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iPhone 11 vs R5 Processed and "Out of Camera" - Blown out Sky

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
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Karl_Guttag Senior Member • Posts: 1,879
iPhone 11 vs R5 Processed and "Out of Camera" - Blown out Sky

I've been going through a massive number of pictures I took in the UK with the R5. I keep noticing that the sky seems blown out relative to similar iPhone 11 pictures of the same scene (taken for backup and maybe to add location info later).

I planned to take a series of pictures (every 30 seconds) of York Minster nearing sunset from the City Wall. Unfortunately, about 15 minutes in, a city official came around kicking everyone off the City Wall, so that time lapse was not very interesting as it stopped well before sunset. I happened to take a picture with my cell phone of the setup and a cell phone picture from just to the left of the R5 and thus very close to the same view.

When comparing the pictures "out of the R5 camera," the iPhone 11 seemed to have dramatically better color and showed much more detail in the sky. Because the shots were in RAW, I could vastly improve them in Photoshop, but it took some work. I ended up isolating the sky with a layer mask and processing the sky almost independently of the rest of the image.

I have been noticing the issue of a lack of sky/cloud detail in a lot of my images, and when editing them, I seem to regularly have to process the sky with a layer mask to bring out the clouds. I suspect that the iPhone's camera algorithms are doing some form of "dynamic compression" to do this automatically. Maybe there is some trick I am missing.

Below I will show the setup, the iPhone similar image taken at almost the same time, the RAW image converted by DPP4 without any modifications ("out of the camera"), and my Photoshop edited version where I primarily boosted the Vibrance, warmed the overall color to 6000, and isolated the sky with its own mask and curve correction, and made another curve for the rest of the image. The final image also has had a bit of perspective correction to straighten the sides of the Minster.

The setup taken with iPhone 11

iPhone 11 at nearly the same time (with 30 seconds as the shadows on the Minister matched)

R5 DPP4 JPEG conversion using camera settings

The detail and color in the resultant R5 edit picture is wonderful, but it took some work in post-processing to get it.

Exact Same R5 raw image after editing, including isolating the sky with a layer mask to roughly match the sky detail seen in the iPhone 11 picture.

The level of detail is great, and you can see things that are invisible in the iPhone picture. I even found I got "photo bombed" by a bird. You will also notice a little fringing where the sky meets the points in the building. I used some Gaussian blurring of the mask to reduce the effect but didn't totally eliminate it.

 Karl_Guttag's gear list:Karl_Guttag's gear list
Canon EOS R5 Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 +14 more
Canon EOS R5
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