How to use the Metering System of Digital Cameras

The three basic Metering Styles of digital cameras are: Spot/Partial, Center-weighted, Multi-Zone(Evaluative)/Matrix.

Spot MeteringSpot Metering mode focuses on the central part of the viewfinder. Spot metering covers about 1% to 3.5% of the image area, resulting into under/overexposed corners. Partial metering covers a little more – about 9.5%. Sometimes, the lighting conditions may be tricky: lets assume you want to take a picture with both enlighten and shadowed areas, where the shadows are more than 50% of the picture. Choose a spot point on the subject (not necessary the center of the photo) and expose that correctly not carry about the shadows. A suggestive example is the flame of a candle. Macro shots will do with this.

Center Weight MeteringCenter-Weight Metering will not end up in out badly exposed corners, is more likely the average of the entire scene with emphasis on the center area. Also, the percent of the exposure calculation area grows to 75%. This means that you will want to use it if your subject (basically in portraiture) is centred and no other parts of the background are essential to the message. However, it is probably the less used mode (professional photographers will choose to operate this when Matrix Evaluation will fail due to the complexity of the light in the proposed scene), but it has the great advantage of non overexposed areas.

Matrix MeteringWith Multi-zone Metering, the exposure setting is calculated based on data from matrix/segment elements (3 to 16 or more, typically 6, depending on the professionalism of the camera – the more the better) also called individual cells with different exposure information. Manual focus, subject size, position, distance, overall lighting level, front and back lighting and color are the main criteria of the calculation for each cell. The word “average” describes well how the light is evaluated in this case, leaving no over/underexposed parts. This is the most precise exposure metering mode that works great as default for any kind of photography, but most of all, for landscape.

[tags]spot metering, center-weight metering, matrix metering, evaluative metering, metering sistem, metering modes, multi-zone metering, manual metering, exposure metering[/tags]

By Laura

I started photography as a hobby in 2005, during college. My passion slowly became a more important part of my life since 2008. Because of using a combination of my photographic knowledge, with those of internet marketing, I like to call myself a "photomarketer".

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