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Metering Modes

There are three methods your camera has to meter light:

Spot Metering

The camera meters the light indicated by the spot. Use this when there is a relatively small object within your scene which you need to be perfectly exposed. Assures the subject will be correctly exposed in “difficult lighting situations” even though the background is too bright or too dark.

Centered Weighted Metering

The camera meters the entire frame but assigns greatest value to the area indicated by the circle. Use centered weighted metering when there is a wide range of light within the frame by metering off the area you want correctly exposed. This is the classic metering technique for portraits.

Matrix Metering

The camera meters the entire frame then sets exposure for the best overall image. This is used in most situations.


  1. Good metering Questions LaLa. Different cameras use different terminology and have more options You’re right that Evaluative metering is the same as Matrix metering. Both take the full frame and do an evaluation on where the subject is and what the lighting throughout the frame is and then does some magic to have the “right” exposure. One of the reasons this is used the most is because with photo editing technologies you can easily darken or brighten sections later. Then partial weighted metering or partial metering does the same work as evaluative metering, but it uses about 13.5% of the viewfinder rather than evaluating the entire frame. This is great when you have a heavily backlit subject.

  2. Thanks, this was very helpful.

    i didnt know metering existed till I read your article…
    Im still not exactly sure what metering does but I get the drift
    theres one thing im stuck on though…

    my camera has evaluatative metering, partial metering, spot metering and center-weighted average…

    im guessing evaluatative metering is something like matrix metering… am I right?

    but Im not sure what I’d use partial metering for.
    any suggestions?
    thanks again (:


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