Public Lab Wiki documentation

White balance for NDVI cameras

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White balance can be critical to getting good results with infrared converted cameras.

Images using a red filter should look roughly like the "GOOD" example below -- vegetation should appear generally pastel blue (for blue filters, see this page). An incorrectly white-balanced image such as the "BAD" example below may appear with an overall reddish tint.



Follow these activities to learn how to set white balance properly, or add your own if there's one missing. For Canon cameras, see the steps listed below:

Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
White balance for all - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Change the white balance (or other configuration) on a Mobius camera - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »

Add an activity  or request an activity

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.


There's been a great deal of research on the best white balance for Infragram use; browse some of it here:

Title Author Updated Likes
Change the white balance (or other configuration) on a Mobius camera @warren 5 months ago
Plant Health NDVI -White Balance @Claytonb over 1 year ago
Question: Infragram point & shoot image @ino almost 2 years ago
How do I set a custum white balance of the NoIR modulo cam? @LaPa over 2 years ago
do the work exactly @bruno over 2 years ago
Modified MOBIUS with PL red filter @RQ-05 almost 3 years ago
White balancing a 4 channel RAW image? @Fi156 almost 3 years ago
Mobius NDVI @cfastie almost 4 years ago
Mobius white balance @cfastie almost 4 years ago
NIR and white balance @cfastie almost 4 years ago
White balance for all @cfastie over 4 years ago
Infrared behavior of A810 @cfastie over 4 years ago
HORNWORMS @cfastie over 4 years ago
White balancing a Canon camera for Infragram photography @warren over 4 years ago
Infrablue minutiae @cfastie over 4 years ago
Balancing act @cfastie over 4 years ago
I Got the InfraBlues - CMOS White Balance Work-around @geobduffy over 4 years ago
White balance @cfastie almost 5 years ago
Rosco! @cfastie almost 5 years ago
Superblue @cfastie almost 5 years ago
White balance and NIR photography @nedhorning over 5 years ago
Show 11 more


Ask or help answer questions about white balance here!

Title Author Updated Likes
What is the ideal white balance for the Infragam Point and Shoot? @abdul over 1 year ago
Question: Infragram point & shoot image @ino almost 2 years ago
First Drone Flight and White Balance Issues @amck over 2 years ago
Modified camera with 25A red filter - NDVI needs calibration- Any Ideas? @Tbtouaki over 3 years ago

Ask a question  or help answer future questions

Mobius/Infragram Point & Shoot

Mobius Action Cams require a custom config file; here are instructions for using it to set the required custom white balance here


Many Canon Powershots allow custom white balance. This option is sometimes available only when the camera is in Program Mode, not an auto mode or auto preset.

To custom white balance a Powershot (after removal of the internal IR block filter and with a red or blue filter in place):

  1. Press "Func Set" (Function Set).
  2. Scroll (up or down) to the white balance icon.
  3. Scroll (left or right) to the custom white balance icon.
  4. A message will display indicating which button to press to set a custom white balance.
  5. Point the camera at a surface that is either blue or red and fill the frame with that color. A medium rich blue (between sky blue and navy blue) works well with many of the common blue filters that have been tested (see below). Ideally the blue surface should be in the shade but under a clear blue sky. A bright red surface works with red filters. For red filters the red surface should be in direct sunlight.
  6. Press the designated button.
  7. Press Func Set to return to camera mode.

When custom white balance is done properly, photos of healthy foliage (in sun or shade) appear orangey yellow (with blue filter), or turquoise (with red filter). When custom white balance is not done properly, infrablue photos of plants appear gray. When custom white balance is not done, infrablue photos appear pink.


A blue origami paper that has worked well for white balancing a CCD Powershot with Rosco #74, #2007, and #2008 filters.

More testing is needed to determine the best white balance process for different combinations of cameras and filters. Not all blue or red surfaces will reflect the same proportion of visible and infrared light, so some colors will work better than others. Add your observations here or at the infrared forum:!forum/plots-infrared

near-infrared-camera infrared white-balance infragram 2007 74 2008