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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Thu 11-Aug-11 03:18 AM
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"No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"


Ellington, US
          

As mentioned in the thread about Ken Rockwell's review of the D7000, I mentioned that I no longer use the Matrix metering mode on my D7K. Why not? I have encountered too many situations where I am taking pictures of various scenes on a sunny day, only to have the shots come out over exposed. I am constantly doing this!

So that's it, I am simply tired of having to think about how my D7K is going to interpret a scene and whether it's going to give me an overexposed shot. Now, I only shoot raw, so oftentimes I can salvage the picture, but it never looks quite as well as it would have if exposed properly in the first place. Therefore, about a week ago, I made the decision to switch to Center Weighted metering mode, set my center circle to simply average out the entire frame, and be done with it. I am getting consistently well exposed shots now and I am happy.

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Reply message RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K
DeanAZ Moderator
11th Aug 2011
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Len Shepherd Gold Member
11th Aug 2011
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11th Aug 2011
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Len Shepherd Gold Member
11th Aug 2011
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billD80 Silver Member
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Ellis Feibush Silver Member
14th Aug 2011
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Reply message RE: Now fine tune optimal exposure
Len Shepherd Gold Member
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17th Aug 2011
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DeanAZ Moderator Expert nature photographer Nikonian since 28th Apr 2007Thu 11-Aug-11 04:54 AM
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#1. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 0


Phoenix, US
          

I have the center-weighted mode set for the large portion of my shots also. When I change it is usually to move to spot metering as well typically for a person in a spotlight on stage.

Dean
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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Thu 11-Aug-11 08:55 AM
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#2. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 0


Yorkshire, GB
          

I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000.
There are always a few subjects where other metering methods are better, and each photographer uses whichever metering method they are happiest with.
Links to problem images might help, as there might be some issue other than matrix metering.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Thu 11-Aug-11 11:41 AM
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#3. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 2


Ellington, US
          

Len, remember that awfully long thread on this subject of about 4 months ago? I posted samples in that thread. We exhausted every angle of those pictures back then. Nothing has changed except that I find this is one less thing I have to keep in mind when shooting outdoors on a sunny day.

In any case, I refer you to that thread for all the samples you can shake a stick at!

Beemerman2k
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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 11-Aug-11 12:22 PM
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#4. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 3
Thu 11-Aug-11 12:23 PM by briantilley

Paignton, GB
          


For anyone who may be interested, here is the earlier thread referred to above.

I don't remember whather we addressed it then, but I presume you have checked that you don't have an unintended positive adjustment set up (for Matrix Metering) in Custom Setting b5 Fine Tune Optimal Exposure...?

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Thu 11-Aug-11 02:55 PM
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#5. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 4


Yorkshire, GB
          

>For anyone who may be interested,
>here
>is the earlier thread referred to above.
>
>I don't remember whether we addressed it then,
Thanks for the link Brian.
The 2 sets of images indicate to me when the active AF point is aimed at a near mid tone exposure is about right in matrix, when aimed at something in deep shadow (sunlit scene) exposure is over in matrix, and when spot is used without suitable compensation exposure is wrong.
Matrix bias on recent cameras toward the active AF point is fairly well known - and helps with some scenes and hinders with others.
I do not see anything in the thread that demonstrates matrix always gets exposure wrong.
Like any metering system knowing when it is likely to be good and when it is likely to need modification helps get consistently good exposures.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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sirraj Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Oct 2005Thu 11-Aug-11 10:43 PM
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#6. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 5


Minneapolis, US
          

After ten months with my D7000 I have come to the same conclusion. When I'm outdoors on a sunny day, I find center weighted metering to be much less likely to (in my opinion) over expose. I am constantly adjusting exposure compensation with matrix metering, but center weighted metering gives me exposures I prefer more often. For flash photography or cloudy days matrix meterng is great. But for bright, high contrast days I prefer the exposures I get from center weighted metering. This is not a complaint, I am very happy with my D7000 it's just another way to use the camera.

Sirraj

  

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Thu 11-Aug-11 11:31 PM
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#7. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 6
Thu 11-Aug-11 11:33 PM by beemerman2k

Ellington, US
          

Len, Matrix Metering doesn't always get the exposure wrong, it just does so often enough to the point where I don't know what I'm going to get from a scene. The "problem" may very well be me and my lack of understanding/appreciation for how Matrix metering works. But I find simply using center weighted to free me from concern. When Matrix Metering works right, I don't see a compelling reason to use it over what I am now doing anyhow.

Nikon should have offered me the choice of using their new fangled logic versus an old fashioned Matrix Metering approach. What does this new approach buy anyone over the old, constant and predictable approach?

And yes, I love my D7000, no doubt about it the camera is outstanding -- except Matrix Metering on a sunny day

One more thing, when taking a picture of a scene that has the sun shining directly on it, that's when the Matrix Meter gets all out of whack in my opinion. Doesn't seem to matter what the scene is or how bright/dark it is, if the sun is shining directly on it the meter gets it wrong.

