Metering mode: What is it and how do you use it?

Build a basic foundation of photographic knowledge by understanding the various metering modes on your camera.

Have you ever wondered why your photos sometimes come out too dark or too exposed? You’re not alone. Understanding metering — and how it works — could be the solution you’re looking for.

Keep reading to gain a basic understanding of your camera’s metering mode.

What is metering in photography?

Metering mode — often called camera metering or just metering — is something that almost all modern DSLRs and mirrorless cameras come equipped with. Metering describes the process of how your camera decides to assign the right shutter speed and aperture based on the amount of light the camera can pick up.

To put it simply, metering is a way for modern cameras to reflect light and determine the right exposure without using an accessory meter.

Important camera metering modes to be aware of.

Most cameras have a few different metering modes you should be aware of. Though all cameras are different, they will typically include modes like:

Metering modes can be used in manual mode, but they’re also useful in modes like Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority because the camera will still adjust the settings based on what the meter reads. While some cameras will adjust automatically, many will have manual metering modes that require you to make these changes.

Discover your photography potential.

Refine your photography skills by getting to know your camera (and its metering potential) better than ever.

And explore what more you can do with Adobe Lightroom.