0 votes
ago in Arts & Humanities by (16.2m points)

I'm on manual, but how do I change my exposure compensation on the D3100 with shortcuts? If I hold the +/- setting and change the commander dial, it changes the aperture. If I hold Flash, +/-, and change commander dial, it changes flash compensation. I can't find out how to change Exposure Compensation without pressing the information button and moving it with the 4 arrow dial.

7 Answers

0 votes
ago by (220 points)
Best answer

I'm not entirely sure if the option is available, but you might be able to change the exposure compensation using the menu entry on the back LCD.

If it works, then it won't do much to change the actual exposure. That is still determined by shutter speed, aperture and ISO, which are all set to fixed values. It may change the "calibration" of the light meter though. E.g. if you set an exposure compensation of +0.7EV and you actually overexpose by 1 EV, then the light meter might only show +0.3EV, as that's the difference between the measured exposure and the set exposure compensation.

Exposure compensation in manual mode also will have an effect if you shoot with ISO auto on. the camera will select different ISO values then. One might argue that that's not true manual mode then though.

For all this i'm going by my experience with a D90, i didn't try it on a D3100 myself. I know for sure that i can set exposure compensation on my D90 in manual mode (for which i don't need the menu), and that it affects the light meter and ISO auto this way.


To whoever gave the thumb down: If you're a Nikon guy, try for yourself. Exposure compensation in manual mode does something to the calibration of the light meter, and it also affects the value chosen by ISO auto if that happens to be activated.

Sources which confirm this independently:





Another thumb down? Some people are being dogmatic, it seems.

I just checked again on both a D90 and a D40. Setting an exposure compensation will affect the value displayed in the light meter, as well as the value chosen by ISO auto. Like it or not, that's the way it is.You need not use it if you don't like to.

0 votes
ago by (16.2m points)

As others have said, you need to use one of the other modes. Try switching to P for Program mode. That has several advantages. First of all it allows you to over-ride settings like exposure. Second it does not automatically pop up the flash, so you can take control of when you want to use it and don't look a complete tit when it pops up when you are taking a picture of a landscape. When in program mode you can use the wheel to change aperture and shutter settings. It will still balance the two together, so that when shutter speed increases the aperture widens to keep the exposure correct, but you can begin to choose for yourself the best combination of shutter and aperture for when you want to freeze action or limit the amount that is in focus. It does sound strange that the Tamron is over-exposing. It might be worth an email to Tamron asking about it. Does the lens have a physical aperture ring? If so, have you got it correctly set to the A or Auto setting? If not that could cause problems.

0 votes
ago by (1.1k points)

You don't change EV (or exposure compensation) in Manual! It has no effect. It's purely for overriding the camera's choice of exposure when you are in Auto modes (including aperture or shutter priority modes).

When shooting in manual, if you want to deliberately under- or over- expose, you adjust the aperture or shutter speed whilst observing the light meter.

Edit: Jens - I don't know who's giving the thumbs down, but shooting in manual & adjusting the +/- button has absolutely NO effect on exposure - just shoot 3 frames at -1EV, 0 & +1EV in manual mode and compare the histograms - there will be NO difference. I know the light meter display indicates a +/- deviation from the zero, but there is no change in exposure.

0 votes
ago by (1.4k points)

In Manual Mode the EV (Exposure Compensation) will have no effect whatsoever. If your meter says f8 at 1/500 sec. and you want to underexpose by a stop you can use f11 at 1/500 sec. or f8 at 1/1000 sec. If you want to overexpose by a stop you can use f5.6 at 1/500 sec. or f8 at 1/250 sec.

Manual Mode means just that - you are manually setting aperture and shutter speed.

0 votes
ago by (1.2k points)

There is no exposure compensation in manual mode!!!!

In manual mode - you have to make the exposure compensation yourself - that's why it's called manual mode.

0 votes
ago by


0 votes
ago by (140 points)

to get compensation something has to give,

for tutorials on camera control youtube is very good

Welcome to zDesQuestions Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.