This can be a challenge if you're outside with your kids and you're poking in and out of buildings and the trees are casting deep shadows in an otherwise sunny day. You'd potentially have to get many card exposures for all the various light settings you encounter throughout the day. The immediate surroundings have a large effect, as well. Take the same sunny conditions, and pictures on a grass field will have a different tint than ones taken on parking lot or on a brick road.

I also noticed that chromatic noise skewed my post-processing attempts when I used my software's water-dropper tool. If I happened to pick a pixel that was actually a blurp of chromatic noise, then the WB got terribly skewed. So, I'd either have arbitrarily pick a pixel that looked grey to me or smooth the results with chromatic noise reduction. Best results are had with well-exposed, low-ISO pictures where the card shows up as a uniform, solid grey with as little noise as possible.

Though with the caveats above, I highly recommend this card. It's easy to carry and is a better WB solution than relying on in-camera settings or eyeballing it in post-processing (which works, too, if you can get the hang of it). Remember to constantly take shots of the card and using the lowest ISO and you should get accurate results in post-processing.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2005
To get the most out digital photography, I shoot RAW all the time. And to get the most accurate white balance, I use the WhiBal. It's so convenient and ingeniuous, it's one of those "why didn't I think of that" items. Just photograph the WhiBal and you now have a white balance reference. Shoot it before other photos, in the middle or at the end - it doesn't matter as long as it's in the same light as your subject. Then when you're processing your photos, click on the WhiBal to set your white balance; and copy that setting to the other photos. It's that easy. And because the WhiBal is so small, you never have to leave home without it. I carry it on the lanyard and stuff it in my pocket or shirt, and it's always ready. It's basically indestructible; but even if you were to chip it, no matter -- the card is the same color through and through, the color is not painted on. If you're serious about digital photography, this is a "gotta have it."
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2005
No matter what the lighting conditions I can expect perfectly neutral results using the WhiBal. I shoot only raw and often in varying combinations of daylight, incandescent, and fluorescent lights. I don't believe there's a better way to obtain digital color accuracy than an accurate reference and I don't believe there's a more accurate or convenient reference than a WhiBal.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2009
White balancing is most probably one of the first steps when you develop your digital photos. You could either (1) trust your camera to do [auto] white balancing, (2) spend a lot of time at your photo development software to guess the right white balance, or (3) shoot an extra reference picture to be used for white balancing at your home.

WhiBal is a lovely product. It is what it is: a white balance reference card. It fits well into my pocket and I actually use it whenever there is a change in the lighting condition. As seen from the link below, I took it for a night time photo session with my wife and there was a lot of tricky colors from the light. With WhiBal, I get a nice skin tone for my shots. And notice the white color of my wife's dress too. To apply white balancing to my photos using the reference shots is very fast. It adds much efficiency to my photo development effort.

[...]

For those we are into the scientific side of WhiBal, I actually did a histogram analysis. Even with my Nikon D700, there is still imperfection in the auto-white balancing by observing the histogram by primary colors (image cropped to contain just the white balance reference card). Does WhiBal get it right 100% of the time? Most of the time, all the primary colors are collapsed nicely onto each other on the gray surface. I guess at some situations especially if there are multiple color tones of light that fall onto the card, you may need to take a few measurements from the WhiBal image to get it right. Rarely do I need to do that. But it is still much better than guessing the color temperature and tint. Is WhiBal as "destructable" as it is advertised? My recommendation is to keep it inside the little pouch provided when not in used and when you are outside, try not to put it together with items that may scratch it. There are some faint scratch marks on my WhiBal after I have started using it. Not a big deal. It doesn't affect the results. Just need to be a bit more careful next time.

I use WhiBal in both Nikon CaptureNX 2 and Adobe Lightroom 2.2. Both work fine with WhiBal.

The delivery is great, and fast. I got the card in my mailbox sooner than I thought (International mail). Thank you!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2010
If we keep in mind that all cameras guess what "white" is in a given environment, then you will see the immediate benefit of using such a simple and useful device.

I shoot a Nikon D90, typically in RAW mode. The D90 offers a wide variety of white balance settings for a variety of lighting methods. This is to say Nikon knows what the color temperature is for "Incandescent" or "Daylight" in their sterile lab environment. I don't shoot in such a place or, for example, with their style of incandescent light bulbs.

When I need to make sure the colors in my shots are reasonably free from color casts due to white balance issues, I use the WhiBal card.

