aspect ratios - 4:3 vs 3:2

Started May 10, 2012 | Discussions
sdh
sdh
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aspect ratios - 4:3 vs 3:2
May 10, 2012

Just curious. Does anyone else think new cameras should be 3:2 instead of 4:3? I speculate most image viewing these days is done on computer & TV screens, not prints. I don't remember the last time I saw a new laptop or large-desktop monitor, or new TV that was 4:3. IMO, 3:2 images "fill" 16:9 screens pretty well, but 4:3 images waste too much space on the sides. Sure, 4:3 cameras can be set to create 3:2 images, but most do so by cropping, at which point you're wasting the lens' angle of view and (more trivially) losing pixel count.

Im curious what others think.

LJSmak
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Re: aspect ratios - 4:3 vs 3:2
In reply to sdh, May 10, 2012

sdh wrote:

Just curious. Does anyone else think new cameras should be 3:2 instead of 4:3? I speculate most image viewing these days is done on computer & TV screens, not prints. I don't remember the last time I saw a new laptop or large-desktop monitor, or new TV that was 4:3. IMO, 3:2 images "fill" 16:9 screens pretty well, but 4:3 images waste too much space on the sides. Sure, 4:3 cameras can be set to create 3:2 images, but most do so by cropping, at which point you're wasting the lens' angle of view and (more trivially) losing pixel count.

Im curious what others think.

When shooting for magazines and brochure/catalog/etc. layout-grids, using 3:4 is actually an advantage. Apart from the occasional banner/panoramic image, images used in print are generally MUCH more square than 2:3. My pictures clearly get cropped less, and less often, since I have been using the E-system.

I also find 3:4 much better for portraits (vertical images) than 2:3, which is just a bit too narrow/long...

Personally I am also a fan of square images. (6x6, Instagram...)

ymmv...
Lourens

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s_grins
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Re: aspect ratios - 4:3 vs 3:2
In reply to sdh, May 10, 2012

I do not think. I have no reason to do so.

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I’m surprised how much Wikipedia contributes to the forum.

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Bob Meyer
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Re: aspect ratios - 4:3 vs 3:2
In reply to sdh, May 11, 2012

I do shoot 3:2 most of the time (one of the things I like about the GH2), but there is no "right" or "best" aspect ration, other than the one that fits your subject. I see too many people try to force their image into a specific format, even though it means there's some distracting detail at once edge of the image, or something important gets cut off. I crop to suit my subject and image, and if that's wider or taller than 3:2, or 4:3, or something else, so be it.
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azazel1024
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Re: aspect ratios - 4:3 vs 3:2
In reply to Bob Meyer, May 11, 2012

I would have been happier if the sensor was 3:2 format for wider landscape pictures, which tends to be what I shoot a lot. However, for portraits and general print making I tend to make 8x10 the most and 4:3 format is much closer to that, so less would be cropped and I'd have more on the vertical FOV captured by the 4:3 sensor than the 3:2 would have, so that is a bit of a perk.

That said, I do love me some 8x12 print goodness, I just don't feel it makes a good format for portraits (but I love nice 8x12 and 12x18 landscapes).

As for using a m4/3, I don't change the aspect ratio. I can always crop in post if I need to. I can't get back pixels that weren't captured (well, only applies to JPEGs).

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goshigoo
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Re: aspect ratios - 4:3 vs 3:2
In reply to azazel1024, May 11, 2012

I think GH2 gives you multi aspect sensor

azazel1024 wrote:

I would have been happier if the sensor was 3:2 format for wider landscape pictures, which tends to be what I shoot a lot. However, for portraits and general print making I tend to make 8x10 the most and 4:3 format is much closer to that, so less would be cropped and I'd have more on the vertical FOV captured by the 4:3 sensor than the 3:2 would have, so that is a bit of a perk.

That said, I do love me some 8x12 print goodness, I just don't feel it makes a good format for portraits (but I love nice 8x12 and 12x18 landscapes).

As for using a m4/3, I don't change the aspect ratio. I can always crop in post if I need to. I can't get back pixels that weren't captured (well, only applies to JPEGs).

