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Camera Metering Modes

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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Recently, one of my trainees asked me about the camera metering modes function. This topic is a bit confusing for beginners, so I found it quite interesting for this month blog post.

Recently, one of my trainees asked me about the camera metering modes function. This topic is a bit confusing for beginners, so I found it quite interesting for this month blog post.

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What is Metering Mode?

Objects reflect the light however they don’t reflect the same percentage amount of incident light. Different material reflect different amount of light. Camera measures the reflective light of an object based on 18 percent gray. In other words, camera measures the brightness of a scene and then sets the exposure accordingly.

But there are some specific situation that camera measures the exposure incorrectly such as photographing snow or sky. Camera measures the amount of light reflected from snow based on 18 percent gray and what you get is dull muddy photograph which doesn’t show the beauty of snow.

Changing the metering modes help you to get the right picture without missing any quality.
These modes do not work in Basic Zones such as portrait, sport and close-up modes.

18% Gray

What types of Metering Modes are in camera?

These metering modes vary in different camera models. You will find four types of metering in Canon cameras which has been listed below:
1- Evaluate Mode
2- Partial
3- Point
4- Center- weighted average

In Nikon cameras theses names are different:
1- Matrix (Evaluate mode)
2- Point
3- Center– weighted average

What is Evaluate or Matrix Mode?

This is the default mode in most DSLR cameras. Camera measures the light intensity in several points on the scene and then combines and calculates them to find the required exposure. This mode works in most situations and it’s a good reason that has been set as default in most cameras. It’s good for landscape photography or even street photography.

What is Point Metering Mode?

With this mode, camera measures a very small portion of a scene which is about 1 to 5 percent and ignores the rest light of the scene. So the exposure is calculated based on the single point.

You can use this mode when you are photographing a bright background with small dark foreground such as a bird in the sky or a person is standing with the sun behind (but the person gets small portion of viewfinder). If you don’t use this mode then the subject will be too dark or even silhouette but this mode helps you to have enough light on your subject and keeps the details.

What is Partial Metering Mode?

This mode considers a larger area compared to point metering. It calculates 10 to 15 percent of the center of viewfinder. This mode mostly can be found in Canon cameras.

What is Center- weighted Mode?

It covers 60 to 80 percent of viewfinder. Use this mode when your subject is close to camera, means that your subject takes more portion of the scene such as close up portrait with back light.

Web Courses Bangkok offers Photography courses to help you to know your camera better and step in photography world confidently. It’s your choice to join private or group classes. If you are interested, contact us and we will provide you a great photography class.

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