For some reason, especially when I'm shooting in the studio, my images appear about a stop darker on import. They even appear so in the download window of LR4 - but look fine on the rear display of the camera.
To me the question is which image, the LCD or the download, is closer to the truth. Which one more accurately reflects the histogram?
If you decide that the download is correct, just lower the LCD brightness a notch or two. Remember, there iss of yet no camera LCD that is accurately calibrated. Nikon does a reasonable job of getting LCDs more or less the same from camera to camera, but by no means do that imply that they are accurate.
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
Sun 27-Jan-13 01:41 AM | edited Sun 27-Jan-13 01:46 AM by icslowmo
I would agree with Jon. The LCD brightness plays a very large part in how an image appears to be exposed. The only other way to see this is with the histogram as Jon referenced to. If all bunched up to the left, then that would explain your under exposed images.
On that note, I tend to leave my brightness set to auto and seems to be close after I import images into LR4.3.
Also, as has been mentioned, active D-lighting will effect how the image is exposed. Generally I find it acts as a highlight protection mode so will under expose a bit and in software will pull up shadows. I leave mine on auto even though LR4.3 doesn't use the settings, pulling shadows a little if needed isn't much of a problem on the D800(E)'s....
Also I will add, this same thing can happen when editing on a bright (un-calibrated) computer screen. If the brightness is turned up too far, it won't match the standard print brightness of paper and your prints may turn out darker then you'd like.
Your differences you are seeing depend on whether you are viewing RAW or JPG in Lightoom (LR) and what you have LR set up to adjust when you import images. When viewing your images on the camera LCD you are viewing jpg images processed with the settings you set up in your camera. LR has import defaults that will alter what is being imported. Check your Preferences > Presets and Camera Calibration tab of LR.
You can adjust LR for a specific type of shot and make presets to use when importing your images. All adjustments in LR can be used for defining your presets. I'd suggest the LR presets over altering things like the LCD brightness levels. For me - I don't have to worry about what I may have adjusted in my camera to make the image in LR match.
I have the same problem with Apple Aperture when I have Active D-Lighting enabled. It seems only Capture NX2/View NX2 can read this information correctly (as with all the other Picture Controls). If I have Active D-Lighting Disabled and set to Neutral, what is on the screen matches what Aperture reads very closely. Disable D-Lighting and see if that helps.
This is the primary reason why I use Capture NX2 to do most of my post processing and use Aperture mainly for Content Management.
Using the LCD to assess exposure is wrought with pitfalls. I'd only use it to review my composition and focus. Set your D-pad press option to be either a Medium zoom (100%) if you're a focus chimper or a histogram quick button if you're an exposure chimper. I remember getting a D50 long ago and using the LCD to adjust exposure. My results were awful.
One more factor to consider, if you have any modified PC's or using one that has an exagerated contrast such as Vivid, the setting is reflected in the rear JPG display but is not seen by LR when imported. Use of Active D-L will impact shadow and general scene in the JPG version. It also high tone exposure if needed which is seen in both versions of the image. Stan St Petersburg Russia