I just bought a Nikon d5100 and everything seems to be working pretty fine. Except for the fact that I am unable to preview the shot I'm willing to take. When I turn my LCD it shows me what the camera is seeing. But when I change settings like iso, f stop etc and try to see how it has affected my frame, the LCD just doesn't show it. It still shows me what my camera is seeing.

If there are any adjustments I need to make in the settings please let me now. I would like to see how the change in iso or f stops would affect my image even before I click like in Canon, on my LCD. The reason I'm stressing on the same point again and again is because someone asked this question earlier and most of the people who replied didn't understand the question.

  • 1
    Was there an earlier question on this site where people didn't understand the question? Could you link to it? I think your explanation is clear, and perhaps we could merge the two, to better help anyone with the same issue in the future.
    – mattdm
    Jan 21, 2013 at 7:16

4 Answers 4


I do not own a Nikon D5100 nor have I used one. From my research online, I believe that the Nikon D5100 does not in fact have a feature such as "Live View Exposure Simulation". This is what you are looking for.

Unfortunately, this feature is non existent in Nikon's current offerings. It is common for Canon to have this feature though - that is why you are familiar with it from your past camera.

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    Correct. Nikon DSLRs do not simulate exposure. None so far. Canon and Sony do it consistently and some Olympus models.
    – Itai
    Jan 20, 2013 at 20:24
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    Just as an update, here's a video of the exposure preview feature in action on a D750, so some Nikon models have it now.
    – mattdm
    Oct 22, 2015 at 16:36

Along with exposure simulation, the D5100 also doesn't have a depth of field preview. Most Nikon models have a button which will close the lens aperture temporarily to let you see how the final f/stop will affect your focus/depth of field. The D5100 does not have this.

However this thread DOF in Live View suggests that after taking a shot in live view mode at a particular aperture, afterwards the LCD will display the image live with that aperture (as if the lens is still stopped down). This seems odd, but worth checking out. This isn't really much different than snapping a test shot and reviewing.

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    Silly Nikons! Good thing other brands exist :P
    – dpollitt
    Jan 21, 2013 at 20:33
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    Not Nikons, just that consumer model. D7000, D90, Dx, Dxx models would have both of those features.
    – MikeW
    Jan 21, 2013 at 21:33
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    One clarification - you do not necessarily need to take a shot, you just need to cycle Live View (turn it off and on again) - when turning Live View on, it stops down the aperture to the currently selected value. Taking a show effectively does that as a side effect (because it needs to lower and raise the mirror).
    – K. Minkov
    Jul 22, 2016 at 6:42
  • D40, D50, D60, etc. also had this limitation. I'm not sure about the D90. It is due to the mechanical design based on NIkon film cameras that had no need to change aperture after the mirror was raised. The same mechanical actuator moved the aperture lever and the mirror release lever.
    – Michael C
    Aug 3, 2016 at 12:30

In the menu. There is movie setting. Set it manual. Then start using screen to compose your frame. When you change iso or shutter speed you can see actual photo setting before recording. But aperture change not supported.


Late answer to this question, but seeing as other "Nikon aperture won't change in Live View" questions are pointing here, this is the appropriate place for this information.

This discussion at nikonhacker.com explains how pre-D7000 consumer Nikon DSLRs couple the aperture mechanism to the mirror.

Essentially, the mirror-up actuation triggers the action to start closing the aperture ratchet mechanism. An encoder (probably an optical encoder) counts how many stops the aperture closes, from wide open, until the set aperture value is reached.

The important part is that the aperture closing is a ratchet mechanism, that is only reset back to wide open when the mirror is dropped back down. This is sort of analogous to a seatbelt ratchet, or a cord winder ratchet.

  • Maybe someone should just make an electrical connection between the camera and lens and let a small servo motor control the aperture diaphragm?
    – Michael C
    Aug 3, 2016 at 12:32

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