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Would you mind explaining under what circumstances you use exposure compensation instead of just manually setting the exposure or using AE-Lock, as well as why that's a better choice for you?
Just trying to determine if I'm missing out on some sort of technique I should be using or if it's just a matter of personal preference.
It's a matter of working fast and keeping your eye on the prize. AE-lock is not so great for example when you are photographing a moving target in servo mode, changing the AF point, and meanwhile light is changing. You know the reflectance of the primary subject and compensate exposure accordingly, taking into account various factors learned through experience. As good as the auto multipattern metering is these days, it is not a substitute for the human eyes and brain. Obviously when shooting landscapes for example, one can stare at the histogram and make various adjustments relatively leisurely. Seeing light and understand metering is one of the hardest parts about photography for many people. It sure has changed significantly from film, but the general principles are the same.