Archive for September 4th, 2010


9/4/2010: Frenchman’s Bay from the Narrows

Here is an interesting comparison of similar HDR shots from 1) the Canon SX20IS/Photomatix combo, and 2) the iPhone 4 with the  ProHDR app.

Frenchman’s Bay separates Mount Desert Island from the Scodic Peninsula to the north, and is almost the closest thing we have to a fjord in North America. (Our only actual fjord is just one range of mountains south in Somes Sound, which splits Mound Desert Island.) These shots are taken from The Narrows, where the Route 3 bridge joins Mount Desert Island to the mainland.

With a little work in PhotoGene on the iPhone or Lightroom on the laptop, I could adjust the color balance of the two images to match. It is something I am learning. ProHDR leans towards the warm, and Photomatix leans toward the blues, maybe too far in both cases. The Photomatix shot has already had considerable toning down of the blues.

In comparison, I like the perspective of the iPhone shot better, with its slightly longer lens it brings up the far shores of the bay much more prominently. Having seen this comparison I would now use a longer setting on the zoom of the Canon SX20IS, which was at its widest, 28mm equivalent here.

(By the way, Apple just announced that the next version of iOS for the iPhone, due out next week, will include built in HDR for the Camera, using up to 3 exposures. We shall see how that compares to ProHDRs renderings.)

One thing that this comparison demonstrates pretty dramatically is the quality of the lens and sensor on the iPhone. You expect this kind of quality in today’s P&S offerings…but this is, in my opinion, pretty amazing for a phone!