CGIPix is an observation that Nikon, Canon and the rest no longer make cameras,
they make computers that you can attach a lens to.
Here is a basic overview of what it takes to create good, better or best pictures, you decide how much effort you want to put into your pictures.
What white balance is and how it effects film, video and digital cameras:
Light has several qualities to it, and color temperature is a subtle one that will greatly enhance the mood of a photo.
Lower color temperatures are called "warm" colors, and are in the orange, red, and yellow, where these are colors you get shooting at sunrise and sunset, the "golden moments" of shooting.
Skin tones look warmer, and everything takes on a pleasing tint.
The "cooler" end of the spectrum is the blue tints, where things will look similar to an object seen in daylight.
The human eye has a built in color correction capability. To show the difference, try this experiment to really get a visual representation of color balance.
1. Take a white piece of paper, and look at it indoors, and take a picture of it with a digital camera, where the white balance is set to the "Daylight" setting.
Keep the camera set at "Daylight" white balance setting for all of these shots. You can take it one step further, and take a picture at "Daylight" and "Auto" white balance.
2. Then, without changing the white balance, take it outdoors and look at it, and take a picture of it in direct sunlight.
3. Next, take a picture of the white paper in the shade.
4. Finally, take a picture of the white paper at sunset.
In each of those situations, you will see the paper as white, because you know it's white, and your brain processes it as white.
For each picture, the white paper will take on the color temperature of the light hitting it.
Reading the Color Temperature
Color meters are not cheap. They are used by very few photographers on a regular basis. Where a standard light meter to measure intensity is a common item in a camera bag, a light meter is not.
If you find that color correction is critical, you will need to look at buying one.
White Balance Disks
They exist, I've never used one, nor would I spend money on it. The camera manufacturers spent a lot of time and money creating white balance sensors and settings.
It seems to be a little more efficient to use "Auto White Balance" than to put a 6.00 piece of plastic on the lens and use that.
White Balance and Film
Film can come in different types when it comes to white balance, there was daylight and tungsten based. If you shoot tungsten based outdoors, there was a blue cast to the pictures.
Shooting daylight film indoors would lead to an orange color cast. WIth film, if color correction and white balance were extremely important, you would have a color meter and a full set of color correcting filters.
Taking a reading with a color meter would give you a light temperature value in Kelvins, and from there you would use filters to get the balance to the correct color temperature.
White Balance and Digital Cameras
Digital cameras have an "Auto White balance" setting, in almost every situation, that is the best setting to use. If you let the camera keep track of white balance, it will be cloise enough to do corrections later on.
If you manually set white balance, and get too far off, it can be hard to correct.
White Balance and Video Cameras
Anyone who's shot video knows of white balance settings, people who shot film know of color temperatures.
Video cameras have had a white balance setting from the early models on. YOu would set white balance, and then start taping.