Metering Modes and Exposure
A camera’s metering mode generally refers to the way the camera itself comes about the correct exposure for a picture.
Today digital cameras users can choose and adjust the metering mode, or how the camera measures the brightness of the subject. Here is a brief introduction to the most common metering modes available.
Spot metering mode;
Spot metering takes a reading from a very small part of the image and ignores the exposure of the rest of the scene.
- 1 – 5% view finder area is measured.
- The readings are usually taken from very centre of the scene.
- This method of metering is very accurate.
- Spot metering is usually used very high contrast scenes.
Here a metering is taken from the whole of the scene first, then the central spot.
- 60 to 80% view finder area measured.
- It is usually possible to adjust the weight/balance of the central part to the peripheral one.
- Less influenced by small areas that vary greatly in brightness at the edges of the viewfinder, more consistent results can be obtained
- Light information comes from the entire scene and is averaged for the final exposure setting.
- No weighting to any particular portion of the metered area.
Partial metering mode
This is most common in Canon cameras.
- 10-15% of the view finder area is measured.
- Partial metering is used when very bright or very dark areas on the edges of the frame would otherwise influence the metering unduly
- Partial metering is found mostly on Canon cameras.
A type of metering first introduced by the Nikon, zone is a type of metering which takes readings from several different areas – or zones – within the scene to produce a calculated average.
- Also called Evaluative/Matrix (Nikon), Evaluative (Canon). This is the default/standard metering setting on a number of cameras.
- Light intensity measures from several points in the scene, and then combined to find the settings for the best exposure.
- The idea behind multi-zone metering mode is to reduce the need to use exposure compensation