This is my first camera active D lighting,so I'm a bit vague on how much impact it has on the image. I find in NX2 it's usually overdone; it seems more subtle done in camera from what I've seen so far. I've only had my D7000 for 10 days, so I'm still getting to know it.
How do you folks set this feature on your camera?
Does D lighting improve or interfere with multiple exposure HDR?
I did a few 3 exposure HDRs yesterday and did not notice ADL was on till later. The photmatix'd results looked good, but different than I see with my D200. I originally thought it's the difference between CMOS and CCD sensors, now I suspect it's the effect of the ADL. The effect was not as dramatic, but I suppose the D lighting is like a form of tone mapping in a way.
I stand to be corrected, but ACTIVE D Lighting actually affects the exposure of parts of the picture - this is not a JPEG thing but actually part of the sensor processing. It will affect what is recorded in RAW. The D Lighting post processing option is completely different. Therefore it should affect the RAW picture - and hence my suggestion that it balances the exposure (and thus isn't probably suitable for bracketed shots for HDR use)
Fri 18-Mar-11 10:57 AM | edited Fri 18-Mar-11 05:17 PM by JPJ
ADL, when on in camera, is recorded in the RAW data and cannot be removed after. It applies a tonal/gamma curve to the photo and impacts exposure. In theory it would impact a HDR photo by not properly recording the exposures you have set.
Edit: I re-read this post and realized I did not explain it right. Active D-lighting effects the Raw file by automatically adjusting exposure in scenes where there is a wide DR (think sunny day witha adeep shadow area) in order to preserve as much detail in the shadow areas and highlights, it THEN applies a tonal/gamma curve to make the photo appear properly exposed. If you shut it off after it is used in camera, it will remove the tonal/gamma curve but the automatic exposure compensation is left behind. I personally believe it adjusts the exposure by impacting how the actual photons are interpreted by the sensor. This is why photos never look the smae when you use Active D-Lighting PP, when you did not use it in camera to start with. In that way it is a use it or lose it feature.
The impact is entirely dependent on what you have ADL set to (Low, Normal, High, Extra High or Auto). Certainly, come of these have a greater impact on the results then others.
But it is a RAW setting and thus will not be be read by Camera Raw or non-Nikon RAW convertors, and it easily deactivated or adjusted in the develop section Capture NX2.
If you are shooting other than RAW, the result, of course, is "baked" into the resulting image.
Purist should probably shoot with ADL off, but in most cases I don't see that it makes much difference when using low or normal. Auto, High and Extra high pretty much try to cover the wide dynamic range without resorting to HDR in post.