Metering Modes on the Canon T7i

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May 9, 2021
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There's a lot to talk about today. When it comes to metering a scene with a DSLR camera, there seems to be some confusion. I know a lot of people like to talk about focusing and lenses and that sort of thing, but one of the most critical aspects of photography revolves around how much light the camera is going to allow through the lens. If you aren't familiar, "metering" a scene is when you push the shutter button of your camera half-way down. Doing this gives the camera time to not only focus, but to determine the scene's lighting. And depending on the metering mode you've got set on your camera, the camera will isolate a special part of the scene to make that determination. For some reason though, when the term "metering" is brought up, a lot of amateur photographers become uneasy. It's a technical sounding word that describes a concept that shouldn't be shied away from at all. It's just as straightforward a concept as focusing.

In today's post, I'd like to discuss a few different things. First, I'll talk about how to change the metering mode on the Canon T7i and then I'll talk about which metering mode does what. After that, I'll finish up with where you might want to meter your scenes to end up with an overall well exposed photograph. Everything I discuss in this post will be very straightforward, but you still might want to bookmark this page to refer to later on.

Changing the Metering Mode on the Canon EOS Rebel T7i​

Changing the metering mode on this camera takes only a few steps. To start off, make sure your camera is turn on. Then, press the "Q" button on the rear of the camera. This is the screen you should see after doing that:


The highlighted button in the above photo is the metering mode button. If you touch this button with your finger, the screen will change to this one:


As you can see, the current metering mode my camera is set to is called Evaluative metering. To change the metering mode, all you need to do is touch the desired option and then press the return arrow down in the lower right corner. When you return to the home screen, you'll see the new metering mode described at the bottom.

Another method for changing the metering mode is to press the Menu button on the back of the camera and then scroll to number 3 of the red menu. Scroll to the top option (Metering mode) and then press the Set button on the back of the camera. Once inside the menu, choose the metering mode you want with the left and right arrows and when you're all set, press the Set button again. To back out of the menu, continue to press the Menu button.

One word of caution though: In order to change this option, you'll need to be in one of the semi-manual modes (P, Tv, Av) or full manual (M). The auto modes meter for you automatically.

Metering Modes Explained​

The Canon T7i offers four different metering modes to choose from. They are Evaluative, Partial, Spot, and Center-weighted Average. I'll describe each one below

Evaluative metering: This is the most automated metering mode available. It's a general purpose mode that has the camera account for the entire scene and then choose the proper exposure from there. This mode is well-suited for backlit subjects because again, it'll take all of the light in the scene into account.

Partial metering: This metering mode draws its exposure determination from the center third of the scene. A circle is drawn at the center and everything inside the circle will be metered, while everything outside the circle will be ignored. This mode is perfect for taking photos of subjects when there are very bright lights behind that subject.

Spot metering: With Spot metering, the circle at the center of the scene shrinks dramatically. Whatever the brightness is at the very center of your scene will be metered, while everything else will be ignored.

Center-Weighted Average: This mode is similar to Partial metering, but while Partial metering completely ignores everything outside of the centered circle, this mode will take that area into account, but will reduce it's impact on the final exposure. This mode uses a weighted average in its approach. The center area weighs more than the outer areas. In general, this mode is suited well for more advanced users who know how to manage it.

Where Should You Spot Meter From?​

Let's do a little exercise. In the photo below, choose a spot from which you'd meter the scene. The image has obviously been edited in post-processing to even out the overall exposure (lights versus darks), but it's a great example of the type of issue you'll come across when taking photos of scenes that contain a large dynamic range.


When metering a scene with a mode that isolates an area, such as how Spot metering does, the goal is to choose an area that's neutral and that has the most midtones. In the photo above, the ideal spot in the scene to meter from would be the cave wall on the right side. You'd simply point the camera there and then press the shutter button half-way down.


Doing this would give you the best exposure possible out of the camera. You would definitely need to edit the image in Camera Raw, Lightroom, or something similar, but at least you'd have a good base from which to work.

Do you have any questions about setting the metering mode on your Canon Rebel camera? If so, please ask below. Also, if you have any suggestions or tips to add, please leave them down below as well. Thanks!
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Metering Modes on the Canon T7i was posted on 05-31-2021 by CaptainDan in the Photography forum.

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