But there are cases where you surely couldd benefit from wider dr and the option to get detail in both the deepest shadow and brightest highlights. I'm sure we all have a couple of files in our archives where we had to give up on either one of them, or where we wouldve liked more leeway to mould the file to our wishes.
In this respect, I think Nikon wins this round.
Agreed on all accounts. If maximum DR is the most important factor for a photographer, then Nikon is the clear winner. Fortunately, DR is just one of many elements of performance that go into what and how I shoot, and it's not so important that I feel inclined to abandon the Canon system.
Realistically I don't think anyone is taking about rescuing 4 stop unexposed files but rather HDR situations using a single shot.
There are situations when better quality deep shadows would help me. For example, when I'm shooting a bride getting into or out of the car I don't particularly like to use flash as it changes the shot significantly and inverse square law of light means only the closer person will be lit. Having a single exposure for this situation would be fantastically useful.
Anyone can relate to the benefits of greater DR in practical, real-world situations as you describe. While the test conducted in that link is interesting from a strictly academic standpoint of gauging sensor performance, I have a difficult time relating to the method used to illustrate their point. Pulling four stops of shadow recovery is equivalent to an 16-fold increase in light, and if you haphazardly pulled that much shadow recovery in 99 percent of images, you'd end up with the ugliest, flattest POS you'd ever laid eyes on
It's one thing to recover some shadow detail. It's another thing entirely to turn your shadows into midtones, which is essentially what that Dutch experiment sought to accomplish.
Now, I think a much more effective test would be if someone as qualified as yourself busted out one of these shots of a bride getting out of car, applied the necessary shadow recovery in post, then shared the before and after images the illustrate the benefits of the Nikon's DR advantage
That's something everyone can relate to.
I just find the idea of intentionally underexposing an image by four stops, then trying to save it in post just for the sake of experimentation, a bit silly since it isn't a situation you'd ever encounter in real life. Unfortunately, a lot of people find bizarre experiments like that quite compelling.