OK, I went along to a local film club last week with my Panasonic HMC41E and they were able to give me some steer on the white balance settings, but still couldn’t work out how the camera could be asked to manually check the white balance.
A YouTube video today showed me how, very exciting!
If you press the white balance button on the Panasonic HMC41E, it toggles between various settings:
ATB – P3.2K – for indoor shooting
ATB – P5.6k – for outdoor shooting
ATW – Auto-tracking white balance (changes as the light in your shot does. This is annoying if you are shooting a static target, but the lights in the shot keep changing as they would if there were car traffic lights going past, or the subject was in front of a TV. The ATW will keep trying to compensate, and make the image brighter and darker!
ATW Lock – This is what I was using until now. This basically locks the white balance that the camera decides upon, so the scenario above can’t happen.
However, if you press and hold the White Balance button for a few seconds, the camera will take a reading of whatever you are pointing at (white card ideally) and then set the white balance accordingly. Handy if the scene changes or you are moving the camera a lot. Simply press and hold everytime you move the camera, and it will re-calibrate.