I cannot believe I'm realizing this now: multiple/center-weighted metering opposite of Nikon

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by New Daddy, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. New Daddy

    New Daddy Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 24, 2011
    With Panasonic m4/3s, I thought the metering modes meant what their names say and what the manual says: "center-weighted" will have bias for the center and the "multiple" will evaluate the overall exposure. So I thought it was similar to Nikons. With Nikon, "center-weighted" has bias for the dead center of the frame, while "matrix" is more evaluative of the whole scene, with bias for the ACTIVE focus.

    Surprise, surprise... Panasonic's "center-weighted" actually has bias for the ACTIVE focus point, not the dead-center! I've done numerous experiments and it was evident. I think Nikon has nothing comparable to Panasonic's "multiple".

    I think Panasonic should change the nomenclature in metering. "Center-weighted" should be called "Active focus-weighted". It's so much better than inflexible "dead center-weighted" anyway, and they should let people know. Less and less reason to utilize the old "focus-and-recompose" technique.
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  2. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Wow, very interesting. What camera(s) did you use for your tests?

    I recently started a thread asking if there was any information/data on the Panasonic multi-metering pattern, Canon (and I assume Nikon too) advertises how many zones their camera meters have. Seems there may be something lost in the translation regarding these metering modes? :frown:

    Though I have a G3, 99% of my shooting is with a few GX1s. I've found that often center-weighed metering works well for me, usually as well or the same as multi-zone, though I typically use a small, center focus point. I've noticed a very immediate difference when I change to spot metering, but often little differenced between 'center' and 'multi'. However, I change my focus point often enough and I generally don't want the metered area changing too.

    I wonder how this works (or doesn't) when a manual focus lens is used? This might help explain some 'different' results I obtained (no notes to confirm) last weekend when I was shooting very long night exposures with multiple lenses? Most images were made with Panasonic lenses but also a bit with 7.5 FE and 17.5 Voigtlander.

    Your information steers me back toward the multi pattern at a time when I was thinking I would stick with the center-weighted zone (something I'm accustomed to with other systems).
  3. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    With the GH3 your findings don't hold true with my tests.

    Mutli metering averages the entire display.
    Center weighted puts bias on the center of the screen and is not influenced by the focus point.
    With spot metering the spot is independent of the focus area when 23 area focus is selected but the metering spot will follow the focus area when multiple focus (5 point), single point and pin point is selected.

  4. New Daddy

    New Daddy Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 24, 2011
    You're right. I was fooled by TTL flash.

    I did a few more experiment shots, and the TTL flash will bias for the active focus point, regardless of the ambient metering mode. The ambient metering is the same as Nikon.
  5. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Good news, they mean what they say. Back to the center so to speak :wink: