Guide to Sony a6000 Metering Modes (Simple!)

Ever looked through the settings on your Sony camera and wondered what the heck the metering mode setting was for?

Metering is the term used for when a camera determines the correct exposure settings automatically. There are a few different ways the Sony a6000 is able to meter a scene.

In this quick and concise guide, we’ll go over every option in the “metering modes” category on your Sony a6000 to explain what they are and how to use them.

Let’s dive in!

person holding sony a6000 camera

The Basics

Where to find the metering mode setting?

Finding the location of the metering setting is pretty easy.

  1. Hit the FN button on the back of the camera
  2. Select metering mode (2nd position on bottom row)
  3. Push in the middle of the joystick/dial to open the menu
  4. Refer to the picture below if needed

Now let’s jump into the specific modes.

location of metering mode on sony a6000

The Modes

Multi Mode

First up, we have the “multi” metering mode. This mode looks at the scene and attempts to get an even exposure for the entire frame.

This general concept is the mode that pretty much every digital camera (including phones) uses by default.

Due to the extensive computational and computer magic that goes into this mode, this is the one you’ll usually want to use most. It’s by far the most reliable to capturing an even, cleanly exposed image.

Notice how this image is evenly lit using the multi metering mode.

Center Mode

The “center” metering mode analyzes the entire frame but tries to give a bit more priority to the center.

Unlike “multi” mode, center mode will often over or underexpose the corners of the frame due to it prioritizing the center.

For this reason, the center metering mode can be a bit unreliable besides in some niche cases like portraiture or other center-focused subjects.

Center metering mode exposes for the frame with priority to the center. Notice how it’s slightly overexposed (due to the black camera).

Spot Mode

The next mode is “spot” metering. This mode functions similarly to the previous one but puts even more emphasis on the center of the frame.

As a result, images are often improperly exposed, leaving the edges of the frame either heavily under or overexposed.

With that being said, this is a great mode to use when trying to shoot backlit subjects or other scenes with strong lighting contrast.

Spot metering mode exposes for the dead center. Notice how it tried to expose for the black lens, thus overexposing everything else.


So now you can see that metering modes aren’t particularly complicated.

While the other two modes to have niche uses, you’ll generally want to stick to “multi” metering in almost all situations.

That being said, learning full manual control is the best way to ensure that you get flawless exposure every time without having to rely on a computer algorithm to get it right.

To learn more about the exposure triangle and manual exposure, go check out my a6000-based guides on shutter speed and aperture. Thanks for reading!