D7000, about sunny 16 and matrix metering

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My experience is raw files get the shadows just off the left side and highlights float depending on brightness range of the scene.

I never shoot JPEG, but I suppose a shorter scale subject will appear dark because the camera is exposing to put shadows where they belong, just off the left side.

Since most of my landscape is long scale subjects, sunny 16 works. I use levels and or curves in post to make minor adjustments.

With shorter scale subjects, you can expose more ( to the right) and get a nicely centered histogram.

My 7000 is no different than any other Nikon Dslr. Metering stinks in all including D3 and D700 and I just use manual or spot meter highlights and shadows.
 
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My 7000 is no different than any other Nikon Dslr. Metering stinks in all including D3 and D700 and I just use manual or spot meter highlights and shadows.

That's a bit harsh. More correct would be the metering isn't perfect in all situations so you have to rely on your knowledge of photography to meter the subject appropriately for the conditions. :cool:
 
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Well I guess that settles that then. $1200 for a camera body and they still can't put a proper metering system in it. :mad:

Thanks for following through with this.

Steve- Stay tuned for tomorrow's follow-up article where I compare (again, and more rigorously) how the D300 and D700 manage similar situations.
 
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While I certainly have not done the rigorous tests that you have, Eduardo, my subjective evaluation after six months with the D7000 is that it meters significantly better than any previous Nikon DSLR I have owned. This includes the D70, D70s, D200, D40, D60, and D90. I learned to adapt to all of those and I have learned to adapt to the D7000.

Nevertheless, I appreciate your tests. Thanks for posting.
 
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Steve- Stay tuned for tomorrow's follow-up article where I compare (again, and more rigorously) how the D300 and D700 manage similar situations.

Thank you for doing these. I don't know what you're saying in all of it but it makes me think twice about the d7000. Again, I don't know what you were meaning to say. It looked like to me that if I spent $1500 on a camera that it would meter right. Maybe all cameras are deficient or tricky in this area. I don't know.
 
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It looked like to me that if I spent $1500 on a camera that it would meter right. Maybe all cameras are deficient or tricky in this area. I don't know.

Tomorrow's samples will tell the tale. HINT: what if I told you that even spending nearly twice that much will get you the "right" metering/exposure? I think Bryan Peterson had it right: the only "right" or "correct" exposure is the one you intentionally set for a pre-defined purpose. The best DSLR artificial intelligence can't do that.
 
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While I certainly have not done the rigorous tests that you have, Eduardo, my subjective evaluation after six months with the D7000 is that it meters significantly better than any previous Nikon DSLR I have owned. This includes the D70, D70s, D200, D40, D60, and D90. I learned to adapt to all of those and I have learned to adapt to the D7000.

Nevertheless, I appreciate your tests. Thanks for posting.

With only the D40 and D90 in my background, plus a couple p&s cameras, I can't agree more. The D7000 takes the least exposure management of any of the cameras I have used. I guess my standards are too low.
 
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Eduardo, as far as I know, the latest generation of Nikon cameras are heavily weighted, when using matrix metering, to the AF sensor in use. This, as you very well know, requires care when taking a reading. Desmond, from New Zealand, has also written excellent articles on the behaviour of matrix with these new cameras.
Here in South Florida I use "sunny 16" successfully. By the same token I also use a hand held exposure meter at times. "Sunny 16" is a guide, a very useful one and the photographer knows when to modify it according to the tonalities in his or her subject.
Exposure with digital sensors is not the same as exposure using film. Both media are different. Digital does not have a shoulder like film and it is easy to clip highlights. Color negative film also has a wider dynamic range and "sunny 16" acts as a very good guide when using it.
I learned to meter from a middle tonality in the expectation that other tonalities with similar lighting conditions will be well exposed. "Sunny 16" is no different and in my case I get a large proportion of properly exposed files when I use it.
Something I surely do not do is to take meter readings from the sky except when the sky is my main subject.

William Rodriguez
Miami, Florida.
 
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Something I surely do not do is to take meter readings from the sky except when the sky is my main subject.

I've also learned not to use Brian Peterson's "brothers sky blues" trick in Florida. The sky is seldom the solid blue color needed to get a good reading because of the ever-present atmospheric humidity.
 
