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Old Jul 15, 2003, 12:00 AM   #1
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Default Why do most digcams have a lousy 1:1.33 format?

The 1:1.5 (1 by 1.5) format has been the norm in photography since day 1, so why are there so few 1:1.5 format digital cameras? My first digital camera, a Ricoh RDC 5000, was sort of a dynosaur but at least it had a 1200 x 1800 format, just like 35 mm negatives, slides, and 4 x 6 inch prints. I was rudely awaken when after buying a Canon S110 I found out it had a "TV format" (otherwise a fine camera). I really don't care if my pictures fill up my computer or TV screen. Also, when you order 4 x 6 inch prints online from uploaded pictures you get a random crop. (To avoid this I always reduce my 1200 x 1600 images to 1067 x 1600 before I upload them, which by the way turns my 2 M pixel into a 1.7 M pixel!) I guess maybe when widescreen TV's become the norm the digital camera guys will wake up!
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Old Jul 15, 2003, 12:38 AM   #2
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(one more time for those new here)

Digital cameras are devices that are constantly developing (no pun intended). You have to remember that digital cameras are a convergence device...the original still video cameras were devices that outputed to TV, and to capture the picture to a computer you needed a video digitizer. Later cameras could hook up to a computer directly, but due to the low resolution it still used computer resolutions. Only in the last while have there been cameras that have enough quality to output to photographic print sizes, and already there are cameras that have print sizes as well as computer sizes in the resolution list, so you can pick ahead of time. Now we're starting to get high-end cameras like the Olydak 4/3 system, and the Canon EOS1DS which uses a full frame CCD.
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Old Jul 15, 2003, 1:29 AM   #3
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IMHO this is issue number one .. a massive issue.

But you know, the more i think about it the more I realise the problem is equally to blame on the processors (your Kodak/Fuji/expert camera store) who "develops" your prints. The vast majority STILL only print at 4x6 and have not developed the ability to just print what we give them in mass quantities.

Aspect ratio ,poor wide angle and shutter lag are still major hurdles IMHO.
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Old Jul 15, 2003, 1:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why do most digcams have a lousy 1:1.33 format?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crashley
The 1:1.5 (1 by 1.5) format has been the norm in photography since day 1
Oh dear, I fear I predate the beginning of time, because the standard enlarger paper sizes, with developing dishes to match, with which I started with in the 1960s were whole-plate 8.5x6.5 inches, half-plate 6.5x4.75, often printed from square negatives. Occasionally I'd lash out on 10x8, 12x10, 16x12, or even 20x16.

Note that top-of-the range medium format cameras, the steam age equivalent of today's digital SLRs, shoot 6x6 or 6x7cm.

These were still the norm when I was Cibachrome printing from colour slides in the 1980s.

OTOH, at the other end of the scale, there's widescreen, and there's the 'Golden Section', beloved of artists, philosophers, mystics, and mathematicians, 1:1.618.

Casio saw this debate coming, as my new Casio QV-5700 offers a 1:1.5 format as well as its full 2560x1920. I don't use it, because it seems silly to throw some pixels away without first considering the composition.

Maybe my eyes are too close together
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Old Jul 15, 2003, 1:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Square negatives...

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Originally Posted by Alan T
often printed from square negatives.
Good points, I had forgotten about square negatives...even more embarrasing since my first camera, an Agfa Isolette, used a 6cmx6cm 120 negative!
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Old Jul 15, 2003, 3:35 AM   #6
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Default The 1:1.5 (1 by 1.5) format has been the norm in photography

