Understanding the dynamic range of your cameras sensor lets you know what you can get away with when it comes to over and under exposing. This is especially true when you shoot in RAW. The above picture was taken with a Nikon D810 at 24mm F10 1/80 sec. The histogram spans from left to right, edge to edge without clipping any highlights or shadows. The image has not been retouched except for lens profile correction.
I took this image nine times at F10 in 1 F-stop intervals.
-4 at 1/1250
-3 at 1/640
-2 at 1/320
-1 at 1/160
0 at 1/80
1 at 1/40
2 at 1/20
3 at 1/10
4 at 1/5
Below are the original images. Click on the images to scroll through them.
Next I adjusted all the images so that they are all equally exposed. I only changed the exposure setting in Adobe Lightroom.
-4 at 1/1250 with exposure adjustment +4 stops
-3 at 1/640 with exposure adjustment +3 stops
-2 at 1/320 with exposure adjustment +2 stops
-1 at 1/160 with exposure adjustment +1 stops
0 at 1/80
1 at 1/40 with exposure adjustment -1 stops
2 at 1/20 with exposure adjustment -2 stops
3 at 1/10 with exposure adjustment -3 stops
4 at 1/5 with exposure adjustment -4 stops
Below are the adjusted images. Click on the images to scroll through them.
All the under exposed pictures produce pretty good results. However at +1F I am already starting to clip the highlights in the white window frames. From there it is all down hill.
Now you see why protecting the highlights is important and how much leeway you have with your sensor when it comes to under exposure. There is a lot of color information that can be recovered. I recommend to run this test with all your cameras to truly understand their dynamic range.