Understanding Metering and Metering Modes in Camera
What is Metering Modes :
Metering mode is one of the settings most photographers don’t care much, most of times we keep in AUTO mode where camera chooses best metering modes for that scene, but in some cases you have to select other modes to get the perfect result.
What each Metering modes does and how it works is important in photography, because it helps photographers control their exposure to take best shot in unusual lighting situations.
Types of Metering Mode:
1. Matrix/Evaluative Metering
2. Partial Metering (Specific to Canon)
3. Spot Metering
4. Center weighted Metering
1. Matrix/Evaluative Metering:
Matrix Metering mode is the default metering mode on most DSLRs. It works by dividing the entire frame into multiple “zones”, which are then all analyzed on individual basis for light and dark tones. One of the key factors (in addition to color, distance, subjects, highlights, etc) that affects matrix metering, is where the camera focus point is set to. One should use this mode for most of your photography, since it will generally do a pretty good job in determining the correct exposure. I leave my camera metering mode on matrix metering for most of my photography needs, including landscape and portrait photography.
2. Partial Metering (Specific to Canon):
The camera will meter a fixed central area to calculate the correct exposure, this can be useful with objects/people on very light or dark backgrounds where if evaluative metering were used it would under/over expose the picture. You would need to meter/half press the shutter button when pointing at the object/person and use the AE (Automatic Exposure) lock button and recompose the shot if you don’t want the object/person in the center of the frame.
3. Spot Metering:
Spot Metering only evaluates the light around your focus point and ignores everything else. It should be used when your subject doesn’t take much of space like you need focus on something very small on your picture spot on. In this mode, Camera measures only 5%-7% of the complete frame. Situation like bird photography/moon shot, where bird is quite small as compared to the entire picture.
4. Center weighted Metering:
Here is a one shot where you can see the exposure difference with different metering modes.
Choose Matrix/Evaluative metering when lights are evenly spread all over the frame or scene you are capturing.
If scene has come high contrast object like snow then in such case use Center weighted Metering.
Spot metering you can use where light is coming from back of the subject.
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