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Old Jan 13, 2004, 3:48 AM   #11
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It's pretty fast and easy to crop images before printing where you want and not leave it to a machine which might not do the best. On choosing aspect settings in the camera, it seems to me you look first at the native aspect of the ccd sensor then bite the bullet accepting you're going to throw away valuable pixels.

In UK I can get 6X41/2" prints done from a Fuji Frontier to match my ccd output. OK that's not standard album size paper, but saves some time pre-cropping. There's no easy solution to aspect ratio. I suppose in a creative sense, the picture shape could be anything and the camera needs enough pixels to provide the resolution for any reasonable aeshetically correct aspect and print size. But then we have to interface with mass produced processing where paper sizes are fixed, and monitor shapes are now changing.

This puts a new look on 'how many pixels do I need'. The landscape or pano photographer would definitely want more horizontally on the sensor, whilst the portrait photographer might like more vertically - if they were putting a cost on their pixel spec to avoid 'wastage'. Until then, I would like to see the high Mpix cams incorporate selectable safe area 'cages' in their viewfinder/lcds to ensure a framed shot will fit the paper after cropping.

I think this has only become an issue for digicams, because present sensor pixel densities are made and priced 'fit for market purpose', rather than matching the resolution redundancy inherent in film media. Some Thoughts. VOX
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 12:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
Until then, I would like to see the high Mpix cams incorporate selectable safe area 'cages' in their viewfinder/lcds to ensure a framed shot will fit the paper after cropping.
That would be an ideal way to be able to use all available pixels but still frame the shot for cropping to a smaller size.

Anyway, I just prepared my last batch of pictures for printing, and I only ended up adding a border to 11 of them. After these are printed, it will be a total of 104 pictures printed from my trip to London, so that's just about 10% that had cropping issues (although I don't know how many uncroppable pictures there would have been if I'd been printing all the pictures I took). I did end up cropping the picture I posted above as an example, instead of adding a border. I don't want to post another and have people try to tell me I could have cropped it , but suffice it to say there were a few pictures that couldn't be cropped to 3:2 without cutting off the top or bottom of a building, or leaving an awkwardly narrow strip of sky at the top. A well-composed picture wouldn't have so little cropping room at the top and bottom, but sometimes I can't avoid it when I'm shooting a street scene and I can't get any further away from the subject. More wide-angle would help...
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 3:21 PM   #13
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More wide-angle would help...... Yes that's right, when you can't get the 28mm equivalent lens. I notice they include the photographers 3rds framing rule graticule in most cameras. I've never used mine, but if I could have a cage I could scale/move around it would be much more useful. Does anybody else use this feature seriously?VOX
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 5:00 PM   #14
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For me it's not an issue...

I print my own, the vast majority of the time, and just trim any unwanted portion if I want to frame something.

Also, when I do choose to print a photo, it's usually one that I want at larger than 4x6" print sizes. So, with larger sizes, a 4:3 Aspect Ratio works out better anyway.

A 3:2 Aspect Ratio is only perfect for 4x6" prints -- not for other sizes. Here's a handy chart that shows frame utilization at different print sizes and aspect ratios:

http://home.earthlink.net/~terryleed....htm#frameutil

So, I would never shoot in 3:2 Aspect Ratio (in case I wanted a larger print). My current model camera doesn't have this choice (but even if it did, I would not use it).

Also, some printers do offer "Digital Size" prints with no cropping. One online service is http://www.photoaccess.com

There are probably other printers that offer this type of printing, too.
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 5:33 PM   #15
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A 3:2 Aspect Ratio is only perfect for 4x6" prints -- not for other sizes.
The Costco where I get my photos printed offers several 3:2 print sizes: 4x6, 8x12, 12x18. It's unusual.

But yes, standard print sizes, except 4x6, are not in the 3:2 ratio. 3x5, 5x7, 8x10, 11x14... none 3:2, none 4:3, none alike. Why do they all have to be different? Except for a 4x6 from a 3:2 camera, it's never possible to make a standard-size print without discarding some of what the camera captured. It's especially annoying when one doesn't have control over the cropping (which is what usually happens with film, and is what would happen if uncropped 4:3 digital photos were submitted for printing).

This thread was never meant to be a debate about aspect ratios- I was just trying to find out what would happen if I printed a picture with a border. Considering I found that out by asking someone at the lab, I probably should have never posted this thread.
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 5:37 PM   #16
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Nah... I'm glad you started the thread. I learned something about Costco!

It's interesting that your local Costco would offer a variety of print sizes using a 3:2 Aspect Ratio, but not offer a variety of print sizes using a 4:3 Aspect Ratio.

However, I'd expect this to change over time (given the popularity of digital cameras, with most users shooting in a 4:3 Aspect Ratio).
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Old Jan 13, 2004, 6:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipe
Most non-DSLR cameras with a 3:2 mode just crop out some of your picture. There are freeware programs that will crop in standard formats like 3:2 and I canít imagine printing images without first sorting, cropping, enhancing etc anyway. I donít see the logic of taking fewer pixels than you are capable of just because you donít want to crop the images.
Well, I do sort and select the best pictures before printing. I don't just dump the entire thing into the Fuji Frontier machine.

I am not a photographer but I do take a lot of pictures in every session just to make sure I get many good ones. I normally don't mess with them in my computer unless they are dark and there is nothing else to choose from or if someone else took the picture with lousy framing.

It is absolutely NO FUN for me having to edit or crop every single picture I take before printing. I prefer to take another picture if the one I took is not good enough. Having a camera that shoots 3:2 is a blessing for me and I don't mind losing pixels (which I don't with this camera because it only shoots 3:2). It is the resolution (pixels per inch) when printing that matters. If I am going to lose part of the image anyway due to cropping of 4:3 images then better let the camera do it.

Since nearly all pictures I print are 6x4, the 3:2 aspect ratio is the best choice. Whenever I want to print a different size then I DO crop the picture to fit that other size to eliminate guesswork by the printer.

This would also be the obvious choice for non-techie people that do not know how to edit or crop pictures.
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 8:31 AM   #18
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luisr... yes I'm with you on that. But it's a bit like tape, CD, dvd and TV format wars. Will the most cameras/print paper/TV displays be 4X3, 3X2 or anything else - and which company will gain the largest brand strength?

Fuji are cornering the pro printer market, they make the paper and sell cameras which have a good reputation in large numbers . We know Kodak cams can differentiate their product with 3X2 aspect (great pictorially and better for 16X9 flat panels) - but who will win over the others? It's funny that most things techi are cloneable by the competition, but something as simple as the physical shape of a picture frame can drive everything, something the movie film industry has had to work with for years. VOX
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 8:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
Will the most cameras/print paper/TV displays be 4X3, 3X2 or anything else
Well, we could always hope forlornly that the "golden mean" of 1:1.618 will eventually prevail as a default, having been arrived at by great artists, critics and mathematicians over a thousand years or so.

36x24mm, APS 'panorama mode' and 16:9 TV are hopeful signs.

However, cropping the picture to suit the subject is surely best, and the digital age has made that a lot easier for those who can be bothered to do it.
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