I've just noticed that whilst shooting with my D5100 using M mode settings reset after each shot.

Say, the camera is on a tripod pointing to an object. I've balanced out the exposure to a 0, aperture set to F/8 (this doesn't change btw) and the shutter speed is set to 1/15. I take the picture (camera hasn't moved) and the exposure level and the shutter speed have changed to some random settings (+2 EV exposure and 1/250 shutter speed - it's different every time though).

I've searched everywhere, but couldn't find an option that would allow me to save/lock my current settings providing the the image in the view finder doesn't change.


  • I think the other question might benefit from being merged into this one, given that your answer here is the correct one.
    – jrista
    May 7, 2012 at 16:25

4 Answers 4


This behavior is caused by automatic exposure bracketing.

I've had someone with a Nikon D5000 behaving the same way in manual mode, and it turns out that automatic exposure bracketing caused this problem. My Pentax K-5 behaves the same way if the drive mode is set to exposure bracketing in manual exposure mode.

If this does happen to you again, make sure that bracketing is not set and disable it if it is. You do not need to reset the camera to factory defaults.


Exposure safety shift? You should disable this in the setup menu if you do not want the camera to change settings for you.

Usually 1/250 is not a random value but the flash-sync speed, check if you get the same behavior with the flash down, assuming it's up.

  • No, i very rarely use the flash and therefore it's closed down pretty much all the time. Also the 1/250 it was just an example, it's different every time. Just tried now: 1st picture exposure 0 EV, F5.6, shutter speed 1/1.6". Took the picture and settings changed to + 2 EV, shutter speed 1/25". Where is the exposure safety shift? Just gone through the whole menu, but couldn't find it... Apr 23, 2012 at 19:22
  • On my Nikon its in custom settings. Maybe it is called something else on the D5100? If all else fail, try a factory reset.
    – Zak
    Apr 23, 2012 at 20:26
  • Yep, resetting to the factory settings did the trick. I still wasn't able to find the exposure safety shift, but I think quite simply because it's just not there :) Thanks! Apr 23, 2012 at 21:23

I have a D5100 and I have not seen this happen. As Zak mentioned you may want to try a factory reset. Also are you using the latest firmware for the D5100? The only time I have ever seen anything reset is after the camera turns off, and even then the only thing I have seen reset going from Quick Response Mode for the remote to Single Shot mode. The settings themselves stay the same.

  • Thanks! I hesitated to reset it to the factory settings at first for some reason, but then decided to do it anyway and it worked! The settings stay the same for the 2nd, 3rd...etc, pics. Ta muchly! Apr 23, 2012 at 21:21
  • @ValdasBycenkovas - Glad it worked out for you. Good info to know if that ever happens to me. =>
    – L84
    Apr 23, 2012 at 23:32

That is called "Exposure Bracketing", found under "Custom Settings" on the D5000. It makes the camera change the values so you can take 3 pictures: a properly exposed one, an over-exposed one, and an under-exposed one (not necessarily in that particular order). This is for safer/faster/more efficient shooting for some situations where you run the risk of having under or over-exposed photographs. You can disable this function so your exposure and aperture values stay locked. There's a similar option but for automatic ISO as well as White Balance.

  • What does this answer add to bwDraco's answer?
    – Philip Kendall
    Dec 29, 2015 at 8:16
  • The "always read manuals" part is condescending and has been removed. Please remember to be nice.
    – bwDraco
    Apr 2, 2018 at 1:15

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