Dynamic Range (DR) is the range of luminance between the brightest area (highlights) and the darkest area (shadows) of the scene.  ​

HDR cameras capture a higher dynamic range than standard linear sensor cameras by using specialized sensors.  An HDR capture usually involves combining 2 or more captures at different exposures, a long exposure to capture the dark regions of the scene (brighter objects are overexposed), and a short exposure to capture the bright regions of the scene (darker objects are underexposed).  The two images overlap in their exposure ranges, capturing a greater range.  ​

Reasons to consider HDR: Use cases involving outdoor scenes, where detail in dark shadows and highlight areas is important; e.g., a forward-facing camera on a vehicle entering and exiting a tunnel with bright outdoor sunlight, a camera trained to recognize traffic lights and signage in the presence of bright sky/clouds/sun, or a camera facing oncoming headlights at night, backlit scenes​

Disadvantages of HDR cameras: Higher cost and tuning complexity.  If you have well controlled lighting, like in a factory environment with dedicated controlled lighting for the scene, then the added cost and complexity of an HDR camera is not justified.​

For more technical details on HDR and HDR measurement please refer to our partner Imatest: https://www.imatest.com/solutions/dynamic-range/