Exposure Compensation Meaning : How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon

Exposure Compensation Meaning : How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon

Exposure Compensation Meaning :

In this article we will see in detail Exposure Compensation Meaning and How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon. Exposure Compensation functionality is the most underrated feature in most of the camera, even with point n shoot. Most people hardly understands this feature or even if they know they don’t use it much. Exposure compensation allows us to increase or decrease the exposure of a picture. Literally, you are telling the camera, “I see what you’re doing here with your ‘balanced and correct’ exposure, but I want my picture to be a little brighter/darker than what you are thinking” as the case may be. Here in this blog Exposure Compensation in DSLR Explained for Beginners.

How camera uses its brain to calculate Exposure :

First we need to understand here is how camera evaluates the lighting based on the lighter and darker spot or part of your scene that we see through viewfinder. There are different ways to evaluate it which depends which metering mode is ON (What is Metering Modes) And if its auto, camera evaluates itself.

In one of the blog earlier, I clearly mentioned how to control the exposure of any picture with 3 basic elements : Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed. Now, you must be thinking why there is an added functionality if we can control exposure with three basic elements. This is why :

Exposure Compensation is something through which you are telling your camera that yes I can understand what’s your calculation of exposure but still I want this image to be little darker or brighter. This functionality doesn’t completely overrides the exposure algorithm of camera but its just used in case where you are not happy with the final result and you want one stop brighter or darker image.

How It Works :

For example, if your camera thinks a given picture should be exposed (i.e., the camera meters the scene) at f/5.2 and 1/220s, then an adjustment of +1 EV on the exposure compensation setting may result in a setting of f/5.2 and 1/110s OR f/4.0 and 1/220s. If you are confused here how all this numbers are related .. Click here to understand

Do you see what happened with  +1EV adjustments to camera here ?

By dropping the shutter speed to 1/110s, the camera doubled the amount of light reaching the sensor (because the exposure lasts for twice as long). Likewise, by opening the aperture to f/4.0, the camera doubled the amount of light reaching the sensor (because the aperture was opened a full stop).

How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon :

Lets see How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon. Most cameras have a dedicated button on either top or the back of the camera, some cameras might have this feature available only through a dial. In Nikon use (+/-), hold this and rotate dial right or left accordingly to either increase or  decrease the exposure :

Exposure Compensation Meaning : How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon

As you start making adjustments to your exposure through exposure compensation, you will notice a bar going to the left or to the right of the middle “0” value, which indicates that you are dialing negative (-) or positive (+) exposure compensation.
While rotating dial you can see somewhat similar bar as below :

Exposure Compensation Meaning : How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon

You can see bar here -0.7 adjustment in lcd, means image would be 0.7 stop less brighter than what camera calculates.

“Exposure compensation is generally adjustable in 1/3 or 1/2 EV or “stops.”  Each full “stop” adjustment either doubles or halves the amount of light reaching the image sensor depending on whether it is a +1 or -1 adjustment. On (+) side image will be brighter and on (-) side it would be darker “

Normal Picture with auto in-camera metering mode :

Exposure Compensation Meaning : How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon

 Exposure compensation increased with one stop +1.0 :
Exposure Compensation Meaning : How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon
 Exposure compensation decreased with one stop -1.0 :
  Exposure Compensation Meaning : How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon

Conclusion :

Exposure Compensation is just a quick way to alter the exposure of image if you are not happy with how camera evaluates lighting condition and exposure. This setting can make your picture a little brighter or darker depending on your requirements. Sometime picture gets little more exposed to light than what you would expect, in that we can use this functionality to correct the picture. Most rookie photographers rarely use it but its really good thing to have when you play with different lighting conditions.
Hope this article helped you in understand What is Exposure Compensation and How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon. Do let me know your feedbacks and suggestions.

Did you enjoy this article? Please share it! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Exposure Compensation Meaning : How to Use Exposure Compensation In Nikon

Feel free to comment :

%d bloggers like this: