F1 or 4 are white balance memories, rather than buttons to set the WB.
Menu > Custom WB > Right Arrow > Select F1 or F4 >
Then put your piece of white card in front of the lense and hit the shutter button. Make sure you haev enough light though !
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Do you try to set the white balance, wheel the camera is still in an automatic mode or in a scene mode?, because that won't work. If you keep having problems while in a manual mode, let us know, so I can look again to this problem.
You should be able to set your white balance by taking a photograph of something white filling the screen with the correct exposure. If it is underexposed, you will not get white, it will look yellowish. Make sure while you are photographing the object, you switch your lens focus mode to manual.
Go the second setup (tools) tab and select custom wb. The custom white balance screen will appear and you will choose the image that you want to base the white balance off of by pressing the set button.
This will take you back to the menu. Go back to white balance and choose custom wb down in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Click the AF-WB button and then with the wheel in the back of the camera select either K or any of the other settings. If set to K then you must go to your Menu (click menu button on back) then go to Color temp. and select your Kelvin tempature.
Hope that helps....
You can use customer white balance with or without a flash. If you use a flash to do a custom WB, you must adjust the F-stop and make it narrower. If you do not do so, the custom WB will over expose every time when using a white card. White balance is used to measure the Kelvin temperature that the light source is outputting so that the camera can set itself to that specific reading.