Exposure Metering Button

Nikon D7000 exposure metering buttonExplanation: This button allows to select the type of exposure metering together with the main command dial at the back:

 matrix: The camera evaluates brightness at many different points to get a balanced exposure, suitable for as many parts of the picture as possible.

The D7000 uses 2016 points and also uses color information. With modern Nikon lenses (having a „G“ or „D“ in their name) the D7000 also uses information from autofocus.
You can watch that the exposure changing if you keep the image in the viewfinder unchanged but move around a manually selected focus point.

With older lenses this kind of metering may not work, then the D7000 may change to center-weighted if the focal length and maximum aperture are not set in the system menu Non-CPU lens data.

 center-weighted: The camera will measure the brightness across the whole image but give more weight to the area in the middle.

The area getting more weight is a circle with 8 mm diamater, so roughly half of the image height and about has high as the autofocus area. The custom setting menu b4 Center-weighted area allows to choose a different size.

 spot: Only a small area of about 2,5% of the image is used for exposure metering. This spot is

  • in the center of the viewfinder if you use automatic focus point selection
  • around the active focus point if you use manual focus point selection.

Together with the delete button the exposure metering button allows to format the memory card (see the next chapter below).

Tips: Leave this setting with its default value for matrix metering. Nikon‘s standard exposure metering is excellent!

The other methods may use who is familiar with how they work and influence your results, a complete explanation does not fit in here.
Just one short tip: The spot metering can be suitable if you have high contrasts between the brightest and darkest area in your picture and you want to instruct the camera to measure the exposure only on a specific area that matters for your picture instead of trying to find some kind of average. And when doing so you should also use manual focus point selection instead of „AUTO“ and you should focus on the point where you want to take the exposure.

And don‘t forget: All cameras – the D7000 like any other compact camera and even more expensive professional ones – regularly need exposure compensation, no matter what kind of metering you use.