So the 35mm format was the first photographgic format was it.
:?:
No 10 x 8 glass plates or later 10 x 8 sheet film. The quarter plate (5 x 4) was just that, a 10 x 8 glass plate cut in four. To confuse you even more a whole plate was 8 x 6.
Yes I have used both Plate and 10 x 8 sheet film cameras.
The weird format used by 35mm cameras came about because the person who invented the first Leica used 35mm movie film stock. By doubling the normal movie frame size we come to the format you love and I hate.
I much prefer the 6 x 4.5 format of my 120 cameras or even 6 x 7.
But the format used in many digital cameras is still better than the 35mm format favoured by snap shooters and their local cheapo print shops. :lol:
Is that putting the cat among the pigeons or what.
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Old Jul 15, 2003, 4:44 AM   #7
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I have been taking digital photos since I got my first very basic one about four years ago - and have perhaps taken 30, 000 images digitally. I was taking various format photos before that on film and negative for over 30 years and I think I can safely say that I've never had any overwhelming desire to print any photo at 4 x 6". I've certainly never printed any digital image at 4 x 6. In fact, I simply don't understand why people use digital cameras and then get 4 x 6 prints from them all - I watched a bloke in a camera store on Saturday put a SM card in the print machine and set it to print 1 x 4x6 from each frame on the card. Why? If you want full sets of 4 x 6s of your entire shot, use roll film - I'm sure it must be cheaper in those instances.

I take whatever images I want digitally, save them all, manipulate the best for web publishing usually and then order enlargements from prepared files (min I've ever ordered is 5 x 7) if required for framing, portfolio etc. Snaps to show people etc. I might print myself at whatever size best suits the requirement - usually several per A4 sheet. I've never ordered a collection of 4 x 6s from any digital photos - does it not rather defeat some of the object of the digital format?
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Old Jul 15, 2003, 5:25 AM   #8
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I discussed this issue in an earlier post. It seems we have a capture to presentation chain which has historically worked in different aspects. Remember movie standards - a plethora of aspect ratios to protect the businesses of the main players!

With film you can start square and have enough resolution left to shoot to protect your intended aspect and get good output. Unfortunately, pixels cost us dear, and nobody likes throwing them away.

Some manufacturers like Fuji offer print outputs to match the 1.33 of their cameras. From memory, Kodak offer near 16X9 in their cameras and matching print sizes if you use their processing services.

Personally, I think more digicam users will be watching their pics on electronic displays - and hi res flat panels will become the norm for home display in future. We are all building large digital photo albums- surely we're not thinking of printing all the digipics?

What do creative members think about 1.33:1? I think wider is more suited to lean back viewing rather than 2 feet in front of a pc. More of us like sharing our pics, what output media do we see as being dominant in future? Pics used in magazine publications etc are probably free style as far as aspect goes.

Do we need more pixels and camera viewfinders which can be told in advance what aspect to capture at? What do we think about displaying 'black bands' on our future TV's when Programs and Dvd's are widescreen?

Aspect ratio is a convergence issue. Unfortunately there is a misconception software can in some lossles way, convert aspect for us which it can't and often scene composition and resolution can be destroyed by post cropping or zoom. VOX
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Old Jul 15, 2003, 5:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boo
I've never ordered a collection of 4 x 6s from any digital photos - does it not rather defeat some of the object of the digital format?
What????? I think you and many others have lost the point of digicams.

Just because one likes digital imaging does not mean one doe snot still have a preference for a nice album with a lot of beautifully printed photos. I, and many others, stilll like to flick through a hardcopy album with friends .... no matter how good the screen, a print still looks a LOT better.

The point of digicams should be the instant gratificatoion, ability to re-take a poor shot, to see what affect adjustments make, make it easier to use on the PC and remove the need for film.

No oen said anythign about eliminating resaonably small size prints. People still like this as can be evidenced by the number of "how many MP's do i need to print 4x6" questions we get here.

The main issue ois that processors need an option that allows is to print in the digicam ratio ... NOT the old 4x6 ratio.
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Old Jul 15, 2003, 6:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
The main issue is that processors need an option that allows is to print in the digicam ratio ... NOT the old 4x6 ratio.
That's true for a short term fix and I use my local Fuji Frontier printer for 6X41/2, but why should the present capture format, defined around PC displays, be assumed correct and accepted as a future standard?

Have any studies (independent of manufacturer interests) been done to consider aspect ratios from a composition and preferred method of viewing? If we say every shape from wide to square is used, then more Mpix is needed. The first time I saw some pano film prints from the cheapie Kodak cams, I liked the wide experience and thought it was more like what my eyes might see, rather than the 'special effect' of 1.33:1.
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