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Fri 12-Aug-11 08:46 AM
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#8. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 7


Paignton, GB
          

>Nikon should have offered me the choice of using their new
>fangled logic versus an old fashioned Matrix Metering
>approach. What does this new approach buy anyone over the
>old, constant and predictable approach?

It's interesting to hear earlier implementations of Matrix being thought of as "constant and predictable"

If you look back through the Forums here, you'll find that Matrix metering in every mid-range Nikon DSLR over the years (D70, D80, D90 and now D7000) has attracted complaints from some quarters. The D70 was said to under-expose, the D80 was seen as an over-exposer, as was the D90. In each case, other members saw no issue and were getting great results.

In my view, what we are seeing is simply a mismatch between expectation and reality. Any complex metering system such as Nikon's Matrix takes time to learn - all of them are subtly different and each has its own quirks.

By the way, you didn't answer the question about Custom Setting b5...?

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Fri 12-Aug-11 12:52 PM
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#9. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 8


Ellington, US
          

When using matrix metering I was in the habit of setting a -7 EV compensation and that usually gave me very good results. When I went indoors I often would forget to reset EV, or when going outdoors I might forget to dial it down again. Now I have no such worries.

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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Fri 12-Aug-11 02:00 PM
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#10. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 9
Fri 12-Aug-11 02:08 PM by Gamecocks

Joanna, US
          

Hi James,

I don't seem to have the problem you've mentioned regarding the exposure. When I have seen an exposure problem it usually came back to operator error. I believe Thom Hogan recommends using the matrix over the center-weighted for various reasons. To each his own and if you're happy with what you are now using, that's all there is to it. But isn't it great that the camera offers several different methods? By the way, are you using a filter? If so, then center would likely be the better choice.

Regards,

John

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Fri 12-Aug-11 02:23 PM
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#11. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 10


Ellington, US
          

I keep a circular polarizing filter on my Tamron 17-50 F2.8 lens.

So someone answer my question: what does this matrix meter buy us? I shoot raw only so I dont care about aids to better jpgs, I just want a great exposure that I can easily fine tune in post with Adobe Lightroom 3.

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billD80 Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2007Fri 12-Aug-11 03:29 PM
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#12. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 11
Fri 12-Aug-11 03:33 PM by billD80

US
          

>I keep a circular polarizing filter on my Tamron 17-50 F2.8
>lens.
>
>So someone answer my question: what does this matrix meter buy
>us?

Well, I think it depends on the user. For me, the D7K Matrix buys me more consistently good shots under a very wide range of situations than my D200 was capable of doing. I rarely have to set exposure comp...

I would add, my experience on the D7K is with non-Nikkors from 8mm to 300mm, outside, and shooting dark interiors...

But others may feel differently.

And if yours is consistently unpredictable I could see that would be frustrating.

www.billkeane.zenfolio.com

  

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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Fri 12-Aug-11 04:03 PM
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#13. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 11


Joanna, US
          

I'm certainly not an expert but I do try and read about a particular subject in hopes of gaining knowledge. As I see it, matrix will give near perfect shots in low contrast areas and is accurate most of the time except for very bright scenes when brightness is greater than 16.3 EV (per TH). The histogram provides information that will help in the exposure concerns plus you have all the options with exp. comp., etc. Center-weighted has 75% of exposure on the center area and the remainder on the outer area whereas matrix divides the whole image into pieces and makes the adjustment.

Referring to Hogan's take - "So which metering system should you use" - matrix should be used for most situations; center-weighted and spot for backlit subjects in very bright light". Certainly not one method is a panacea for all scenes and that is when knowledge of each system helps along with the other controls.

John

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Fri 12-Aug-11 06:59 PM
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#15. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 11


Paignton, GB
          

>I keep a circular polarizing filter on my Tamron 17-50 F2.8
>lens.

Why...?

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Fri 12-Aug-11 06:58 PM
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#14. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 9


Paignton, GB
          

I'd really like you to check and answer the question about Custom Setting b5 - it's completely separate from normal exposure compensation, and doesn't show up unless you look for it.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Fri 12-Aug-11 07:17 PM
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#16. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 14


Ellington, US
          

I have never used this setting. All values are set to 0.

When indoors, I often, but not always, pop on my Nikon 35mm F1.8 lens. When outside, I find that I get great color depth and richness with my circ polarizer. Yes, sometimes I'll even do indoor shots with the polarizer on. Why? I don't have my case handy and it is pretty harmless when I dial out the polarizing effect.

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Fri 12-Aug-11 08:03 PM
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#17. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 16


Paignton, GB
          

> All values are set to 0.

