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Old Sep 24, 2005, 7:32 PM   #1
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I wonder if others have found the metering modes on the XT to be a bit confusing, as I have. I understand what they do, but Canon's order of placement of the modes on the camera as well as the choice of icons is less than intuitive.

EVALUATIVE METERING: Top on the list and represented by a dipiction of the focusing screen with a small icon of an eye in the center. This takes a sampling of the entire screen and meters for the whole picture.

PARTIAL METERING: The middle selection and represented the focus screen with an icon similar to an eye, but not blacked in. 9% of the screen, just the center, is used for metering. Most like a spot meter.

CENTER WEIGHTED METERING: Bottom of the list and represented by a focusing screen with nothing in it. Takes a sampling from the center and then averages for the entire screen.

Well, the icons make no sense. Shouldn't the evaluative be an empty screen, like the center weighted? It uses the whole screen without emphasis on any particular part. Although, in a non-intuitive move and a contradictory step, it uses the center auto-focus point while in manual. The partial weighted, which seems to be the most like a spot meter should be the last choice, shouldn't it. You go from the top which uses the whole screen to the bottom which uses the least. The icon would be more appropriate if it depicted something in the center, like the evaluative icon. Finally, the center weighted is not described well, for it does not describe what exactly it does with the information it takes from the center, and how it relates or averages that with the rest of the screen.

In short, I am constantly baffled by which choice to make in certain situations. Overall constant lighting, the evaualtive is a simple choice. Strong backlit or spotlighted stage subject, the partial seems right. When do you use the Center Weighted? Since getting the Canon G3, which uses a similar metering system, and now the XT, which I think is a great camera, I am baffled by the way Canon has chosen to present its offerings of metering.
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Old Sep 25, 2005, 12:34 AM   #2
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Additionally, I wish Canon would use the Words "On" and "Off" on all buttons instead of the crazy I-O symbols.

Since switching to digital bodies I've rarely switched back and forth between metering modes since it's so easy to view the histogram and either make adjustments on the fly or do some testing before committing to scenes where it's impossible to check the histogram during the process of shooting. That being said, I almost always use center-weighted because (1) I pretty much know what the camera is measuring when using that mode, and (2) it's a mode I am comfortable using after years of SLR use where that was the only option. Evaluative is obviously very good, but it is the one mode out of the three where you never really know what part of the scene the camera is measuring or how much weight is being given to each part in coming up with the final exposure. For a complete P&S situation I would guess "P" mode with evaluative metering would be about a close to foolproof as you could get.
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 1:01 PM   #3
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Learn to use the manual mode.
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 4:57 PM   #4
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If this is any help...I agree with you completely. FWIW, the 20D uses the same confusing icons. I have both cameras, and I can NEVER remember which is which.
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