B. Taking pictures | Nikon D5200 guide

Level:Special knowledge

All the D5200 settings and functions for taking pictures on one page. One press with the index finger = one photo: No, it's not that simple anymore. Read here about the different ways to play with what the shutter release button can do.

Shutter release button

Nikon D5200 Auslöser

Let's start simple: Normally, the camera should take exactly one picture immediately after the shutter release button is pressed. This is still the case if none of the other settings described below is active.

Release mode

What | The release mode of the D5200 has the following options:

  • Nikon D5200 Symbol Auslöseverhalten Einzelbild: Single images = one image per press of the shutter release button.
  • Nikon D5200 Symbol Auslöseverhalten Serienbilder langsam: Continuous shooting with low speed, approx. 3 pictures per second
  • Nikon D5200 Symbol Auslöseverhalten Serienbilder schnell: Continuous shooting with high speed, as long as you keep the shutter release button pressed, max. 5 pictures per second
  • Nikon D5200-Symbol Selbstauslöser: Self-timer = shutter release with a delay of 10s.
  • You can change the delay time in the custom settings menu c3 Self-timer and set the D5200 to take several photos in a row.

  • Nikon D5200 Symbol Auslöseverhalten Quiet: Quiet shutter release. The mirror inside the camera moves more slowly and only swings back when you lift your finger. The shutter sound is much quieter and you can wait for a favourable moment for the second part.
  • Nikon-Symbol Fernauslösung: Remote release. For this you need a separately purchased remote control, ML-L3 from Nikon or a compatible one from other manufacturers.
  • Note: If you do not take a photo during the time set in the custom settings menu c5 Remote on duration , the D5200 will turn off the remote shutter release receiver. One minute is preset.

    You could also include interval shooting, multiple exposures and bracketing in the release mode. But there are separate menus for them, see the headings at the end of this chapter.
Nikon D5200 Auslöseverhalten
Nikon D5200 Richtungstasten

    Where | Press the release mode button at the top right. After that, continue with the direction keys, not with the setting wheel as it it is usually the case with Nikon.

    A selection with the settings above appears on the monitor. They looks the same as settings coming from shooting information; however you can't get into the release modes from there.

    Tip | I always leave Nikon D5200 Symbol Auslöseverhalten Serienbilder langsam set for continuous shooting. You get used quickly to pressing the shutter button only briefly to avoid unwanted pictures, and you can take several shots immediately if necessary. Especially if there is a risk of blurring due to longer exposure times, the finger just stays down a little longer and I later keep only the sharpest of several pictures.

Self timer delay

What | For the self-timer you can set_

  • How long the D5200 waits to take a picture after you press the shutter button.
  • How many pictures it then takes.

Where | In the custom settings menu c3 Self-timer.


You can set a sound signal that will be heard

  • when the autofocus has successfully focused (without focus tracking) and
  • during the countdown of the self-timer.

The place to do it is in the custom settings menu d1 Beep . It can only be switched on and off for both the self-timer and autofocus together.

Grid lines in the viewfinder

Grid lines | In the custom settings menu d2 Viewfinder grid display you can switch on&off three fine horizontal and vertical lines in the viewfinder. They are helpful to align the camera straight and unobtrusive, I always have them switched on.

Exposure delay

What | Exposure delay is the same as mirror lock-up; it means that the camera waits a little after the mirror is raised before taking the photo. This allows minimal camera vibrations to subside that come from the movement of the mirror and cause slight blurring in the picture. If you want to get the best possible sharpness out of your photos, activate this setting when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

Where | The mirror lock-up can be switched on&off in the custom settings menu d5 Exposure delay mode.

Focus and release priority for continuous autofocus

What | Focus priority means that the D5200 only shoots when the autofocus can focus accurately. Otherwise it will continue to take time for focussing even when you hold the shutter button fully pressed down and the D5200 will release with a delay.

Shutter priority means that the camera shoots in any case when you press the shutter button. Even if the autofocus has not (yet) been able to focus perfectly.

