5DII metering mode and exposure lock question

Started Jun 24, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Rick Knepper
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Re: seems fine to me
In reply to tko, Feb 1, 2013

tko wrote:

This Canon-only behaviour is - since many years! -

a) undocumented, because it's not mentioned in the manual;

No where in the manual does it say that a half press of the shutter will lock exposure at all. It does say that using * (AE lock button) will lock exposure. It's the other way around - the half shutter press is undocumented, and appears to be only an aid to beginners in certain modes (the green box mode).

Actually, on page 374 of my camera under specification it states-- AE lock: Auto - applied in one shot AF mode with evaluative metering when focus is achieved. Manual - By AE lock button.

So there you go - fully explained in the manual.

An owner's manual never "documents" things the product can't do (by design or limitation). Goes against all merchandising principles. Among the major DSLR makers (of which there are basically only two am I right?), seems as though the market is split 50/50 on this issue.

For example, the owner manual of my Ford Pinto (thank God I wasn't rear-ended in that dude though I had tires blowing out on me left and right in my Ford Explorer) did not state that I couldn't drive at 150 mph. I could look at the speedometer and see that 80 mph was going to be about the fastest I could travel, documented that is.

b) counterintuitive, because most (maybe all) other manufactures (e.g. Nikon) work differently and because changing the metering method should not have an effect on *when* metering is locked;

Don't know what other vendors do, but it seems fine to me. Most of the time I do not want to lock exposure w/a half press.

c) really irritating, because I am forced to use the * key if in "partial" metering mode which is just one key press too much.

Well, I don't do it enough to worry about it. It's one convenient key press for special situations.

It seems like the only purpose of the half shutter press is to preview the exposure settings then.

Lets turn the question around. Suppose the half press ALWAYS locked the exposure. You would loose the advantage of moving the camera around in real time and seeing the values change. You have to keep pressing and releasing to see the new values. To me that's more of a pain. Or suppose the lighting suddenly changes. You have to hurriedly release the button and half press to get a new setting.

I am happy Canon did it the way they did.

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Rick Knepper, photographer, non-professional, shooting for pleasure, check my profile for gear list and philosophy.

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