There is a bracketing feature on Nikon D5100 but it does not seem to work as it does on other cameras such as D90.

There is also a separate feature called HDR on D51000 and I am guessing bracketing is being confused with it. HDR is totally different and should not be called bracketing, should it? Can someone clarify this to me? You can take 3 multiple shots with different exposure on Nikon D5100 and view them separately?


2 Answers 2


The D5100 can bracket for exposure, which is what I suppose you call true bracketing. Technically this is AEB which stands for Auto-Exposure Bracketing.

It can also bracket for WB or Adaptive D-Lighting which is what people refer to as a virtual bracket because the camera takes ONE shot and saves it 3 times, with different WB or Adaptive D-Lighting setting.

There is ALSO a separate HDR feature which takes 3 shots of bracketed for exposure (AEB) but blends them together into one tone-mapped shot right in the camera. In this case only one image is saved onto the memory card. Technically this is closer to Exposure-Fusion but HDR is a better known acronym so most products say HDR instead.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So I should be able to use Bracketing and have 3 images for one shot. I like that better than 3 separate shots. \$\endgroup\$
    – TheTechGuy
    Nov 30, 2011 at 23:48
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Be aware that the one shot shown three different ways is not "true bracketing". It is developing the same internal RAW file in three different ways automatically as a convenience. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 1, 2011 at 8:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ On Nikon D5100, you have to to take 3 different pics for each bracketed pic. This can create alignment issue and takes 3x time than just one pic. No sure if other cameras does the same thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – TheTechGuy
    Sep 14, 2012 at 1:53

In general, hdr photography is different from bracketing, and if you are looking to record a photo with hdr capability, using bracketing is not a professional task, although Nikon d5100, like many other brands in the same category, is able to provide different exposure images in bracketing. but finally, the dynamic range is 3, but for hdr photography, the dynamic range must be increased to 5, and for this, you must take 5 photos with the base and without shaking the camera from the exposure in the dark - shadow - medium - light and highlight section. recorded and then merged it in the Lightroom environment and saved the final and combined image as an hdr photo, but in bracketing we will have a non-professional handy feature with dynamic range 3.


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