When should I use center weighted metering?

Metering is one of those tricky things you need to be in charge of when you use the clever modes on the camera. Thankfully, it’s not as hard as people make out. Centre weighted metering or for our American cousins call center weighted metering biases is the metering towards what you’re focusing on.  It does something like 75% of it’s metering on the middle 25% of the frame.

Center weighted metering

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The dog here is much paler than the surrounding grass, and the center weighted metering has pushed the metering to be more about the dog than about the surroundings. This means that the dog is exposed properly. Matrix/Evaluative/multi metering would tend to overexpose the dog as it tried to get the whole shot to a nice exposure and struggled with the darker grass.

This is a portrait, so the subject is more important than the surrounding grass and centre weighted metering is mode to use.   In fact, we suggest that you use centre weighted metering as your default mode for any pictures where you have a defined subject – what we call portraits – whether it’s a flower, bird, boyfriend, or architectural feature. It’s not a bad idea to leave it in center weighted as a default because, you may find something suddenly happens and you want to take picture a I’m using a lot butnd centre weighted would be best. You very rarely get a sudden need to take a landscape where matrix is more appropriate.

You might be tempted to use spot or partial metering for this kind of picture – this is rarely a good idea as the tiny spot is  hard to position. But that’s another story.