Daffodils and white balance revisited

After sharing yesterday’s post I got a comment on facebook about the relationship between white balance and RAW vs JPG. The person in question meant that I was wrong, and that the whole reason my image lacked colour was because I shot RAW. Today I’m going to prove that I am right. My opponent is not entirely wrong, but his arguments are only ripples among waves, so to speak.

Luckily, our daffodils are still blooming, so I was able to go out and take some test shots today, to prove my point. This time I set my camera to RAW+JPG, so I could compare in a realistic way. These images have only been imported into Darktable and exported as JPG without any adjustments at all. First out is RAW and JPG taken with the white balance set to Auto:

Auto White Balance, shot as RAW

Auto White Balance, shot as RAW

Auto White Balance, shot as jpeg

Auto White Balance, shot as JPG

There is admittedly a slight difference in contrast and colour balance, but both are missing most of the colour one would expect to be there. And then I set the white balance to Cloudy and take a new set of images:

Cloudy White Balance, shot as RAW

Cloudy White Balance, shot as RAW

Cloudy White Balance, shot as jpeg

Cloudy White Balance, shot as JPG

Voila, there is all the colour back! The difference between RAW and JPG is very small compared to the difference between Auto and Cloudy, so I feel that what I said yesterday is built on solid ground.

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