Thank you. It' [br />
A polariser always robs you of some light, even when dialled to "minimum", and any unnecessary filter increases the risk of reflections and ghosting, for no benefit. A C-Pol is a special-purpose filter, not intended for permanent use.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Fri 12-Aug-11 11:51 PM
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#18. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 17


Ellington, US
          

Is using a polarizer indoors ideal? Of course, not. But this past Monday, I was in Hartford, CT with my 3 lovely daughters and we decided to visit the Connecticut Science Museum. Well, all I have with me is my D7K, my Tamron 17-50 F/2.8, with my polarizer screwed on. If I remove my polarizer, I don't have a case to put it in, therefore I risk it getting scratched or damaged. Therefore, I decide to just keep it on the camera and shoot anyhow.

There were shots like this one that were extremely dark and required me to open up the lens as wide as I could:



But then there were shots through the glass at the bright outdoors where I am sure I benefited from the filter:



So, I know you're all just dying to see the results! OK, I'll let you, the pictures are here:

http://www.gondorphotography.com/Travel/Connecticut/Connecticut-Science-Museum2011/

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Sat 13-Aug-11 08:58 AM
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#19. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 18
Sat 13-Aug-11 08:59 AM by briantilley

Paignton, GB
          

It looks like you had a fun time!

Yes, shooting through a window is one area where using a polariser can help, by reducing reflections the glass.

>There were shots like this one that were extremely dark and
>required me to open up the lens as wide as I could:

For clarity, the EXIF says it was shot at f/5.6 - two stops down from maximum aperture.

I also noticed from the EXIF that both images were shot using Matrix

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Sat 13-Aug-11 09:38 PM
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#26. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 19


Ellington, US
          

I took a few shots of that astronauts uniform at varying apertures. This is the one I liked the most, but I assumed it was the one I took at F2.8. It's not, eh? Opps!

Yeah, indoors I will use Matrix Metering because there is no danger of overexposure. As I mentioned earlier, its when taking a picture of a scene where the sun is shining directly on it that I tend to see this over exposure problem occuring. My first line of defense was to simply dial down to -7 EV as a matter of course, but now my answer is to simply stay in Center weighted metering mode.

For the record, I am obviously still learning and having fun at this thing. I think the world of Nikon cameras, I have no intention of switching brands, and I love my D7000 (of course, I loved my D70s, too, and I had no issues using Matrix metering on that camera).

Although I feel like I have learned a ton over the years, I rate myself as an average to so-so photographer. I see the work of most others here and I am flat our floored! So I have no illusions of being an expert at this craft. Nonetheless, while I try to learn from others, I make the final call as to my approach to photography, and resorting to center weighted metering is my final call on outdoor shots with my D7000

Beemerman2k
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Ellis Feibush Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Sat 13-Aug-11 11:35 AM
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#20. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 9
Sat 13-Aug-11 11:35 AM by Ellis Feibush

Summit, US
          

beemerman,

You are not alone at all in terms of Matrix metering overexposure. To get decent images I also had to dial in -7 compensation, but not just in sunny outdoor situations, but in almost every situation, even indoor available light pictures, just everywhere. Everything is overexposed!
When I called Nikon the techs said the solution was to lower your ISO. Well, that's not really a viable solution and I'm not so sure using CSb5 is an option that will produce consistant images. The answer here is quite complex. Where you place your focusing square apparently has much to do with how matrix meters a scene in the D7000. Incidently, I never ever have any exposure problems with my D300. The Matrix exposures are always excellent.
The Nikon techs said that part of the cause for this "new type" of Matrix metering is due to the fact Nikon manufactures the D7000 sensor. In the past Sony made many of their sensors. It would be nice to see new firmware to correct this problem, but I wouldn't hold your breath.
Using center weighted metering may be a solution, but seems like a step backward, but if it works I guess I should try it. It seems we'll not solve this problem here. One positive note about the D7000, the Image Quality is really excellent.
Incidently, did you get to the BMWMOA rally in Bloomsburg, PA? It was broiling hot there, but a lot of fun.

efeibush

  

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sirraj Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Oct 2005Sat 13-Aug-11 02:23 PM
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#21. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 20
Sat 13-Aug-11 02:24 PM by sirraj

Minneapolis, US
          

I have owned a D70, D80, D90 and now a D7000, I found that matrix metering in all but the D70 gave brighter exposures than I like. This makes me think that Nikon's idea of a correct exposure is different than mine. I don't like the fact that the focus point affects the exposure so much, center weighted seems to be much less affected by the focus point. Obviously Nikon doesn't think there is a problem or they would have changed it by now.

Sirraj

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Sat 13-Aug-11 02:44 PM
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#22. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 21


Paignton, GB
          


>Obviously Nikon doesn't think there is a problem or they would
>have changed it by now.

Agreed - I'm sure that the metering in all these cameras is working as Nikon intended (aside from a few individual faulty cameras).

