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In-Camera Metering Modes

February 4, 2010

Your camera should allow you to select what kind of metering it uses.  Choosing what kind of metering your camera uses can be helpful.  Each camera represents them diferently on the camera itself, but for the most part they are as follows.

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Matrix or Evaluative or Multi-Segment Metering: Is the most complex type of metering your camera has.  It will usually give you the best exposure.  The image represent the segments of your viewfinder that your camera meters individually and then uses those segments to determine the overall exposure for the photograph.  If you want an overall well exposed image this is probably best.

Center-weighted Metering: If your camera does not allow you to select the metering mode than your camera probably uses center-weighted metering mode.  This metering mode averages the exposure of the entire frame, but as the name implies, gives emphasis to the center of the photograph.  If you are shooting portraits this is the best metering mode to use.  Use this metering mode and a low ISO in good lighting conditions to get the most out of your portraits.

Spot or Point or Partial Metering: This metering mode lets you meter the subject in the center of your frame, if you are able to select focus points, on some cameras it will meter the selected focus point (AF point).  Your camera will ignore the rest of the frame and will only meter the subject at the center or at the AF point, (if your camera allows this).   This is good for brightly backlight situations.

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