Like most cameras, the DP2 Merrill features evaluative, spot and centreweighted metering modes. However, I would like to see the spot metering selectable over a large portion of the frame rather than just the centre. As such, the auto exposure lock (AEL) button becomes an important tool. Once the scene has been metered, the AEL button can be pressed to keep that exposure even when recomposing the frame. To record a different reading, AEL needs to be deactivated again.

Alternatively, a half-press option can be selected, so that the reading is only kept as long as the shutter button is half pressed. In the evaluative metering mode, there are few surprises in the way the camera meters for a scene, with a bias towards maintaining highlight detail over shadows. For print-ready images straight out of the camera, it can therefore be worthwhile dialling in up to +0.7EV exposure compensation.

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