metering modes

Having the right metering mode will help you to control the exposure, if you are not keeping the correct metering mode at the right place and at the right time, you will get underexposed or overexposed images.

So understanding the types of metering modes is a significant thing for the photographers, there are different types of metering modes presented in the camera. The name of it may vary from one brand to another, I’ll talk about this in detail so that you will know what all the modes there are in the camera?

Note: A common term for the Evaluative mode is the zone mode, if you look at the Nikon it will have the Matrix mode and Fujifilm will show the multiple modes, so you have to know about these things before shooting with the particular camera.

Spot Metering

The Spot metering will only check out the smaller area of the scene, it allows the light on your focus point and ignores the rest of the things. This is the best choice for portraits, close ups, and macro shots.

If you are using the spot metering then make sure the focus point is at the center or not. In some cameras, you can change the focus point but in some, you can’t change it, so evaluate it before using this mode.

While using the metering mode, do research on how it is working, it may differ from one company to another. You can use the spot metering at a harsh light condition, so that it will mostly focus the subject in a tiny area for a better results.

Finally, see your subject clothing’s whether it is a light or dark color because spot metering will change the color tone accordingly to it.

Evaluative / Matrix Metering

Basically, this is the default mode in most of the cameras and is used for everyday photography. The Evaluative metering will take light from the entire scenario and it automatically calculates the average exposure value for you.

Because of this, it will be suitable for every scene and light conditions but the thing is it can’t perform well if you are having more light on one side and lesser on the other end. In those times it will be challenging for you to take the pictures.

Evaluative metering is used for every scenario like landscapes, group pictures, wide-angle and many more. Before shooting, get a look at whether it is a bright or dark scene otherwise it will affect the images.

If you are okay with the result you can continue to take the pictures or else you need to adjust the exposure for balanced output.

Center-Weighted / Average Metering

The center-weighted metering mode will get the correct exposure in the center of your image, it mostly like the Evaluative metering but focusing on the subject is a little bit different in the center weighted metering.

Here in this mode it only focuses on the center and ignores everything from that so that it helps you to take the close-up shots and larger subjects. When you are placing the subject at the center of the frame and the sun is behind the subject then it will get the exposure for the face correctly.

However, the rest of the area will be overexposed because of the harsh sunlight, so plan it when you are shooting with the center-weighted metering mode.

Note: Most of the camera will automatically detect the reflected light and it will decide the correct exposure for you. At that time, it will be easier for you to capture the images.

Partial Metering

It is more like a spot metering, but the only difference is that the coverage of the area is quite bigger than the spot metering. The partial metering covers the center frame in the viewfinder and this will be useful if you have a brighter background.

Whether the subject is people or shooting wildlife you can make use of the partial metering to get nice detailed images.

When to use a particular metering mode?

Unfortunately, you can’t be fixating on a particular thing, but by experimenting you will get an idea about the metering modes and their uses. Like I said earlier, you can try the different metering modes at different times. Every camera has a certain act, try to figure it out and use it wisely.

To put it in simple terms, let’s say the spot metering mode can be used for brighter situations and the partial metering mode too. These two modes will evaluate the perfect exposure on the subject and not on the background.

Lastly, the center-weighted and evaluative metering modes are somewhat similar, these can be used for portraits and other shooting activities. Both are applicable for most of the situations, so you can use these two at those times.

By practicing, you will have an idea about when should you use this one and when shouldn’t you use this one. So keep on shooting and test it multiple times for understanding the concept of metering modes.

Final Thoughts

While shooting make sure you are using the correct metering mode, I hope this article helps you to understand the idea of metering modes.

Leave a comment below about your thoughts on metering modes.