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Old Sep 17, 2003, 8:07 AM   #11
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Default Just a little background -

Since the question has already been answered, just a little background on this issue.

As reported, some digicams offer both formats (aspect ratios), some offer one and not the other. The problem is that we have numerous "standards" in photography, and the original question is based on 35mm thinking.

Manufacturers of digicams originally made the assumption that users would probably print their own images and since the majority of printers came from the "text" world where we use 8.5x11 (in the U.S.) paper, it made sense to maximize the use of that format.

Frequently, when we want to enlarge and frame a 35mm capture we want an 8x10. Obviously, the capture aspect ratio calls for an 8x12 so we loose (crop) parts of the image to get this. With the most commonly available digicam format we get 8x10 without cropping and print this with a nice border on an 8.5x11 sheet. Also it usually works out with less paper loss to print 4x5's rather than 4x6 on out inkjet printers.

But since 4x6 is a common size smaller print which corresponds to 8x12, we loose the edges to a crop or must print much smaller to fit the entire image within the appropriate aspect ratio.

What we have then is an issue of usability. Since the printing world has decided that digital will be here to stay (it took a while) manufacturers are finally beginning to include both aspect ratio choices in many of the new digicams. Kodak has always mimicked the 35mm world and other manufacturers have looked at the home printing market rather than the commercial printing market. Also the native size of silicon which is cut for processors works into the mix.

It's just not a perfect world folks :-)

Lin Evans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 17, 2003, 2:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JimC
The best way is to get around the problem, is to crop your prints to the desired aspect ratio for printing. There are MANY tools available that let you do this.

Here is a recent forum thread on dpreview.com discussing solutions to the problem. Some of them are even free:


Here's a product that I suggested (not free), in the same forum thread:

This was a really useful thread. I loaded up Epson Film Factory that came with my printer and it was really easy to print 4 x 6 prints.

I'm feeling much better about my camera now that I know I can get the print size I need. It takes gourgeous pictures and is so light that I think I'm going to be using it a lot more than my old (heavy) 35mm camera.
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Old Sep 17, 2003, 2:31 PM   #13
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I'm glad you found it useful. I don't remember how I got the Epson Film Factory software. I've owned both Epson printers and cameras in the past, so it probably came with one or the other.
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