S3. Is your spot metering broken too?Support

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  1. homey

    homey Well-Known Member

    The spot metering function on my camera seems to have stopped working. When you choose spot metering mode in the camera and use your finger to point at a bright object on the edge of the screen, the exposure does nothing. Samsung tech support confirmed that the exposure is supposed to be adjusted to that spot that you touched but it doesn't do it on my S3. It used to work but just stopped a couple of weeks ago. What's even stranger that some S3's seem to work fine but others also don't work - I tried whole bunch of them today in various stores and some work just fine but others don't work at all.Is yours broken?

    iMark70 likes this.
  2. Fosa

    Fosa Active Member

    I think mine doesnt work too. The exposure doesnt change at all. Is there something we can do?
  3. john_g

    john_g Well-Known Member

    Mine is clearly working, but only for the centre-screen position. It doesn't follow the focus box if I touch the screen.
  4. homey

    homey Well-Known Member

    That means that only centre weighted exposure is working!
  5. john_g

    john_g Well-Known Member

    No, it behaves very differently. I tested all this in a semi-dark room with a bright TV in it. In this way I can easily see how changing the metering mode affects the image by moving the phone to shift the position of the TV set around the image.

    For instance, in spot metering mode this quickly enabled me to determine that, if I put the TV screen to one side of the frame and tapped on the screen to shift the focus point, the exposure was still set by the brightness at the centre of the phone screen i.e. it didn't move with the focus point.

    Similarly, by cycling through all three metering modes (centre-weighted, spot and matrix), I could see that if I was in centre-weighted mode, the exposure changed very little, regardless of where the TV screen was in the frame. Conversely, in spot metering mode, if I put the TV in the centre of the frame, the camera changed exposure to make the TV screen perfectly exposed (and the room very dark). But if I moved the camera so that the TV screen was even just slightly outside the centre focus box, the exposure immediately changed to expose the room correctly (leaving the TV screen way too bright).

    I've tracked down a very comprehensive S3 camera guide which confirms what I have found. it says "Spot metering measures the brightness only at one spot, which is the middle in this case and it ignores everything else within the frame".

    You can read it here:
    The Galaxy S3 Gallery: [Guide] Samsung Galaxy S3 Camera Usage Guide, Part 1: Hardware and Feature

    And here is a quick photographers' guide to the three metering modes to explain how they differ in the way they measure exposure:
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  6. homey

    homey Well-Known Member

    Sorry but what you're describing in NOT spot metering!
    Spot metering is the ability to adjust exposure at a specific point in the frame. It has nothing to do with focus at all. Samsung tech support have confirmed that the S3 does indeed do exactly this, mine used to do it, approx 50% of the phones I tested to do it!

    You choose a point where you the exposure adjusted to and that's what's supposed to happen. Any point, anywhere in the frame.

    It's the same on any DSLR or any reasonably sophisticated point & shoot.
    iMark70 likes this.
  7. john_g

    john_g Well-Known Member

    I can understand your confusion, but I have been a keen amateur photographer for around 40 years and I think you are conflating digital camera capabilities with the definition of spot metering. Spot metering is fundamentally about the size of the area of the image which is being measured to determine correct exposure, not about where in the frame that spot lies.

    Firstly, advanced film cameras were also capable of spot metering and this was *always* referring to being able to limit the exposure measurement to a small area in the *centre* of the image. Secondly, spot meters are also available as stand-alone devices. These have a narrow field of view spotting scope and the exposure reading is taken from a very small and specific portion of the scene. For you to understand why this became important, and how it is best used, I suggest you read about Ansel Adam's Zone System, which enabled photographers, in pre-electronics days, to measure the reflected light from different parts of the intended image and place these in 'zones', which ranged from pure black, through specific shades of grey (because it is about light intensity, not colour), to pure white.

    So, spot metering is the term used to describe measuring the reflected light from a small, specific area of a scene, using a meter with a very narrow field of view.

