BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
William M. Clark
 

Metering a scene


I have purchased a Canon 20d and hope I will not be embarrassed by this question, how do meter a scene through the lens using the camer built-in meter?


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3/29/2005 9:54:56 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  pushing the shutter button half way down activates the meter.
It's in the manual.


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3/29/2005 10:51:50 AM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Yes, pushing the shutter halfway down meters the scene. However, if depending on your photographic opportunity you don't know how to "meter a scene" by deciding when to agree with the camera or when to politely disagree and point your camera elsewhere to meter before you actually shoot I recommend the book "Understanding Exposure" which is a basic book by Bryan Peterson, an instructor here at BP. The book puts in simple and clear terms the best way to figure our exposures for any situation. Bryan also teaches a course here at BP by the same title which I here is good. I love the book and my metering skills have much improved since getting the book. Besides being very helpful the book is also very lovely to look through with many colorful and artistic photos to inspire you. I've come to learn that my camera and I disagree more often than I would have thought had I just read the manual to figure out exposure. There are many times you need to understand how and why a particular meter reading, aperture and shutter speed may or may not be the best choice for you.

I also have recently purchased the 20D and it's a heckuva camera!

If you really just wanted to know how the camera meter works--pushing the shutter release halfway down would be the correct answer. Ha ha!

NOTE: I do not work for BP and I'm absolutely not meaning to suck up with this message. I just really like the book!

Karma


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3/29/2005 8:01:18 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  I think the manual also covers partial metering, backlight, and compensation.
It has more information than people realize. That's how I learned


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3/29/2005 10:01:01 PM

 
William M. Clark   I like to thank all of you for such quick responses and I very grateful
for the information. I just received my camera Monday, Mar 28, and I am just getting into reading the manual
on the operation of the camera.

Karma I did order the book "Understanding Exposure" by Byan Peterson from Amazon.com last Month (Feb), and according to them I should receive it early April. I took a few shots with this new camera, and like you said the Canon 20d is a heckua a camera.

Again thanks.


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3/30/2005 6:22:58 AM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  No doubt, the manual is greatly helpful. It's also very boring and tedious. I turn to it only in an emergency situation. Learning to set my controls is one such situation--learning about backlighting wouldn't be because I'd like to see several examples, hear why metering to specific areas would be better or worse depending on my needs, and go from there. I might want a silohuette effect with the backlighting or I might want detail in the foreground subject. My manual doesn't cover these situations. It just says partial metering can be helpful in backlit situations. If it does go further into detail it's in cryptic language that causes me to collapse in a coma-like state. :-) The manual is good for a start but it's limited. If we could all just read the $#%$#^$ manual and know the ins and outs of phtography sites like this would quickly become obsolete.

Of course there are many questions asked here that could have been solved with a simple search through the manual. No doubt.

Karma


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3/30/2005 12:16:04 PM

 
William M. Clark   Again thanks. Karma or anyone else, what is your opinion of "Short Course in Canon EOS 20D Photography" by Dennis P. Curtin?


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3/30/2005 3:27:29 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  William, haven't gotten that book. I purchased two general books on SLR photography. Mastering Digital SLR Photgraphy was one and PCPhoto Digital SLR Handbook was another. Both are good in similar ways giving you lots of information about Digital SLR cameras and certain tips. I still think Brian's book did ten times those books in helping me be a more artistic and technical photographer. But for understanding things like cleaning your camera, caring for lenses, digital storage solutions, etc...I enjoy those books. They are common reference points for me. They are both similar.

Karma


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3/30/2005 7:07:44 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  creative pictures are shot in manual mode, so if you want great shots get yourself a $200 light meter and a grey card. Worth every nickel

Ive tested in camera meter, braketing and handheld light meter. The diff. is astounding.


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3/30/2005 9:28:29 PM

 
William M. Clark   Karma, I may look into the PC Photo Digital SLR Handbook. Do you use a handheld light meter, if so what brand?


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3/31/2005 7:48:03 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   From Karma: "No doubt, the manual is greatly helpful. It's also very boring and tedious. I turn to it only in an emergency situation."

When all else fails, read the instructions. That's my philosophy too.


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3/31/2005 8:26:11 AM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  I do not use a handheld light meter. Someday I might invest in one if I see the need but at this point I need to master the one in camera! :-)

Karma


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3/31/2005 9:52:37 AM

 
William M. Clark   Thanks very much.

William


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3/31/2005 10:34:08 AM

 
Joseph Finn
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2004
  I have the Short Course book on the 20D it is very helpful, my only problem with it is its a full size book. Unlike the Magic Lantern books that are small enough to fit into the camera bag. Dennis Curtin explains in very simple terms everything about the camera, all of your questions can be answered about the camera. Be sure to get the CD that goes with the book, you can put it on your computer. Hope this helps...Joe


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3/31/2005 6:50:59 PM

 
William M. Clark   Thanks a lot Josep, I am going to order this book today including the CD
alone the book. I am so happy that someone has used the book.

William(bill)


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3/31/2005 7:39:05 PM

 
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