Your camera provides a function that can automatically make your pictures look better: Active D-Lighting. It works this way: The camera evaluates the tones in your image and then underexposes for the highlight areas while lightening any areas that it believes are too dark or lacking in contrast (Figures 11.12 and 11.13). Active D-Lighting is automatically applied to images that are shot in any of the automatic scene modes except for High Key, Low Key, and Silhouette.
You can choose from six levels: Off, Low (L), Normal (N), High (H), Extra High (H*), and Auto (A). You will need to evaluate the strength of the effect on your images and change it accordingly. I typically leave it set to Normal so that I have brighter, more detailed shadow areas in my photographs while still maintaining good exposure in my skies. You should know that Active D-Lighting can only be adjusted when using one of the professional modes. Also, you will want to turn it off if you are using flash exposure compensation since it will work against you when you alter the flash strength.
Setting up Active D-Lighting
- Press the Info button twice to activate the cursor in the information screen, then navigate to the Active D-Lighting setting by using the Multi-selector (A).
- Press the OK button and then move the Multi-selector up or down to select the level of Active D-Lighting that you desire (B).
- Press the OK button to lock in your changes and resume shooting.
The Active D-Lighting setting can also be changed in the Shooting menu.