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02-06-2019, 07:18 PM   #1
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Wish for a 4:3 or 5:4 sensor

I've come to realize that 3:2 is a terrible ratio for most things for me. For almost everything from landscape to portraiture I find myself cropping to a 4:3 or 5:4 ratio. 3:2 is just not very pleasing to the eye from a composition standpoint.
As such I really hope they decide to release a native FF sensor in either 4:3 or 5:4. This would provide a much higher and usable resolution in many cases.

Anyone else desire such a thing?

02-06-2019, 07:39 PM - 3 Likes   #2
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Seems like you might need a 645Z

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02-06-2019, 07:49 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Seems like you might need a 645Z
I'd certainly take one if anyone's having a give-away.

But I guess my point is why are we maintaining the 3:2 standard when most of the landscape, and even portrait shooters I follow usually crop to another ratio.
02-06-2019, 08:04 PM   #4
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All aspect ratios have their place. I also like 1:1 and more panoramic ratios, too.

The K-1 has a "Crop" position on Function Dial and really nice electronically-controlled crop-frame lines in the view finder that are invisible unless turned-on. It currently offers options of FF, APS-C, 1:1, and Auto (the camera picks APS-C crop when a DA lens is mounted).

What I would wish for is more FF crop modes: 4:3, 5:4, 16:9, and maybe 2:1 with respective view finder frames that turn-on when that aspect ratio is selected.


Last edited by photoptimist; 02-07-2019 at 06:48 AM. Reason: Clarify the existing vs. wished-for functionality
02-06-2019, 08:54 PM - 1 Like   #5
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As I've said before, lenses are round. Why not a round sensor and people can crop as they like.

It's never going to happen.
02-06-2019, 09:06 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
I've come to realize that 3:2 is a terrible ratio for most things for me. For almost everything from landscape to portraiture I find myself cropping to a 4:3 or 5:4 ratio. 3:2 is just not very pleasing to the eye from a composition standpoint.
As such I really hope they decide to release a native FF sensor in either 4:3 or 5:4. This would provide a much higher and usable resolution in many cases.

Anyone else desire such a thing?
In my earliest years, I had Kodak box cameras that produced square pictures. As I scan my old media, I find myself cropping them to something close to 3:2 - that seems to be the most natural ratio for the photos I take.
02-06-2019, 09:10 PM   #7
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The main reason i crop away from 3:2 is printing and framing. I don't want to use custom frames most of the time.
02-06-2019, 09:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
I'd certainly take one if anyone's having a give-away.

But I guess my point is why are we maintaining the 3:2 standard when most of the landscape, and even portrait shooters I follow usually crop to another ratio.
Obviously Olympus and Panasonic use 4:3, Leumas, but 35mm both full frame and crop have always used 3:2.

02-06-2019, 09:20 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
I'd certainly take one if anyone's having a give-away.

But I guess my point is why are we maintaining the 3:2 standard when most of the landscape, and even portrait shooters I follow usually crop to another ratio.
Yeah, but is it that lots of people crop away from 3:2, or that you follow lots of people who crop away from 3:2 because that is the ratio you gravitate to?
02-06-2019, 09:23 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
As I've said before, lenses are round. Why not a round sensor and people can crop as they like.

It's never going to happen.
Hehe I like that idea! ..But yeah, prohibitively expensive in practice.

What if Digital Camera Sensors Were Circular?

---------- Post added 02-06-19 at 10:30 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Obviously Olympus and Panasonic use 4:3, Leumas, but 35mm both full frame and crop have always used 3:2.

I'm aware they've always been that way, but it's a relic of the film era. Back when 35mm film was mostly suitable for journalism, 4x6 prints, and most landscape photographers were shooting 5:4 slides. Now in the digital age we have FF cameras that are far more capable then their old 35mm predecessors and suitable for very large prints. And most of those large print formats are NOT 3:2 ratio.

It'd would be relatively easy to implement a different sensor ratio that still uses the same FF lens circle.


I'd love it!
02-06-2019, 09:58 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
As I've said before, lenses are round. Why not a round sensor and people can crop as they like.