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Sat 13-Aug-11 04:53 PM
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#23. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 22


Joanna, US
          

Am I correct in believing that "overexposure" is a result of more light photons hitting the sensor than it can handle? If so, when that occurs wouldn't overexposure happen regardless of the camera or metering mode? Nikon has provided a lot of different adjustments that can be used to help in such a scenario with all the cameras and as you state the engineers have it working as they believe it should.

John

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Sat 13-Aug-11 09:18 PM
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#25. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 23


US
          

>Am I correct in believing that "overexposure" is a
>result of more light photons hitting the sensor than it can
>handle?

I believe what you may be thinking of and referring to is sensor site saturation. Over exposure is a subjective term, and one could potentially achieve an overexposure without necessarily achieving sensor site saturation.

Then again, on could set a proper exposure, yet achieve sensor site saturation in which case you then need to decide if that lost detail is detrimental to the image. If so then you need to under expose to protect those highlights and readjust the tonal values later in PP.

Pete

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Sat 13-Aug-11 09:44 PM
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#27. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 20


Ellington, US
          

No, I didn't make it to the MOA rally, but I did hear from others on BMWST.COM that it was rather hot there. Of course, it was rather hot everywhere this summer!

This is one of the first pictures I took when I bought my D70s back in the summer of '06. I enjoyed a nice ride to San Francisco and had to capture this shot. I had no idea how to take pictures when I took this shot, so don't ask me why the exif file reveals all sorts of backwards settings (not that I am much better now, but I am more knowledgeable now!)



This is from a trip to Death Valley (prior to buying my first DSLR):



And here's my baby at home in Massachusetts (I ride all over the country, and that's what stoked my interest in photography to begin with):

Beemerman2k
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Ellis Feibush Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Sun 14-Aug-11 12:40 PM
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#29. "RE: I find matrix extremely good for most subjects with the D7000"
In response to Reply # 27


Summit, US
          

Very nice bike beemerman. Keep the shiny side up!

efeibush

  

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Sat 13-Aug-11 09:09 PM
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#24. "RE: Now fine tune optimal exposure"
In response to Reply # 0


Yorkshire, GB
          

Many Nikon's have a menu to fine tune optimal exposure separately between matrix, center weighted and spot.
If you like matrix regularly at minus 0.7 and center weighted unmodified page 213 of the instructions explains how to do this.
I normally work to minus 0.3 EV with digital, partly because this is how I worked with slide film.
The main exposure skill is probably to learn when matrix or center weighted gets a different result to what you want.
Displaying the histogram after a first shot of a difficult subject is one of the great advantages of DSLR's. You get instant feedback, once you learn how to read a histogram, as to whether exposure is good or over or under.
If a highlight is burned out the problem is worse with digital than with slide film. Nikon helpfully provide an option to display areas of burned out highlights.
For those not familiar with the histogram and highlight display options on the rear screen pages 163 to 171 of the instruction book offer a starting point.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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sirraj Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Oct 2005Sun 14-Aug-11 12:17 PM
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#28. "RE: Now fine tune optimal exposure"
In response to Reply # 24
Sun 14-Aug-11 12:18 PM by sirraj

Minneapolis, US
          

The problem with fine tuning the exposure for matrix metering (menu choice B5 on the D7000) is that it affects every shot. There are many cases where matrix metering does an excellent job, flash photography for example. The originator of this thread found that he has to do less checking of the histogram and re-shooting with center weighted metering, and I agree.

Sirraj

  

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Sun 14-Aug-11 07:27 PM
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#30. "RE: Now fine tune optimal exposure"
In response to Reply # 28


Ellington, US
          

Yes, and that's the issue. Normally, Matrix Metering returns excellent results! Therefore, I end up simply relying on it, neglecting to consistently check the histogram, and only after a few outdoor shots at a sun lit scene realizing that I am grossly overexposing. Indoors, using a flash, cloudy days -- most other situations there's no problem using Matrix Metering, which is why my guard will drop completely.

IF Matrix buys you something that you cannot otherwise get, therefore making the risk worth while, then sure, knock down EV to -7 or work with that custom setting B5 or whatever. Unless and until I see why I should bother, Center Weighted returns consistent, bulletproof results in and of itself.

Beemerman2k
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DigitalDarrell Platinum Member Founding Member of the Nikonians writer Guild. Author of most of the NikoniansPress books. Charter MemberWed 17-Aug-11 06:42 AM
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#31. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 0


Knoxville, US
          

Beemerman2k,

In some cases aftermarket lenses will expose quite differently from a Nikkor. I have a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX lens that significantly overexposes in matrix on several of my Nikons. I do not have the problem with Nikkors.

Since you mentioned using a Tamron, have you tried shooting in the sun with a newer Nikon lens? Also, I have found that recent Nikons tend to pay more attention to the AF point in use, even in matrix mode. Where are you placing the AF point when shooting? Are you using Single-point AF or Auto-area AF? Auto-area AF tends to expose more brightly for me. I like to use Single-point AF when I can, so that I can tell matrix where to pay the most attention by placing the AF point on the most important part of my subject.

