Metering modes


TPF Noob!
Jun 25, 2007
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New York City
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hey guys,

i'm confused how to set the metering mode;[SIZE=-1] evaluative, partial, center weighted, spot.
Can you briefly explain what these mean exactly. Do I change it on the camera or the flash?
I have a canon 5D and a 580EX.

thank you in advance--
I only use Evaluative and Spot, evaluative averages the whole frame, while spot focuses on the center of your viewfinder. In the snow i use SPOT since the snow blows everyhting out, and causes under exposure normally, evaluative i use most all other times.
Julie, metering modes are set in the camera, not the flash. I'm a bit confused by your question btw. Looking at your website, the pictures look good. Did you shoot those using auto mode for metering?
Evaluative = Measures taken by the 35 zones which map to predetermined exposure values in the camera

Partial = Metering taken from the 8% of the center of frame

Center Weighted = The entire frame is used for metering with more weight given towards the center of the frame.

Spot = Metering taken from the 3% of teh center of frame.

More detailed explanation is in your manual.
These settings are changed on the camera itself .. not the flash.

With flash enabled... the behavior of E-TTL metering with flash differs depending on metering mode selected.

btw... it looks like you have some experience in photography. What camera were you using prior to the 5D? Most auto-matic cameras have the same modes.. just named differently depending on manufacturer.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I had the 20D before the 5D. Obviously with my type of questioning the 5D is a bit over my head with no Automatic settings, but I want to learn and the best way for ME to learn is to put the camera on M, and experience it.

I'm not even sure where to look for what the metering mode is set on. I can't seem to find it in the Menu. All I know is when I go to file info on one of my shots, it says Metering Unknown.

Any help is priceless to me.
Glad I could help out... the 20D has similar settings as well. As you have discovered, the 5D actually has less metering modes... A design decision based on the market the Canon 5D was intended for.


see the right most button that has symbol surrounded by a square? That button plus turning the main dial at the top of the camera will cycle through the modes.
No problemo...

BTW.. if you ever decide to get another camera as a backup.. like a 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D... The metering mode is the changed in the same manner. Canon 1-series are different.

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