Auto Bracketing

Nikon D5100 shooting information auto bracketingExplanation: „Bracketing“ means to take a series of pictures with varying settings, usually exposure.

To activate bracketing with varying exposure you can choose here the differences between the pictures.
The D5100 will then take a series of three pictures: one without compensation, one with a positive and one with a negative compensation.

In the custom setting menu e2 Auto bracketing set you can choose to alter another setting than exposure between the shots: Active D-Lighting (ADL) or white balance.
For a series with different white balance settings you can choose values from WB1 to WB3 for slighter or more visible variation of the white balance.
For a series with different ADL settings you will see only the option „ADL“ to activate bracketing.

Be careful: If you use bracketing you have to watch how frequently you press the shutter release button:

  • Three times for a series with different exposures to get three different pictures
  • Once for a series with different white balance. The internal image processing will then produce three different JPG files from the same raw data.
  • Twice for a series with different ADL settings. You will get one picture without ADL and one with ADL as set in the shooting information Active D-Lighting.

Recommendation: Ignore this setting if you have not used bracketing so far and not missed it.

I never use it and prefer to check the exposure on the camera monitor (RGB histogram) if needed instead of shooting series and rely on good luck.
For series with different white balance or ADL settings I also see no reason. The variations of white balance are small and no problem later on. And ADL improves your pictures, just leave it on.

If you do use bracketing you can set continuous shooting as the release mode and just leave the shutter release button pressed until the series is complete. The continuous shooting will stop then.

And be careful: Don‘t forget to switch off bracketing after using it! Otherwise later pictures will get impacted by the still varying settings.