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Old Aug 27, 2002, 3:49 AM   #1
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Default 16 X 9 aspect on digicams

I am new to digital photography. Most of the better digicams seem to be based around 4 X 3 aspect chips. This is OK for current TV's but print processing is nearer to 16 X 9 format and 35 mm aspect. UK and Europe are moving to 16 X 9, all new plasma panels are widescreen. So I am wondering how users who like taking landscape pics find their cameras? Masking and cropping seems an awful waste of pixels, camera storage and time. So any comments on working with current aspect ratio welcome. Are there equivalent 35mm (wide) format still cameras available?
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Old Aug 27, 2002, 9:48 AM   #2
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The DSLRs are setup on the 6x4 aspect I think. I can't think of any non DSLRs that have anything but 4x3.
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Old Aug 27, 2002, 11:15 AM   #3
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I'm not aware of any typical print format that matches the cinema/HDTV 16:9 ratio. Typical print formats are 4:5 11:14 which are even more square than the 4:3 digicam format with the oddball 5x7 print getting a little closer to 35mm's aspect ratio but nowhere near 16:9. 4x6 prints which match 35mm exactly are geared toward snapshot 35mm and APS users who just want simple and fast prints from the drugstore. I sometimes do special high aspect prints but I usually have to crop just like I did with film cameras.

Still cameras aren't designed for TV display anyway. Even HDTV is far lower resolution than all but the lowest resolution ost digicams so I'm not sure why you're worried about wasted pixels. If you want TV display get a DV camcorder as many can be set to record a 16:9 format.

There is a place for wide panoramas so consider software to warp and stich images together. I get some astonishingly good results even with my modest 1.3mp Canon A10 using the included software. I get best results when I use a tripod so vertical angle doesn't shift as I pan around but I get good results even with hand held panoramas.

Of course panoramas will curve any line that isn't vertical. If you're looking for ultra wide rectilinear images with digicams you may be out of luck. The widest angle lenses are typically only equivalent to a 28mm lens on a 35mm film camera. You can get a bit wider with a DLSR and an ultra wide angle film lens but only at extreme cost.
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Old Aug 27, 2002, 1:07 PM   #4
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4.3 vs 16.9 why?? Back in the mid 1900's the movie and tv industries considered each other threats, the TV people used the logic that the consumers would want to use all of the tv screen so shot in the 4.3 format, the movie folks with the wide screen theaters shot all with wide angle lens. Would say as 4.3 is the norm in most households the digicam makers have used the same logic for the few that view pics on a tv.
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Old Aug 27, 2002, 8:36 PM   #5
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The 8X10 ratio is a standard perspective going back to the renaissance discoveries about composition etc. painters, with their infinitability to invent, somehow do not like to use panaoramic surface except as murals.

However, I do think there is an issue here and that is the likleyn use in the future of video screen as home displays for photogrphy. Even here, however, I woudl view the idea of a panoramic screen the way I view any wall ... it is just a place to hang what I WANT!
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Old Aug 28, 2002, 6:08 AM   #6
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Thank you for all your comments so far on this subject. I didn't mean to stir up controversy, but I do think a lot is said about specs of digicams , but little about the aspect shape of the image! In the TV world, strongly supported by producers, we are having to work with both 4X3 and 16x9, converging towards a 16x9 world. Cameras designed for 4x3 can now have 'safe area' graticules embedded in existing software, and new cameras are often switchable aspect, with 16x9 ccds. I understand the Fuji 602 which I'm buying doesn't display the image frame correctly in the viewfinder which seems a fundamental issue. Thanks also for the info on print sizes, it seems that what you shoot is not always what you get! My perception so far is that digicams are more aligned to match computer graphics standards and anything else will need editing work.
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Old Aug 28, 2002, 6:24 AM   #7
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Vox,
There ar wide screen computer monitors, but once again its a money thing that keeps them out of most budgets and homes.
Gary
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Old Aug 28, 2002, 12:59 PM   #8
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voxmagna, no camera is going to switch aspect ratios, it will only pre-crop the image. So the issue you seems to be having is the viewfinder show the aspect ratio you want in the final print/display. You can crop to that aspect ratio later. Since just about every image will be improved with a bit of editing, that shouldn't be a problem or any real extra work.

If you use the camera's LCD as the veiwfinder, you could simply put an overlay to show whatever aspect ratio you wanted. Transparent tape would do the job without disabling the normal view.

I do agree that the desired aspect ratio is (in part) determined by the way you are going to display or print the image. My own favorites are 4:5 (can get one or four on a 8x10" sheet of paper), 2:3 (Wal-Mart's aspect ratio for prints), or 2:5 (Wal-mart's panorama ratio, two panos to an 8x10" sheet, and close to Epson's pano paper ratio). The 4:3 aspect ratio is probably the most common for computer display, but if you look at the options for your own monitor, you will see others.
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Old Aug 28, 2002, 4:37 PM   #9
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Thanks Bill, the info on masking and Walmart (in UK their stores are called Asda) is useful as these stores now use Fuji dye sub processing which gives better permanent results than I can afford with inkjet and non-archival ink! This leads me to a conclusion (despite an earlier post) that you need as many real (non interpolated) pixels in the camera and smart memory as you can afford, to allow for cropping/re-sizing - Thanks
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Old Aug 28, 2002, 10:59 PM   #10
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Default Kodaks use 3:2 ratio

The Kodak's use a 3:2 ratio (instead of 4:3), if my logic is correct that is closer to 16:9.

Well, that ratio is the case for my Kodak DC4800.. not sure about the new ones.

Elia
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