What's the Camera's Meter?

Clouds near Hamilton, Montana

Regardless of which exposure mode you choose on your camera, the proper brightness of your image starts with the camera's built-in light meter (or meter). This device measures the amount of light entering the lens and striking the sensor to create the photo.

Light from the sun reflects off the subject and enters the camera lens.
The meter measures the amount of light reaching the sensor inside the camera.

The meter is called a "reflected light" meter because it measures the amount of light reflected off the scene you have pointed the camera toward. Learning how to read and interpret what the meter tells you is essential for learning to use manual exposure mode.

Learn how to read the camera's meter and adjust settings for your desired exposure in my Mastering Manual Exposure class in Missoula, Montana, on March 30, 2018. Click here to register.