@Famateur: Because of the fact that the sky was overcast, that dispersed a lot of the light, resulting a higher diffuse ambient level. The dynamic range of the scene was within the dynamic range of the sensor. A scene that was directly lit by the sun would actually have had higher dynamic range, and actually posed a greater problem for lifting the shadows.
Given the unprocessed version of your image, I would offer that you could have underexposed slightly more, and avoided the pinkish/purple toning that occurred when you recovered the highlights in the clouds. You might have had slightly more noise in the foreground, but I think that would ultimately be preferable to the color grading issues in the clouds.
Agreed on both points.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the file was that, despite the underexposure, I still managed to burn some of the sky. Hard to see on an LCD outside, but what can you do. With wife and kids anxious to move on, no time to fiddle with enabling highlight alert. I'll see if I can desaturate that patch of pinkish clouds with a local brush...
Aye, I understand. That is one of the areas where having more DR can be very useful. It has nothing to do with being a novice or not, knowing how to choose exposure or not. Sometimes the tools in our hands don't tell us everything. For example, JPEG thumbnails are usually used to generate the histogram shown on the camera, and to determine when to show "blinkies" that indicate blown highlights when previewing images. Use of JPEG results in highly inaccurate feedback. However, sometimes, when your on the run, with the family, wouldn't it be really nice to be able to dial in a darker exposure than you think you could probably get away with...and just not have to worry that doing so will affect your IQ?
Two additional stops of editing latitude would allow that. It's just one of the things it can allow for. I don't think it's an invalid reason because it helps you continue to create better photography when your in a rush. There can't really be any bad reasons for having better technology. At the same time, having an additional two stops of editing latitude means if that arch WAS directly and brightly lit by the sun...you could have still gotten a photo and been able to extract whatever amount of detail you wanted to from the shadows, without running into nasty color noise, banding, etc.
Based on the tone around here, I can only assume the following:
Just because you used a camera with a better sensor to get either shot, one with diffuse lighting vs. one with direct lighting, and were able to lift the shadows more, would likely get you labeled either as a total noob who doesn't know how to expose, or a poser who isn't a "real" photographer who takes on the challenge of creating a real work of art with limited equipment...
Having better tech is useful, but is it always required?
Canon has to balance their investment and return across multiple lines within their camera business, and to be successful they're not always going to change at the pace we want. That they have the tech via patents but chose not yet to implement it means the business case does not stack up in terms of the cost of producing it vs the extra revenue it will bring.
Where I think you have to be careful Jrista is that you have stated that other than for astro photography, most of your shots are at higher ISO where Canon is not lagging behind. Your shots demonstrate that you can take good pictures. Yet you seem to have completely lost your rag with Canon (not anyone here) because they chose still not to implement their better tech.
Being passionate, voicing the need for change is fine. Appearing to suggest that Canon needs to adapt their ways or they will be the next dinosaur is somewhat out of character for you.
Will Canon be here in 10 years time? Not sure. The photography market is under threat because there is a high percentage of the population who are happy with the quality from their smartphones. That's hit revenues quite a bit, couple with a global recession. Many companies, including Canon, are being more cautious.
Smaller companies are always less risk adverse... They have less to lose, and everything to gain. Nikon chose to side with another company who had nothing to lose, Sony. And the competition is great as a result. Ditto mirror less. More choice is good. Will Nikon survive their decision better than Canon? I suspect Sony will buy them in a few years time as they struggle to adapt.
I'm just not convinced personally that there is sufficient gain by moving to Nikon or Sony. Your mileage may differ. A friend of mine sold his 5d mk iii and probably about 10k euros of lenses, retaining his 600mm and 7d. He swapped to Fuji, so it can be done....
Like I said, your contribution to explaining a lot of the tech here has been welcome. I would welcome improvements in Canon sensor, sure would.
