a D300 matrix metering question

Started Dec 7, 2007 | Discussions
coorslight Regular Member • Posts: 322
a D300 matrix metering question

I have seen several posts of people who have received their d300's who say that the matrix metering of the D300 seems to give more weight to the focus point and to the shadows thus causing blown highlights under some circumstances. This has also been a frequent complaint about the matrix metering of D80 owners.

So, does the D300 deal with matrix metering more like the D80 and less like the

D200? And if it does do you think this shows a change in Nikon's approach as to what they think is more important in matrix metering (shadows vs highlights)?
--
Nikon D80 & D200, 10.5mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, 17-55mm f/2.8
85mm f/1.4, 200mm f/2VR, Lensbaby 3G
other assorted BS

OP coorslight Regular Member • Posts: 322
no one here wants to address this?

coorslight wrote:

I have seen several posts of people who have received their d300's
who say that the matrix metering of the D300 seems to give more
weight to the focus point and to the shadows thus causing blown
highlights under some circumstances. This has also been a frequent
complaint about the matrix metering of D80 owners.

So, does the D300 deal with matrix metering more like the D80 and
less like the
D200? And if it does do you think this shows a change in Nikon's
approach as to what they think is more important in matrix metering
(shadows vs highlights)?
--
Nikon D80 & D200, 10.5mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, 17-55mm f/2.8
85mm f/1.4, 200mm f/2VR, Lensbaby 3G
other assorted BS

-- hide signature --

Nikon D80 & D200, 10.5mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, 17-55mm f/2.8
85mm f/1.4, 200mm f/2VR, Lensbaby 3G
other assorted BS

Murray Bowles
Murray Bowles Senior Member • Posts: 2,146
Re: a D300 matrix metering question

The whole matrix metering algorithm is such a mystery that it's no wonder there are no clear answers. If it's really matching the image against a database, then what exactly does "weighting" mean? In the original FA algorithm, some scene types were exposed entirely by averaging; only in contrasty scenes was the center of the image weighted when calculating the exposure. In the D300, the meter, in addition to knowing the active AF point also knows where the subject recognition algorithm thinks the subject is -- does it weight a small region under the AF point, the larger subject region, or a little of both?

breivogel Senior Member • Posts: 2,262
Re: a D300 matrix metering question

I think people really need how to properly expose in manual mode with spot metering or incident metering. The matrix is unpredictalbe outdoors and does not give consistant results. I see many images that are either over or under exposed. To make matter worse, those folks who seem to like matrix don't be inclined to carefully check their histograms (especially all color channels.

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olstrup Veteran Member • Posts: 3,740
Re: a D300 matrix metering question

I don't know anything about how Nikon set up the matrix metering of the various cameras. However, to me too, the pictures of my D300 seems brighter than the pics from my D100. But on the histogram they are not blown up in the highlights. With pics from the D100 I often gave the tone curve a lift in the highlight area exactly to brighten up the often a little dull and dark pics. A lot of people complained for years about "underexposure" of their Nikon cameras (do a forum search on D100+underexposure and you'll get a zillion hits). Nikon seems to have listened. and have lifted the highlight part of the tone curve a bit in the D300. To me that means lesser need for postprocessing, and for many subjects the pics are fine out of the camrera. The RAW files still have an edge, but in fact the JPEGs are so good that I can see myself shooting JPEGs in many situations, where I would have used RAW only with the D100.

With the D300 you don't have to live with camera that is "underexposing" or "overexposing" (both are relative to personal preferencies). One of beautiful things about the D300 is, that almost everything can be tweaked to your liking. You can adjust the general exposure level in two ways. You can choose between 3 preset tone curve modes (and download 3 more "D2X" modes if you like). You can tweak the default tone curves in the camera and save them as your own curves. And you can tweak a photo in Capture NX and save the settings as a camera mode that can be transferred to the camera. The D300 has room for up to 99 modes, which should be sufficient for even the most demanding photographer.

Mjs Senior Member • Posts: 2,620
Re: a D300 matrix metering question

I agree 100%. I had gotten away from that and the increased brightness of the D300 matrix readings (at least in some situations) has me going back to this. I like the convenience of Matrix, but if it is a must shot then no other way but spot for me.

breivogel wrote:

I think people really need how to properly expose in manual mode with
spot metering or incident metering. The matrix is unpredictalbe
outdoors and does not give consistant results. I see many images that
are either over or under exposed. To make matter worse, those folks
who seem to like matrix don't be inclined to carefully check their
histograms (especially all color channels.

RadoHx Forum Member • Posts: 79
Agree

What is the point in trying to "figure out" the matrix metering? It has some sort of AI (absolutely inpredictable) which decides the exposure in a way that only Nikon knows.

Either trust it and snap away (with minor exposure compensations of course) or use center weighted/spot which are plain and clear about their way of metering.

Regards,

Rado

OP coorslight Regular Member • Posts: 322
I agree - but

I think you are 100% correct, but I find it kind of funny that many people really complained about this with the D80 and in fact used it as an excuse to upgrade to a D200. Now that the D300 leans the same way the silence from these people is defining

breivogel wrote:

I think people really need how to properly expose in manual mode with
spot metering or incident metering. The matrix is unpredictalbe
outdoors and does not give consistant results. I see many images that
are either over or under exposed. To make matter worse, those folks
who seem to like matrix don't be inclined to carefully check their
histograms (especially all color channels.