My D7000 exposes well with matrix—when using Nikkor lenses. It does tend to expose a little brighter than my D300S, but I like that! My D300S tends to underexpose a little and I like to keep my camera's histogram right on the edge of bright-side clipping anyway. There is a lot more room for great color and less noise in the high-order bits just below overexposure. Are you shooting in 14-bit mode?

Learn to use your histogram. If you keep it close to the right edge, without crossing the boundary, and are shooting in RAW, you may do better. The D7000's histogram is based on the tone curve of an average JPEG created by the camera's software, even if you are shooting in RAW mode. A JPEG has a more limited dynamic range, so I find that pushing the histogram to the edge while shooting in RAW (greater dynamic range) still leaves me with a good exposure without clipping the highlights if I don't push the histogram well into clipping territory. A RAW file simply has more highlight headroom and you can control the tone curve after the fact instead of relying on what the camera's meter chooses.

Also, what Picture Control are you using? If you are using Vivid you may have some problems due to the deliberate increase in contrast in that mode. Have you tried shooting with the Neutral (NL) Picture Control? The extended dynamic range in NL sometimes helps.




Digital Darrell

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Wed 17-Aug-11 10:56 AM
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#32. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 31


St Petersburg, RU
          

Thank you for a very informative post. I was not aware of the reference used for the histogram. That explains why pushing to closer to the edge results in still having lots of room at the high end in RAW. I got used to seeing RAW and JPG not being that different on my D90 but the more I capture at the high end the more headroom there seems to be with the D7000.
I think, from seeing setups for a few users, that those of us who have not have a problem with Matrix overexposing, personal choices in settings are impacting the exposure more than one might assume.
It would be interesting to see if the same users, with the same "problematic matrix" camera were shot after factory defaults were returned to and a Nikon lens mounted, experienced the same tendency to overexpose. There are more interactive settings available than any other camera in its class which might be the root of the problem.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Wed 17-Aug-11 12:28 PM
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#33. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 31


Ellington, US
          

Thanks for the information Mr Young. I'll have to experiment: I have two Nikon primes (35 & 50 F1.8G -- their latest $200 versions), so I'll put those on the camera and see what kind of results I get.

Yes I only shoot raw, and yes I shoot in 14 bit mode, and no I don't habitually check the histogram nearly as often as I should!

Beemerman2k
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sirraj Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Oct 2005Wed 17-Aug-11 03:57 PM
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#34. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 31


Minneapolis, US
          

Whatever the reason (picture control, lens choice, etc.) many people think the D7000 overexposes bright scenes when using matrix metering. Many reviewers have said the same thing. I use the histogram constantly and I find that I don't have to retake a shot nearly as often when using center weighted metering. I never use matrix metering anymore when I am outdoors. So many negative comments from reviewers convinces me that there really is a problem.

cameralabs.com - Note the D7000, like previous Nikon DSLRs we've tested, initially over-exposed this composition using Matrix metering without any compensation. The original exposure of 1/200 at f8 and 100 ISO delivered an image where the tonal range was shifted well over to the right side, resulting in clipping on the highlights.

dpreview.com - All in all the D7000 delivers very good image quality, but there is one negative that we've mentioned in previous pages and have to stress again here. In bright, high-contrast conditions the camera has a tendency to overexpose - unfortunately by quite a large degree.

dcresource.com - The biggest issue I had with the D7000 was that it really loves to overexpose, usually by 1/3 or 1/2 stop.

amateurphotographer.com - I found that when shooting an overcast sky I needed to underexpose images by as much as 1EV from the metered evaluative reading in an attempt to stop the highlights burning out.

Sirraj

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Wed 17-Aug-11 04:34 PM
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#35. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 34
Wed 17-Aug-11 04:57 PM by briantilley

Paignton, GB
          

>Whatever the reason (picture control, lens choice, etc.) many
>people think the D7000 overexposes bright scenes when using
>matrix metering...

...and many more (if this Forum is anything to go by) do not

>Many reviewers have said the same thing.

Some have, but one reviewer whose opinions I trust more than most - Thom Hogan - does not. Check out the "Metering System" section of his review here.

>So many negative comments from reviewers convinces
>me that there really is a problem.

It may be that you are only looking for reviews that support your own experiences...? Either way, as has been pointed out many times, do not expect Nikon to "fix" the camera's Matrix algorithms.

Edited to add...

I recall that you were one of those that felt the D80 over-exposed in Matrix - see this thread from 2007.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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sirraj Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Oct 2005Wed 17-Aug-11 05:38 PM
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#37. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 35


Minneapolis, US
          

My point is that you will find many reviewers who believe the D7000 MM overexposes and this is a problem for Nikon. It can't help sales when people read these reviews and often see these negative comments about overexposure. Exposure is subjective and of course not every reviewer agrees, but I read an awful lot of complaints about D7000 matrix metering.

