Explanation: „Active D-Lighting“ (ADL) is Nikon‘s name for an additional step in the internal image processing that mainly lightens dark areas of the picture.
It is relevant only for JPG files, not for RAW format.
ADL can also darken too bright areas but lightening dark ones is more frequent and the improvements are more visible there.
You can choose an automatic adjustment that the D7000 will set stronger or weaker depending on your subject‘s contrast or four steps from low to extra high.
Tips: Use this option, it does improve your pictures.
To lighten dark areas is anyway one of the most important steps in later image processing because digital cameras can process only a smaller range of contrasts than the human eye. Active D-Lighting does a part of this job for you.
I prefer the setting „automatic“.
What you should also know about ADL:
- ADL works better than later lightening of your JPG-files because it starts with RAW files from the image sensor. RAW data has a finer resolution of differences in brightness that leads to better results when lightening dark areas.
- Don‘t expect miracles! ADL is especially no protection from over- or underexposure.