Invincible metering method – “Matrix metering” that can be used at any time


For novice or amateur photographers, metering often seems difficult to master, and there are many different metering modes built into the camera, so when should you use which metering mode to get the desired effect? Now let the author share how to use “Matrix Metering” to deal with 99% of the daily environment! After you finish your studies, you can take pictures at any time without changing the metering mode!

What is the metering mode first?
In modern digital cameras, most of them also have at least 3 metering modes:

  • Matrix/Evaluative Metering
  • Center-weighted Metering
  • Spot Metering

The difference between them is actually only the selection of the range used for calculating the luminosity. Matrix metering will select the area of the full-frame photo for calculation, spot metering will use the focus point or a very small area in the middle for metering, and center-weighted metering will use between the two.

A good partner for matrix metering: exposure compensation button (+/-EV)
When using matrix metering, there is a very useful and cooperative function in the camera, which is the exposure compensation button (+/-EV)! The Exposure Compensation button allows you to increase or decrease the exposure value yourself. One thing to note is that this button is not adjusted in post-production like Photoshop. Instead, you can directly increase or decrease the aperture, shutter or ISO to achieve the change of exposure, so it is more worthwhile to use it as a post-modification.

To use the exposure compensation button, simply press the button to turn the dial, or click to add or subtract. Please read the camera manual for details!

Tips when using matrix metering:
(1) When the scene is normally exposed to light

In the normal light-receiving environment, that is, shooting in the absence of very bright or very dark conditions, modern digital cameras have been able to measure the light very accurately, try to maintain a balance between the light level and the dark level of the photo, and set the aperture intelligently, Shutter and ISO values. Therefore, no matter whether you are outdoors or indoors, as long as you are not shooting under extreme light sources, you can trust the ability of matrix metering and shoot directly!

(2) In backlit/backlit scenes

When you are shooting backlit/backlit photos, your subject will be facing away from the light source and the lens will be facing the light source. At this time, the camera’s matrix metering will think that the photo has a lot of light (assuming your subject does not cover the entire frame), As a result, the overall photo is darkened to achieve balance, and the subject becomes underexposed or silhouetted. Of course, if the ultimate goal is to shoot a silhouette, it is very convenient, otherwise you have to greatly increase the exposure compensation (sometimes need +3EV) or use the flash to fill in the main light!

(3) When shooting black/white scenes

When black/white things take up a large part of the photo, matrix metering will make mistakes, thinking that the environment is very dark/very light and get the wrong settings of overexposure and underexposure, so we have to use experience before pressing the shutter. -/+ EV to correct the absence of matrix metering.

Explanation: If you encounter black things, you need to reduce EV, and if you encounter white things, you need to increase EV (many students will also make mistakes!)

(4) When taking portraits

Normally, the face of the portrait should have the correct exposure when taking a portrait photo, so pay more attention to the exposure. When you are using matrix metering, be sure to first look at the light around the subject for +/-EV compensation.

(5) When the front is facing the sun/light source

When your photo will contain the sun or a strong light source, unless you are using a wide-angle lens and the light source is only a small part of the photo, the camera will lower the exposure and make the photo darker. At this time, you may wish to have +0.7 or +1.3EV (adjusted according to the situation) before shooting, so that the photo can return to normal exposure.

(6) When shooting night scenes

When shooting night scenes, if the photo is full of light sources (such as neon lights, Christmas lights, etc.), you need to increase the EV, otherwise the resulting photo will be dark; but if the night is the majority, you need to reduce the EV EV, so that the black areas are not overexposed and become gray.

Of course, the matrix metering at this time is just a reference, it is best to use the manual mode to fully grasp the exposure value!