Metering

by Darcy
(Red Deer,Ab Canada)

I have read your site over and over...you give simple reasoning with almost all of your topic's which I appreciate!I'm wondering if you can help me understand metering in my camera...nikon D 80.Is spot metering the same as the line metering?And is it suppose to make you not reset for your next picture if your shooting something where the light doesn't change?Or are they 2 totally different things?

Hi Darcy,

Glad you like my site on digital photo tips. I am a Canon camera guy and have never owned a Nikon. I am not familiar with "line metering" and searched around the web a bit and found nothing on it, including Nikon's website.

I almost never have used spot metering. It can be useful when the light on your subject is quite different from the light in the rest of your photograph.

If the lighting does not change and your composition is very similar, then use your exposure should remain the same as well.

I prefer evaluative metering and look at my camera's histogram to make a judgment on how successful my exposure was. I use exposure override quite a bit and often overexpose on purpose if my subject is back-lit or if my subject is dominated with mostly white or light tones (like a beach portrait or snow scene).

I purposefully override to underexpose if my subject is predominantly dark tones.

I also shoot in raw mode on everything, allowing me to process my images in a variety of ways afterwards without any loss of quality. I can adjust the exposure, contrast, color, sharpness and many other aspects.

Nikon's D 80 uses 3D Color Matrix Metering II and makes decisions on exposure based on comparisons with a huge database of similar photos. Matrix Metering II analyzes brightness, color, contrast, selected focus area and camera to subject distance.

Exposure evaluative systems on digital SLRs are extremely sophisticated and give great result in most instances. The obvious tip is to shoot a test image first, evaluate it on your LCD screen (learn about histograms) and make a quick adjustment if necessary.

Good Luck!


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Jan 27, 2012
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Good question
by: Anonymous

Good question on exposure meter settings

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