Yes, that was me in 2007 and in my opinion, the D80, D90 and the D7000 all overexpose to a certain degree, when using mm. The D7000 is better than the D80, but I always use the D7000 CW metering when I'm outdoors.

Nikon can't make everyone happy, and cw metering solves the problem for me, so I am happy.

Sirraj

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Wed 17-Aug-11 05:51 PM
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#38. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 37


Paignton, GB
          

>It can't help sales when people read these reviews and often
>see these negative comments about overexposure.

I quite agree. That's why, when this topic is raised, we try to point out the fact that the problem is far from universal - many of our members don't see any problem at all, in the same way that many (including me) had no issues with the D80's metering.

>Nikon can't make everyone happy, and cw metering solves the
>problem for me, so I am happy.

And that's what matters

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Wed 17-Aug-11 08:31 PM
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#39. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 37


Joanna, US
          

I'm one that does not believe the D7000 matrix overexposes unless put in a position to do so and the idea of "many" is very subjective. These "many" may not feel the same way once they understand the use of the different metering systems. And, again they may. Isn't it great that Nikon included more than one metering system and one only has to wonder why they'd do that?
I agree with Brian regarding Thom Hogan's thoughts and Thom explained about using center-weighted during very bright conditions. So have many others.
You mentioned that you have read an awful lot of complaints. I've seen an awful lot of great pictures produced using matrix; center, and spot too. Darrell included a very informative piece regarding the histogram and this is another of many tools that will assist the photographer. As Brian mentioned, if you're happy then stick with it and it becomes a win/win.

John

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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billD80 Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2007Thu 18-Aug-11 02:36 AM
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#41. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 37


US
          

It can't
>help sales when people read these reviews and often see these
>negative comments about overexposure.


I wasn't aware that sales was a problem for Nikon with the D7000.

www.billkeane.zenfolio.com

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Thu 18-Aug-11 04:07 PM
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#45. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 34


St Petersburg, RU
          

Be careful with assuming the testers are familiar with the operation of the camera. A good case in point was the DPR reviewer, who only admitted that he did not know Nikon and was a confirmed Canon fan, when his many assumptions and mistakes were pointed out after posting his "findings". He even went so far as to justify not using the manual to learn because users don't read the manual. He also panned the camera because of its Auto ISO function was not just like Canon, so claimed it was a bad design.
The other reviewers also have some weak justifications for their not learning about the camera, or any Nikon, before reviewing Nikon's.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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DigitalDarrell Platinum Member Founding Member of the Nikonians writer Guild. Author of most of the NikoniansPress books. Charter MemberWed 17-Aug-11 05:27 PM
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#36. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 17-Aug-11 11:04 PM by DigitalDarrell

Knoxville, US
          

I think it is really critical for users to understand the dynamic range limitations of a digital imaging sensor. When there is a very bright and contrasty situation (sunny day), the dynamic range of the scene can often be twice what the camera can record.

Your eyes can see much more than the camera can capture, so you may not be aware of the limitation. Often "overexposure" is simply the hard fact that one is shooting for the darker areas of the image and there is too much light to record darker values and the highlights too. Understanding how a histogram works and using it regularly will absolutely solve this issue for the majority of photographers. Leading them to use HDR or other techniques to contain the light.

The histogram will allow you to see, at a glance, whether there is more light than the camera can possibly capture. If you do not learn to use the histogram, digital photography will always be a mystery to you. Sometimes it will work, other times not, and you won't know why. Understanding dynamic range and how the histogram informs you will save you much aggravation.

Here is an article I wrote many years ago. It is a little dated, but has helped many to understand the histogram a bit better:

http://www.nikonians.org/html/resources/guides/digital/histogram_101/index.html

I hope this helps!




Digital Darrell

  

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wwt67 Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2010Wed 17-Aug-11 11:52 PM
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#40. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 17-Aug-11 11:54 PM by wwt67

Warsaw, US
          

Beemerman, I totally agree with you on this. I started that long post back in May, I think it was. Neil posted two photos that made it all click for me. In MM I didn't realize that the focus point could affect exposure like it does. I blame Nikon for their very basic and misleading explanation of MM (IMO). They state that MM meters wide area of the scene, tone, etc and sets exposure accordingly. CW puts more emphasis on the center area. Spot exposes for the focus point. Nikon says nothing about MM putting so much emphasis on the focus point. If they do, please point me in that direction in the manual. To me, their description of Spot is more like how MM works.
So my lesson learned, with MM in high contrast scenes, don't focus on a dark or mid tone area if you care about the bright areas.

I too was using MM at -.7 EV. But now I use CW exclusively and I find it works 99.5% of the time. You still need to be a little careful with CW because if a dark area is in the center of the frame it will clip the highlights.

