#12. "RE: picture control 2" In response to In response to 11 Sat 28-Jan-12 11:50 AM by ericbowles
I think everything you said is correct with the one addition that ADL does adjust exposure. All the other aspects of ADL can be reversed in post processing with Nikon software. ADL lightens the shadows and applies a tone curve. The amount of the exposure adjustment is 1/3 to 1/2 stop. And you are correct - ADL cannot be applied after the original capture.
I expect the philosophy is that significant blown highlights are not recoverable, while shadows that are a little dark still can be managed to some extent.
Regular D-Lighting is simply an edit step and has no impact on exposure. There is no difference in waiting to post to apply D-Lighting, and my feeling is waiting for post provides the ability to apply finer tuning to DL and apply it selectively. I have to assume D-Lighting in camera is similar to the "Faster" version of DL in post processing.
The D7000 manual specifically describes the difference between Active DL and DL on page 140. It says "ADL adjusts exposure before shooting" and "DL optimizes dynamic range after shooting".
Bob - I think your approach of turning it on in the camera - especially with high contrast situations - makes sense since you can reverse it. It may be a bit uncomfortable to let the camera apply the setting as it affects exposure and you don't know exactly how much adjustment is made. But as with matrix metering, the camera is pretty good and you still have the ability to use the histogram and blinkies.