Trabuco Canyon – Samsung IV evaluation


Untitled (Trabuco Canyon, CA) copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale

For those who follow this blog, you know that I am not a camera equipment reviewer, but when I recently purchased the Samsung IV, one of the selling points over the III was the 13mp camera versus the 8mp. All things created equal, the intent with the Samsung was not to replace my small frame Canon Rebel XTi, which has a 10mp sensor for casual photography. Nevertheless, I notice I have been deferring to the Samsung for family events.

So this last weekend, we decided to take a walk down into Trabuco Canyon which runs adjacent to where I live. It has been a while since I have been down here and it was a spur of the moment decision during a walk to detour down into the canyon. Thus I was only carrying the Samsung and I did not have any intentions to take photos, just enjoy the walk. That said, we found this one area with the overgrown vines that has a very interesting look to it. I also noted that it was very contrasty, with the bright blue sky in the background and the foreground lost in the shadows, with some sunlight spilling onto some of the foreground leaves.

So I figured that this would be an interesting composition to find out what my recent purchase could handle. There are no exposure composition settings to fuss with or at least not any I am aware of. While taking the photograph, the flash did not go off, so the auto camera exposure meter thought that there was sufficient light. My PhotoShop tweaked version is above and the image with the original JPEG settings straight from the camera is below.

One thing that I did not anticipate that I found pleasing was the very wide ratio photograph, much wider than a traditional 35mm ratio that I would capture with my Canon 5D. Not quite wide enough to be a panoramic either, but I think it would interesting for investigating landscapes of all kinds.

For the really small sensor, I was not surprised that the highlights were blown out by the sunlight in the foreground or that the blue sky was lost in much of the top left. I used my RAW convertor in Photoshop to try to save these highlights but the textural detail in the highlights are gone, a common problem with digital capture. Likewise, I was not surprised as to how much detail I could pull out and open the shadow. Nevertheless, I did not to open the shadows too much in the final version above as I wanted to retain some mystery and I have a preference to make sure I have plenty of image that is clipped by the dark side. Likewise, I also added a layer for sharpening the luminosity, a curve layer to adjust the contrast as well as a slight tweak of the color temperature (a bit warmer) to suit my taste.

One of the fun aspects of PhotoShop is that I can quickly add another layer for a Black & White conversion and after a bunch of tweaks and adjustment, include this version as well, below.





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