One has to remember that the episode cost $15 million. A lot for a show, but nothing compared to the budgets we’re used to on the live action films (which are all well over $200 million). I thought it looked very good, considering.
I’m not buying this argument. Budget has little to nothing to do with the quality of the craft - maybe it would’ve been a factor for budgets not allowing to shoot on anything better than your pocket phone, but these days even that isn’t much of an obstacle, and The Mandalorian is one of the more expensive shows out there as you pointed out… So while they did have enough pocket change for decent equipment, this still isn’t about image fidelity, or productions values (which are alright here, even if the filmmaking doesn’t do them much credit): it’s about the skill of visual storytelling. Or, which is the theory I like for this case, the experience (lack thereof) in live action visual storytelling in the case a first-timer.
We’ll see how he fared with his second directing gig down the line. I’m almost more interested in this comparison than in the show itself…