Master the art of exposure with your Nikon D-SLR
3D COLOUR MATRIX
This is just a representation of the zones
01 in matrix mode. In reality, the scene may be split into hundreds, even thousands of zones. The central area will not necessarily get
02 priority – it depends on the light distribution across the rest of the scene. Matrix mode will often give priority to
03 darker areas to prevent underexposure.
Spot metering measures a very small area
01 of the scene, but needs to be used with care. On amateur models the spot zone is slightly
02 larger to allow more leeway for errors. The spot is not always in the centre of the
03 frame. It’s linked to your manually selected AF point, making it possible to meter off-centre subjects. Keep this in mind when metering.
This relatively small central area plays the
01 biggest part in the exposure measurement. On more advanced Nikon D-SLRs you can
02 change the size of this central area to suit your technique. The outer areas play a smaller part in the
03 exposure measurement, but they are still taken into account.
AVERAGE (not on all BODIES)
Some Nikons (see p71) offer average metering
01 as well as centre-weighted. The light across the whole frame is averaged into a single reading. Average meter readings are very susceptible
02 to small bright areas in the scene. The advantage of averaged metering is that
03 it’s easy for experienced photographers to interpret the reading and adjust the settings.
Spot metering measures a precise area of the scene, but it’s not always in the centre.
Nikon’s enthusiast and pro modes can simulate the simple ‘averaged’ metering of older film cameras.
Centre-weighted metering takes a reading from across the frame with a bias towards the centre.
Your Nikon’s light meter is actually an RGB sensor – the resolution depends on the model.