Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras

Started Sep 26, 2011 | Discussions
Kikiss
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Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
Sep 26, 2011

Hi, I am out looking for my first DSLR and eventual (!) transition from the analoque world.

I have noticed that while other manufacturers offer options like 1:1, 2:3, 4:3, 16:9 and so on.., neither of the three Nikons I have checked offer this (D3100, D5100, D7000), or, at least in their specs it does not say so. It only says that the sensor aspect ratio is 3:2.

Can someone help me on this? Do Nikon cameras allow you to modify the image ratio someone is shooting at? I know that altering the image ratio on a 3:2 aspect ratio sensor will reduce the number of effective pixels.

So.., can I shoot 4:3 with a Nikon DSLR ?

Thanks, Kikiss

wlad
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to Kikiss, Sep 26, 2011

What kind of paper size will you print your pictures on ?

You do realize with digital images, you have to match the width/height ratio of pictures to the format of the physical media you are going to print on, right ? Otherwise your pictures will be either cut off, or have the awful black lines on the sides or at the top & bottom of the picture (depending on which dimension falls short of the needed ratio)

Considering this, capturing anything less than what the sensor can capture, limits your possibilities in cropping the pictures as you prepare them for printing.

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Baron LaCat
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to wlad, Sep 26, 2011

For my own use, 99% of my images are viewed on a 16x9 plasma television or widescreen computer monitor (not printing). So I use Faststone viewer (a free download) which will crop my images to 16x9 (or many other formats as desired). Using the Cropping tool, Faststone displays a 16x9 frame over the image, and I can move the frame up or down to capture the best part of the image. Then click on Save Lossless to File.

When taking the shot, I compensate for later cropping by including a little more at the top and lower edges of the frame.

And because I'm using the highest resolution on the D7000, slight cropping is never really a problem.

Faststone is also great for straightening horizons. You know, those shots of the ocean where your one leg was shorter than the other. Once you've straightened the horizon, you just click enter and Faststone crops the image perfectly. Other softwares sometimes leave you with white edges which you then have to crop out.

Baron

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crsantin
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to Baron LaCat, Sep 26, 2011

You are thinking of mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless cameras are able to offer different aspect ratios 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9. DSLRs are usually 3:2...unless I'm wrong here, but cameras with mirrors cannot do different aspect ratios...can't offer you a technical explanation as I don't know.

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wlad
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to crsantin, Sep 26, 2011

crsantin wrote:

You are thinking of mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless cameras are able to offer different aspect ratios 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9. DSLRs are usually 3:2...unless I'm wrong here, but cameras with mirrors cannot do different aspect ratios...can't offer you a technical explanation as I don't know.

it has nothing to do with the camera type - it's pure software cropping of captured data...and is really pointless, since we have computers now...

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crsantin
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to wlad, Sep 27, 2011

True, but I think it matters from a composition point of view. Being able to see the image in say 1:1 before taking it will affect your composition. If your interest is in shooting square, it really helps to see a square image in your viewfinder or screen. Sure you can do anything post, but I don't find it the same experience at all.

wlad wrote:

crsantin wrote:

You are thinking of mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless cameras are able to offer different aspect ratios 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9. DSLRs are usually 3:2...unless I'm wrong here, but cameras with mirrors cannot do different aspect ratios...can't offer you a technical explanation as I don't know.

it has nothing to do with the camera type - it's pure software cropping of captured data...and is really pointless, since we have computers now...

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The Big One
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to crsantin, Sep 27, 2011

Which is why mirrorless cameras tend to offer this feature, and SLRs don't. Mirrorless cameras can crop the image before displaying in the electronic viewfinder; SLRs are not able to change the physical size of the mirror on the fly. (It is possible to have the LCD in the viewfinder crop, similar to the D2H (?) which offered a high speed crop mode, but in practice I find it better to just crop in PP.

crsantin wrote:

True, but I think it matters from a composition point of view. Being able to see the image in say 1:1 before taking it will affect your composition. If your interest is in shooting square, it really helps to see a square image in your viewfinder or screen. Sure you can do anything post, but I don't find it the same experience at all.

wlad wrote:

crsantin wrote:

You are thinking of mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless cameras are able to offer different aspect ratios 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9. DSLRs are usually 3:2...unless I'm wrong here, but cameras with mirrors cannot do different aspect ratios...can't offer you a technical explanation as I don't know.

it has nothing to do with the camera type - it's pure software cropping of captured data...and is really pointless, since we have computers now...

