Active D‑Lighting

Active D-Lighting, accessed via the [Active D-Lighting] item in the photo or movie shooting menu, is used to preserve details in highlights and shadows, creating pictures with natural contrast. Use for high-contrast scenes, for example when photographing brightly-lit outdoor scenery through a door or window or taking pictures of shaded subjects on a sunny day. Active D‑Lighting is most effective when [Matrix metering] is selected for metering.



Active D-Lighting Options





The camera automatically adjusts Active D‑Lighting in response to shooting conditions.


[Extra high]

Choose the amount of Active D‑Lighting performed from [Extra high], [High], [Normal], and [Low].








Active D‑Lighting off.

Active D-Lighting and Movies

If [Same as photo settings] is selected for [Active D-Lighting] in the movie shooting menu and [Auto] is selected in the photo shooting menu, movies will be shot at a setting equivalent to [Normal].

Active D‑Lighting
  • “Noise” in the form of randomly-spaced bright pixels, fog, or lines may appear in photos taken with Active D‑Lighting.

  • In mode M, [Auto] is equivalent to [Normal].

  • Uneven shading may be visible with some subjects.

  • Active D‑Lighting does not apply at high ISO sensitivities (Hi 0.3–Hi 2), including high sensitivities selected via auto ISO sensitivity control.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

The [HDR (high dynamic range)] item in the photo shooting menu can be used with high-contrast subjects to preserve details in highlights and shadows by combining two shots taken at different exposures. Use with high-contrast scenes and other subjects to preserve a wide range of details, from highlights to shadows.

HDR Options

The following options are available:

  • [HDR mode]: Choose from [On (series)] (take a series of HDR photographs, ending when [Off] is selected), [On (single photo)] (take one HDR photograph), and [Off] (exit without taking additional HDR photographs).

  • [HDR strength]: Choose the HDR strength. If [Auto] is selected, the camera will automatically adjust HDR strength to suit the scene.

  • [Save individual images (NEF)]: Choose [On] to save each of the individual shots used to create the HDR image; the shots are saved in NEF (RAW) format.

Taking HDR Photographs

We recommend that you use the [Matrix metering] metering option when shooting with HDR.

  1. Select [HDR (high dynamic range)].

    Highlight [HDR (high dynamic range)] in the photo shooting menu and press 2.

  2. Select a mode.
    • Highlight [HDR mode] and press 2.

    • Choose an HDR mode using 1 or 3 and press J.

  3. Choose the [HDR strength].
    • To choose the difference in exposure between the two shots (HDR strength), highlight [HDR strength] and press 2.

    • Highlight the desired option and press J. If [Auto] is selected, the camera will automatically adjust HDR strength to suit the scene.

  4. Choose whether to keep individual exposures.

    To choose whether to save the individual NEF (RAW) images that make up the HDR photograph, highlight [Save individual images (NEF)] and press 2, then press 1 or 3 to choose the desired option and press J to select.

  5. Frame a photograph, focus, and shoot.

    • The camera takes two exposures when the shutter-release button is pressed all the way down. Flashing “1” and “2” indicators will appear respectively in the control panel and viewfinder while the images are combined. No pictures can be taken until recording is complete.

    • If [On (series)] is selected, HDR will only turn off when [Off] is selected for HDR mode; if [On (single photo)] is selected, HDR turns off automatically after the photograph is taken.


HDR photographs taken when an NEF (RAW) or NEF (RAW) + JPEG option is selected for image quality will be recorded in JPEG format.

HDR Photography
  • The edges of the image will be cropped out.

  • The desired results may not be achieved if the camera or subject moves during shooting. Use of a tripod is recommended.

  • Depending on the scene, you may notice shadows around bright objects or halos around dark objects. In some cases, HDR may have little effect.

  • Uneven shading may be visible with some subjects.

  • With non-CPU lenses and when [Spot metering] or [Center-weighted metering] is selected, an [HDR strength] setting of [Auto] is equivalent to [Normal].

  • Optional flash units will not fire.

  • Regardless of the option currently selected for release mode, only one photograph will be taken each time the shutter-release button is pressed.

  • Shutter speeds of Bulb (Bulb) and Time (Time) are not available.

HDR Restrictions

HDR cannot be combined with some camera features, including:

  • Modes other than P, S, A, and M

  • Flicker reduction

  • Bracketing

  • Multiple exposure

  • Interval-timer photography

  • Time-lapse movies

  • Focus shift

  • The negative digitizer

Choosing HDR Mode and Strength via the BKT Button and Command Dials

When [HDR (high dynamic range)] is selected for Custom Setting f3 [Custom controls] > [BKT button], [HDR mode] (Step 2) and [HDR strength] (Step 3) can be selected using the BKT button and command dials.

  • Hold the BKT button and rotate the main command dial to choose from the following HDR modes: a ([Off]), 1 ([On (single photo)]), and b ([On (series)]).

  • When 1 ([On (single photo)]) or b ([On (series)]) is selected, you can adjust HDR strength by holding the BKT button and rotating the sub-command dial.