The following test is fairly basic and I think it covers just about any realistic situation and then some. While not the most scientific it will give you an idea of what you can expect with real world shooting situations and exposure recovery.

I do these tests by first getting a decent exposure at the camera’s base ISO (in this case its 100). Then I under-expose a second image by 5 stops. I then bring this image into Lightroom and push it back up 5 stops to compare the two. The Z6 shows adequate recovery with minimal noise. You can see the results here:

* Lens used: Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S at 70mm

Base ISO – Normal Exposure Under Exposed 5 stops
Nikon Z6 :: Dynamic Range Comparison - base exposure Nikon Z6 :: Dynamic Range Comparison - under exposed 5 stops
Base ISO – Normal Exposure Underexposed 5 stops, then pushed 5 in Lightroom
Nikon Z6 :: Dynamic Range Comparison - base exposure Nikon Z6 :: Dynamic Range Comparison - plus 5 stops
Base ISO – Detail from above image Pushed 5 in Lightroom – detail
Nikon Z6 :: Dynamic Range Comparison - base exposure detail Nikon Z6 :: Dynamic Range Comparison - plus 5 stops detail
ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/80 sec ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/40 sec + 6 stop ND filter

How this applies to real world images:

Obviously this is not how you would make an image, but it gives you an idea of what you can expect with shadow recovery in an really high-contrast situation. I’ve shot in several which I will include here as well.

Original:
Nikon Z6 :: Original Image

With Shadow Recovery:
Nikon Z6

At the time I’m writing this, the Hasselblad X1D is the best performing sensor you can buy for dynamic range. You get both excellent shadow and highlight recovery. The Nikon Z6 is definitely tuned for shadow recovery as highlights will get blown fairly easily. Nikon has Active D-lighting that will protect you when using auto-metering in high contrast situations where highlight detail is important.

Nikon Z6 Review Index

• 01 Introduction
• 02 EVF/LCD
• 03 Ergonomics
• 04 Autofocus
• 05 Menu System and Controls
• 06 Performance
• 07 Image Quality
• 08 Dynamic Range
• 09 Video Quality
• 10 Image Stabilization
• 11 Conclusion
• 12 Image Gallery