Understanding and Choosing Camera Metering Modes

Hello Photographers! In this video we’ll be learning about the different metering modes available on your camera and how to choose the best metering mode for…
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  1. Spyros Heniadis

    +Rob Millward, in concerts/bar/nightlife shots, center weighted can be very
    helpful. It depends on the situation.

    For instance, in a bar/nightlife setting, there’s typically pretty low and
    even(ish) ambient lighting. In that short of situation center weighted
    could be helpful because it will allow you to precisely meter off a subject
    in the center of the frame, but still balance in the background, which
    (depending on the situation) shouldn’t be an extreme difference in

    However in a concert setting, there is often very harsh/direct light on the
    performers, with very dark/unlit areas surrounding them. In cases like that
    I prefer spot metering, because what tends to happen with center
    weighted/evaluative metering in those situations is that the performer(s)
    are WAY over exposed due to the targeted lights being overpowered by the
    large expanses of (relatively) dark areas.

    With Spot, when you meter off the performer, you’ll get a good exposure for
    the performer, which is usually the key subject in your composition.

    What I suggest is that you test the different modes in those situations and
    find which mode works best for you and gives you the results you’re looking
    for. Lighting situations vary so much that my assumptions may be way off
    from the actual conditions you typically shoot in, so it’s always good to
    do your own testing and evaluation.

  2. Spyros Heniadis

    Thanks +Michael Nikonman!

    I would agree with that statement. The Center weighted will give you more
    control and predictable results, as you know the the center is always
    weighted, whereas with Matrix, you’re never really sure which “zone” is
    being weighted.

  3. kld34

    I been split 50/50 with spot metering and evaluative/zone. Recently got a
    5D MKIII and I found sometimes with using zone metering I was getting over
    or underexposed pictures. Using spot metering allowed me to get more
    predictable results of what I wanted more of the time.

    The only downside is if you hand your camera to someone else I generally
    needed to change modes and change how focus points were used etc. I started
    using manual metering more if I’m ever in a situation where I’m not getting
    what I want.

  4. Spyros Heniadis


    If you’re shooting surf videos and you’re going for an overall exposure of
    the entire scene, the surfer, the wave/ocean, the sky, etc… you’ll
    generally want to use the Zone metering mode on your camera

    This will try to balance the entire scene, but keep in mind, if you’re
    shooting into the sun or a very bright sky, the camera won’t be able to
    compensate for the intensity of the sun.

  5. Vy Chi

    Thanh you for another great video. On a cloudy day what metering mode is
    best? I am new at photography thus, only using the default setting. I will
    be in Europe for a few weeks and will be taking many pictures in museums,
    churches and street scenes. Could you advice on which mode is best for
    indoor like the British museum and inside a large cathedral? Thank you in
    advance for your advises.

  6. Shashi Moghe

    Sir very valuable feedback on metering mode explained in very easy to
    follow language. Thanks.

  7. Kim Hall

    Thank you for the awesome tutorials. I have had a Canon T3i for ten years,
    and just purchased a Canon T5i. I am trying to step into the more advanced
    manual mode. I photograph my daughters volleyball tournaments (indoors no
    flash and horrible lighting) year round. I also shoot interior photography
    for my design work and for Real Estate agents. I do very little macro or
    still life photography. So my question is what would be the best metering
    mode for my two types of photography? I am assuming I should use the
    center weighted average mode for both, but I would like to hear what you
    think. Thank you for your time. 

  8. alexlanza79

    I really like your videos and in my opinion you’re one of the best as a
    teacher if not the best, I love the way you explain things. However I see
    also other pros and I’m doing my studying, but honestly I don’t know if I’m
    learning more or I get more confused. The reason is that a buch of pros
    support the matrix/evaluative mode and totally despise spot saying “Never
    use it!” and vice versa. Of course getting different result in exposure and

    I listen to every opinion to try to understand better, but I believe I’m
    gonna try for myself taking into account what I shoot, how I shoot and the
    end result of my style ’cause otherwise everyone saying that they prefer
    using one over the other so to me is really just confusing and shows me
    that photography is really not a matter of what you do or for how long
    you’ve been doing photos but only on how you do it and what is your final

  9. Eric Jackson

    Can you shoot spot metering in Aperture priority? I shoot with a Canon 1Ds
    Mark III.

  10. CinemaInsane

    I do lot of macro photography, and I keep my Canon in Spot Meterng Mode by
    default. So far, I haven’t had a reason to change it when I switch to
    portraits or anything other type of photography (plus, I’m really lazy
    about changing settings like that).

  11. jc morelia

    Do you shoot in any particular mode when applying these metering
    rules?(aperture mode, manual…etc)

  12. knightrider3000

    im a slow person but i feel im good when i listen to your explanations.
    it’s very fast but clear and precise

  13. turkishexpress

    I have always shot in spot metering mode but then again I do mostly
    portrait photography. Good video.

  14. monitor1862

    Just subbed. I dig your style of explaining things and I want to start
    taking better photos.

  15. paul boutchia

    What about concerts? Spot Metering should be used? thanks! Paul, Great

  16. Tamer Ragheb

    Oh yea… +Spyros Heniadis your video is great.. Camera Metering videos
    are perfectly explained.. 🙂 Thank you Buddy… :)))))))))))))))))))))))))

  17. Pradeep Karavadi

    Your video is an eyeopener. Very simple to understand and very useful.
    Thanks a ton.