This is a series of minor features that can be found in the Sony Alpha 200 that probably most beginners would have missed. I assume that most users of DSLR, even beginners, would understand the basics such as shutter speed, aperture size, depth of field, auto focus area, white balance and metering modes.
Let’s start with metering. Near the top right hand corner of the back of the camera, reachable by your thumb, there’s this button labeled “AEL”.
Auto Exposure Lock (AEL). What is this for?
This feature is useful when you want your metering to be taken from another area of the frame. You can take the metering reading from the area which you wish to use by having the AEL button pressed (hold) and while holding it, reframe your shot accordingly. This will ensure that your metering (exposure) won’t change allowing for your selected exposure.
How to use the button?
You can use spot metering and when you have decided on the spot where you would like to do the metering, you can press and hold the AEL button and reframe your picture. This is useful as most of the time you don’t take the subject in the middle of the picture.
I am not sure why, but the default set in the camera is to press and hold. I would have thought that it makes more sense to be able to toggle it, i.e. press once to set the metering and press another time to release it. Luckily this can be set in the Alpha 200.
Setting to AEL toggle
Go to Menu, 2nd screen, there is the AEL setup. Enter and you can select it there.
There you go, you now can press the AEL button and without needing to keep it depress, you can continue to frame your shot.
To be continued ... Part II