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Digital Camera Metering

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Looking at the most intricate details of the digital camera as a technologically advanced device a lot of functions come into play. Such s a point is that of the digital camera metering. This discussion focuses towards that intention of understanding and knowing the details of the component. Basically speaking the metering system in a digital camera measures the amount of light in the scene and calculates the best-fit exposure value based on the metering mode explained below. Automatic exposure is a standard feature in all the digital cameras. All that is requires to be done is select the metering mode, point the camera and press the shutter release. Most of the time, this will result in a correct exposure. The detailed explanation and analysis of the entire process is as follows in the next lines of this discussion.

The metering method defines which information of the scene is used to calculate the exposure value and how it is determined. Metering modes depend on the camera and the brand, but are mostly variations of the following three types. Primarily, matrix or evaluative metering. This is probably the most complex metering mode, offering the best exposure in most circumstances. Essentially, the scene is split up into a matrix of metering zones, which are evaluated individually. The overall exposure is based on an algorithm specific to that camera, the details of which are closely guarded by the manufacturer. Often they are based on comparing the measurements to the exposure of typical scenes.

Next comes the center-weighted average metering. This is probably the most common metering method implemented in nearly every digital camera and the default for those digital cameras that don't offer metering mode selection. This method averages the exposure of the entire frame but gives extra weight to the center and is ideal for portraits. Another important is the spot or partial metering. The spot metering allows the user to meter the subject in the center of the frame or on some cameras at the selected AF point. Only a small area of the whole frame is metered and the exposure of the rest of the frame is ignored. This type of metering is useful for brightly backlit, macro, and moon shots.

Again a lot has been revealed and a lot remains to be done so, yet the rudimentary foundation of string fundamentals can be established via the lines of the above lines of this discussion. It is only hoped that the lines get their true respect from the readers of them and users of the digital camera to properly deliver the due respect that the digital camera metering technique deserves.

Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.snapjunky.com. Visit his digital camera guide and learn how to take better pictures with your digicam.
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