Definition: Exposure metering is the digital camera's built-in system that measures the amount of external lighting in a scene and then determines the best automatic settings for the photograph. Three modes of exposure metering are common.
- Center weighted metering is a mode where the digital camera measures the external light in an area around the center of the frame. It works best for portrait photos.
- Matrix metering is a mode where the digital camera divides the scene into segments, measures the lighting level in each segment, and then determines the automatic settings based on which settings would be correct for the largest number of segments. This mode, sometimes called multi-segment metering or multi-pattern metering usually has the best exposure results.
- Spot metering is a mode where the digital camera only measures the lighting in a tiny spot in the center of the frame.