The first thing you should know is that the cameras meter is trying to make everything it sees a wonderful colour called 18% grey. Which is great if you want flat, featureless nothing images. But you want your images to pop. Which is why you gotta meter better.
I live my shooting life in spot metering mode. And on the Canon system, spot metering uses the centre 2% of the frame and gives the exposure indication from there. In Av (Aperture Priority) mode it will affect the shutter speed. In Tv (Shutter Priority) it will affect your f/stop.
Centre Weighted Average uses the middle 60-80% of the frame and feathers out from there. Still very useful and probably my 2nd choice.
Evaluative (Matrix) Metering uses the entire scene to determine an exposure and doesn’t give any weight to any particular area of the frame. Nikon’s matrix metering is purported to draw from 10,000’s of thousands of scenes programmed into the AF system to obtain a correct exposure.
Your camera manual is the best place to learn about all you metering modes. If you haven’t read it yet, you need to.
What’s your favorite metering mode and why do you like it? Let us know below.
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