I mainly use matrix metering, but will change as shooting conditions require. I, too, am still figuring out the camera, but am finding that I am changing the metering mode more frequently to match the application.
I'm not stuck on any one metering mode or camera setting .. I use them all when the time is right for me. Spot metering is my choice though when I want to really get into the picture taking process and have the results turn out as I have invisioned.
I like to "take the bull by the horns" approach and expose my critical subject area as I want it exposed and let the rest of the picture fall in place exposure wise.
When time is of the essence I combine spot metering with the "easy exposure compensation setting" so my thumb can add or subtract exposure compensation quickly without looking up from the camera. The spot meter intergrates with the focus sensor and with a little practice even action shots can be spot metered .. focused .. exposure adjusted in little time.
This is not spot metering where one compares one spot metered area to another .. as I do often in landscape photography with my camera set in manual on tripod ect..
When on the move and I know my subject most of the time my focus sensor and exposure compensation are all set before the subject even enters the viewfinder .. either my subject walks into the viewfinder or I drop the viewfinder onto the subject and when the sensor hits the subject I take the shot.
It's not always necessary to meter the subject in the viewfinder before determining final exposure .. this can all be done in the minds eye. It's all relative to the subject.
Interesting. It would be fun if you could do some more similar polls. I suggest: 1. Focussing mode most often used: Single point always in the centre, simgle point - and I move it, multi...(several options), manual focus. 2. Exposure mode most often used: P A S M 3. Auto-ISO: On Off 4. Number of lenses in frequent use: 1 2 3 4 5 more 5. How do I clean my sensor: Never, Blower, Wet wipe 6. I always keep a filter on my lens for protection: Yes No 7. How many photos per year: <100 100-500 500-1000 1000-5000 5000-10000 10000+
I use all three. Use matrix for general scenes, centre weighted for concert photography (where the lights are constantly changing and spot metering would be too slow to implement) and use spot for any tricky metering situations.
Matrix metering covers most of my style of photography (which is basically everything from portraits, sports, landscape). I do exposure compensation on top of that if necessary. My only issue I find with matrix is that it tends to underexpose high-contrast situations when there is a bright background (more than 30% of frame) and a backlit subject. This camera seems particularly sensitive to this situation; exp. compensation is req. Generally, though, I am pleased with matrix metering and only switch to spot metering for highly backlit compositions.
A Richmond, B.C. Nikonian - FM2n, F100, D300, D800
I change for the occasion. I do a some shooting indoors near windows. With the D300 it is easy to flip the level to spot metering and with auto iso I can expose for faces even somewhat backlit without using a flash. In Camera Raw I adjust for the subject then open as a smart object. In Photoshop I make a copy of the smart object then reenter Camera Raw to adjust for the window light. Then I mask in the adjusted window light in Photoshop. Ends up being a nice balance image without flash.