Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted
I have been using Matrix metering for almost all my shots, as that is what I used on my D5000 and it worked great for me. I've also been experiencing over exposure problems. Maybe you saw my post with the rose? Yesterday I did a test with a fairly high contrast scene. I shot in A priority with matrix and center weighted (default 8mm circle) at 0, -.3, -.7 and -1 EV. I did two rounds of tests. One with focus point on a very dark area and another on a bright sunlite area.
The shots with MM were very overexposed, except for -1 EV, which looked great. Surprisingly, for me, was CW with 0 EV was equal to MM -1 EV. I also found the photos with CW metering were slightly sharper than the MM shots, even after doing some post processing.
It looks like I will be using CW for now and see how it works.
I also remember the first photos posted by Chase Jarvis were all shot with CW metering (at least the ones I looked at). Maybe he knew something is not right with MM?
Anyone have a similar experience?
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#1. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 0jrp Charter MemberTue 09-Nov-10 03:04 AM
I use Center-weighted metering for portraits, when my subject is not filling up the entire frame or a large portion of it, and I don't care about the background.
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#2. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 0KnightPhoto Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006Tue 09-Nov-10 03:20 AM
Just to be clear, centre-weight metering does not change the area it meters based on where you select the focus point. It is always metering using the central area, even if you set a focus point way over to the side.
Best regards, SteveK
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#3. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 0
Tone Selection also impacts your exposure settings. Do you know what your tone settings were during your experimentation?
Even with the latest cameras, the photographer still has to make conscious decisions about tone/contrast. My approach with this since the D100 has been to capture the scene with *less* contrast, not more. In post-processing, it's easier to *add* contrast in, but incredibly difficult to *reduce* contrast later. This preserves shadow detail and allow you to tweak the curve to minimize color channel blowout.
I saw your flower photos and a lower tone curve setting would have helped you recover some detail and still get the color and saturation you were seeking.
#5. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 3Tue 09-Nov-10 10:30 PM
Not sure what you mean by tone selection. Do you mean picture controls such as standard, landscape, vivid? I was using landscape.
I'm finding it difficult and frustrating to get a handle on this camera. My D5k was so easy to get great results that did not require a lot of post processing. The settings on the D7k are so much different than my D5k that I'm finding the same tweaks for the D5k do not work on the D7k. Maybe it's the fact that the D7k is so much more advanced that my novice skills are really shining through.
I stand by my original comment about this camera, It is less forgiving for having an incorrect setting.
I really like everything about the D7k, except getting proper exposure. Not so happy about that.
I haven't read about anyone really complaining about this to the point of being a problem. Could I have a bad copy?
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#6. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 5briantilley Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Wed 10-Nov-10 07:25 AM
>Could I have a bad copy?
I think it's much more likely that you simply haven't yet found the best combination of settings to give you the results you are seeking.
Stick with it...
#8. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 5Wed 10-Nov-10 12:10 PM
Tone curve selection is available in Picture Controls. I believe that Picture Controls has at least four variables - Color Mode, Sharpness, Contrast (which is Tone Curve) and Saturation(?). I'm not at the home PC so I can't confirm the last factor. All of those factors have a direct or indirect effect on exposure as well as Image Quality. When you choose a built-in Picture Control set such as Standard, Vivid, etc., you need to be aware that you have given up a part of control to that preset. Giving up control isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you need to understand *what* it is you're giving up so you are making a cognitive choice in order to get the picture you want.
One of the things you need to get a handle on when moving up to higher-specification camera is to baseline the unit's performance. Other than the obvious changes to handling, ergonomics, and file sizes; what the camera actually does in different situations has to be understood. You've got two ways to do this - trial & error or systemic analysis. The former is quick and easy, but could be dangerous to your hair, and the latter is slow, at times extremely boring, but builds your confidence in the long run.
This means putting the camera at lowest base ISO, Standard Picture Controls, P mode, the most automated AF focus mode and a tripod. Start with static subjects and predictable or controllable lighting. Work your way through the Shooting Modes, then change another variable. I prefer to then understand AF modes, center, off-center, horizontal versus portrait orientation. Then I move to a different set of Picture Controls. This is time-consuming and tedious. It doesn't mean you stop taking photos, but if you complete a test using all four Shooting Modes with a specific Picture Control set and a specific focus mode, guess what? You know what the camera does in that setting. Congrats! Go out, take some photos using that Bank of controls. Then another weekend or day, change one of the variables.
Jumping from setting to setting without understanding what it does is just a recipe for disaster. I understand this can be frustrating to folks who are used to having a lot of automation in their camera. But you don't buy a DSLR for automation alone. You bought a DSLR because you presumably wanted more control over the creative process of capturing a photo. There is automation in there, and if properly used, can be of great advantage to you. But it means you'll need to crack the books and get your homework done on baselining performance. Otherwise you can never say that you know confidently what your equipment can or can't do. More importantly, you cannot say one day that the equipment is limiting you and you need to upgrade.
#7. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 0
I do think MM is different than my previous nikon digitals (100, 200, 300, 700). I think it gives more weight to the area around the focus point. I haven't posted about it because I've not done any scientific tests. I'm no tester and I don't play one on TV.
That said, exposure is exposure. However you meter, it comes down to the exposure triangle (see Brian Peterson). So use your 5k to meter a scene, get the exposure you want, then see what MM tells you on the 7k. If it's way out, maybe you got a lemon. Be sure to use same focal length and focus on the same spot.
