As I mentioned earlier, the auto white balance on the M9 is pretty poor and on this trip, it certainly did not redeem itself. While shooting in the cathedral of learning, the lighting kept switching between tungsten, daylight, florescent, and mixed. Quite frankly, the AWB of the M9 was all offer the place as well. Schizophrenic!

I had placed my very little used expo disc in the bag. I pulled it out, set the camera for manual white balance, placed the disc in front of the lens, pointed at the light source, took the photo, saw that the balance was set, and started shooting. 10 times of 10. The white balance was nailed. Look at the huge difference between the AWB and the manual WB. Astonishing.

I hung the disc around my neck from it’s cord and continued to use it. I would experiment back and forward to see how much difference there was. In single lighting sources, most times AWB did well; however, throw some colored walls, or perhaps dark spaces, or mixed lighting and it just couldn’t seem to make up it’s mind. Too green. Too magenta. Too yellow. Slightly off. I was really spoiled with my Nikon.

This is not a show stopper for me, as when shooting DNG, one can make corrections later, but must rely on memory of what things looked like and adjust sliders accordingly, or hope that there is something white or gray in the frame that Photoshop can use to adjust the colors. Personally, I’d like to get it right in camera.

Therefore, on a personal note, if you do buy an M9 and want good color accuracy, an expo disc or similar is highly recommended or else you may end up quite frustrated with all ofnthe extra work that you will have to do. As a matter of fact, any camera that may have an AWB that doesn’t work so well, getting such a tool will help immensely.

Cathedral of Learning
Chris Klug: My Pittsburgh host