Real-world me­ter­ing

The pros and cons of each mode, and the sub­jects they suit

Digital Camera World - - BACK TO BASICS -


1 This is just a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the zones in pat­tern mode. In re­al­ity, the scene may be split into hun­dreds or even thou­sands of zones.

2 The cen­tral area will not nec­es­sar­ily get pri­or­ity over other ar­eas – it de­pends on the light dis­tri­bu­tion across the rest of the scene.

3 It can tend to give pri­or­ity to dark ar­eas to pre­vent un­der­ex­po­sure, al­though it’s still a good choice for quick­fire, ev­ery­day pho­tog­ra­phy.


1 This can be a good choice for por­traits – par­tic­u­larly back­lit ones – and pho­tos where the sub­ject is to­wards the mid­dle of the pic­ture.

2 The outer ar­eas play a smaller part in the ex­po­sure mea­sure­ment, but they are still taken into ac­count.

3 Cen­tre-weighted doesn’t ap­ply its own com­pen­sa­tion be­fore giv­ing you an ex­po­sure, so you may need to ap­ply more sub­stan­tial ex­po­sure ad­just­ments to get the de­sired re­sult.


1 Switch­ing to the spot me­ter­ing op­tion means that you can avoid large ar­eas of bright or dark tones af­fect­ing the me­ter read­ing.

2 On be­gin­ner-friendly cam­eras, the spot zone is slightly larger to al­low more lee­way for er­rors.

3 The spot is not al­ways in the cen­tre of the frame and may be linked to your man­u­ally se­lected AF point, mak­ing it pos­si­ble to me­ter off-cen­tre sub­jects. Keep this in mind when me­ter­ing.


1 The light across the whole frame is av­er­aged into a read­ing, mak­ing it a good op­tion when the scenes con­tain a bal­anced blend of tones.

2 A word of cau­tion: av­er­age me­ter read­ings are very sus­cep­ti­ble to small bright ar­eas in the scene.

3 The ad­van­tage to av­er­ag­ing is that it doesn’t take long to be­come fa­mil­iar with how it will re­act in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions, mak­ing ex­po­sure ad­just­ment straight­for­ward.

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