Nikon d3s User Manual (en)

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Active D-Lighting
Active D-Lighting preserves details in highlights and shadows, 
creating photographs 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 off
Active D-Lighting: 
Auto
Active D-Lighting off
Active D-Lighting: 
High
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“Active D-Lighting” versus “D-Lighting”
The Active D-Lighting option in the shooting menu adjusts exposure 
before shooting to optimize the dynamic range, while the D-Lighting 
option in the retouch menu optimizes dynamic range in images after 
shooting.