It is a simple matter to snap one shot in the subject's lighting and use that shot to really get a handle on what the light spectrum is for that environment. Shooting the WhiBal in the first shot or last shot is unimportant.

For example: When I take shots in direct "Daylight" with the D90 set for that, I take one shot with the WhiBal. Invariably, when I use Nikon Capture NX2 to check the white balance, there is a discernable change in the color balance correction. Most times it is relatively small but I have seen huge moves as well.

My experience indicates there are other things that reflect colors into the scene. Cameras set for "Daylight" can't reliably account that. In my usage, the WhiBal captures that unique spectrum distribution for that environment and Capture NX2 corrects for white balance with a couple of mouse clicks. I then copy that info from the "calibration" shot and paste it into the subject shots. These shots are now white balance corrected and ready for other adjustments as desired.

It is a simple and quick matter to do this. Total time to take the calibration shot, make the post processing correction and then adjust the actual subject shots is 2 or 3 minutes at most. Unless you are feeling lucky, I think this is a must thing to do when colors need to be reasonably free of color casts.

Of course you can always use the "PRE" or manual white balance on the D90 but that means you have a true "white" object that is of sufficient size to fill the entire picture field. The WhiBal fits in my pocket and works just great.

Is it pricey? Kind of, but I think it is worth it for good color rendition.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2007
This is the thing you need to get your white balance correct. If your white balance is correct, chances are all your colours are correct, and you don't need the GretagMacbeth colour card at 10 zillion dollars apiece.

And it fits in your pocket.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2008
I spent several hours today conducting experiments with this product. Photos with deliberately mismatched (internal) white balances, shots way under and over exposed, shots in a large variety of lighting.

Moreover, I took some using the same lighting in the bedroom where I'd done some cat pictures that were horridly out of balance. Basically, I attempted to duplicate the lighting and use the WhiBal two weeks later.

The results, for EVERY one of my deliberately out of balance, screwed up pictures was utterly outstanding and extremely simple. The Whibal works fine in Photoshop and in Apple's Aperture and with the same ease of use on both the Windows and Mac platform.

Best yet, the wonderful, but unusably out of balance cat pictures were salvaged with no problems whatever. The fact that I could utilize this card, retroactively, to salvage photos that I'd otherwise NOT been able to make work is astounding.

I'd read a large number of reviews on many products, some cheaper, some more expensive. For me, and for my money, the WhiBal is THE answer. I have since ordered one for my daughter.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2007
I was skeptical when I saw the WhiBal for the first time. How could a small piece of plastic improve my photos?

WhiBal out performed my wildest expatiations. Take a shot with the card included using the same same light as all your other images.

Jump into CS3 or Lightroom or any other imaging processing package you use. Click on WhiBal and you are done. If you have a number of images bring them all into your editor and sync them.

If you are worried about "wasting" a shot just crop the WhiBal out of the image after you have corrected your images.

A wonderful product.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2007
One of my favorite children's photographers says she always keeps WhiBal with her in one of her informal interviews. So I looked into it and made the investment to try it out. Personally, I think this is a great investment to make for what it does so well -- effective and accurate white balancing!

It's also very useful if you first watch some of the tutorial videos on how this works and why it works on RAW Workflow's website:
[...]

The pocket size WhiBal is relatively small and lightweight to carry. It's a no brainer to bring with you even if you worry about load and weight. One shot of WhiBal for each lighting condition will save you minutes of trying to white balance each image for hundreds of images!! And like the video tutorials say, your eyes quickly adjust to the colors anyway. So without a methodical and accurate way to truly do white balancing, you are relying on your eyes to do it for you -- which can really throw you off sometimes.

Another thing I love and appreciate is the maker of WhiBal, RAW Workflow is absolutely on the ball in terms of shipping the products. I've ordered two sets of WhiBal cards from them in two separate occasions. Both times I ordered one along with a few other things from Amazon. And both times my WhiBal card arrived FIRST (even when utilizing Amazon's Prime membership on Amazon's qualifying products). And this is with just standard shipping rate... How wonderful is that!?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2007
Since this item arrived it has improved my workflow beyond belief. I use it both for stills and video white balance checking and so far it has never let me down. Any photographer using digital really should consider getting one. Using RAW (or JPEG with the free plug in) the results are fast, consistant and reliable. I only wish there was a distributer here in the UK!
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