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There will be times when you'll want to shoot multiple frames with different compositions but use the same exposure settings for all of them. Panoramas are the most common situation where you will encounter this problem. The Exposure Lock control lets you meter a scene, then lock that exposure in as you take multiple shots. The Exposure Lock or AE Lock button is this one right here, the one with the little asterisk above it. And it's very simple. I press the Shutter button halfway to meter and then press this button.
Now you're not going to see anything back here, but in your viewfinder, you'll see this same little asterisk appear over on the left-hand side. That indicates that exposure is locked and it won't change no matter what you're pointing the camera at. It will stay locked until metering times out. That is, once my meter readings here disappear, then the Exposure Lock is broken. Exposure Lock can also be a critical tool when shooting in Aperture or Shutter Priority mode as we'll see later.
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