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The AE-L (Auto Exposure Lock) Feature

Sometimes your subject is not in the center of the frame but you still want to use the Center-Weighted metering mode. How can you get an accurate reading if the subject isn’t in the center? Try using the AE-L (Auto Exposure Lock) feature to hold the exposure setting while you recompose.

AE Lock lets you use the exposure setting from any portion of the scene that you think is appropriate and then lock that setting in regardless of how the scene looks when you recompose. An example of this is when you’re shooting a photograph of someone and a large amount of blue sky appears in the picture. Normally, the meter might be fooled by all that bright sky and try to reduce the exposure. Using AE Lock, you can establish the correct metering by zooming in on the subject (or even pointing the camera toward the ground), taking the meter reading and locking it in with the AE-L feature, and then recomposing and taking your photo with the locked-in exposure.

Shooting with the Auto Exposure Lock feature

  1. Find the AE-L button on the back of the camera, and place your thumb on it.
  2. While looking through the viewfinder, place the focus point on your subject, press the shutter release button halfway to get a meter reading, and focus the camera.
  3. Press and hold the AE-L button to lock in the meter reading. You should see the AE-L indicator in the viewfinder.
  4. While pressing in the AE-L button, recompose your shot, and take the photo.
  5. To take more than one photo without having to take another meter reading, just hold down the AE-L button until you are done using the meter setting.
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