I know this ain't scienterrific but if it's out as far as you think (enough that you can see it) it will at least tell you if it's cause for further concern. If not get back to shooting. If so, take it back.
Edited to add: now that the cats out, I will post some shots which led me to that conclusion. BTW: I don't think it's wrong, just different. When I had a strong highlight on a subject that I isolated with DOF, I believe it exposed less than my experience. No, I did not compare to anything. I was in the woods with one body.
#9. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 7waldo647 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2007Wed 10-Nov-10 12:58 PM
On my D80 shooting in Manual (mostly outdoors), I almost always shoot 1 tick on the meter to the right, sometime 2 ticks in high contrast, at the 0 tick it's over-exposed. I think I saw a post here several years ago, that it was deliberate because it was better to lose highlights than shadows. (Big over-simplification.)
The Image Doctors (Nikonian Podcasters par excellence) suggest with a new camera that we start with the auto modes to learn all the capabilities of the camera, before going manual, custom tweaking, etc. (Over-simplification again. That podcast is likely available if you're interested.) In contrast to my D80 experience, I'm looking forward to trying all the scene modes, or at least parallel shooting with them.
Getting up to ISO 6400 with 16 megapixels (and Dx0 saying their D7000 score equals the D700) tells me this is decidedly new technology—requiring a bit more study to master it.
There's great info on the forums here which has really helped me over the years, and I'm grateful to all the advanced posters that take the time to help us out!
#10. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 0
>Anyone have a similar experience?
Yes, with my D700. MM blew the highlights all the time. I tried CW set to average and got correct exposures.
I dialled in -1 stop on the fine tune optimal exposure for MM & all was well.
I've also got spot metering turned down.
Its setting b5 on the d7000 I think. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with your d7000.
You might want to try the neutral picture control for your initial testing & experiment with the others later once you get used to the camera.
Enjoy your new camera !
#11. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 10Mike55Y Nikonian since 02nd Jun 2006Thu 11-Nov-10 07:27 PM
Surely "tone controls" or picture controls have NO effect on the RAW file. You can change any or all of these in processing, since there is no effect on the captured data.
#12. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 11Fri 12-Nov-10 12:26 PM | edited Fri 12-Nov-10 01:38 PM by Covey22
"Surely "tone controls" or picture controls have NO effect on the RAW file."
RAW files do store settings in a side-car file, but it's not a truly "stateless" format. If you get the exposure wrong in-camera, it's still wrong, and that information *is embedded* in the photo. If the photo you take has blown highlights, it's blown period. If it's blown and within the ability to recover using Digital DEE, Highlights/Shadows, etc., then you're okay. If it's not, it's not.
As for Picture Controls having no effect on exposure overall - I offer you the following -
Take any unedited photo (JPEG or RAW) out of your camera - import into your preferred photo editing tool. Run Auto-Levels on it. Unless the photo is a true solid mid-tone (i.e., you took a photo of a well-illuminated gray card that filled the frame), you will see a shift in overall brightness or darkness. Auto-Levels is changing the Tone Curve applied to the photo.
Other aspects; search for the terms "P&S tone curve" and "UniWB."
P&S Tone Curve - when the D70 first came out, the majority of compact owners who transitioned to the body were surprised by the amount of post-process needed to make their photos appear as good as their P&S units. They then sought the holy grail of Tone Curves to give them better out-of-the-box results. There's been some success, but not a whole lot - there's no one unified curve that proves to be useful in all general photography situations.
UniWB - the concept that White Balance (also a so-called Stateless Setting in RAW) also influences exposure, but mostly because the histogram (luminous or RGB) is averaging variations to clipping based on the WB applied at time of capture (and subsequently displayed on LCD preview). A UniWB file gives you an oddly appearing photo on preview, but maximizes your opportunities for dynamic range in post-processing.
Apologies to those who have delved deeply into one or both topics above. I am simplifying for purposes of making a more succinct reply.
This reinforces the age-old adage; the photographer is in charge, first, last and always. It's up to you as the shooter to determine what the real reading is for exposures; use the meter as a basis but never ever give up 100% control - if you agree with the meter, great. If not, adjust and shoot. And never, ever, think that RAW is enough to save a badly exposed photo. It can help optimize it.
#13. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 12waldo647 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2007Fri 12-Nov-10 04:39 PM | edited Fri 12-Nov-10 06:12 PM by waldo647
Len Shepherd alerts us to the D7000 UK Review (in the thread by the same name). It explains the concept of exposing for the shadows in more depth:
Nikon's 2016 RGB pixel metering system copes well in a wide range of conditions, producing balanced exposures under even lighting conditions and coping with moderate back lighting rather well too. Unfortunately a side effect of this is that the camera tends to expose for the shadows in matrix metering mode, which can lead to washed out skies in landscapes with high amounts of contrast. Still, if you are aware of this quirk the appropriate amount of compensation can be applied.
Note: the review also discusses Active D-Lighting, which as opposed to D-Lighting as retouch is more like in-camera HDR, impacting the RAW images as captured, including bracketing possibilities. Please read the review article for more in-depth and accurate info.
Just to clarify: Active D-Lighting was previously available on the D300 & D90. It is not new on the D7000.
Thanks to Len for sharing the D7000 UK Review.
#14. "RE: Some tests Matrix vs Center-weighted" | In response to Reply # 13