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32

This is usually caused by the camera taking the scene as a whole and treating it as 18% gray. This is the way light meters (and camera meters) are calibrated to see the world. Scene mostly snow? 18% gray. Black cat in a coal mine? 18% gray. The camera doesn't know what you're taking a picture of, so it assumes that the scene is, on average, 18% gray and ...


18

Your camera's light meter measures brightness, but it can't tell if the brightness level it is measuring is a black cat in a coal mine or a white cat in a snowstorm.¹ It assumes everything you point your camera at is somewhere about halfway in between those extremes. ¹ Sure, the scene with the white cat will probably be brighter than the scene with the ...


5

The others have explained why the metering is causing issues, but I would like to add that active D-lighting actually underexposes the image in order to preserve highlights (~1 stop at max), and then processes the data/jpeg to restore midtones/shadows... IMO, it is not really helping you. Personally, with the D5100 I would be shooting in manual mode for ...


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