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Metering modes

From: Shooting with the Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5)

Video: Metering modes

Accurate metering is critical to getting good results from your camera. And fortunately, metering technology is now so good that your camera should yield correct exposure 80%-90% of the time. To help ensure that your metering results are good though, your camera offers several different metering modes, some of which might be more appropriate for one type of situation than another. Evaluative metering divides your scene into a grid, meters each cell of that grid, and then averages all of those results together to come up with a single overall exposure setting. Partial metering meters the circular area that covers about 6.5% of the middle of the frame.

Metering modes

Accurate metering is critical to getting good results from your camera. And fortunately, metering technology is now so good that your camera should yield correct exposure 80%-90% of the time. To help ensure that your metering results are good though, your camera offers several different metering modes, some of which might be more appropriate for one type of situation than another. Evaluative metering divides your scene into a grid, meters each cell of that grid, and then averages all of those results together to come up with a single overall exposure setting. Partial metering meters the circular area that covers about 6.5% of the middle of the frame.

It's good for backlit situations such as if someone is standing in front of a window. Spot metering meters only a very small circle in the middle of the frame, one that covers approximately 2.8% of the viewfinder. You'll use this for times when you're facing a high dynamic range situation, but you need to be absolutely certain that you have detail in one particular spot. Center-weighted average metering is like Evaluative, the first one that I talked about, but more statistical weight is given to the center of the frame when all of the various meterings are being averaged together.

For most of the scenes you'll ever shoot though, Evaluative will work fine. In fact, you may find that you never change metering from Evaluative. This is another thing that's covered in detail in Foundations of Photography: Exposure. There's no external control for changing metering mode on the Rebel. Instead, you have to go into the menu, go over here to the second shooting menu, down to Metering mode, you can see that it shows you your current Metering mode. Hit the SET button and here are your four options and they're plainly labeled, so you don't have to worry about remembering these somewhat obscured little icons. Evaluative, Partial metering, Spot metering and Center-weight averaging.

Of course, you'll most likely stay on the Evaluative most of the time. Partial metering is great for portraits or for dealing with backlighting situations. Spot metering for times when you really want to be sure that a particular thing is well exposed. And Center-weight average is also possibly going to help you when you're dealing with backlit situations. Honestly, it's a little bit redundant. Partial metering usually does a better job and gives you a nicer way of dealing with backlight and ensuring that you've got good metering in the centre of your frame.

Again, after you've changed meter, this is a lot like White Balance. Be sure that you go back to a metering that's appropriate for the rest of your shooting, which most often is going to be Evaluative.

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Image for Shooting with the Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5)
Shooting with the Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5)

88 video lessons · 21060 viewers

Ben Long
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  1. 5m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. What is an SLR?
      2m 39s
    3. How to use this course
      1m 53s
  2. 22m 33s
    1. Basic camera anatomy
      2m 39s
    2. Attaching a lens to your camera
      2m 36s
    3. Batteries and media cards
      2m 44s
    4. Powering up
      2m 38s
    5. Menu navigation and factory defaults
      4m 1s
    6. Setting the date and time
      1m 31s
    7. Setting the language
      1m 7s
    8. Formatting the media card
      2m 48s
    9. Holding the camera
      2m 29s
  3. 21m 23s
    1. Setting Auto mode
      4m 14s
    2. The viewfinder display
      5m 31s
    3. The LCD screen
      2m 15s
    4. Autofocus basics
      2m 38s
    5. Lens controls
      1m 17s
    6. Flash in Auto mode
      1m 26s
    7. Image review
      2m 28s
    8. Image playback
      1m 34s
  4. 21m 14s
    1. What Program mode does
      1m 57s
    2. Exposure compensation
      2m 15s
    3. Metering revisited
      1m 57s
    4. Changing ISO
      2m 51s
    5. Program shift
      2m 30s
    6. Image format and size
      4m 21s
    7. Creative Auto mode
      2m 20s
    8. The Info button
      1m 17s
    9. The Quick Control button
      1m 46s
  5. 6m 21s
    1. Manually selecting a focus point
      2m 33s
    2. Focus modes
      1m 19s
    3. Manual focus
      2m 29s
  6. 7m 30s
    1. Auto white balance
      1m 54s
    2. White balance presets
      2m 7s
    3. Manual white balance
      3m 29s
  7. 8m 56s
    1. Drive mode
      3m 16s
    2. The self-timer
      2m 19s
    3. Remote controls and Bulb mode
      3m 21s
  8. 19m 38s
    1. Metering modes
      2m 19s
    2. Exposure lock
      56s
    3. Aperture Priority mode
      2m 50s
    4. Depth-of-field preview
      2m 11s
    5. Shutter Priority mode
      2m 23s
    6. Manual mode
      2m 46s
    7. Auto exposure bracketing
      2m 34s
    8. Auto lighting optimizer
      1m 59s
    9. Peripheral illumination correction
      1m 40s
  9. 18m 0s
    1. Metadata display
      3m 2s
    2. LCD brightness
      52s
    3. Rotation
      1m 4s
    4. Rating images
      1m 43s
    5. Applying creative filters
      2m 6s
    6. Protecting and deleting images
      3m 26s
    7. File numbering options
      2m 51s
    8. Creating folders
      48s
    9. Copyright information
      2m 8s
  10. 4m 55s
    1. What is a scene mode?
      1m 8s
    2. Scene modes and image formats
      3m 47s
  11. 6m 34s
    1. Fill flash
      1m 2s
    2. Flash exposure compensation
      1m 52s
    3. Red-eye reduction
      1m 36s
    4. Night Portrait scene mode
      2m 4s
  12. 6m 59s
    1. Picture styles defined
      2m 7s
    2. Selecting a picture style
      1m 38s
    3. Adjusting predefined styles
      2m 20s
    4. Monochrome picture styles
      54s
  13. 13m 53s
    1. Activating Live view
      4m 42s
    2. Focusing in Live view
      5m 31s
    3. Aspect ratio
      1m 35s
    4. Live view's drawbacks
      2m 5s
  14. 12m 55s
    1. Configuring and activating video
      5m 17s
    2. Focusing
      4m 6s
    3. Exposure control
      2m 11s
    4. Movie playback
      1m 21s
  15. 15m 6s
    1. Custom menus
      2m 11s
    2. Custom functions
      1m 31s
    3. Exposure level increments
      1m 0s
    4. ISO expansion
      1m 8s
    5. Long exposure noise reduction
      1m 9s
    6. High ISO speed noise reduction
      1m 46s
    7. Highlight tone priority
      1m 53s
    8. AF-assist beam firing
      56s
    9. Mirror lockup
      1m 17s
    10. Shutter/AE Lock button
      2m 15s
  16. 4m 37s
    1. Camera and sensor cleaning
      1m 4s
    2. Operating conditions and temperatures
      2m 9s
    3. Firmware updates
      1m 24s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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