Back in the ’80’s, any camera with spot metering was super cool…for me anyway!
Spot Metering – Mainly for advanced use where you want to pick out just 3-4% of an image and meter from that, similar to centre-weighted but more extreme.
For example, there may be a scene with a particularly light or dark area that you simply must have exposed correctly when the rest isn’t so important. Think of spot metering like a laser beam that you can point at any area within a scene and expose for it.
Some later DSLR’s such as the Canon EOS 1D Mark III can take up to 8 spot meter readings, take an average and use that for exposure, very accurate.
I usually use evaluative 99% of the time so don’t feel you need to experiment too much with this in the beginning but it can be fun to learn.
As I mentioned earlier, many options on a DSLR are not necessary for most situations…it is the composition and lighting that matter. I also find that many people, including myself on occasion, get lazy and just think “that’s ok, I will correct any minor fluctuations later in Photoshop”. Even though that is possible and easy, it is still better to learn the good old fashioned way!
We touched on spot metering in a short video in the absolute beginners section which you can see here. The idea is simple enough but I rarely use spot metering, I use a different but related method whereby I will use evaluative metering, zoom into (or walk up to) the area I want to meter for, lock in a meter reading using exposure lock, recompose and shoot! Try that…
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