The evening is the golden hour for photography, and it is also a challenge lighting for all cameras. Today, I tried to take similar photos from all my gears and comparing them. Aberdeen, south of Hong Kong, is the place I picked. it is an urban area, has a wide river and able to grab some nice sunset shots.

Mavic 2 Pro:

First, I fire up my Mavic, set to all auto setting, take a normal shot, and then took another with its in-camera HDR setting. Both shots are using AUTO for all other camera settings. The normal photo seems wash-out in the bright sunset sky yet the colors are natural. On the other hand, the HDR version got the sky and sunset, and there are more details in the photos (e.g. water wave in the river) but the colors are kind of strange and unnatural.

5D mk4:

Then, I climb up a bridge nearby. Grab my 5D mk4 and repeat a similar process. I took a photo and some bucket shots, All photos were using AUTO, while the bucket shots were 2 steps difference in between. I used Lightroom to combine them to HDR. The normal photo has a great sky but all others are too dark. The HDR version is very good. Colors are pleasing, details are very fine, the photo is dynamic.

iPhone 8:

Finally, I took out my iPhone 8, which it would shot HDR by default. The photo is too dark overall. Not much to say about it.


Big lens and Big senor are always the King. This is the law of physic. I love the HDR version of 5D mk4 most, Even the new Mavic 2 Pro could not beat the full frame of 5D mk4, yet the photos need some post-processing to get the best result. The drone could take some good photos by just pushing a button and this is a big advantage. While the iPhone is good for most of the situations, it is still could not handle complex lighting.

I am not judging which of the three cameras are the best. These are just some comparison for your reference. They are a very different camera built for different situations. I am very satisfied with all of them.

Beside some testing, I took some panorama by the drone, and the sunset was really beautiful!

If you interested in the equipment I used, please check the links below:

- Shimoda Action X30 Backpack -----

- Shimoda Action Explore 40 Backpack -----

- Peak Design Tripod -----

- Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip -----

- Canon 5D Mark IV -----

- DJI Mavic 2 Pro -----

- GoPro Max -----

- Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod -----