Understanding Metering on the X-T1Posted by Leigh Diprose
Metering systems on cameras are highly advanced these days and the Fujifilm X-T1 is at the forefront of light measuring technology. The camera harnesses a 256 segment through the lens (TTL) metering system which can be operated as three separate modes.
The first mode, Spot Metering is typically what I use for all of my portrait work. The reason for this is the camera meters lighting conditions in an area at the center of the frame equivalent to 2% of the total. So in other words this mode will ensure the person's face your photographing is correctly exposed. It's also recommended for back lit subjects and in other cases in which the background is much brighter or darker than the main subject.
Multi Metering on the other hand is described as the camera instantly determining the exposure based on analysis of composition, colour and brightness distribution. This metering mode is recommended in most situations. Personally I use this for landscape photography and general travel photography.
Average Metering is the last of the metering modes. Exposure is set to the average of the entire frame and this mode provides constant exposure across multiple shots with the same lighting, and is particularly effective for landscapes and portraits of subjects dressed in black or white.
Below is an example of different metering modes and how the will effect your overall image.
Spot Metering Multi Metering Average Metering
These images were all photographed using the Fujifilm X-T1 and XF 56mm f1.2 APD lens. You can see quite clearly how the light changes between different metering modes. The only correction that was made was auto colour in Photoshop.
In the scenario shown above I opted to choose multi metering as the day was overcast meaning there wasn't a high contrast in the light. If the sun had been out I would have used spot metering in order to obtain a correct exposure for the model's face.
To access the metering modes on a Fujifilm X-T1 all you need to do is turn the dial located underneath the Shutter Speed Dial. For the majority of other Fujifilm cameras, simply navigate to the 4h Shooting Menu Tab by pressing the MENU/OK button. Located within the menu is "Photometry" which presents three options; Multi, Spot and Average. Now all you have to do is choose the desired metering mode and press the MENU/OK button.
I hope this sheds a bit of light (pun intended) on how the camera measures light. I encourage you all to try the different modes for yourself to see how it will effect your overall picture.
If you have any comments or questions please leave them below.