-- hide signature --

Nikon D80 & D200, 10.5mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, 17-55mm f/2.8
85mm f/1.4, 200mm f/2VR, Lensbaby 3G
other assorted BS

Finalshot Contributing Member • Posts: 759
Re: I agree - but

the meter and the focus on the d300 is nothing short of spectacular. much improved over even the d2x, and d200.

bejmart Regular Member • Posts: 222
Quite different from D200

I had an ISO test using the same settings in both cameras but some people have complained that the ones in D200 are underexposed (MM, AP, 17-55)

http://www.pbase.com/bejitar/image/89989971

http://www.pbase.com/bejitar/image/90000817

Petruska Veteran Member • Posts: 8,690
From a D80, D300 owner...

My D80 was very inconsistent with matrix metering. It was all over the place and constantly had blown highlights unless you spent a lot of time reviewing the histogram and that was a pain as the perfect shot timing was normally lost for a reshot attempt. I usually bracket + - 0.3EV on all my action shots and hope for the best.

My D300 is totally the opposite with matrix right on! Very consistent! I have shot over 1000 pictures in the last 2 weeks, majority with matrix metering and they all exposed to what I would say almost perfect. I probably had less than 20 that hit the right side of the historgram. Shots were made with high/low contrast scenes, with and without flash, and exposure was right on with matrix. I'm very impressed how it handles snow, the camera must know that 90% of the frame is white and exposes properly for snow. In other words, the snow is more towards white than grey with no need to pump up the EV to correct for proper snow exposure.

I just can't tell you in words how great my D300 matrix metering is compared to the D80! I sure wish that the D80 had this metering system as the difference in IQ, noise and AF performance between the D80 and D300 is not that great. I would return the D300 in a heartbeat if the D80 exposed consistently as the D300. The extra 0.5 pound of weight with the D300 is sure nocticeable.

Finalshot Contributing Member • Posts: 759
Re: From a D80, D300 owner...

. . . and AF performance between the D80 and D300 is not that great."

Huh?

You gota be kidding me. The AF of the 300 is light years better than the d80. . . .

Petruska Veteran Member • Posts: 8,690
Re: From a D80, D300 owner...

My D80 with any of my 9 lenses locks on focus super quick and in very dimly lit rooms. I have seen the D300 misfocus on targets that don't have much contrast to where the target is almost a solid color, the D80 locks focus. Search here and you will find a lot of D300 owners saying that the focusing is noticeably slower....

Finalshot Contributing Member • Posts: 759
Re: From a D80, D300 owner...

so, youre saying that I should listen to a bunch of people, mostly one's I dont know instead of listening to myself? Hum. . .

The AF system on the D300 is improved over what's available on any prior nikon camera. . .

Sure, there is room for improvement, there always will be, but for what it is, nikon has nothing better in the format. . .

KenEis Veteran Member • Posts: 4,055
It depends

I think you are viewing the matrix metering algorithm like a different averaging or center weighted algorithm. Not so.

When Nikon came out with matrix metering then 3D matrix they talked about a data base of thousands of lighting conditions that are used to analyze the light from the 1024 detectors that make up the "light meter". So matrix is a smart metering system. But of course these smarts don't always work. I'd bet that if you were to pick several lighting scenarios some would be more center weighted then others. So some people's smart are another person's inconsistent.

I tend to use matrix but vary the EV from my experience so its sort of my intellegence on top of the matrix algorithms smarts. Yes matrix works with EV.
--
Ken Eis

snorri Regular Member • Posts: 325
try custom setting b6

Remember that, on the D300, you can fine-tune not only the AF for different lenses, but also the metering for different methods. If you feel that matrix metering gives you results that are too bright, just dial in a -1/3 EV using function b6 in the custom settings. This correction will be applied to matrix metering only and it will not display any icons in the displays.

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snorri

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'... haben sind gewesen gehabt haben geworden sein.'

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Lictor Regular Member • Posts: 346
Re: a D300 matrix metering question

breivogel wrote:

I think people really need how to properly expose in manual mode with
spot metering or incident metering. The matrix is unpredictalbe
outdoors and does not give consistant results. I see many images that
are either over or under exposed. To make matter worse, those folks
who seem to like matrix don't be inclined to carefully check their
histograms (especially all color channels.

Checking the histogram does little good in some situation. I mean, you know that the photo is failed, but since the moment is gone anyway, it's not like you can afford to take another one. Same with spot metering. It's nice if you're operating with plenty of time on your hand. However, if all you have is 5 seconds to take the shot, I would rather be able to rely on a reliable metering system and spend these five seconds on composition and getting the decisive instant.

Matrix metering has a purpose. Spot metering has another one. Otherwise, you would not have the option to switch the metering mode...

Matrix is needed when you need speed and freedom of operation. It's also a must have when light changes all the time. With the D200, I know when I can rely blindly on Matrix and when I cannot. In all but a few situations, Matrix metering works fine. If this is not the case on the D300, it is a real problem.

Petruska Veteran Member • Posts: 8,690
Re: From a D80, D300 owner...

Definitely listen to yourself.....

I'm just saying that I own a D80 and a D300 and the D80 has a very slight edge in focusing over the D300 and I mean very, very slight. I'm also talking about AF-S mode, not AF-C which the D300 probably will be stellar over the D80 but I have no need to use AF-C.

hammonda1 Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: try custom setting b6

but the over exposure is not of a constant value.

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Dave Hammond

Jake Robinson Regular Member • Posts: 192
Re: a D300 matrix metering question

I think the opposite is true - the matrix metering is doing an excellent job on mine. It exposes for the highlights perfectly. If you shoot RAW/14 bit - you can recover some of the blacks - but the Dynamic range is sooo good - that if you have good monitor/printer - you can infact enjoy the image as it produces. Here is a link on a user experience as well
http://www.8thcross.com/blog/?p=239

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