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Kikiss
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to wlad, Sep 27, 2011

Not really interested in printing, and if I do so, it is gonna be for a very small % of pictures. I do use however a few digital frames ( I have a small (but good) point and shoot which takes pics at 4:3) and these are being displayed at a 4:3 ratio. This means that all 3:2 ratio pictures displayed will either have black bars or will need to be cropped on my PC.. What is the point of framing if I am going to crop each and every picture at a later stage... not to mention the time it will take to do the actuall cropping?

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Kikiss
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to crsantin, Sep 27, 2011

Canon's 600D and 60D DSLRs offer 1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 ratios!

crsantin wrote:

You are thinking of mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless cameras are able to offer different aspect ratios 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9. DSLRs are usually 3:2...unless I'm wrong here, but cameras with mirrors cannot do different aspect ratios...can't offer you a technical explanation as I don't know.

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Kikiss
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to The Big One, Sep 27, 2011

Hi Big One. I did not think about the optical viewfinder and the mirror being 3:2! You are absolutely right! In the case of the Canon's 600D and 60D DSLRs which offer 1:1, 2:3, 3:4 and 16:9 shooting what happens during the composition of a picture? I mean, looking through the view finder someone sees a 3:2 image. Are there any guide lines superimposed (like a grid) in the viewfinder or etched on the mirror surface to guide the photographer into what a 3:4 or a 16:9 picture will be? How does the photographer know before taking the picture how the picture will look like in a different ratio, other than 3:2 ????

The Big One wrote:

Which is why mirrorless cameras tend to offer this feature, and SLRs don't. Mirrorless cameras can crop the image before displaying in the electronic viewfinder; SLRs are not able to change the physical size of the mirror on the fly. (It is possible to have the LCD in the viewfinder crop, similar to the D2H (?) which offered a high speed crop mode, but in practice I find it better to just crop in PP.

crsantin wrote:

True, but I think it matters from a composition point of view. Being able to see the image in say 1:1 before taking it will affect your composition. If your interest is in shooting square, it really helps to see a square image in your viewfinder or screen. Sure you can do anything post, but I don't find it the same experience at all.

wlad wrote:

crsantin wrote:

You are thinking of mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless cameras are able to offer different aspect ratios 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9. DSLRs are usually 3:2...unless I'm wrong here, but cameras with mirrors cannot do different aspect ratios...can't offer you a technical explanation as I don't know.

it has nothing to do with the camera type - it's pure software cropping of captured data...and is really pointless, since we have computers now...

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--Wyatt
http://photos.digitalcave.ca
All images (c) unless otherwise specified, please ask me before editing.

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james laubscher
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to Kikiss, Sep 27, 2011

DSLRs have a native image size - you can get this from the size of the sensor - work out the ratio from that. 4:3 is the old TV screen size and is on the way out.

the current APS-C Canon sensors are native 3:2 ratio, as are Nikon sensors but critically, Nikon sensors are larger than Canon sensors (leading to better S/N ratio)

The mirror is sized to suit the sensor.

All sensor images can be cropped any way you like, on the PC, not necessarily in camera - Canon offering a variety of crop sizes merely saves the user a bit of time in post processing.

Modern TV and PC screens are in 16:9 ratio, which I find uncomfortable for PC usage.

I prefer the 3:2 native ratio of the Nikon sensor - I can fit this comfortably on a 16:9 TV screen for viewing, cropping away a bit on the top and bottom if I have to. But 3:2 does not fit easily onto a 4:3 screen and quite a bit is lost on the sides if you expand it to fill the vertical dimension.

But buying a DSLR camera for the convenience of in camera cropping seems like the wrong reason to do so.

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jamesza

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Kikiss
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to james laubscher, Sep 28, 2011

Hi there James!

james laubscher wrote:

DSLRs have a native image size - you can get this from the size of the sensor - work out the ratio from that. 4:3 is the old TV screen size and is on the way out.

