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Understanding Metering Modes

Metering is used to measure the brightness of your scene and subject. The camera uses its metering sensor to optimise the exposure settings such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. It works by reading the brightness in multiple areas of the frame. Different metering modes can help determine the areas that will be read by the metering sensor.

Here are some metering modes that can be found in your Nikon camera:

  • Matrix metering mode divides the wide area of the frame into multiple segments that instantly analyses your subject’s brightness and colour against an on-board database of over 30,000 images. By accurately analysing the information, your camera can appropriately select the best overall exposure values. Matrix metering mode is great for beginners or for when you want your camera to evaluate the entire scene.
  • Centre-weighted metering mode focuses on the centre of your frame when determining the best exposure values, while still considering its surroundings. In some Nikon DSLR, the size of the circle in the centre can be adjusted to suit your needs.
  • Spot metering mode causes your camera to only evaluate whatever is at the focal point in your shot and completely ignores the light in the rest of the scene. Focusing on bright or dark areas will give your camera extreme readings, so it is best to focus on a mid-toned subject for setting the best exposure. This is a great mode to use if you are photographing a subject against a bright light source.
  • On some professional Nikon DSLRs, you can choose to use Highlight-weighted metering mode that automatically ensures that highlights are never overexposed even in challenging conditions like in concerts or theatres.

By understanding these metering modes, you will have more control of the light in your image and will be able to create your desired mood.



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