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As you've seen when you half-press the Shutter button the camera auto focuses, meters, and possibly calculates white balance and ISO depending on your camera settings. When the camera has decided on all of these parameters it beeps and flashes a light in the view finder. If you want, you can continue to hold the button down at the half way point while you reframe your shot. This is sometimes necessary to get the focus and metering that you want. Once you are ready to take the shot, you can press the button the rest of the way. So I half-press the Shutter button and there is a little stop there that I can feel and a few things happened. It auto focuses.
If I am in auto white balance mode, it white balances. It blacks out the LCD screen so that it's not shining in my eyes as I am looking through the view finder, and if you could see in the view finder right now you would see the shutter speed, aperture, and possibly ISO that the camera has calculated. I say possibly because it will only do that if you're set on Auto ISO. I am going to let go of the button and now the screen turns back on and you can see the exposure settings that its chosen and now they just went black because if I let go off the button, the exposure settings eventually timeout.
That's after about 8 seconds and they go back to here and now I have to re-meter if I want to take another shot. One more bit of very important metering behavior on your camera. When you half-press that Shutter button to meter, as long as you hold the button down the camera will hold that same metering even as you pan around to areas that might normally be metered differently. If you half-press that button to meter and let go of the button, the camera will hold its metering, but as you move it around it will re-meter on the fly.
Then you can change your position; press the button rest of the way to take a shot at that particular metering. So it's important to understand the difference between those two things. Eventually, the camera will time out and the metering screen will go blank and it will go back to its default position of not having any metering at all.
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