Metering Modes on Elan 7 : LUSENET : Canon EOS FAQ forum : One Thread

What is the best metering mode to use on a Canon Elan 7 for portrait shooting?

-- Tony Webb (, December 22, 2001


You'll probably get some varying opinions here. I usually use partial metering mode for portraits. It really depends on the setting, but I find that with a few exceptions I am only concerned about metering for the subjects face, and want to limit the portion of the frame that is metered as much as possible. There are times when I would prefer a spot meter and I usually use an EOS 3 anyway (the 3 has a spot meter, the Elan 7 does not), but for most situations I like partial metering on either camera for portraits. On the Elan 7 I think partial equals 10% of the frame, as opposed to about 2 or 3% for most spot meters. Hope this helps.

-- Derrick Morin (, December 22, 2001.

If you're just starting out with upper body portraits, use Evaluative metering in Av mode. Evaluative does a good job most of the time and Av will let you control depth of field. As you gain experience, you'll note the situations that warrant more user control (e.g., predominantly dark or light images). Subsequently, experiment with exposure compensation, partial metering, gray cards, etc., to find the method of controlling exposure that fits your style and mindset.

Spot metering is the most accurate but most difficult method of metering. It requires you to note the tonality of the area you're metering and adjust accordingly. For example, here in Hawaii many people have brown skin and I can spotmeter off their forehead and get a good exposure since it's a medium tone (18% gray). However, a FOB from the Great North is so pale that I'll have to open up about a stop to render them correctly. I find that M mode works best with partial or spot metering (so you can see the exposure scale and the settings won't change after 6 seconds).

If you practice shooting with chromes, you'll quickly learn the differences between Evaluative, center-weighted and spot and know when to adjust according to particular situations. With negs, the photofinisher plays with the print exposure too much to gain any useful feedback from your adjustments (unless you wish to view the negs directly--not easy).

-- Puppy Face (, December 22, 2001.

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