Metering Mode is a setting to measure the brightness entered the camera in order to get the correct Exposure. Most camera setting Metering Mode in Evaluative metering by default. Therefore, you will see the symbol like an eye, which shown in the green circle.
There are four Metering Mode, each of them has different area in detecting the brightness. Most photography lesson demonstrate back light shooting in this topic, but I got something different for today's lesson. :)
1) Evaluative Metering
- This is a standard mode which suitable to most scenes. It is an all-around metering mode, the camera will sets the exposure automatically to suit most scenes such as portrait and backlit subject.
2) Centerweighted Average Metering
- The Metering is concentrated at the center and averaged with the rest of the scene. It will gain more details at the background but the front subject will get darker in back light shooting. Centerweighted Average metering got darker picture compare with Evaluative metering.
3) Partial Metering
- This mode is more suitable for scenes where there are very bright and very dark scenes. The metering is in a small target which cover about 9% of the center of the viewfinder. It is more suitable for back lighting subject. Brightness of both subject and background will be balanced in this Metering Mode, the details of background are lesser compare with Evaluative Mode.
4) Spot Metering
- Spot Metering is available in Mid level and Professional level cameras. It has a smaller metering area compare with Partial Metering, which is about 3.8% of the center of the viewfinder. It looks like Prime's head to me ^^.
In these cloud photos, you can see Spot Metering got the most details of the cloud and darkest of all. It is because your camera do not exposure instantly, therefore, more details will be captured. You might think, why don't you just decrease the Exposure to get a darker picture if darker one can get the more details? Well, it worth a shot but you probably will not get what you want. :)
Please be aware that Exposure and Metering are different setting, but these setting will affect each other. If you decrease the Exposure, you will get a darker version ONLY, you do not gain details for that. But Metering Mode is the Area you want your camera to concentrate.
Do you remember the chapter "How does Exposure work"? Exposure obtained when the Shutter open. If you shoot the backlit subject or sky, your camera will capture the "bright" thing first. The Exposure is still CORRECT because you do not specify the light area you want your camera to concentrate. Do not get me wrong, Area to concentrate does not same as Focus. Therefore, if the background is too bright, your camera will capture the background instead of the subject.
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