Pulling shadow detail from a Nikon D7000 file


One of the really useful things about the Nikon D7000 and the Sony sensor it uses is the ability to lighten very deep shadows without lots of noise being generated. This "elasticity" means that its preferable to expose for the highlights, in order to protect them from burning out, in the knowledge that any under exposed areas can be "rescued" later.

There are many who recommend exposing for the shadows with digital cameras, the so-called "exposing to the right". However articles that recommend that were often written before sensors like this Sony 16MP were designed. Also before m4/3 appeared. Expose for the shadows with those sensors and you'll get unrecoverable burnt out highlights.

I first saw this latitude with this Sony sensor with a Pentax K-5, and the D7000 performs almost exactly the same. Obviously its a good idea to expose properly in the first place, or if there might be problems to bracket some exposures. And this is what I usually do. The above example is somewhat extreme but it does show what is possible if I don't do either of those.