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So why did the one from the other day show the D7000 jumping around all over the place, but this one didn't? :confused:
 
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Wanted to let folks know about a couple of articles about D7000 exposure now ready for your review. The first one shows how Sunny 16 isn't as universally applicable as some like to think:

http://imagesbyeduardo.com/main/?p=2883

The second one shows how the D7000 matrix meter heavily biases toward the focus point:

http://imagesbyeduardo.com/main/?p=2906

Interesting comparison. To my eyes, the center weighted averaging for all of the cameras gave the most balanced exposure. Can you tell us what settings you selected on the D7000 for center weighted?

Would you recommend using center weighted vs Matrix metering?

Thanks for doing the tests!

Jim
 
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Eduardo,

I encourage you to conduct a more rigorous comparison using at least the following testing procedures:

1) Use the same lens on all three cameras.
2) Use the same ISO on all three cameras.
3) Show the exact focus point rather than describe its approximate area.

There are probably additional methods you could use, as I'm not proficient in the criteria of thoroughly rigorous testing.

You wrote that "matrix metering should take the whole scene into account." I looked up the description of matrix metering for the D80 and the D7000 (because I happen to have only their manuals on my computer) and that is not how matrix metering is described. Both manuals describe it as "camera meters a wide area of the frame." Indeed, only center-weighted metering is described as "camera meters entire frame" (though it assigns greatest weight to the center area, of course).

It could be that the description of matrix metering is inaccurately described in both manuals (perhaps due to a translation issue from Japanese to English?) or it could be that the description is accurately described. I can't help but notice that both manuals make the distinction that only center-weighted metering takes the entire frame into account. I wouldn't know how accurate the manuals are. However, taking the information provided by the manuals into account, you might want to consider editing your blog unless you can provide documentation indicating that the manuals are wrong.
 
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Well I guess that settles that then. $1200 for a camera body and they still can't put a proper metering system in it. :mad:

Thanks for following through with this.
Hardly! Frankly I am looking forward to having the metering following the focus point for critical exposure.

The thing to remember is the metering will ONLY follow the focus point in spot metering. Center weighted will go from the center point, no matter where you have the focus point.

When I am in portrait mode it is nice to know the face will have proper exposure regardless of the lighting off the clothes/surroundings, etc. as long as my focus point is on the face in spot metering.
 
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Thanks, Mike. That's a good point about the Manual's description. However, this explanation from Nikon's site seems to imply full scene evaluation:

"Matrix metering evaluates multiple segments of a scene to determine the best exposure by essentially splitting the scene into sections, evaluating either 420-segments or 1,005 segments, depending on the Nikon D-SLR in use." -- Reference

It doesn't come out and say "full scene" but it certainly implies it. Bottom line is none of us really know how this algorithm evaluates a scene, Nikon's not about to reveal their secret sauce, and we'll just have to keep on guessing.
 
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So why did the one from the other day show the D7000 jumping around all over the place, but this one didn't? :confused:

Different time of day, slightly different composition, different lighting... You name it. This is also why Matrix (evaluative) metering frustrates so many people. It just doesn't seem to behave the same every time you use it. It does, but if the input variables change ever so slightly, you're toast. This is why for reliable exposures, I don't rely on it. For grab shots, I'm thinking of just going to center-weighed Averaged.
 
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It doesn't come out and say "full scene" but it certainly implies it.

I see no reason to infer that, especially considering that the entire frame is explicitly referred to when using center-weighted metering. The documentation you provided refers to the number of segments in the sensor. Unfortunately, the D7000 manual contains no use of the term, "segment," in context of the sensor. So, we don't know how many segments are in the sensor unless that spec is explained elsewhere. We only know how many segments are used during matrix metering.

I was very surprised to see that your documentation mentions that a database is used to determine metering. (That also is not mentioned in the manual.) I had only known that Auto White Balance is determined by using a database.

That, in turn, leads me to conclude that your test involving one scene is not particularly rigorous, and understandably so. Perhaps the database would be more effective when capturing other scenes.

Bottom line is none of us really know how this algorithm evaluates a scene, Nikon's not about to reveal their secret sauce, and we'll just have to keep on guessing.

Completely agreed.

I actually don't want to make an undue deal out of this. One of the primary benefits of digital photography is that we can examine the histogram immediately after capturing a scene and we can adjust the exposure as needed. So, I really don't care how accurate the exposure is, despite how blasphemous that may seem to participants of a photography forum. That's especially true regarding the non-action scene that you used in your test. The D7000 also allows bracketing the exposure or bracketing the Active D-Lighting, both of which could be helpful in the scene that you used. (By the way, your report of the test didn't mention whether ADL was used.) It seems to me that it will be much more beneficial to learn how to get the most of the D7000 rather than wondering how accurate the exposure is in any given situation.
 
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