Where | In the custom settings menu a1 AF-C priority selection you can change Nikon's default focus priority if you wish. For single AF-S, the D5200 always uses focus priority.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

What | HDR means combining several differently exposed shots into one. Overexposed or underexposed parts of one shot can be replaced by correctly exposed parts of another.

As a result, your photo can show a higher dynamic range of subject brightness than it is possible with only one exposure.

Where | You switch HDR on & off in the shooting information or in the shooting menu. Then, the next time you press the shutter button, the D5200 will take two images to do the HDR trick.

The AUTO and HIGH* to LOW options determine how much exposure difference there is between the two shots. The two shots are taken so quickly one after the other that it is practically unnoticeable. The D5200 only saves the calculated HDR photo, not the individual shots. For another HDR shot you have to switch the function on again.

Tips | HDR works really well. With very high brightness contrasts, such as backlighting, it can visibly improve your images. However, the HIGH or HIGH* settings tend to do too much and produce an artificial, unnatural look.

Make sure to hold the camera steady when releasing the shutter! Otherwise, the final image may look blurred because the two underlying frames are too different.

If you use HDR frequently, you can assign this function to the function key in the  custom setting menu f1 Assign Fn button and then turn it on more quickly with the function key and a turn of the control dial.

Use HDR only with the preset matrix metering.

Interval shooting

What | The D5200 can be programmed like a timer to take photos automatically at regular intervals. You can choose

  • the start time
  • the interval = the waiting time after each shot until the next, from seconds to hours
  • the number of intervals and how many photos the D5200 should take each time.

The D5200 refocuses before each shutter release.

Interval shooting allows nice series of shots if the camera is mounted on a tripod and keeps the same frame.

Where | All this happens in the shooting menu Interval timer shooting .

Don't forget to activate the function at the end by selecting On , otherwise nothing will happen!

The recordings will then start immediately or at the set start time without you pressing the shutter button.

You can cancel a running interval shot in this menu, by switching the camera off and on, or by turning the camera mode dial.

Tips | When the D5200 is left to its own devices, it is a good idea to cover the viewfinder so that no ambient light interferes with the exposure metering.

And: When shooting long series, be careful that the battery does not run out in between! It is best to recharge it beforehand and, as a precaution, switch off the playback menu Image review during long series.

Multiple exposures

What | Multiple exposure means that the D5200 overlays several individual shots to form one image.

In the end, the D5200 saves the overlay of all shots as one image − the individual shots are not retained.

Where & How | It starts in the shooting menu Multiple exposure . There you set how many shots you want to combine and whether the D5200 automatically corrects exposure (downwards). If not, the final image will become brighter with each additional exposure.

You must explicitly confirm the settings in the ready line, otherwise they will not take effect.

The D5200 will then show two overlapping rectangles on the LCD display and in the shooting information as a symbol for multiple exposure. They disappear when you have pressed the shutter button often enough.

For the next multiple exposure, you have to visit the menu again and switch it on again.

Tip | You can achieve great creative and artistic effects with multiple exposures, the possibilities are endless. It is worth experimenting with them.


What | Bracketing means taking a series of shots in which one setting is varied − typically the exposure.

Where & How | It starts with the selection of Auto bracketing in the shooting information. If you set anything else than OFF here, the D5200 will shoot bracketing until you turn it off.

For the preset bracketing with exposure change, it means that you always have to release three times. Otherwise, the still active bracketing function will unintentionally change the exposure of the next shot.

In the custom settings menu e2 Auto bracketing set you can choose to change the white balance or Active D-Lighting instead of exposure. For them the shutter has to be released only once.

Recommendation: I never use this function because of its not very intuitive operation and the fact that it is limited to three exposures in a row. If you do want to create a series of shots, it is better to change the exposure or whatever individually from shot to shot.

Remote release for photos/movies

If you plug a Nikon WR-R10 remote control into the accessory port of your D5200, the setup menu Accessory terminal will tell the D5200 whether the remote control should cause photo or video capture. Photo is the default.

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