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Old Jul 13, 2006, 8:03 AM   #1
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As new to the 4:3 format, can someone help me out with the BASIC differences of the ratios:

(1) I have heard that from a 6MP 3:2 to a 8MP 4:3, little usable resolution will be gained. Is this true?

(2)How will the images from a 4:3 be affected when printing 4x6, etc.?
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Old Jul 13, 2006, 10:42 AM   #2
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Am I completely "off" in my questions above? I am really "green" to these issues, but am trying to learn.

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Old Jul 13, 2006, 10:54 AM   #3
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First realize that there's NO format on the market that will print at one of the standard sizes without some cropping when printing at a different size...even 35mm film.

With that said though, personally it's more important to get a camera that you're happy with and comfortable using, than to worry if 3:2 or 4:3 ratios are better. Yes, 3:2 will save you from cropping if you are printing 6x4 or 9x6, but 4:3 will save you work if you print 4x3, 12x9.

Out of all the things I considered when buying a camera, this was one thing I never gave any thought to.
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Old Jul 13, 2006, 1:04 PM   #4
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I won't tackle question 1 because that probably requires a depth of technical sparring which is likely to get everybody (including me) lost. Hopefully, some real techies will want to argue the point. My non-technical opinion: probably a relatively minor difference not particulalry worth real concern.

Regarding the second question: 4:3 is really better suited to most larger printing sizes but it isn't the best fit for 4x6. It's very nicely suited to 8x10, 11x14 and16x20. Those sizes require very minimal cropping. In fact, I just started printing out 8x10 pictures and, when printed full frame with a border (no cropping) the image fits the sheet very nicely.

If you print 4x6, you'll lose a bit more at the top and bottom in the "landscape" mode.

Again, this is not realy an issue for me personally. I've had a 4x6 photoprinter for many years (two different printers, in fact). In all honesty, I can't tell the difference between a 2 or 3MP picture at that size. In fact, I've printed 4x6's from 1MP cameras that looked pretty much the same as the 2 or 3MP camera prints.

So, when I thought about buying a new camera, I was less concerned about how the images would fit the 4x6 print size. Since I was buying a new camera with more megapixels, my main idea was that it would be used for the larger print sizes. I have a nice little 3MP Panasonic if I expect to print out a lot of 4x6 pictures. But the E-500 was intended to satisfy my desire for big prints (and the 8x10's are glorious).

Of course, The more MPs give you more room to crop so I tend to leave a little "wiggle room" around the margins to accomodate the various formats. There's nothing new about that idea. When I shot film, photo processors were CONSTANTLY cropping images on prints so I habitually leave a bit of margin when I frame.
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Old Jul 13, 2006, 1:21 PM   #5
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The two most used sizes I print at are 8x10 or 8.5x11. For those two size prints, theamount of room you need to crop out is less with my Olympus cameras filesthan I had to crop when I was using my Canon outfit. When it comes to "proof" size, I print those now at 4x5 instead of 4x6- the same size prints i used to have made when I was using a Pentax 645 medium format camera.
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