KYC #1 : Highlight Alert

The KYC series is going to be a set of mini-blogs where I talk about some features about your cameras. I hope this helps people use the camera better.

Lets start with a practically useful feature of your camera, called the ‘Highlight Alert’.  A lot of people talk about histogram being extremely important and should be viewed for each image. I think this one is even more important.

The Highlight alert tool, blinks all the pixels on your image that have lost all details (completely over-exposed). 

Take a look at the image below. If you look at the image on the right, you will see some red spots. Those are areas that have lost all details. Now imagine if you could look at it immediately after you click. The blinking captures your attention and correcting the over-exposure is then very simple. Just dial in a negative exposure compensation.

Another very common example that I see a lot is the Moon. If you are clicking the moon with centre-weighted metering, chances are that you would end up over-exposing the moon completely and end up with a white featureless blob. In such a case where you have completely over-exposed something, the highlight alert tool will start blinking the whites.

It is a very handy tool to checking which areas are over-exposed and if need be dialing in an exposure compensation to save the whites from being over-exposed.

A lot of times in the field, the LCD of your camera isn’t really clearly visible and you end up not seeing all the details in the image well. In such cases the highlight alert helps by blinking and ensuring that we don’t miss out on exposure blow-outs.

You can enable the highlight alert tool in your camera as follows


Depending on your camera model the menu options might change a little but by and large it should be similar to what is shown above.

Keep this one enabled and you will surely save a few shots someday πŸ™‚

Now, I need some help on this series from you guys. In the comments section/message for this blog, put in any camera functionality that you are clueless about and I will cover it in one of the upcoming KYC series. 


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  1. Manish Mandhyan May 8, 2017 at 2:48 am #

    Great info. Would like a post on the histogram also Guruji. And, am also looking for some easy info on the tracking modes available. Yet to completely crack that one, especially on the field.

  2. arun May 8, 2017 at 3:20 am #

    The DOF preview button, I don’t think anyone uses this button on the field, if this button is of any importance, then please throw some light on this.

  3. Natraj May 8, 2017 at 3:34 am #

    Just for understanding – when do u suggest using a single point focal point vs multi point focus points?

  4. Keerthy May 8, 2017 at 3:59 am #

    Namaste Guruji-
    Love your blog. I use Nikon, would like to know about two buttons in the front of my D7100 “Pv” & “Fn”. What best settings can these be customized to? Rather what you would customize then to?

    Keerthy Thondagere

    • May 8, 2017 at 2:58 pm #

      Sure bro, custom buttons and whats the best to do with them is a blog post in the making…

  5. Kintoo Dhawan May 8, 2017 at 4:23 am #

    I really appreciate the contents brought up by you in this blog.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • May 8, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

      Thanks bro. Do let me know if there is anything specific that you want to know more about and i’ll cover it in one of the KYC series soon.

  6. mridula sapru May 8, 2017 at 4:35 am #

    Thanks a ton for the informative blog on the highlight alert….found it very useful….

  7. Milind May 8, 2017 at 5:50 am #

    Am confused as to whether to use back button focussing and disable the half press shutter functionality for wildlife. What do you suggest?

  8. Suresh C Sharma May 8, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    Such information is going to help great deal all naturephotographers, beginners as well experienced. Thank you so much Rahul.

  9. Saju Devassy May 9, 2017 at 3:55 am #

    Great Tip ! Guruji, This highlighting occurs after the shot is captured, and not during the shoot which i dont see in the 7D Canon. Is there something which can tell during the shoot of the over Exposure / Under Exposure, especially when shooting completely white birds such as egrets or while shooting langurs that are totally Black on their face and their eyes. I have seen the 7D continuously searching and finally ending up in a blown out pics.
    On the canon 7D there is a button to the left of the camera just near the LENS, presume as Arun said it is the DOF button, but what does it do when i am prepared to shoot is still confusing rather how can it help me in shooting fast action(s).
    On larger lenses at the First Rim of the lenses there are around 4 round buttons (AF Stop Buttons), what do they do ?
    Behind it there is a Metallic wheel like a sprocket on the lens, called “Focus Preset or Power Focus” what does it do ?
    While on the Metering there is a plenty of options ? Metering + AF Start, Metering + AF Start / Stop, AE Lock / Metering – what are these options in terms of benefitting me during a shoot.

    Thanks in advance and look forward to reading about them through your Blogs and portals.
    Thanks once again for the lovely tips every week, the weekly blues is a goner when i start reading these tips…

    BR / Saju

    • May 9, 2017 at 7:02 am #

      I need to thank you for bringing up such pertinent points. I’ll cover these soon. Regarding a tool that shows you blown-highlights live, unfortunately that doesnt exist as of now. I wish it does happen somehow in the future though. Would save a lot of heartburn

  10. Vinish May 29, 2017 at 6:46 am #


    Gyaan on Stabilizer Mode on lens and their correct usage as well as the significance of using the 1.2m to infinity and 3m to infinity mode will be really helpful,

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