Nikon Active D-Lighting and Raw Files

Started Apr 9, 2011 | Discussions thread
John Deerfield Veteran Member • Posts: 3,516
Re: Nikon Active D-Lighting and Raw Files

Is this true? Should I only turn on Active-D Lighting when shooting Jpeg's and never use it with Raw?

Yes, this is true. Active-D is a post-processing algorithm wherein it will protect the highlights. Anything done in the post-processing stage is NOT applied to the RAW file. That is why it is a "RAW" file; it is all the RAW data as captured by the sensor. Keep in mind that when you preview the image on the camera, you are looking at a processed JPEG. You can't "see" a Raw file as it is simply a mathematical construct. So if you have your in-camera post-processing set to something like Vivid, you will see this in your preview thumbnail AND histogram even though it is NOT being applied to the Raw file. For that reason, I suggest keeping all post-processing parameters set to Neutral. Raw files will have more post-processing latitude than a JPEG and for this reason, some people like to ETTR (expose to the right) with Raw files. More info can be found here:

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