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Old Jan 16, 2008, 2:36 AM   #1
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what is the better option? if most of my prints are 4x6 should I set the camera to 3:2 or leave it on 4:3 and just ask the printer to print the shots in 4x6?
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Old Jan 16, 2008, 3:09 AM   #2
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If most of your prints are 4x6, then, yes, the 3:2 aspect ratio would be better.

The aspect ratio alone doesn't affect anything else. If the vertical resolution remains the same, then a 3:2imageis more likely to show vignetting than a 4:3 image. But since the LCD display on the rear of the camera has a 4:3 aspect ratio, it will display a 4:3 image better than a 3:2 image. The same is true if you display the images on a TV, btw.
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Old Jan 16, 2008, 3:17 AM   #3
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most printshops print 4x6 dont they? and the same applies to picture frames, at least here in Israel? can I ask the printer to print in 4:3 ratio?
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Old Jan 16, 2008, 3:21 AM   #4
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I understand that if i shoot in 4:3 the 4x6 will crop my pictures top and bottom, I could take this into consideration when shooting, and solve the problem except maybe in close up sjots
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Old Jan 16, 2008, 4:04 AM   #5
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doto41 wrote:
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most printshops print 4x6 dont they? and the same applies to picture frames, at least here in Israel? can I ask the printer to print in 4:3 ratio?
Yes. The use of 4x6 prints came from the use of 35mm film whichcreates an exposure thathasa 3:2 aspect ratio (36mm x 24mm), The older print sizes (5x7, 8x10, etc.) are all remnants of the days of view cameras, glass negatives,and contact prints.

doto41 wrote:
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I understand that if i shoot in 4:3 the 4x6 will crop my pictures top and bottom, I could take this into consideration when shooting, and solve the problem except maybe in close up sjots
Yes. Absolutely.
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Old Jan 16, 2008, 4:08 AM   #6
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If you shhot 4:3 you can crop the picture to 3:2 yourself if you have the software. Doing this allows you to choose what to crop of the top and bottom. Leaving it to the printer is probably going to produce some unsatisfactory results.

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Old Jan 16, 2008, 7:45 AM   #7
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I think the best thing for you to do is to use the largest resolution, and worry about cropping later.

For instance, if the resolution of your image sensor is 3000x2000 (just for an example because the math is easier), it has a native aspect ratio of 3:2. If you set it to 4:3 the vertical resolution will remain at 2000, but the horizontal resolution will be reduced from 3000 to the center 2667. If you then print a 4x6 from that, it will crop away portions of the top and bottom, and use the center 2667x1778 instead of the original 3000x2000 to make the print.

On the other hand, if the resolution of your image sensor is 4000x3000 (again, just to make the math simpler), it's native aspect ratio is 4:3. if you set it to 3:2, the horizontal resolution will remain at 4000, but the vertical resolution will be reduced from 3000to the center 2667.

So I suggest that you set the aspect ratio to whatever gets you the largest resolution image your camera can produce.

Don't let the camera throw away pixels for you. You should be the one that does the cropping.

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Old Jan 16, 2008, 7:51 AM   #8
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doto41 wrote:
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I understand that if i shoot in 4:3 the 4x6 will crop my pictures top and bottom, I could take this into consideration when shooting, and solve the problem except maybe in close up sjots
When I was shooting 35mm film, 4x6 prints were easy, but if I was doing any type assignment where I or someone else might want a larger size, like5x7 and 8x10, those sizesrequire a good amount of cropping on the long sideof a 3:2 format of anything, be it film or digital. If I shot a group, was not careful and placed someone too close to the edge of the frame an 8x10 could be impossible because it would cut someone off, so even if the first prints were going to be 4x6, you still had to alwaysthink about compositions with "what will I do if someone wants something other than 4x6" in mind.

Today I shoot 4:3 and have my website with Smugmug. They have a set of prints specifically for the 4:3 format which require no cropping at all...

http://www.smugmug.com/prints/catalog2.mg

Look at the group they call "compact camera sizes". These are actually 4:3 format prints with no cropping all the way up to 18x24, so I can shoot with my 4:3 camera without ever having to worry again about whether I'll need to crop an image or not when I print, and since they are slightly smaller than the "traditional" sizes, they fit in all the easily available albums today.
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Old Jan 16, 2008, 8:27 AM   #9
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TCav wrote:
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...
Don't let the camera throw away pixels for you. You should be the one that does the cropping.
I agree, and Greg has a good point as well. When shooting 3:2 be carefull about important features in you image near the ends of the long side - those will be lost in a 4:3, 5:7, or 8:10 print.
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Old Jan 16, 2008, 9:10 AM   #10
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Greg Chappell wrote:
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Today I shoot 4:3 and have my website with Smugmug. They have a set of prints specifically for the 4:3 format which require no cropping at all...

http://www.smugmug.com/prints/catalog2.mg
Just a quick note -- most online print services offer the option of a 4:3 ratio for your prints. The irritating thing is that some of them do it badly. For example, SnapFish will allow you to select that option if and only if the aspect ratio is exactly 4:3. If you crop an image, you end up getting that image in 4x6 paper, while all the other images are printed on 4x5.3 (if memory serves) paper. Very frustrating.
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