PL Smart Lighting has lost algorithm to process (purposefully) under-exposed images from ISO-Invariant sensors

No, it also effects your raw, as i explained it applies a EV correction like which you could do by hand, exposure compensation.
When it detects highlights close to saturated levels it lower exposure in three steps -1/3 -2/3,-3/3. So it actually effects your raw exposure. And the contrast correction it applies on the oocjpeg arn’t. What’s a plus. So it’s working as a automated zebra tool. :sunglasses:

Panasonic’s iDynamic and Olympus’ Auto Gradation modes will both reduce exposure by a 1/3EV or so to capture some additional highlights, then use an adaptive tone curve to brighten the shadows and as well as adding highlights. But it’s probably Nikon’s Active D-Lighting system that does the best job of this. It combines up to a 1EV exposure reduction with an adaptive tone curve to give well balanced JPEGs even in high contrast situations.

Short of providing the tools that would allow photographers to reliably expose to the right, these DR compression modes provide a really useful means of accessing the impressive capabilities of modern sensors, whether you know how they work or not. end quote

Let’s start with EXPOSURE slider. ONLY EXPOSURE and nothing else.
Can you see the difference?

That looks suspiciously like the highlights in the image are over-exposed. Can you make the RAW file available here for our inspection?

Lightroom can recover them without a problem so I guess they are not.
You say Lightroom can recover blown highlights?
I would say DxO has Exposure slider with limited capabilities.

I would like to see what FastRawViewer makes of the file before saying any more

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I only care about results and Lightroom can recover highlights in this photo and DxO can not.
Let’s make another test: exposure -1.00 and Highlights slider all the way to the left.
Can you see the difference?
Can we also say DxO has Highlights slider with limited capabilities?

You’re comparing apples to oranges. Just because the adjustments seem to do the same thing or, at least, are labelled the same, doesn’t mean they do the same job. Like I said, let’s see the original file for evaluation.

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Ah, the cat. It is also in this post: Dull images with orange tint

Joanna; let’s stick to the facts. Look again my first two images.
I can assure you those highlights are NOT blown so this is even worse. DxO can not recover them.
Check again my first two images – only Exposure sliders.
Are you trying to say with this apple thing exposure is not exposure in DxO but something else?

Yes platypus; this is my Kitty shot from different angle. :wink:

It’s sure seems to me that Lightroom is adding microcontrast besides lowering highlights. We can see that in the cat fur and in the seams around the window. PL does it, too, but not nearly to this extent. (Zoom in to 75% or more to really compare - or just look at the histogram.) We’ve discussed this before, and also the concern that PhotoLab lowers midtones along with highlights while Lightroom doesn’t. So why start the whole discussion over again in yet another hijacked thread? A year ago, you had started your own thread for the problem and were encouraged by DxO staff to vote in the identical thread previously opened for the same concern. Surely that’s the best place to work on this further, as it avoids all this repetition and helps to gather more votes.


I’m sorry I hijacked this thread. I was just trying to demonstrate some things. I discovered DxO Exposure slider (as you can see from my first two photos) can’t recover highlights.

Greg; I was just reading those ‘old’ threads again to refresh my memory.
Tell me honestly …. looks like this thing about highlights recovery (and also Selective tone sliders) has been discussed endlessly on this forum but things are still the same as they were in DxO Optics Pro 9.
Do you really think something is going to change?

And I can assure you that using at least two (cross-platform) RAW evaluation (not post-processing) software, the first picture of the cat that you made available is definitely over-exposed.

In FastRawViewer

In RawDigger

Note the exposure stats in both screenshots - they both show over-exposure.

And if you look at the histograms in RawDigger :

… you will see that the highlights are pegged hard against the right end at +3 EV, further indicating that there is irrecoverable over-exposure.

I would agree with Greg that Lightroom is doing some sort of creative magic and not just lowering the exposure. Close examination in FastRawViewer shows that there is simply no detail to be recovered from the blown highlights. Whatever Lightroom is doing, it is not “recovering” detail, it is creating it.

This may be something that you like about Lightroom but, in fact, Lightroom is actually “faking” detail rather than DxO not recovering it.


I can confirm Joanna’s comment about the blown highlights of “the cat”. Nevertheless, Lightroom’s automatic settings do their job. This is what I get.

Lightroom marks the blown highlights too when the image is shown after import. Automatic tonality settings will simply bring down the blown highlights to 99.x %. As there is no structure in blown highlights, the reduced highlights still have no structure. They are simply not 100% any more.

Please note that Lightroom does not fake any structure and that RawDigger’s overexposure display (the red areas) depends on what is set in RawDigger’s settings.

You can also check Lightroom’s basic settings in the screenshot. No other thing was active except for slight sharpening (Lightroom’s default setting is not at 0 USM)

‘’ I would agree with Greg that Lightroom is doing some sort of creative magic and not just lowering the exposure. Close examination in FastRawViewer shows that there is simply no detail to be recovered from the blown highlights. Whatever Lightroom is doing, it is not “recovering” detail, it is creating it. ‘’

Joanna; are you 100% sure?
Photo of my cat below is perfectly recoverable. It’s just DxO can not do it with Exposure slider or with Highlights slider. I’m sorry but I need to ask because of my english; do you understand what I’m saying?

And I repeat myself again;
DxO is not capable to recover highlights from the photo below if YOU ONLY USE EXPOSURE SLIDER OR IF YOU ONLY USE HIGHLIGHTS SLIDER OR IF YOU USE THEM TOGETHER.
CONCLUSION: Exposure slider and Highlights slider in DxO lacks. They are not capable.

I hope I don’t sound rude. It’s the last thing I want. If you like I will continue and show you.

Yes, I am sure and yes, I do understand what you are saying. As @platypus says, Lightroom is not recovering any detail, it is merely lowering the level to just under 100%.

Yes, the over-exposure markers might disappear but that doesn’t mean there is any extra detail.

What your screenshot shows is an area of flat, detail-less, grey in the place of flat, detail-less, white.

I will repeat - this is not a fault with DxO, it is that Lightroom is reducing the white level to extinguish the markers.

I can do the same thing in DxO, I would simply reduce the upper limit on the tone curve.

Joanna; you are talking about wrong photo.
I’m talking about the photo below.
Are you sure the photo below is blown and Lightroom is doing witchcraft?
I’m talking about the detail marked with red circle.

No because you haven’t made it available

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So; why are you repeating the photo is blown and Lightroom fakes the details?

Because, with the first image, it is.

But this is different image.
It’s not blown but DxO can’t extract the same amount of details only with Exposure slider.
Would you like to see the proof?