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Old Sep 29, 2010, 7:45 PM   #1
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Default About aspect ratio

What aspect ratio do you use? Is there an advantage to a certain ratio over another? Is there a difference in image quality, or is it purely composition?

For example, I think this looks better in 3x2



than 16x9...






Whereas this one looks better in 16x9...






I can't decide on these...


or....


I think I also like this in 3x2.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 8:19 PM   #2
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I used to shoot 4:3 earlier but I hated it, I would never get a wide enough horizon or I would instead get too much space overhead.

16:9 is nice, its almost perfect but like watching a movie you have to remember to place the main subject on the sides and let the background do the rest. However the background does not always cooperate, at least not in my case, but that's why I absolutely love shooting 3:2.

Its good enough in that ratio to make 4 x 6 or 8 x 12 prints, or even if you somehow manage to get a masterpiece, it'll make a great 16 x 24 or 24 x 32 gallery print depending on your camera ofcourse.

That said its a personal preference. Clint prefers 16:9 because he likes seeing photos on his HDTV most likely and others love 4:3 because they can crop things if they want later and have more options.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 8:57 PM   #3
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I personally use only 16:9 format. 16:9 is everything these days, Computers,tvs even phones.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 2:38 AM   #4
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I just did a test of the FZ100 last week and in one day I took about 800 shots. At the beginning I put it in 16:9 and forgot that I did. I did like this ratio for a good portion of the shots. However, there were a few that I wished I had gotten it in 4:3 and then cropped it to a wider angle later. So I will probably shoot in 4:3 from now on and crop it if I want the 16:9 look.

I'd look at your camera specs too. The FZ100 captures 4:3 in 14 megapixels but in 16:9 it captures at 10 megapixels. Might be something to consider.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 3:03 AM   #5
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What I'd really like to do is shoot in 4:3 but have 16:9 guidelines on the display.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 11:17 AM   #6
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How about 3x2 vs. 4x3? Is there an advantage?
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 3:27 PM   #7
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Comes down to your display preference. If you're only going to look at the pics on 16:9 displays (computer, tv, etc), then the choice is clear. If you're planning to edit each one, then I would shoot as large as my camera allows. If you're planning to make prints, then 3:2 may be better. If it's a mix of these, switch back and forth as you please.

As I understand it, raw ALWAYS includes everything, so Raw + Jpg may satisfy both needs. Personally, my default is to shoot Jpg 16:9 unless I have a reason not to.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 4:59 PM   #8
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Some cameras lower the resolution (#MP) as the ratio changes from its 4:3 default, while some others keep the same resolution.

As you can see, the difference between ratios is not reflected on the top/bottom portion of the image but on the sides (the first two shots show exactly that). So, shooting 16:9 will preserve the top/bottom of the image and give some extra portion on the left/right. It's better to have more than less as you can always crop the file to eliminate unwanted portions of the image but you can't add to it.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 6:02 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone. I didn't realize there was that much difference in image size (9MP for 16x9 and 12MP for 4x3, 10.5MP for 3x2).
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 6:40 PM   #10
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I'm no mathematician but I doubt if any resolution is lost. The FX35 is native 4:3. It can crop to 3:2 as seen in the first picture. It can also crop to 16:9.

From http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/FZ35/FZ35DAT.HTM
and 3:2 size corrected from http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...ations-55.html

4000 x 3000 (12.0 MP, 4:3)
4000 x 2248 (9.0 MP, 16:9)
4000 X 2672 (10.5 MP, 3:2)

Anything else would be strange. As far as I know, all cameras will crop from the top/bottom or sides to produce other aspect ratios. Some, like the FZ35, can give an indication of what will be cropped. Some don't.

Last edited by frank-in-toronto; Sep 30, 2010 at 7:53 PM. Reason: corrected 3:2 spec
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