Choosing aspect ratio (e.g with TZ7)

Started Apr 26, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Nicaphoto
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Choosing aspect ratio (e.g with TZ7)
Apr 26, 2009

How do I choose the best aspect ratio in a camera like the TZ7/ZS3 that has 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9?

As far as I know, film cameras were all 3:2 and DSLRs mostly use that, too. In contrast, most compact digital cameras use 4:3. What are the advantages and disadvantages? I understand that 16:9 is good for wide landscapes and also for some tall buildings because it offers some more wide angle on the TZ7 sensor. One advantage of 3:2 is that the prints are cheaper because it's the most common print size, and there are more slip-in photo albums available. But I've not had any trouble getting 4:3 prints with my previous camera, and I don't often order prints anyway, so that's not a major thing for me.

So what I'm really trying to find out is, what is the best, aesthetically? Which one looks best to the eye for different types of photos? For most landscapes, I guess 4:3 is worst because I won't want too much sky (unless I'm mostly interested in an unusual-looking sky). But for portraits? Cities? Macros? Should I switch the aspect ratio for each image or is one of them the best for most situations - that would be great, I could set it to that one and only change it for specific situations...

How have owners of TZ5s (or other cameras with that feature) handled this? I'd be grateful to get some advice!

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