Canon Metering Icons. Huh?

It’s late, but I just wanna go on record, here, in saying how completely stupid poorly-thought-out I think Canon’s metering mode icons really are. For a company that designs such beautiful cameras, with rather intuitive menus and fingertip controls, this one glaring element of their camera design is so far beneath them, it’s stunning. I wouldn’t mind if it were some corner of their menu system that I seldom use (I’m looking at you LiveView), but I’m someone who changes his metering mode depending on the situation and I find the icons Canon’s designers have put together completely baffling.

First off, they’ve got one too many metering modes crammed into their cameras. Four? Really? The way I see it, the jump from the 3º Spot [•] to the 9º Partial [()] is pointless…just use the Spot meter! But, I’m not here to argue this point because four metering modes wouldn’t bother me so much if they’d get the icons straight so anyone with half a photo-minded-brain could look at them and know what is being communicated to them.

Here’s how it should look (Canon, are you reading this?):

[ ] = Evaluative. There is nothing center-weighted about this icon, but that’s how Canon is using it on their cameras now. Evaluative metering reads the entire frame, so it would make sense that its icon would be a representation of the entire frame with no distractions.

[( )] = Center-Weighted Average (CWA). It’s still an averaging pattern, reading the entire frame, but with a bias toward the center, so we show an indication of this fact.

[(•)] = Partial. Based on Canon’s description, Partial metering is a further reduction of bias toward the center, but not as tight a pattern as that of the Spot meter. A middle ground between CWA and Spot, if you will. Seems logical its icon should be a hybrid of CWA and Spot, yes?

[ • ] = Spot. The only one they got right. Congratulations!

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