White Balance "As Shot"

When I open a RAW file in PLO to edit/customize, PLO shows a different Temperature and Tint than other RAW converters. Obviously this is not just a difference in the display. In fact the white balance shows small differences in the picture itself.

So I checked with the exiftool which values are entered in the Exif data.

The result: Only Lightroom shows the values of the Exif data, all other raw converters I checked differ from this (PLO, Affinity Photo, Luminar).

“As shot” means that the camera settings are taken over. Therefore, in my opinion, PLO should use the data of the raw file.

What is the reason fof this deviation?

My understanding is PL take into account the general setting like daylight, cloudy, shade, etc but not the number value, which if you set your white balance with a grey card, you’re off a tide (from my experience).

ExifTool reports this on an image taken with UniWB setting on EOS 5Diii and a Kaiser plano backlight:

Settings when shot was taken
Color Data Version: 10 (1DX/5DmkIII/6D/70D/100D/650D/700D/M)
WB RGGB Levels As Shot: 1024 1024 1024 1023
Color Temp As Shot: 4360
WB RGGB Levels Auto: 1498 1024 1024 2394
Color Temp Auto: 3237
WB RGGB Levels Measured: 1498 1024 1024 2394
Color Temp Measured: 3237

One of the stored WB presets
WB RGGB Levels Daylight: 2085 1024 1024 1654
Color Temp Daylight: 5200

And some other interesting info
Per Channel Black Level: 2047 2048 2048 2048
Normal White Level: 14582
Specular White Level: 15094
Linearity Upper Margin: 10000

Lr, C1 and DPL show different WB values each (before I manually WB the image, then they correspond). None of the initial values match between the apps and none is what exiftool tells me.

White balance is something that goes into calculating the preview from raw data which have no wb and no colour space…

White balance is a calculated number. It’s done by the raw converter based on the analyses of the raw data. In theory every raw converter might give you a different value. The white balance value from the camera has been calculated by the in-camera raw converter and is used for the embedded jpg/thumbnail or jpg/tiff as a final result.
You can set the white balance in the camera on a specific value but that wouldn’t mean other raw converters will obey that.


If the WB selected by any program is calculated, then the words “As shot” are misleading.

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I just opened an old nef file in CaptureNx2 and in PL3. Color temperature as shot resp. 5204 and 5111. You can compare the different color temperatures for a fixed setting in different converters: they’re different. Daylight color temperature can differ by position on the earth, they’re different between the North Pole and the equator.


My understanding of the camera is that it decides on the WB at the time (and place) of the shot — either a value the photographer decides by using a specific temperature or ‘named’ value (such as daylight), or automatically based on the scene hitting the sensor at that time.

After all, the true white balance was only true at that time and that place, and arguably, looking in that direction.

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