I understand that the HDR mode in Nikon works by taking 2 pictures (one overexposed, one underexposed and then merging (correct term?) together.

But what if the scene has a variety of objects and each has a different contrast...requiring to shoot maybe upto 5 - 7 images instead of just 2. In this case, does the camera allow to shoot 5 - 7 images in HDR or do i need to manually combine the images later in photomatix?


1 Answer 1


I assume you mean the HDR mode that the D5100 has. Possible one or two other models. That only merges two shots internally into a JPG. There is no way to take additional shots. If you need more control, you'd need to manually shoot however many shots you need, use RAW and post-process.

If you use Matrix metering, you can select the EV difference between the two exposures, from 1-3 EV

HDR is most effective when using Matrix metering, because the user is given the choice of choosing the difference in exposure value between the two shots from Auto, 1 EV, 2 EV or 3 EV. The camera automatically uses a 2 EV difference in exposure value when set to Center-Weighted or Spot metering.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, the 2 shots that it will take...would it randomly select 2 objects in the screen and choose the overexposure/underexposure settings? \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor
    Oct 14, 2014 at 20:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you use spot metering, I suppose it would take a +/- difference of that exposure value. If you use matrix metering, it would compute a balanced exposure value for the whole scene, then do the two shots again +/- from that calculated exposure \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Oct 14, 2014 at 21:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ And the metering is quite complex, who knows exactly what goes on in there. It can detect backlit situations, recognize faces and adjust exposure accordingly. But I don't think in any situation it takes two objects from a scene and calculates separate exposure values. It first determines what exposure it would use for non HDR, based on the overall scene, then just does a +/- exposure compensation \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Oct 14, 2014 at 21:52

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