@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.