D5100 built in HDR





Short description of what is HDR followed by Nikon D5100 HDR mode:
HDR or High Dynamic Range Imaging is a complete set of technology which enables one to have a larger dynamic range of brightness between the darkest and lightest zone of a picture. This feature makes it different from the normal photographic methods and the current digital imaging techniques.
The huge range of luminance makes HDR images represent the intensities of light more accurately that one can find in the real scenes.


The prime sources of HDR technology are blending of various photographs and computer renderings. The technique of tone mapping decreases the overall contrast which helps to display HDR images on devices that have low dynamic range. This produces images that have a preserved and an artistic effect producing an exaggerated local contrast.
One can achieve HRD by taking a number of standard photographs. This uses exposure bracketing with blending into an HDR image. One encodes a digital photograph within the format of raw image in camera, since 8 bit JPEG does not encode enough values that can produce fine transitions. HDR images can be created by any camera which enables manual on a photo exposure. Many cameras have a feature known as auto exposure bracketing that have a larger dynamic range compared to others. With popularity of this technique, many manufacturers of cameras are offering now built with HDR features. Editing is an important task for imaging that requires highest dynamic range. This operation requires high precision which avoids banding and jaggies. Low dynamic range issues can be handled by photo shops. The information in HDR images correspond to the radiance value that one can observe in reality. HDR format imaging is often referred as “scene-referred”. These use a high number of bits every color channel rather than traditional photos.
D5100 built in HDR:
D5100 has a built in HDR mode which means now you can do all your HDR functions right in the camera itself! This is a much welcomed addition as usually one has to take the pictures and then render them in HDR mode with the help of a computer. Now you will be able to take and view HDR shots right from the camera.


To avail this facility in your camera at first press the menu button to highlight High Dynamic Range (HDR) in the shooting modes. Activate HDR by selecting the proper key. You will now be able to see Hdr written through the viewfinder making you certain that your camera is now ready to capture HDR pictures by itself. Next choose your exposure differential which actually the difference between your two shots with different exposure settings. The last but not the least setting one needs to take care of is the smoothing. This will allow you to avoid the formation of halos around bright objects such as light sources.
This facility combines two different exposures to combine into a single image. This allows one to capture a wide range of tones to form have a wider scope when it comes to ranges of contrast and shadows as well as light. HDR inbuilt in D5100 will allow you to have breathtaking shots which would be the right combination of light and shadows required for a great shot every time. HDR is most effective when used with matrix metering. And with other forms of metering methods exposure differential of auto is equivalent to about 2EV. However it cannot record in NEF (RAW) format and one needs to take shots only in JPEGs to take pictures in HDR. Also one cannot use the flash while taking pictures for HDR purposes as it would completely change your exposure requirements.

Picture With HDR Mode Disabled:

Picture With HDR mode Enabled:

7 thoughts on “D5100 built in HDR

  1. I’ve tried to shoot many images with the HDR function on…Not having great success though with patience and time it will come through. What might be the best settings when shooting at night, dusk or bright sunlight? I am regularly shooting manually, should I changed this? Thank you.

  2. you should consider camera settings just as if taking any other photo.
    i can not give you specific settings as it depends very much on your conditions and lightning.
    also – try using tripod, it always good advice :)

  3. use a tripod and the bracketing function and get yourself a free trial of photoshop or photomatix if you really want to have a good time with HDR. the real magic (what makes it look good) of it all is in the tone mapping. look up some tutorials and have fun. HDR is a blast. I also recommend googeling some urban decay photos for good inspiration

  4. Nice tutorial. But, HDR in my d5100 is not activated. It says “This option is not available at current settings or in the camera’s current state”. I scrolled down over all the menu, but is still gives the same message. Do you have a n idea what could be the reason? Thanks in advance.

    • HDR cannot be recorded in NEF (RAW) format. You’ll need to take shots in JPEG format. Also, the flash cannot be used while taking pictures for HDR so make sure it’s not up.

  5. Tried every setting but cannot get the HDR to highlight and turn it on. Reset shooting menu. Scrolled through every single setting on dial. Nothing. What gives?

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