TechLife Australia

REAL-WORLD METERING

THE PROS AND CONS OF EACH MODE, AND THE SUBJECTS THEY SUIT.

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PATTERN

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.

CENTRE-WEIGHTED

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.

SPOT/PARTIAL

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.

AVERAGE

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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