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As you gain more confidence in using your camera you will quickly come across metering – specifically, using different metering modes.

In short, metering is how your camera determines the ideal aperture and shutter speed based on the lighting information of a particular scene.

The latest in my series of sixty-second tips looks at the three most common types of metering modes, how they influence your exposures and what situations to use them.

Matrix / Evaluative

This is the default metering mode for most cameras and an ideal place to learn the ropes.

The camera divides the frame into multiple zones which are analysed for dark and light tones. It uses this information in conjunction with where in the scene you are focusing and calculates the exposure accordingly.

Because the whole frame is being analysed – from the brightest highlights to the darkest shadows – this mode generally produces a good baseline exposure for the majority of situations.


If your subject is placed in the centre of the frame and you want the camera to ignore any lighting information around the edges, centre-weighted metering is a good choice.

The focus point is not considered in this mode and instead the camera bases all its analysis on the information held in the centre of the frame.

This makes centre-weighted metering a good choice for portraits.


Consider this mode a more specific version of centre-weighted metering.

Here, the camera is analysing exposure data based on a single point in the frame – where the focus point is. No other information is taken into consideration so it is very precise.

I use this mode for portrait photography – especially when shooting outside when I want to place my subject in a specific area of light and want to ensure the face is exposed perfectly.


Enjoying these sixty-second tips? Click here to read more posts in this series covering topics like focal length, ISO, depth of field, and more.

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