Unfortunately more than a few Digital Frames out there are 4:3 or 16:9. I have a couple of 4:3 ones. My not so new large sensor premium compact shoots in 4:3 only!! I am not a profesional photographer, just love photography and a lot of my pictures will find their way onto a Digital Frame at the end of the day. I do know that I can find 3:2 frames as well. I asked this "image ratio" question just to know what my options are.

the current APS-C Canon sensors are native 3:2 ratio, as are Nikon sensors but critically, Nikon sensors are larger than Canon sensors (leading to better S/N ratio)

Yes, I know now, and this is a good thing!!

The mirror is sized to suit the sensor.

All sensor images can be cropped any way you like, on the PC, not necessarily in camera - Canon offering a variety of crop sizes merely saves the user a bit of time in post processing.

Which is appealing to me because I cannot imagine myself sitting in front of a pC cropping pictures (one by one) I have painstakingly framed during capture, deciding what I should "throw away" from a perfectly fine, composed and framed picture... not to mention post processing time for other refinements!

Modern TV and PC screens are in 16:9 ratio, which I find uncomfortable for PC usage.

PC screens come in 4:3 as well, at least up to 21" diagonal. I agree that 16:9 is uncomfortable for PC usage.

I prefer the 3:2 native ratio of the Nikon sensor - I can fit this comfortably on a 16:9 TV screen for viewing, cropping away a bit on the top and bottom if I have to. But 3:2 does not fit easily onto a 4:3 screen and quite a bit is lost on the sides if you expand it to fill the vertical dimension.

But buying a DSLR camera for the convenience of in camera cropping seems like the wrong reason to do so.

This will definitely not be my decisive factor for choosing a DSLR! I am in the process of trying to see how many eggs I can put in my basket!

Having asked the first question, I am now wondering... In the case of the Canon offering in-camera cropping, how on earth does the photographer now what his frame is, having chosen a 4:3 aspect ratio if he is looking all the time through a 3:2 viewfinder?? Are there any quidelines superimposed in his viewfinder, or etched in the mirror? Because if there are no guidelines to the altered image ratio, the matter of proper framing and composing a picture, will be more of a hit and miss issue right??

Kikiss

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jamesza

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Peter Panz
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Re: Image ratio selection on Nikon Cameras
In reply to Kikiss, Sep 28, 2011

Kikiss wrote:

Hi, I am out looking for my first DSLR and eventual (!) transition from the analoque world.

I have noticed that while other manufacturers offer options like 1:1, 2:3, 4:3, 16:9 and so on.., neither of the three Nikons I have checked offer this (D3100, D5100, D7000), or, at least in their specs it does not say so. It only says that the sensor aspect ratio is 3:2.

Can someone help me on this? Do Nikon cameras allow you to modify the image ratio someone is shooting at? I know that altering the image ratio on a 3:2 aspect ratio sensor will reduce the number of effective pixels.

So.., can I shoot 4:3 with a Nikon DSLR ?

Thanks, Kikiss

You have to go pro to get a Nikon body that will offer different aspect ratio's.

D3s ~

FX format (36 x 24): 4,256 x 2,832 [L], 3,184 x 2,120 [M], 2,128 x 1,416 [S]
1.2x (30 x 20): 3,552 x 2,368 [L], 2,656 x 1,776 [M], 1,776 x 1,184 [S]
DX format (24 x 16): 2,784 x 1,848 [L], 2,080 x 1,384 [M], 1,392 x 920 [S]
5:4 (30 x 24): 3,552 x 2,832 [L], 2,656 x 2,120 [M], 1,776 x 1,416 [S]

D3x ~

FX format (36 x 24): 6,048 x 4,032 [L], 4,544 x 3,024 [M], 3,024 x 2,016 [S]
DX format (24 x 16): 3,968 x 2,640 [L], 2,976 x 1,976 [M], 1,984 x 1,320 [S]
5:4 (30 x 24): 5,056 x 4,032 [L], 3,792 x 3,024 [M], 2,528 x 2,016 [S]

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