    What you are talking about is a very particular, and necessarily modern, implementation of spot metering. This is because you are familiar with moveable focus and metering points which, yes, are available on many modern digital cameras, but which were never present on old cameras. As I say, I think you are confusing concepts with implementations.

    On my Canon T90 (a very advanced, heavily electronic, film camera dating back to the 1980s), I used spot metering almost exclusively, and did it in the following manner: I would focus, then place the most obviously important part of the image in the centre of the frame, half-press the shutter button (which would measure and lock the exposure), then dial in exposure compensation to place the small, specifically measured area in the correct exposure zone, then move the camera around to check where the spot meter was placing other brighter and dimmer areas on the zone scale, then re-frame the image, and then fully press the shutter button to take the picture. And if you think that sounds like a faff, you should try using a mahogany and brass field camera with a separate hand-held meter.

    I've described the way I experimented to determine how the S3's camera behaved, and I suggest you do the same. I think you'll find it instructive, and I am sure you'll then better understand the differences in the metering patterns.
    laptopquestion likes this.
  8. homey

    homey Well-Known Member

    Sorry John, have to disagree with you.Spot metering on modern digital cameras is the ability to adjust the exposure to any particular spot on the screen. This behaviour has been verified by two different Samsung tech support agents already and a demonstrator at a Samsung roadshow late yesterday!
    I'm not really here to argue with anyone about the subject, my S3 used to do this and now doesn't. Samsung have indeed confirmed that the S3 works in this way and all I'd like to find out is if some update unwittingly interfered with this function and stopped it working.
    And FYI, this is not some super-exclusive Samsung only function. My Google / Galaxy Nexus does it, my iPad 3 does it, my daughter's iPhone does it, my wife's Lumia 800 does it and my youngest daughter's 3 year old Galaxy S does it too!
    If your S3 doesn't do it, then it's not working properly and I'd suggest contacting Samsung rather than trying to justify its non-working with an explanation that may lead others into thinking that their S3 camera is working well when, clearly, it's not.
    By the way, I too know my way around cameras, having actually earned a living as a press photographer for 4 hell-filled years well over a decade ago.
    iMark70 likes this.
  9. Fosa

    Fosa Active Member

  10. scaramouch

    scaramouch Member

    spot metering only works for the centre of your screen
  11. homey

    homey Well-Known Member

    Not according to Samsung Tech Support and Galaxy S, Galaxy S2 and other Samsung phones!
  12. Fosa

    Fosa Active Member

    If its only for the center then whats the difference of the first metering option?
  13. scaramouch

    scaramouch Member

  14. cfinn1

    cfinn1 New Member

    I agree with you. On my Samsung Vibrant I was able to drag the exposure/focus box to different points on the screen and it would adjust the exposure. I'm very disappointed that I cant do that on by S3. As you drag the box around the focus definitely changes but not the exposure.
    iMark70 likes this.
  15. john_g

    john_g Well-Known Member

    The Samsung Vibrant might have had a spot meter that allowed you to change the metering point, but that is down to the way the spot-meter has been implemented. If people grumble that they can't shift the spot-metering point by touching the screen, then that is fair enough. What is inaccurate is to assert that, because this feature is lacking, the S3's camera doesn't have a spot-meter.

    It's exactly like saying that, because in your last car you changed gear manually, your new fully automatic car can't, and doesn't, have a gearbox because you can no longer select which gear you want. Sort of understandable, but completely wrong.
  16. tinpanalley

    tinpanalley New Member

    Hey guys,
    I registered here just so I could also speak to this issue.

    I just got the GS3 in France (I9300) and I was shocked to see that every phone I've had going back to the HTC Fuze had spot metering that worked. Granted, HTC cameras have always been best, but this is a basic function. SPOT metering both in pro photography and in any other kind means your light meter takes a reading of the number of lumens in a spot and adjusts exposure for that spot. This isn't an interpretation thing, it isn't an opinion thing, it is optics and lighting. And if it's not functioning, clearly something is wrong.

