Spot metering linked to focus point

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
NowHearThis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,999
You've hit the only gripe I have with Canon...

pedz wrote:

With the pro bodies such as the 1DX, I can set my camera to have a focus point and spot metering. The book tells me that in this case, the spot metering occurs at the focus point.

The R and R5 books (so far) do not mention this particular feature but I'm wondering how the Evaluative Metering works. It seems to me that the camera prioritizes the area in focus or am I just seeing what I want to see?

It's probably about time for my annual Metering complaint...

TL;DR; Version:  Evaluative meter locks the exposure on half press of the shutter.  (no you cannot change this). Evaluative Metering also uses info from the AF Point to set the exposure. (no you cannot change this either)


My Gripes:

  • In evaluative Metering holding the shutter button locks the exposure too.  So if a cloud blocks the sun, or you adjust your framing after you focus your picture, it may be brighter or darker than you intended (at least you can see the results and apply exposure compensation as needed). 
  • Evaluative Metering is weighted on the AF point chosen.  Regardless of what Canon says that's not evaluative metering that's really acting more like flexible spot meter.  I'll admit Canon has gotten so much better in their Mirrorless cameras, but, and this was confirmed by Canon on this recently, it still uses the AF point to meter in Evaluative Metering Mode.  Tests I've done with the EOS R seem to indicate that the Meter on the AF point isn't as heavy as say their 80D is - and that's a good thing .  In the store, where I was doing my testing, most things seemed just fine with little need to make additional corrections - granted this is not how to properly put a metering system through it's paces, IMO.


  • Use the " * " button to lock your meter first (making sure no AF points are selected), then use the shutter button or AF-On button for focusing
  • Use Servo-AF all the time.  The meter won't lock until the moment the picture is taken (pg 385).  The EOS R, RP, R6, R5 are so good with AF that this might be the simplest workaround of all.

Real Solutions, not workarounds:

  1. Give a menu option that lets users decide if they want to lock meter on AF half press  (this is so simple, I don't know why they don't do this).
  2. In Evaluative Metering, let the camera evaluate all it's metering areas and do not link it to the AF Point - most cameras don't, yet they meter perfectly.  My Pen-F and E-M10 don't base the evaluative on any AF point(s) yet meter accurately and 1000x better than my 80D or T2i ever did.


Sources: EOS R5 Manual, pgs 276, 277, 282, 389, Canon virtual product Townhall-type meeting held in September or October

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