Nikon D90 Video Tip: Using AE-L to Lock Exposure During Filming

by admin on December 29, 2008

When using the Nikon D90 video mode you can sometimes observe a stuttering effect as it tries to adjust settings to changing light conditions. This can result in less than adequate clips, as shown below. Observe the stepping up and down of the lighting in the clip.

The video above shows the D90 adjusting to light conditions during filming (AE-L off)

This video shows the Nikon D90 holding it’s settings even with changing conditions during filming (AE-L on)

To prevent the camera hunting you can press the AE-L (hold) button before switching to LiveView (LV) mode.

Use these steps to set your camera for AE-L (hold): Menu > Custom Settings (Pencil Icon) > f (controls) >> Assign AE-L/AF-L Button > AE lock (hold) > OK


{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Jimmy February 8, 2009 at 11:19 am

Top stuff, thanks for posting


JDC April 8, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Thanks man, I was looking for that feature!


werdy April 19, 2009 at 2:20 am

yeah man.. thats a great tip.


Andie December 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm

An answer from an expert! Thanks for cotnributnig.


Janis June 14, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Thanx a lot, I thought that was a big minus on D90, but you showed how to change this stupid exposure compensation! 😉 great


Purc July 9, 2009 at 6:42 pm

A!! was really looking for this. Thank you so much for posting.


Andrew Woo September 10, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Thanks man this works !


nico October 7, 2009 at 9:04 am

big thanks for u !
now, what about the constant strips that go from down to up with Live view on?


paulyoung February 10, 2010 at 12:37 am

Could it be under fluorescent lighting?


Ted January 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm

good tip. but u dont need to go into the menu, the AE lock button is right there on the back of the camera.


paulyoung January 27, 2010 at 12:24 am

You go into the menu so you don't have to hold the button down, just press it to lock.


Brad January 26, 2010 at 6:49 am

Seriously, thanks for this. Now I can stop taping a tiny rock to my AE/AF lock button while I'm filming. Thank you and thank God for Google. 🙂


paulyoung January 27, 2010 at 12:25 am

Go into the menu to set the button to hold, Menu > Custom Settings (Pencil Icon) > f (controls) >> Assign AE-L/AF-L Button > AE lock (hold) > OK


Lauri May 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Thanks, just the tip I needed!


Olivia June 20, 2010 at 7:28 am

Thanks so much for posting this!


vane August 30, 2010 at 10:53 pm

thanks a lot for the info, i have other problem. Depends of the light appears dark lines going up and down, do u know why??


nathanielrenton September 8, 2010 at 12:04 am



Tom November 12, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Thanks mate, that's what I was after!


Jeroen December 12, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Thanks a lot! Google got me here, thanks for sharing!


modteque December 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm

that was very useful , thanks


Dave N April 1, 2011 at 8:17 am

Fantastic – this will stop me from getting cramp in my thumb holding in the AE button when filming – thanks for sharing.


MUphotographic April 7, 2011 at 2:51 am

Cheers guys this helped sooooo much!!


Nicolas May 16, 2011 at 5:26 am

Thank you so much, I was looking for this.


Obi June 16, 2011 at 1:10 am

Thank you for posting this, I appreciate it


Lim Yee Zen July 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Wonderful…!!! Thank You So Much


Hamad Al Badi August 20, 2011 at 7:00 am

Woah! Thanks for the tip! Now I can stop getting finger cramps >_<


occupyzen November 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm

thank you – I've been circling around this issue for far too long.


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