Suppose I have selected a particular metering mode, ie spot. Now let's say I manually select an off-center focus point. When I press the release button half way I assume the spot metering is done at the selected focus point and not in the actual center of the picture. Is that correct? Is the same true if I am selecting center-weighted metering? (Sorry if this is stupid question-I looked at the manual but it didn't seem to explain it very well.) Thanks.
Center weighted is, I think, mostly a matter of compatibility with the past. Forty years ago having a meter at all was at the technological state of the art; the first meters were averaging meters that pretty much read the entire frame. Center weighted meters were developed to improve upon that, and they have been refined over time. One of their appealing characteristics is that they are very consistent. Unlike the default matrix (or Canon "evaluative") meter, small changes in the frame composition do NOT sometimes cause large swings in the meter reading. So for those two reasons center weighted meters are still with us. But as you note, there are more advanced situations where center weighted doesn't really make a lot of sense.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
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So I guess a good way to use center-weighted metering would be to meter and focus in the center by holding the release button half way down and then to recompose as desired and shoot. Does that make sense?