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Manual Mode

edited June 2016 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
Hi, I've just recently bought my camera second hand.
There was no user guide with it.
I have watched videos and read through guides, but the thing I'm looking for is how to change what you see through the view finder when in the M mode. At the moment all I can see is Aperture, Shutter Speed,
Light Meter, and ISO setting. Is this all you are meant to see? Also when in the M mode, does that mean I can change all settings manually?


  • I think you can still get the manual from Nikon's web site. It's in PDF form.

    You can't change much of what you see in the view finder, but you may be able to exchange the light meter reading for a rangefinder that's useful when manual focusing. When you're using flash, there should be a flash ready indicator (lightning bolt) also. At the far left is a little dot which lights when the focus point is in focus. I'm not too familiar with the D5100, but I don't think there's a lot you can change.

    In M mode you can change all settings manually, but Auto ISO will still prevail unless you turn it off. What this means is that even though your aperture and shutter speeds will stay unchanged, the light meter will change ISO if it is called for. To become fully manual and override the light meter, you must turn off auto ISO.

    The D5xxx and D3xxx have only one wheel for adjusting shutter speed and aperture. In M mode, you use the wheel alone for shutter speed, and press the [+/-] button while turning the wheel for aperture. Exposure compensation is not used in manual mode.
  • edited June 2016
    Thanks for your reply, I've downloaded the manual.
    The reason I asked was because a video on YouTube showed battery life, how many photos left to take, etc.
  • Is it possible the youtube video showed the LCD live view screen, rather than the viewfinder? Much more information is available there, and there are several options for different displays.

    Although Live View offers some useful display options, it also makes holding the camera steady a bit harder for some, and uses a completely different AF system, which, though very accurate, is slower and not terribly good at tracking moving objects.

    If you're using the regular viewfinder, you can still press the "info" button and get the rear LCD display with data such as battery life and shots left.

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