Photography cheat sheet: What is Metering?

Metering modes have nothing to do with cats... we just wanted to make the illustration 🐱 (Image credit: Future)

Metering is an important concept to understand whether you're a photographer or a filmmaker. Every modern camera has a meter built-in, which it uses to determine the right settings to use based on the amount of available light it is picking up in your scene. 

The problem is that the metering system doesn’t always work flawlessly, and you may end up with pictures that are either too dark or too bright. So let's look at the camera meter in more detail as how the matrix, centre-weighted and spot metering modes work.

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Lauren Scott
Freelance contributor/former Managing Editor

Lauren is a writer, reviewer, and photographer with ten years of experience in the camera industry. She's the former Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, and previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer magazine, Technique editor for PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, and Deputy Editor of our sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine. An experienced journalist and freelance photographer, Lauren also has bylines at Tech Radar,, Canon Europe, PCGamesN, T3, Stuff, and British Airways' in-flight magazine (among others). When she's not testing gear for DCW, she's probably in the kitchen testing yet another new curry recipe or walking in the Cotswolds with her Flat-coated Retriever.