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11-29-2007, 03:39 PM   #1
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does 3:2 format makes sense in digital era?

I shoot raw and then crop to 3:2 aspect ratio when exporting to jpegs, making sure the framing/cropping is exactly how I want it for greatest impact. I usually print 4x6.

Recently, my wife asked me for pictures to upload to a digital frame. Turns out all digital picture frames are 4:3 (1.33), being computer LCD screens. Needless to say, the viewing experience is not great - either banding or cropping on top of already tight crop.
My picture archive is useless ;-(

I'm thinking, going forwards into the digital era, does the 35mm 3:2 still make sense? Shouldn't we just switch to screen aspect ratio (1.33 or 1.6) - sensors, paper and everything?

11-29-2007, 03:45 PM   #2
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some newer digital frames are widescreen 1.6 aspect ratio, but still not 1.5
11-29-2007, 03:48 PM   #3
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3:2 has been around forever. 4/3'rd DSLR's or P&S cameras are availble for those who don't dig good photographs

If they change my sensor aspect ratio, I will eat my hat.
11-29-2007, 03:56 PM   #4
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Aside from the fact that all neww computer screens are going to the 16/9 format and not 4/3, let's forget about the computer screne.

If a 3/2 format was not the most desireable, years ago SLRs would have been made in 4/3 not 3/2 format. it would have saved a ton of money literally on everything from film, to prints to lenses to cover the bigger area to the size of cameras etc.....

Why didn't it change then? I am sure this argument is not new, only that the medium has changes.

My own personal view is that most things we photograph actually wind up framed better in a 3/2 format, but then again, my personal view is worth......
............absolutely nothing

11-29-2007, 04:07 PM   #5
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Computer wide screens are 1.6:1 (eg. 1920*1200)
TV wide screens are 16:9 = 1.778:1
Our sensors are 1.5:1
CRTs are 4:3= 1.333:1
Then you've got the old fashioned paper sizes like 6x4 = 1.5:1
or 7x5 = 1.4:1
or 10x8 = 1.25:1
even metric paper is 1.414:1

There isn't any standardisation anywhere anyway, so may as well not bother changing!
11-29-2007, 04:58 PM   #6
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When you process your raw pictures and export to jpeg, do you crop to 3:2 or you crop to all possible aspect ratios with the idea that one day you might need it.
When you compose a shot, do you see it in 1.5 or 1.3, 1.6, 1.7 ?
Or do you just leave a big area around the subject so that an arbitrary aspect ratio will not cut out the head of the people in the picture?

As I said, I frame and crop my shots in 1.5 because 99% I need 4x6 for prints. I think in 1.5, I see things in 1.5.

A few years from now, as the predominant viewing device changes from paper to LCD panels, 1.6 will be the predominant crop. So, we could very well change the paper size at this time...
11-29-2007, 05:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanjo Quote
When you process your raw pictures and export to jpeg, do you crop to 3:2 or you crop to all possible aspect ratios with the idea that one day you might need it.
When you compose a shot, do you see it in 1.5 or 1.3, 1.6, 1.7 ?
Or do you just leave a big area around the subject so that an arbitrary aspect ratio will not cut out the head of the people in the picture?

As I said, I frame and crop my shots in 1.5 because 99% I need 4x6 for prints. I think in 1.5, I see things in 1.5.

A few years from now, as the predominant viewing device changes from paper to LCD panels, 1.6 will be the predominant crop. So, we could very well change the paper size at this time...
Actually. I'm willing to bet the final paper format will be 1.4135:1

It already exists in multiple sizes, called A4 A3 A2 .,....

Welcome to the metric world
11-29-2007, 07:08 PM   #8
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Well, as I remember the golden ratio is about 1.618:1, so really ought that not be the "standard"?

But why a standard anyway? I crop images to all sorts of aspect ratio's, depending on what makes the best composition. If you print and mount your own photos there is really no reason for a single standard. I picked up an old dry mount press for cheap, and it works wonders. I do send some out to be printed at 4x6, and then I crop to that aspect ratio.

But if you have your own printer, what's the big deal? Just get bigger picture frames and mount them yourself...

11-29-2007, 07:31 PM   #9
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I think a more important question should be why don't we have aspect options in all digital cameras. My Panasonic FZ30 allowed the user to choose 3:2, 4:3 or 16:9. It simply turned off the un-needed or turned on the needed part of the sensor to do this. I see no reason why this couldn't be done for all cameras including dSLR. You do lose a small amount of resolution, but that isn't all that big of a deal.

I wonder which is more prevelent now. Screen/TV display or printing?

Robert
11-29-2007, 10:18 PM   #10
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I can't see the relevance of sensor crop with this problem. I think the real issue that needs to be addressed here is:
Why crop images at all before you're ready to use them? There's no possible way you can predict how your images will be used before you are ready to use them!
I shoot RAW as well and drop jpgs only when I am ready to use them as I need them or the customer wants them. After all, what difference would it make whether a sensor is 1.7, 1.6, 1.33, etc. If you need wallets, 5x7, and 8x10s of the same print, it will make no difference - eventually you're going to have to crop to something.
11-29-2007, 10:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LittleGreenSnob Quote
I think a more important question should be why don't we have aspect options in all digital cameras. My Panasonic FZ30 allowed the user to choose 3:2, 4:3 or 16:9. It simply turned off the un-needed or turned on the needed part of the sensor to do this. I see no reason why this couldn't be done for all cameras including dSLR. You do lose a small amount of resolution, but that isn't all that big of a deal.

I wonder which is more prevelent now. Screen/TV display or printing?

Robert
But by that logic, we could just have a square sensor and a viewfinder with guides for various aspect ratios.

Seems silly to me to lose lose pixels before shooting rather than cropping after the fact....but that's me :P
11-30-2007, 01:49 AM   #12
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What do you think about having a camera with a 1:1 sensor.
We do have lenses which have a circular form.

Adding the user options for 1:1 and 4/3, 3/2, 16,9 and 3/4, 2/3, 9/16 exposures.

A 1:1 sensor would have the following advantages:

- No need to hold the camera in portrait / landscape mode anymore!!
- Maximum use of the available lens image surface.
- Maximum flexibility in formats wanted.

When shooting RAW, you can choose what ever format you want in PP.
Most of the existing systems can stay unaltered.

- Bert
11-30-2007, 06:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
What do you think about having a camera with a 1:1 sensor.
We do have lenses which have a circular form.
1:1 is okay if you can make sensors big enough that you're covering the whole image circle, including dark corners. If you make it fit so there's not vignetting, you end up with a much smaller usable horizontal (or vertical, if you turn it that way) field of view. Perhaps given that, a plus-shaped sensor makes the most sense. Or maybe something like this:

Code:
         ..........          
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............................
............................
............................
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..........
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So you can choose either the central square or a panoramic format in either direction.
11-30-2007, 06:23 AM   #14
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I can't help but wonder if there is overlap between the folks who don't care for the 4:3 ratio and the folks who bemoan Pentax dropping the digital 645.
11-30-2007, 06:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
What do you think about having a camera with a 1:1 sensor.
We do have lenses which have a circular form.
- Bert
Maybe, and this is just a SWAG, but we don't see in 1:1 do we?

Photography is, to some extent a way to preserve what we see. (I know already people will jump all over this for vertical format)

Think about how yoou see things, we see almost 180 degrees horizontally, but no where near that much vertically.

Although I don't have any specific data to support this, I would be willing to bet we see in something like a 3/2 format.
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