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03-07-2015, 09:10 PM   #1
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'Full Frame' - but what aspect ratio?

Here's a truly "unique selling point" for Pentax.

Over in another thread here there was an oblique reference to the aspect ratio.

Wouldn't it be exciting to be able to choose the aspect ratio?

I'd love to be able to not only capture the conventional 135 ratio of 3:2, but 4:3, 5:4, and especially 1:1. Thus: 36x24, 34x26, 32x25, and 30x30. (All in millimetres, rounded down.)

To achieve this, the viewfinder should cover the entire image circle, with superimposed frame lines for the current crop. We'd even have some of the 'rangefinder' benefit of seeing things coming into the frame lines.

This would truly set Pentax apart from the other camera manufacturers.

Down side? Well the petal-shaped lens hood would be less relevant, and the conical section preferred.

03-07-2015, 09:13 PM - 1 Like   #2
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You can choose aspect ratios on the Q for jpegs. As a RAW shooter I've never seen the point -- they are all just crops of the normal aspect ratio, and can be easily achieved in post-processing. What's the advantage?

Last edited by vonBaloney; 03-07-2015 at 10:33 PM.
03-07-2015, 09:18 PM   #3
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I have that feature on my Oly EM-5. As mentioned above, it is really just a different in-camera crop of the same Raw image.
03-07-2015, 09:34 PM   #4
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In the LX100 - and LX7 before that - Panasonic actually lets you select the aspect ratio in-sensor. Its a brilliant feature, IMO.

The diagram below explains it. Different portions of the sensor are used to select from 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 1:1.

Of course this also means that the sensor is never 100% utilized. In the case of the Panasonic LX100, which has the 16 MP m4/3 sensor, the maximum image size is only 12.7 MP.



03-07-2015, 09:38 PM   #5
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Uhmmmmm - isn't that just cropping the sensor?

Keep those extraneous lines out of that big bright wonderful viewfinder. Just give me the file. I'll crop in post.
03-07-2015, 09:45 PM   #6
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I think the idea is that while you could crop in post, the feeling of taking pictures in different aspect ratios is different and one might end up with new composition ideas.
03-07-2015, 09:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Uhmmmmm - isn't that just cropping the sensor?
Yes, it is. But its neat and a surprising aid to composition.

QuoteQuote:
Keep those extraneous lines out of that big bright wonderful viewfinder. Just give me the file. I'll crop in post.
Hmm, I hadn't thought about the possibility of guidelines in the OVF. I wouldn't like that too much. Of course, in Live View the selected ratio could be displayed.


The other aspect (there's that word again) is that the camera that have the in-sensor selectable aspect ratio feature also have lenses specifically designed for it. It may not work so great with Pentax's existing lens lineup.

---------- Post added 03-07-15 at 11:53 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Anthen Quote
I think the idea is that while you could crop in post, the feeling of taking pictures in different aspect ratios is different and one might end up with new composition ideas.
Exactly.

I think, though, that there would be a group of people who would absolutely kill Pentax if they took, say, a 36MP sensor and utilized "only" 30MP of it.
03-07-2015, 10:03 PM   #8
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Yes, it would be cropping the sensor. But with forethought and intent, instead of random post-hoc hacking away at the capture. Thus the idea of gently glowing frame lines in the viewfinder, indicating the selected capture geometry.

Note too, that the capture areas are (in square mm) 864 (3:2), 884 (4:3), 800 (5:4) and 900 (1:1). So we're not compromising on image quality.

Note too, some of the comments in other threads, bemoaning issues of bloated file size with a 50Mpx sensor. With a selectable aspect ratio, the photographer chooses their preferred geometry, and the camera only need retain those specified data points. So, the rate of reading the sensor is preserved, and file size is contained.

03-07-2015, 10:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thingo Quote
Note too, that the capture areas are (in square mm) 864 (3:2), 884 (4:3), 800 (5:4) and 900 (1:1). So we're not compromising on image quality.
Remember, the sensor is not square. The sensor used will be 3:2, so every aspect ratio that is not 3:2 will utilize less than the total surface area of the sensor.
03-07-2015, 10:29 PM - 1 Like   #10
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If you make the sensor big enough for a full frame square, the mirror will not fit in the box. There is agood reason 35mm SLRs use a 3x2 aspect ratio.

Just crop in post.
03-07-2015, 10:42 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thingo Quote
Yes, it would be cropping the sensor. But with forethought and intent, instead of random post-hoc hacking away at the capture. Thus the idea of gently glowing frame lines in the viewfinder, indicating the selected capture geometry.
I do that in my mind's eye as I shoot, always have. Doesn't everybody? Of course, often you decide later to crop it differently.

I'm pretty sure people who have learned in the digital age see things much differently than those of us who were trained on film (and made our own prints in the darkroom). Not necessarily better or worse, but definitely a different thought/visualization process.
03-07-2015, 11:24 PM   #12
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What is the point of this? You are just throwing away pixels with an in camera crop. I can see trying different compositions but do that in PP not in camera.

If you throw away those pixels in camera to get a square crop what if you decide later it would be nice to also have a 3:2 version?
03-08-2015, 12:07 AM   #13
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It's true that if you just crop within the normal scope of the sensor, you might as well just crop in post. The way Panasonic does it is to have a sensor that is bigger than the image circle of the lens, which allows them to use more pixels vertically with a 4:3 or square crop and more width with a 3:2 crop.

The Pentax FF could do this with APS-C lenses attached. I often find myself cropping the edges of my APS-C photos to print at the aspect I want, especially for portriat orientation. I'm not especially interested in the FF, but if it had that feature, I'd suddenly get interested. I realize that some hoods would be a problem, but mostly you can take them off.
03-08-2015, 02:09 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
In the LX100 - and LX7 before that - Panasonic actually lets you select the aspect ratio in-sensor. Its a brilliant feature, IMO.
The diagram below explains it. Different portions of the sensor are used to select from 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 1:1.
QuoteOriginally posted by JPT Quote
The way Panasonic does it is to have a sensor that is bigger than the image circle of the lens, which allows them to use more pixels vertically with a 4:3 or square crop and more width with a 3:2 crop.
The Pentax FF could do this with APS-C lenses attached. I often find myself cropping the edges of my APS-C photos to print at the aspect I want, especially for portriat orientation. I'm not especially interested in the FF, but if it had that feature, I'd suddenly get interested. I realize that some hoods would be a problem, but mostly you can take them off.
Yes, that is the real reason for such a feature - for lenses with a smaller image circle than the sensor. So this makes some sense when using APS-C lenses on an FF camera.

The Panasonic cameras do this so that they can use smaller lenses, for smaller size and weight (and presumably price), while using an available sensor. (They never actually use the top and bottom of the sensor in the LX100).
03-08-2015, 02:59 AM   #15
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Erm... Here's an EVEN better idea!

Why not buy another focusing screen and just etch your own lines? That's what I do with my K30 currently. Only I'm doing it on my ee-S screen.

You wouldn't want Pentax to release their own version because we know that they'll charge a premium for it.
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