    I just have a hard time believing Samsung would release something THAT broken. And yes, that does mean "broken". So what I think is that the Camera app may be at fault. Perhaps we'll all have to find a ROM that suits this function or a new camera app that does it. I can confirm that the Vanilla camera app didn't use this properly either. Would love to see what happens on an HTC ROM.

    Do we really not have a solution for this? Has anyone played with other Camera Apps in the market?
  17. maryon

    maryon New Member

    sorry i know this is for samsung s3 thread but i like to share that my S2 's spot metering dont work as well.

    i remember before gingerbread update my spot metering works but after i updated to gingerbread it doesnt work anymore.
  18. homey

    homey Well-Known Member

    As i said before, my S3's spot metering used to work just fine. It worked perfectly for around 2 months and then just stopped dead. I suspect that it was a minor update that broke it. Even the guys in Samsung tech support say that some of their S3's work fine and some dont work at all, so there's definitely a problem.
    As for me, I'm using a Galaxy Nexus now. The camera's not as good but I dont have to deal with Samsung's BS anymore and the updates are fantastic!
  19. furnace

    furnace Member

    Regardless of whether or not people want to call this "spot-metering" or something else, the ability to meter the brightness to the point where your finger is pressing the screen is simply not working in my S3 or any of the S3's at various stores that I've tried.

    This type of point-metering was what made my old HTC EVO camera so great. It is extremely frustrating not to be able to do this on my Galaxy S3.

    Please, if anyone has an update as to why this isn't working and how we can fix it, please do tell!

  20. Noxian

    Noxian Well-Known Member

    Yeah I agree the spot metering not working is a bit frustrating. Is it fixed in 4.1?
  21. majik99

    majik99 Member

    I just joined to say my brand new note2 has the same issue. Pretty disappointing, coming from ios I figured all phones allow you to adjust exposure when you press a specific spot. Is there a Samsung email where we can try to get this fixed? Or a better camera app?
  22. homey

    homey Well-Known Member

    If I were you guys, I would call Samsung Tech Support and complain about this problem. I've complained about it till I got fed up and sold my S3. They know about it, they've confirmed to me that some of their phones do it and some don't. If people don't complain, nothing will get done about it.
    It does piss me right off though, as the phone has an excellent camera (apart from this problem) and it's the reason I bought it in the first place...
  23. majik99

    majik99 Member

    I called today and they wanted me to send my Note 2 in to update the software? Either way they said it would take 3-5 days plus shipping. Obviously in this age when most people dont have home phones its basically impossible to go without a phone for a week. Since my phone is brand new I am just going to take it to ATT to exchange it.
  24. Nevpaurion

    Nevpaurion Active Member

    So I talked to Samsung, they told me to go to a repair center. Instead I got a replacement mailed to me through AT&T.

    Right out of the box it also doesn't do this properly.

    So I call Samsung and they actually tell me this feature was never on the S3 and that nothing is wrong with my phone.

    What the hell is going on. I'm about to sell this damn thing.
  25. wolf_walker

    wolf_walker Well-Known Member

    Mine does not, and it does not work in CM10 Stable either, but the center weighted with auto focus works better than with the samsung stock camera, fwiw. I don't know that it ever worked.

    And for the number of people that are likely to notice this fault, good luck getting it fixed by Samsung. Your best bet is to beg a dev on XDA to look into it I imagine.
    I've seen some pretty glaring faults in hardware that didn't impede them selling like the proverbial hotcakes, and this one isn't exactly glairing unless one knows what to look for. If it is a deal breaker, move on to the next toy. Sucks but hey.
    Personally I'd trade the ungodly shutter lag and other faults of my poor ole Evo4G for this camera other attributes and loose the spot metering in a heartbeat. And I did.

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