How to enable the Histogram on the Nikon D5100

Like many features on the Nikon D5100, the histogram isn’t available by default when reviewing pictures.

To enable the histogram and other display options such as EXIF:

  1. Click the Menu button
  2. Select the Playback menu (play icon)
  3. Select ‘Playback display options’
  4. Choose the playback display options you’d like to see while reviewing images (Highlights, RGB histogram, Shooting data (EXIF), Overview).
  5. When reviewing an image, press the down arrow on the directional pad to cycle through displays in the order of default view -> Highlights -> Histogram -> Shooting Data -> Overview.
  • David Colton

    Thanks for this. The critical piece missing from two books I own and the Nikon D5100 manual is item #5, arrowing down. Much appreciation!

    • red morghan

      Yes I agree!!!! Took me a week and two camera shops and still they, and I, couldn’t figure it out. It’s midnight and I finally was able to get it by viewing this site!!!! Now I can sleep!!! <3

    • Babygurl

      Me too. I needed to remove the playback info (histogram, rgb etc) off my D600. I unchecked all the options but they were still showing in the photos. It was your item 5 that was missing. Hank God for the Internet & thank you

  • john green

    Likewise! If I hadn’t found your comments, I dont know how long I would have struggled to find the histogram.
    Nikon havn’t made it easy.
    Many many thanks.

  • Wajdan Sayed

    Thanks alot ! you made it pretty easy for me to find out the histogram.It was short,easy and to the point

    • Sagar

      Carolyn W – I have been looking for a phogotraphy class and came across your post. I live in the Alpharetta area, I’m a mom, and own a Canon D-SLR! Let me know if you decide to offer a class.April 24, 2010 11:49 am

  • Buddy Brown

    I had about given up on finding the histogram. Thanks very much for your help.

  • Rui Filipe

    How… how i’ve been lookig for this … i was clicking the up and down arrows … and i couldn’t get what was wrong, cause histogram wouldn’t appear !!!!! ….
    That’s a relief … thanks so much from Portugal


  • Lisa

    I have been trying to figure out how to view the histogram and just couldn’t make it happen. Thank you so much for your very simple instructions!!

  • chaswh

    Thanks for the answer. I sure didn’t find it in the manual.

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  • Mike

    Thanks for this. I own the D5100 and the D90, and had pretty much assumed that what I got by default on the D90 was simply missing from the D5100.

  • Didier

    Great thank for this explanation.

    I was looking for it for a while.
    Without your comment, and especially step #5, I wouldn’t have find it anyway.

    Probably issued from a dispute between 2 nikon engineers ;~)

  • Carlos Prieto

    Tanks very simple instruction for histogram,,,,,,,,and the problem is how to read….I have 3wi does in different color….

  • Frank Martin

    Thanks for the excellent instructions, I was begining to tear my hair out until I found this site. Thanks for saving my sanity (and my hair!)

  • Claudio

    Thanks a lot!

  • Robert

    Thanks for the info.
    That’s one of the first things I needed to set up my camera and I couldn’t find it!

  • macky

    thanks for this tip. a time saver!

  • Lenny

    Thank you thank you thank you! Why don’t they have this in the Manual?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    • juju

      they do! page 26. cheers.

  • Jeannette Richard

    Been looking on my D5100 for the histogram but couldn’t find. Thanks for making it so easy to find. Thanks a lot.

  • Giovanni Parodi

    Thank you, you solved my problem.
    I’ve to be frank I miss a bit the menu of the CHDK firmware for canon camera that allow for realtime viewing histogram and zebra area, but with you trip now I’m able to check for right setup after shooting and to improve my photo.
    Thank you for sharing this info

  • juju

    yes, thank you for this. i did find these instructions on page 26 of the manual. they just didn’t use the word “histogram”. :)

  • Ігор

    Big thanx! I thought there is no histogram, and thinked to buy Canon 600D. But you have saved me. :)

  • bita

    Thank u very much!

  • Helen

    Thank you so much. I couldn’t find it in the manual of D3200 or my student manual. So happy now.

  • klehel

    And how to enable the Histogram on the Nikon D5100 in LifeView mode?

    • klehel

      Live preview :-)

  • Marty S.

    I also thank-You for the info on histograms as I just purchased a Nikon D5100 and want to learn how to take real awesome pictures. I also own a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, can’ wait to see what I’ve been missing with that. thanks again

  • Karen M. Andrews

    on page 26 it only shows you to press on the down arrow on the directional pad, but it doesn’t tell you it has to be set up first! when I pressed on the down arrow on my camera, nothing happened.

    So thank you soooo much for showing us how to set it up first!

  • Domenica

    Muchisimas gracias por la informacion la busque por un buen rato y aca en tan pocos pasos lo logre!! GRACIAS!!!! GRACIAS

  • Batman

    First you need to read the manual!!!!

  • natema2000

    Awesome! thanks a bunch