First, I totally agree...I think at some point Sony will probably buy Nikon. There is obviously something wrong with Nikon's strategy. It isn't the technology...so it's something else. I myself see them as being schizophrenic, they make odd business decisions and seem to waste money on pointless things that are unlikely to recoup all the R&D costs, let alone make them money.
There are some out there who think that in a few years time, the only three players left in the ILC market will be Canon, Nikon and Sony, and possibly just Canon and Sony. The rest will either merge, fold, or enter the smartphone camera market in one way or another (kind of like Sony's QX line.) I don't know, I think more companies will ally with Sony in one way or another, use their sensors. Sony may scoop a couple of them up. In the end, there may well indeed end up being only three major players in the ILC market.
Just to be clear, I have no intention of "switching" brands. If I do anything, it will be adding another brand to my kit. There are still problems with that. I despise the fact that Sony chose a lossy "raw" format...it doesn't even qualify to be called RAW since it's lossy. I'd have an A7r already if not for that. I also have never lied about my opinion of Nikon ergonomics. So, it's not an ideal situation. However...for my landscape photography...which, how often have you seen me share landscapes? Rarely. I have never cared for the editing latitude of my Canon files at low ISO. Even with good NR, you still have to pick some balance between shadow detail and shadow noise. I'm quite good with Topaz DeNoise 5, it is a very effective program. But even that still eats detail for breakfast if you really push the NR far enough that Canon shadows look like Exmor shadows.
My high ISO photography is great, I'm happy with it. I have no doubt I still have years of learning left for birds and wildlife, my work doesn't even compare to the pros. However, my low ISO photography? I've never been satisfied with it. I have some decent shots, but, eh. I figured Canon would have had a high DR part out by now, so I didn't let it bother me. But now it seems Canon is content with what they have...for whatever reasons....and I'm not. I don't like fighting with noise in the shadows. I don't like having to obliterate detail to clean my landscape shadows up. I just don't like it...never have. I was patient, I waited. I'm tired of waiting. I wait so often, wait on people, companies, technology.
I am personally convinced that the D800 or D810 could improve my landscape photography. Over the last couple of years, I've seen too many incredible photos on 500px and 1x that demonstrated the incredible power of having two additional stops of DR/Editing Latitude. This one in particular is just mind blowing...I'd LOVE to see anyone try to replicate that with a 5D III. I'd honestly bet good money it's impossible:
The sun is fully realized there...and the foreground detail is, quite detailed. I think that's an amazing shot. I've tried shooting into the sun before with my Canon cameras. I'm fully and well versed in ETTR, I know exactly how to use it. I've used GND filters. I've NEVER been able to actually do what this photographer did with a D800. That's a scene with tons of DR....from deep shadows behind the rock and mountain, to the sun itself (which isn't blown in any way that I can see.) As far as I can tell, that was an f/22, 1s ISO 100 shot. I would LOVE to be able to do that!
As much as we, all being Canon fans, want to defend the company...they are behind. And they are falling farther and farther behind. I'm not joking when I say that Canon sensor technology is archaic. It really, sadly, is. If the 7D II gets a minimal evolutionary update to the 70D sensor...then, just as sad, that fact remains true. That disappoints me.
JRista, it's a nice picture - irrespective of the body. I think if I was there, then I probably would have done an HDR, but when I get back home I will check and see if I have anything similar. I suspect if I do, then there will be less detail in the shadows, so I do appreciate where you are coming from.
I guess I have got used to filters and HDR, and perhaps become resigned to that fact. Anything which reduces the post processing effort is definitely worth it. I personally will wait till the 5d IV and 1dx mk ii are announced, as I think. Canon know they are not addressing landscape photographers completely. I think their focus was rightly on the bigger markets - wedding with the mk iii, and sports/nature with the 1dx and now the 7d mk ii. If in 2015 there's not some improvements then I may look again at an alternative body - hopefully one which I can retain my canon glass on... If I don't travel abroad then I tend to take nature and landscape kit (oops, 2 bags). Abroad just one bag, so mixing canon and another brand would limit my choices)....