It's never going to happen.
Circular is certainly unrealistic as long as multiple sensors are being cut from a larger wafer. How about a hexagonal sensor? Hexagons
fill the plane, more efficiently than squares or rectangles. Of course, monitors and pictures frames are not typically hexagonal so you'll
inevitably be cropping away those extra corners. 1:1, ie, square, seems the most ideal IMO. Not ever needing to rotate the camera for
a portrait seems reason enough to cut all sensors 1:1. Besides, no matter what the sensor ratio, you will find need to crop, eventually.
So why not just start square and crop as need when you want a rectangle? I always loved the square format on film and have been
pining for a digital equivalent.
02-06-2019, 10:19 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
Circular is certainly unrealistic as long as multiple sensors are being cut from a larger wafer. How about a hexagonal sensor? Hexagons
fill the plane, more efficiently than squares or rectangles. Of course, monitors and pictures frames are not typically hexagonal so you'll
inevitably be cropping away those extra corners. 1:1, ie, square, seems the most ideal IMO. Not ever needing to rotate the camera for
a portrait seems reason enough to cut all sensors 1:1. Besides, no matter what the sensor ratio, you will find need to crop, eventually.
So why not just start square and crop as need when you want a rectangle? I always loved the square format on film and have been
pining for a digital equivalent.
Instagram was built on the 1:1 premise, but they take a few aspect ratios now.
02-06-2019, 11:47 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
I've come to realize that 3:2 is a terrible ratio for most things for me.
I'm also having the same concern. Although 3:2 is the best ratio that allow the least overall pixel loss for doing both landscape (16:9, horizontally) and portrait (4:3 or 5:4 vertical). A 5:4 sensor would be better for vertical shots but you would waste more of the sensor area whenever you want to crop for a wide horizontal view that better suit the human vision.

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
The K-1 has a "Crop" position on Function Dial and really nice electronically-controlled crop-frame lines in the view finder that are invisible unless turned-on.
I haven't found any 4:3 or 16:9 composition frame with the K1 , neither in OVF nor in live view mode. How do you do that? (the GFX50 offer all crop modes both EVF and LV).

QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
As I've said before, lenses are round. Why not a round sensor and people can crop as they like.
Cropping in post from a larger area sensor isn't always possible because of we might want to include some perspective anchored to the frame. Lack of frame reference at the time of composition is a problem.

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Obviously Olympus and Panasonic use 4:3, Leumas, but 35mm both full frame and crop have always used 3:2.
The question is, why 35mm film used 3:2 in the first place (compromise?).


QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
Hehe I like that idea! …..But yeah, prohibitively expensive in practice.
Square sensor is actually cheaper to produce than rectangular, per unit area.


So in fact, 3:2 is the best compromise for doing both landscape and portrait, however, Pentax seriously lack in the software implementation, they must implement the aspect ratios for composition, if not it means Pentax engineer don't know what there are doing anymore. This is something important in photography, it should be reported to Ricoh Imaging. I wonder what the GRIII will bring in term of aspect ratios.

---------- Post added 07-02-19 at 08:34 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
But I guess my point is why are we maintaining the 3:2 standard when most of the landscape, and even portrait shooters I follow usually crop to another ratio.
3:2 is almost the best aspect ratio for minimum loss of pixels when cropping 3:2 to 16:9 or 3:2 to 4:3. Pentax K1, 36Mp 3:2, crop to 16:9 gives 30Mpixels, crop to 4:3 gives 32Mpixels, and crop to 5:4 gives about 30Mp. If the sensor was 5:4 , you would get 100% of pixels when shooting vertical (keeping the 5:4 ratio), but you would waste a lot of the sensor area when shooting panoramic.

So for me , the only issue with 3:2 is not having the edges masked out for framing 16:9 , 4:3 and 5:4. It's a basic but very essential for composition.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 02-07-2019 at 12:34 AM.
02-07-2019, 01:02 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The question is, why 35mm film used 3:2 in the first place (compromise?).

So for me , the only issue with 3:2 is not having the edges masked out for framing 16:9 , 4:3 and 5:4. It's a basic but very essential for composition.
The 3:2 and 4:3 ratios are very historical, they reflect the "half-plate" and "quarter-plate" sizes of glass plates and cut film from before the days of roll-film.

I seem to remember reading in a relatively old book that 35mm film was used in the first place simply because it was readily available from the cine industry and that the 24x36mm negative, 3:2 format, was chosen as the largest practical negative size on this film. One was expected to crop as required to fit the paper format that was being printed.

Half-frame 18x24mm, 4:3 format, had a small band of followers in the '60's, but that was really pushing the boundaries of the film resolution of the day.

The "Rapid" system from Agfa was mostly in 24x24mm format, but didn't quite catch on faced with "competition" from Kodak's "Instapac" (126 Instamatic).

So, yes, the 3:2 format could be considered a practical compromise

Basic crop markings in the dslr viewfinder could be easily implemented on the focussing screen ... I imagine something more sophisticated wouldn't be too difficult to do in an EVF or LiveView screen.
02-07-2019, 01:23 AM   #15
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The New Panasonic S1R, being 47 MP, will have a 4:3 crop, which I find quite interesting and 47Mps should be fine when you crop.
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