That's what's great about the WWW, you can learn so much more than a users manual will tell you!

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Thu 18-Aug-11 02:38 AM
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#42. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 40
Thu 18-Aug-11 02:42 AM by beemerman2k

Ellington, US
          

OK, while I was mowing the lawn tonight, I noticed the sun was low in the sky, which caused it to light up the same set of trees I posted pictures of back in the earlier thread on this topic. So I paused my work, ran into the house, grabbed my D7000, my Tamron lens, and my Nikon 35mm F1.8 prime to do some quick and dirty experimentation. I would encourage all to do this experiment to see if you notice any difference in how the matrix v center weighted render a scene.

Now, keep in mind, that my center weighted meter is set to "Average", which means it averages out the entire scene. So its really acting as a very simplistic form of matrix metering. One last point, I read that the D5100 matrix meter does not exhibit this same behavior as the D7000 does in bright conditions, can someone verify this claim? If that's true, then why would that be?

One more thing, Darrell Young was absolutely correct: my camera's picture mode was indeed set to Vibrant. I reset it back to Standard prior to taking these pictures. Personally, I think this setting alone goes a long way toward explaining the behavior I was getting with bright scenes in matrix metering mode more than anything else.

OK, here's the test results:

All pictures taken in Aperture Priority Mode, 0 EV compensation, at 35mm (had to approximate using the Tamron, the Nikon is a 35mm prime), with the focus point set dead center (although I am in 9 point AFC mode, my new favorite as I rely on using the AE button to engage my auto-focus).

First, the Tamron 17-50 F2.8 lens in Matrix Metering mode:


Second, the Tamron in Center Weighted Metering Mode:


Now, the Nikon 35mm prime in Matrix Metering Mode:


Finally, the Nikon 35mm prime in Center Weighted Mode:


The differences are far less than I would have expected! Certainly far less than what I posted back in May. I think the difference is the fact that my camera setting was set to Vibrant picture mode and that's what emphasized the difference in exposure. I wish I owned the Nikon 18-55 F2.8 lens as that would make for a better comparison with the Tamron, but using these two lenses, I'd say both enabled the meters to read the scenes quite comparably. Oh, and I removed my Circular Polarizer from the Tamron for this test!

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Porceliamone Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Jul 2011Fri 19-Aug-11 08:40 PM
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#46. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 42


GB
          

I'm finding that I shoot more and more with CW metering or simply go manual with the D7000. I took some landscapes on top of the Lake District (UK) and the immediate results were more favourable with CW than Matrix.

  

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Wed 05-Oct-11 10:00 AM
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#53. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 42


Yorkshire, GB
          

Looking at the 4 images both Tamron images look brighter - perhaps to do with the lens to camera aperture stop down linkage.
Of the 2 Nikon lens shots there is about half a stop difference in exposure between matrix and CW.
English late summer foliage is about half a stop darker than a Kodak grey card.
Matrix seems to have recognised this and applied some plus compensation to "brighten" the shadows in the foliage.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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jmiguez Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2010Wed 05-Oct-11 11:45 AM
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#54. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 53


Lafayette, US
          

I matrix metering and the histogram a lot. I have noticed that on bright sunny days, I have often needed to use EV compensation. I never thought much of it, but after reading this thread, I do understand the "why" a lot more. I find that on bright sunny days with lots of glare, I have difficulty in viewing the image on the camera's screen. The histogram is easier to see.

One thing I have been doing lately is shooting three shot bracketed HDR with contrasty scenes. I shoot -2, 0, +2 and run the three images through Oloneo's Photo Engine (a program I learned about here in the HDR forum). I find it easy and simple to use and really like the results. Below is one such image.



John

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billD80 Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2007Thu 18-Aug-11 02:41 AM
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#43. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 40


US
          

>I too was using MM at -.7 EV. But now I use CW exclusively and
>I find it works 99.5% of the time. You still need to be a
>little careful with CW because if a dark area is in the center
>of the frame it will clip the highlights.

But, if CW works 99.5% of the time, then being careful is only relevant for .5% of all exposures! Pretty darn accurate...

www.billkeane.zenfolio.com

  

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wwt67 Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2010Thu 18-Aug-11 02:59 AM
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#44. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 43


Warsaw, US
          

>But, if CW works 99.5% of the time, then being careful is only
>relevant for .5% of all exposures! Pretty darn accurate...

No, I'm just that good!

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Sun 21-Aug-11 03:49 AM
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#47. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 44


Ellington, US
          

Have you all noticed the camera that took the winning picture in the September 2011 issue of, "Popular Photography"? The "Your Best Shot" column had a "Colorful Scenes" competition, and the winner took a great shot of seagulls, while in flight, fighting over a fish. The photographer used his Nikon D7000 with the kit 18-105mm lens. Here's a quote from the photographer, Bill Alkire, "The boat was moving from side to side as I composed and let Matrix metering work its magic".

