Features & Specifications
WarmCards I recently bought a new Nikon D80 DSLR camera to aid in taking pictures of the items that I write about and shooting images of my kids and other family members. My Nikon D80 has a user adjustable white balance that I can set to custom levels. The WarmCards are just what they sound like, a set of cards on lanyards that correspond to different levels of skin warmth. The system I was sent included both the lanyard grouping of smaller cards to be taken with you on the road to shoots and on family outings. Another set of the cards was also included that is aimed at being used inside a studio. The smaller mobile cards are sized at 3 x 4-inches and the larger set for the studio are 6 x 10-inches.
In addition to the Warm-1, 2, and 3 standard and mini cards I was also set an expansion pack of the cards that includes the plus pack with a Warm-1/3 card of both sizes and a Minus Green card in both sizes. All cards have a normal white reference on the back and are laminated, ridged cards that are very durable. The PlusPack cards are an additional $26 and the WarmCards themselves retail for $65 and include with a zippered carry case. The cards are also fully waterproof and designed for rugged use.
WarmCards in Use
Using the WarmCards is very easy all you need to do is figure out how to set the white balance on your camera. In my case under the manual settings are of my D80 I could choose the PRE option for white balance.
Once I had the camera ready for setting the white balance I arranged the WarmCards so that the light reflected off of them as it would my subject and snapped an image of the card to set the white balance of the camera. Once set I was ready to begin shooting my images. I noticed right away when shooting in the studio that the colors on the images I shot were richer and looked better. For product shots I preferred the look of the images using the pure white reference card.
However for shooting images of my kids I played around with the different cards a bit and was impressed by the difference setting the white balance with the other cards makes. You might expect all the cards to be white or some shade of white, but most of the cards are actually different shades of blue.
I used the cards outdoors at my son’s soccer game to set the white balance on the camera. The difference using the WarmCards made as compared to typically shooting images at the game in shutter priority mode with the white balance set to the generic outdoor setting was vast. The colors were richer, the skin tones more natural and the images just plain looked better when taken with the white balance set with the WarmCards.
The small travel set of WarmCards held up well to the elements and are strong enough that you don’t have to worry about damaging them if you drop them or they get dirty. If you shoot pictures in a studio or in the field the WarmCards white balance system makes a huge difference in image quality over using the pre-set white balance options in the camera.
If you are serious enough about your photos to spend the money on a DSLR camera or a high-end point-and-shoot camera, you should spend a bit more and get yourself a set of WarmCards too. The difference these cards make when you use them to set the white balance on your camera is very impressive. Serous photographers need to add the WarmCards to their camera bags.
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