What Is Metering In Photography?

Metering In Simple Words

Metering in photography refers to the method by which a camera measures the light in a scene to determine the ''correct'' exposure.

Metering Modes

There are three main metering modes we will discuss

  • Matrix (Evaluative) Metering
  • Center-Weighted Metering
  • Spot Metering

Here's a photo showing the metering modes and their icons, which you can easily recognize in your camera's interface.

Metering modes in photography, Matrix/Evaluative mode, Center Weighted mode, and Spot Metering mode.


The Evaluative Metering Mode

The Evaluative metering mode takes into account almost the entire frame when evaluating the light.

This mode is often the default setting on most devices and works well when the scene is evenly lit.

The Center Weighted Metering Mode

The Center Weighted Metering Mode, as the name suggests, evaluates the center of the frame.

It ignores the corners and focuses on a circular area in the middle.

This metering mode is useful, for example, when capturing portraits with uneven lighting in the corners.

The Spot Metering Mode

The Spot metering mode considers a small spot typically in the center of your frame.

It's similar to Center Weighted, but with a much smaller radius.

This metering mode is great for exposing small surfaces, such as a person's eyes.

However, it's important to note that the rest of the image might be significantly overexposed or underexposed.

💡 Tip

When you switch your camera to fully manual mode, the metering modes will measure the light but they won't adjust the exposure. In fully manual mode, the photographer takes full control and makes the decisions regarding exposure.

Which Metering Mode is the Best?

There is no definitive answer to this question.

Each metering mode serves a different purpose.

Evaluative mode is the easiest to use and generally the most practical.

Some photographers argue that Center Weighted mode allows for more artistic control, while others find Spot metering ideal for creating dramatic photos.

In Conclusion

Metering modes assist your camera in determining the ''correct'' exposure.
By changing the metering mode, you alter the areas of the frame that your camera analyzes.

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