What makes this quote so interesting in the context of this thread is that the daylight, sun lit sky serves as the backdrop as the photographer is looking up at the sky while taking this shot. I would have bet my bottom dollar that Matrix metering would have resulted in an overexposed image!

OK, I suppose unless anyone wants to post some test results, this issue is pretty much a closed case. As of now, the "D7000 does NOT over expose in Matrix metering" crowd is looking like the winners here

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DigitalDarrell Platinum Member Founding Member of the Nikonians writer Guild. Author of most of the NikoniansPress books. Charter MemberSun 21-Aug-11 04:17 AM
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#48. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 47


Knoxville, US
          

James,

Most likely, he was shooting in RAW, which gave him more headroom for overexposure, and later post-processed the image in Nikon Capture NX2, using the color points to adjust contrast and color.

It is amazing what one can accomplish with Capture NX2 and a RAW image.




Digital Darrell

  

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happysnappy123 Registered since 08th May 2002Mon 22-Aug-11 04:12 PM
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#49. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 0


Perth, AU
          

To be honest, I have actually found the D7000's matrix meter to be quite good if/when you're shooting RAW. I have found that the dynamic range of the sensor to be excellent, so much so that even a couple of stop of overexposure can be brought back rather nicely even without HDR.

  

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beemerman2k Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Mar 2006Tue 23-Aug-11 02:03 AM
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#50. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 49


Ellington, US
          

Back when I bought my D7000, the first thing I did was to put it in Vibrant mode to ensure my jpgs came out to my liking. It was a completely unnecessary move as I do all my own post processing. In any case, I totally forgot that I did that, and that in turn caused the problem I was experiencing.

So now, I look forward to working with the Matrix Meter without this setting so I can rediscover its capabilities. But yes, I do agree that when shooting 14 bit raw, it's amazing how much of an over/under exposed picture can be salvaged.

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Ellis Feibush Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Fri 26-Aug-11 12:56 PM
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#51. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 50
Sat 27-Aug-11 08:22 PM by Ellis Feibush

Summit, US
          

Just got back from a 5-day Bahamas cruise. Picture control was set at the Vivid setting and metering was Matrix. Pictures were absolutely superb. I found that the D7000 metering functioned no differently than any other Nikon models I have owned. Sometimes you had to tweak image compensation on the + side and other times on the - side. And, even sometimes you could shoot at -O-! It all depended on where you placed the focusing square and the brightness of the day. In bright, contrasty Bahamas sunlight you sometimes needed -.03 and shooting into the sun, a technique I really like, you of course, needed to go to the + side +.03 at least.
Almost every image required a little exposure tweaking, so to speak.
One thing for sure, the beautiful IQ this camera produces is absolutely superb, and also what makes it better is if you have time, take Pre-
custom white balance settings as often as possible.
The D7000 produces beautiful images. Of that there is no doubt, however, not unlike most Nikon models, it requires some sort of learning curve; a short one indeed will enable you to have this camera making fine, slide-like, images that are tack sharp and have excellent, realistic color. You don't have to know every last nook and cranny of this camera to make fine images. Just look through that great viewfinder and start pressing the shutter is all you have to do!

efeibush

  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Tue 11-Oct-11 03:54 AM
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#55. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 50


New Tampa, US
          

>Back when I bought my D7000, the first thing I did was to put
>it in Vibrant mode to ensure my jpgs came out to my liking.
>It was a completely unnecessary move as I do all my own post
>processing. In any case, I totally forgot that I did that,
>and that in turn caused the problem I was experiencing.
>
>So now, I look forward to working with the Matrix Meter
>without this setting so I can rediscover its capabilities.
>But yes, I do agree that when shooting 14 bit raw, it's
>amazing how much of an over/under exposed picture can be
>salvaged.


Folks,

as per Thom Hogan's review on D7000:

"However, all isn't perfect. Be aware of one very big caveat: when the scene you're metering hits 16.3 EV, the matrix metering system gives up and sets its value for 16.3 EV, no matter how much more light there may be. EV 16.3 at ISO 100 is f/11 at 1/500, which is barely beyond Sunny 16. This won't occur all that often in your shooting, but it does occur sometimes, so make note of that. In really bright light conditions (snow, beach, etc.) you probably need to be in centerweighted metering."


Is this addressed by Nikon in 1.02 FW?

  

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ScottsFJ40 Silver Member Nikonian since 11th Sep 2007Wed 05-Oct-11 06:37 AM
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#52. "RE: No longer using Matrix Metering on my D7K"
In response to Reply # 0


Olympia, US
          

Glad I dug my way though to find this thread. I was just complaining tonight that shots I were taking in bright daylight were coming out over exposed while in Matrix mode.

Scott Wood
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Twitter: Scott_Wood

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