D800 matrix metering vs. D600 matrix metering.

Started Feb 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
clarnibass Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Re: D800 matrix metering vs. D600 matrix metering.

Thanks, I'd like to see them if you find them.

I tried another test. I shot this lamp at Matrix and Spot modes, moving the focus point. These photos are difficult because of the dynamic range, the camera obviously doesn't have the luxury of our eyes adjusting.

If I had to choose which photo exposed the lamp most similar to how it looks when I look at it, I'd have to say the Matrix when focusing on the lamp, or at most it looks a bit under exposed. I guess Spot on the lamp made sure not to over expose anything. In the next exposure up, with Matrix mode focusing on the curtain, the lamp is already significantly over exposed.

OTOH, the curtains look a bit under exposed in all photos compared with what they look like when looking at them. Seems that even in Spot mode it doesn't completely ignore the lamp. What is interesting is that if I move the camera to the side, keeping the frame more or less the same except the lamp moves, it exposes brighter. If the lamp is approx 1/3 of the way or less into the frame, then Spot mode exposes the curtains accurately. Obviously the lamp is then over exposed by much more than before.

Imagine my subject was where the curtain is, it would have very low contrast and poor light in comparison with the lamp. It is very rare that any photo would have the subject in this type of situation, though there are exceptions of course. If the lamp was more towards the sides then it would not "take over" as much and a subject in the low contrast dark area might make more sense. I think I actually like how the camera "understands" that.

FWIW I tried editing a little in Lightroom to see what I get. None of the photos was especially good unless you don't mind that huge blob of bright lamp. Bringing back just the lamp didn't look that great to me. In a real situation I'd almost certainly not have the lamp in the middle of the frame and use Spot, which would work pretty good in those pretty rare cases.

Mot of what I shoot (90%) are poor light concerts which vary a lot. Some have spotlights, some have very dim ambient light (e.g. a bar with no concert lights), some have backlight (e.g. a gallery with lights directed towards the wall behind the musicians), etc. I've only used Matrix for concerts with spotlights a couple of times and it worked excellent (spotlights in the frame). I've used Matrix many times in other situations, such as backlit, etc. and it worked very good. I more often use Spot mode. I just never had a real situation like this. This is why I'm interested to see your real examples. You don't have to show the worst ones and I believe you they are under exposed. I'd like to see if I would like Matrix to behave differently.

Matrix mode, focus on lamp

Matrix mode, focus on curtain

Spot mode, focus on lamp

Spot mode, focus on curtain

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