AE lock

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

Short for auto exposure lock and sometimes called AEL, AE lock stops the camera's exposure settings from changing when the camera is moved from one area to another. The auto exposure system does not change the aperture or shutter speed when the camera is moved.

For example, a portrait photographer could place the person off-center, take a meter reading off the subject, AE lock it (along with focus), and move the camera to re-compose the subject. With the camera locked, the exposure does not shift if the background is darker or lighter than the person.


With all Canon EOS cameras, the button with the asterisk or star icon is the AE Lock button.

AE, Camera terms