The exposure level indicator on the LCD monitor in the back of the camera is working as it should. The problem is that the exposure level indicator on the LCD panel on the top of the camera is always locked to zero. I've attached a photo showing the problem and the camera settings used are only for demonstration purposes.

If you look at the attached picture, you can see that in these light conditions and with the current camera settings, the picture will be overexposed 1 level. The LCD panel on the top is showing that the picture is exposed correctly and it's not. Have anyone experienced this? I've reset the settings of the camera and updated the firmware to the latest version, nothing helps.

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ Doing the same thing on my 6D works - it shows up on both scales the same, no matter what I set - but only after I save. Whenever I open the menu on the back screen, it disappears from the top screen. In other words, I could not have taken a shot like yours - only one screen shows a value at a time. Not sure if this is any help. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aganju
    Jul 15, 2016 at 12:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you just describe the process you followed to get the relevant info showing? Have you manually set 1 stop of exposure compensation, held down the shutter button, brought up the quick menu, taken a shot, etc? Also, does the problem persist in Av, Tv, etc. as well as Manual? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2016 at 13:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem persist in all shooting modes. I have not chosen any exposure compensation, what I've done is I've turned to camera on, chosen the settings that creates a overexposed picture, pressed the shutter button and read the indicatior that shows +1 EV on the back LCD. The top LCD is not showing +1 EV and when I take the picture, the picture is clearly overexposed with +1 EV. @EightBitTony \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2016 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


The value on the rear LCD when it is in the Quick Control Screen is not a meter reading at all. It is the amount of exposure compensation that you have entered. The 7D Mark II allows exposure compensation to be entered even in M exposure mode because it is possible to manually control Tv and Av in *M** mode while the ISO setting is set to Auto. (Please see p.223 of the EOS 7D Mark II Instruction Manual)
7D MkII manual p.223

In M mode the scale in the upper LCD only shows up when ISO is set to Auto. It will then display the amount of Exposure compensation set that determines, along with the light meter, the ISO when the photo is taken with your selected Tv and Av. The photo included with the question indicates that EC has been set at "0" (no EC).

Once you half press the shutter, the rear screen will revert to the shooting functions screen if the INFO button has been cycled to that position. The Shooting functions screen looks very much like the Quick Control screen except at the very bottom, where battery info and memory buffer/remaining card capacity will be displayed.

In the shooting functions screen the scale on the rear LCD reflects the exposure meter also seen on the right side in the viewfinder. The top LCD continues to display the EC setting (when Auto ISO is set).

Once you press the shutter button halfway the ISO selected by the camera is displayed on both the top and rear LCD, replacing the A on the top LCD and the Auto indicator in the rear LCD. In this scenario, the only way to get the meter in the viewfinder and on the rear LCD to indicate overexposure is to select an aperture and shutter speed combination that will cause overexposure at the lowest ISO setting (normally ISO 100 unless you have L - which is a virtual ISO 50 - enabled in that menu setting).

From the comments:

If I understand you correctly Michael, EC, which is manually set and not a metering, is showing on the bottom in the view finder and on the top panel. That means that the two places on the camera you would assume is the easiest and best place to read the metering is used for EC? The only way to read the metering is to look at the rear panel or on the right in the view finder? Am I not remembering this correctly, because I remember using the top screen and the view finder (bottom) as metering when in M mode?

You're not remembering it on the 7D Mark II, 1D X, or 1D X Mark II (and maybe more). If you remember looking at the meter on the top LCD or the bottom of the viewfinder it was on a different model. Keep in mind that in P, Tv, or Av modes the amount of EC and the metering will match as long as the camera can automatically select an appropriate Tv, Av, or ISO (if you have Auto ISO or Safety Shift enabled) to match the exposure parameter(s) you have selected and the amount of EC you have dialed in. It will only vary when the camera can't compensate to match.

You are correct that with the 7D Mark II the metering in the viewfinder is always on the right. The scale on the bottom of the viewfinder, when it is showing, is always exposure compensation. That's also the way the 1D-series has been for a while. I'm pretty sure that is also true for the scale on the top LCD but I haven't ran through every possible scenario to check it. (If any flash exposure compensation is dialed in with certain exposure modes it may show FEC instead).

On Canon models that don't have the right side viewfinder scales, the only time the scale on the bottom shows actual metering results is in M mode. In all other exposure modes it reflects the amount of EC or FEC chosen.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a reminder, exposure compensation remains in effect even after the camera has been turned off and back on. The easy way to tell which scale is which if you're shooting and don't have a manual handy is to turn on Auto Exposure Bracketing and dial in some AEB. The scales with three marks will be the EC/AEB indicators. The scales that are light meter readings will only show one bar at a time (0,-1, +1) or (-1, 0, +1) depending on how you've set that when the shutter is held at half press (or the AF-ON or * button is pressed). \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 15, 2016 at 13:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the value on the rear LCD is not a metering reading, why does it change when I move the camera around in a room with different lightings, without changing the ISO, aperture or shutter speed? I want the exposure metering on the top LCD panel to change, but this is always at 0 EV. In the view finder, the exposure meter to the right in landscape mode is not matching the top LCD panel, its matching the rear LCD panel. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2016 at 13:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ What firmware version is your 7DII running? Mine is running 1.0.5 and I can't get mine to do what you are saying yours is doing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 15, 2016 at 13:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I updated the firmware today to 1.0.5 from 1.0.4 and I experienced no change after this. My camera was working as you described before, but it seems like function of the exposure level indicator on the top panel swapped with the one in the rear. The exposure level in the bottom of the view finder is also constantly showing 0 EV, and that means if I point the camera to a different lighting conditon, I'm taking my eye from the view finder to look at the rear panel to find the exposure. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2016 at 13:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you Michael, I've finally figured it out and I think my memory has been a little bit off :) \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2016 at 10:29

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