Can somebody tell me why a Nikon D5200 would restrict the multiple exposure shots to 2 or 3 ? Is it some design issue or something else?

  • Are you referring to Auto Exposure Bracketing, or the drive mode that lets you just keep shooting when you hold down the shutter button?
    – kenny
    Aug 17 '13 at 16:59
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    No, I meant multiple shots in a single frame. The Nikon D5200 can take either 2 or 3 only. I was curious to know why it had this restriction. Shooting while keeping the shutter down is called a 'burst mode', is it not ? I could be wrong with the terminology.
    – user132797
    Aug 17 '13 at 17:10
  • Yes, burst mode, and it is usually limited by buffer memory or storage write speeds. If you are talking about bracketing, then I would assume that's at least mostly limited by firmware.
    – kenny
    Aug 17 '13 at 18:20

There is no real reason. Digital cameras could in theory cope with much more images. A number of models allow up to 9 but that is the most I've seen. The good ones allow you to confirm and retake each shot which makes this immensely workable.

In any case you can do multiple exposures simulated yourself in most image manipulation software such as Photoshop. The advantage there is that you control the blending and alignment.

As with most software features, including bracketing, manufacturers tend to provide what they think the target market will use and are careful not to diminish sales of higher end models.


A multiple exposure mode takes a given number of exposures and those are stored each in its own file on memory card. After the set is complete the in-camera program processes them into a single multiple exposure image. So, in reality, there is no "true" multiexposure happening inside your camera, but quite the same process as what you would be doing with your editing software in computer.

After the exposures are fused in camera the resulting image is written to a file on memory card. Limiting factor for the number of exposures must therefore be the amount of internal memory of the camera. This memory is quite expensive and carefully sized to meet the wanted performance of the camera. What is limiting the number of exposures in a multiexposure image with Nikon D5200?

I'd guess Nikon D5200 simply has an amount of internal memory that allows for two or three exposures only. Or some obscure marketing point?

  • Actually, that would be wrong. You only need enough memory for an entire frame. It is easier with two, one where the camera reads from the sensor, one where it accumulates. All cameras know how many pictures will be taken but even if they did not, it could work with just enough space for two.
    – Itai
    Aug 18 '13 at 3:01
  • @Itai - There's something else wrong in my answer. Nikon saves all frames of the multiple exposure on memory card. Fusing into one frame does not happen on-the-fly is what I knew, but then.. If memory card is used for storage why would they restrict the number down to two or three? Aug 18 '13 at 7:22
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    its a design choice, most likely a usability choice, it makes it simpler for the poor average user, they need to protect, and it also leaves room for a feature improvement in a more expensive model when they need a new marketing point. Aug 18 '13 at 11:29
  • Interesting. I do not have a Nikon with me this week but that makes me curious. What format are they on the card? Usually, cameras blend RAW-data then write to JPEG. When Autogain is enabled, this makes a significant difference in output quality.
    – Itai
    Aug 18 '13 at 15:33

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