These are stunning pictures and I like the very practical review too. I really cant see any harsh tonal transitions, color shifts or lacking DR. The files look gorgeous to my eyes.
Apart from that I would like a smaller body with better live view implementation too...
It's a great camera. I've been using a 5DIII for sevel years and seeing simular results. I'm not a great fan of ND grads...I really don't see the point in the post digital world. They rarely can captur the correct dynamic range and some of these images illustrate my point. A 2 -3 shot merge in Photoshop with images shot at different exposures for specific parts of the scene are generally a better way to go. Using the histogram to meter for different ends of the contrast scale.
There's several highlight blow outs in some of the sky images and why is the sky darker than the land / foreground...looks like to strong grad filters too me. Nice colours, but some of the scenes look like there's false colours added from the ND grads colour casts. The scenes are nice and dramatic, but many of these would fail RPS judging (or degree level photography portfolio judging) due to the exposure issues I've just mentioned. There's bad flare in one shot and another has split boulders in the fore ground, it's important not to split any in half at the edges of the frame. These are very nice and colourfull images, i'm sure they sell well to punters. Especially to the framed print crowds, but really wouldn't impress anyone with a qualification in photography.
1. Some of these images have been on covers of books, including the upcoming International Masters of Photography. Those are judged by professional portfolio reviewer. Perhaps you should sign up as a reviewer! : )
2. I'm a beginner photographer, still learning the fundamentals
3. Graduated Neutral Density filters are one way to obtain a correct and balanced exposure (and as a result, native saturation), but there are others as you have suggested, namely in software.
Everyone's different. I don't use software to balance the exposure or to achieve saturation, whereas some people only use software to obtain this. Is either way better? I don't think so.
"There's so much digital adding of stuff here and there that photographers may as well become painters" - Galen Rowell
4. Looking at the professional gallery circuit (having been in it and being familiar with those who work in it) I don't see many serious landscape photographers working with software. I'm seeing more rock solid technique and willingness to be out in the natural world at the right time, and an uncanny sense for how the conditions translate into a final print.
5. Not sure if I catch the qualifications in photography