Photography Tutorials and Articles

Camera’s Built-in Light Meter

How to Use Camera’s Built-in Light Meter

In the previous article, I talked about Exposure Vs White Balance. That discussion brought out a few questions regarding how to measure the exposure. Therefore, in this article, I am going to look into Camera’s Built-in Light Meter.  

As we already know, photographers can adjust the exposure by using Shutter speed, aperture and ISO. However, the question is how to measure the light. 

Camera’s Built-in Light Meter   

In the old days, photographers used to carry around a Light Meter, if they wanted to set an accurate exposure. Below are pictures of an old and a new Light Meter.

All the new cameras are equipped with an advanced built-in light meter. However, to get the most of this advanced feature, you need to know your camera’s built-in light meter. 

In this article, I am going to look into three primary camera’s light meter system.

Different Metering Modes

Generally speaking, almost all new digital cameras come with these three metering modes. Having said that, camera manufacturers may use different names to call the same techniques.

Average Metering Mode

In Average metering mode, a camera reads the light for many different parts in the frame and creates an average reading for the exposure. 

Average metering mode is a perfect choice for photography scenes that everything is equally important, such as landscape photography.

Centre Weighted Metering Mode

In this metering mode, a camera meters everything in the frame but pays more attention to the centre of the frame. 

Centre Weighted is the best metering mode, whenever you want to decent exposure for the scene with correct exposure for the centre of the frame. 

For instance, if you take a picture of your friends in the park, you want to have them in perfect exposure. Therefore, you need to frame them in the centre, and your camera would meter for everything in the scene with more accurate exposure for the centre. 

Spot Metering Mode 

Firstly, the Spot Metering mode behaves differently in different cameras makes. Generally speaking, in Spot metering mode, cameras targeting a tiny portion of the frame and read the exposure only for that part. In most cameras, the spot metering is set to the centre of the frame. However, in many advanced cameras, the spot metering and focusing point are linked. Therefore, wherever the focusing point is, the camera measures for that spot and ignores the rest of the scene. 

For example, for photographing a backlit subject or dark background, the spot metering mode is perfect. Thus, it ignores the brightness/darkness of the environment and read the exposure for the particular subject.

Do you want to learn more about Camera’s Built-in Light Meter?

Omnilargess Photography workshops focus on many hidden features in digital cameras.

I dedicate a good portion of our digital camera workshops to discuss the Exposure and the Metering Modes.

Digital Photography Bootcamp is one of our most popular photography courses. Check the link below for upcoming classes.

The next Bootcamp starts on February 19th, 2020. There are a few spots left.

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That is all for now. Stay tuned for my next photography Tips. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions, feel free to send us your questions, and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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