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Great Bustard
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Ideally...
In reply to sdh, May 11, 2012

sdh wrote:

Just curious. Does anyone else think new cameras should be 3:2 instead of 4:3? I speculate most image viewing these days is done on computer & TV screens, not prints. I don't remember the last time I saw a new laptop or large-desktop monitor, or new TV that was 4:3. IMO, 3:2 images "fill" 16:9 screens pretty well, but 4:3 images waste too much space on the sides. Sure, 4:3 cameras can be set to create 3:2 images, but most do so by cropping, at which point you're wasting the lens' angle of view and (more trivially) losing pixel count.

Im curious what others think.

...a square sensor that circumscribes the image circle would be the best solution, and is very feasible for smaller sensor mirrorless. In fact, just using an APS-C sized sensor in mFT bodies comes close enough that I'm surprised it has not been done.

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twonker
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In reply to sdh, May 11, 2012

I had an X100 for a year and loved it to bits... all except that pesky 3:2 format. What a drag. Portrait format shots just don't work as well. I suppose if you never print and do lots of video, then 16:9 might be good, but 3:2 I find too restricting. Now 5:4 would be nice....

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Oly500Enew
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It wouldn't be called micro 4/3rds then.
In reply to sdh, May 11, 2012

3:2 while good for landscapes is anachronistic. My monitor at work is square and closer to 4/3rds and my home one is 16/9. Crop as needed.

If you want 3/2 then buy a 3:2 camera.
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twonker
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Well
In reply to Great Bustard, May 11, 2012

I guess the best compromise between use of image circle and use of wafer fabric would actually be a hexagonal sensor, but I image the electronics and software would be a nightmare

I imagine square is not too efficient in terms of maximising pixels from the image circle?

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Adventsam
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Re:GH2 is native 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
In reply to sdh, May 11, 2012

It has more resolution in 16:9 than a similar 16mp APS-C, same as the 18mp Canon, and in 3:2 ratio is still 15mp, native image. Alongside a 16mp Sony 3:2 sensor you see no difference.

So, its been around for 4 years+ on GH, 16:9 and 3:2 native ratio have been around for some time in m43.

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efontu
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Aspect Ratio
In reply to twonker, May 11, 2012

Can somebody please tell me what is the "natural" aspect ratio of a MFT camera? By that I mean what is the aspect ratio that best takes advantage of the available pixels. I guess that would be the one that has the same proportions of the sensor in the camera. Please explain.

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Great Bustard
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Re: Well
In reply to twonker, May 11, 2012

twonker wrote:

I guess the best compromise between use of image circle and use of wafer fabric would actually be a hexagonal sensor, but I image the electronics and software would be a nightmare

I imagine square is not too efficient in terms of maximising pixels from the image circle?

I'm talking about a square sensor that circumscribes the image circle. That is, the entire image circle fits on the sensor. This way, the photographer can choose any aspect ratio they like, even after the fact. Another great bonus is that the camera need not be held in portrait orientation -- it could always be held in landscape orientation, which is especially convenient if bouncing an on-camera flash.

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Adventsam
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Re: Aspect Ratio
In reply to efontu, May 11, 2012

efontu wrote:

Can somebody please tell me what is the "natural" aspect ratio of a MFT camera? By that I mean what is the aspect ratio that best takes advantage of the available pixels. I guess that would be the one that has the same proportions of the sensor in the camera. Please explain.

GH2, has higher resolution in 16:9 ratio than a Sony aps-c sensor in 16:9? If you like 16:9 ratio then GH2 has the highest resolution beyond APS-C 16mp. In 3:2 ratio GH2 is 15mp, 1mp behind the Sony 16mp sensor. If you like to move between 16:9 and 3:2, GH2 takes some beating. The GH2 video is also native 16:9 same fov, its not croped like an aps-c sensor or the other m43 cameras.

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Adventsam
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Re: It wouldn't be called micro 4/3rds then.
In reply to Oly500Enew, May 11, 2012

Oly500Enew wrote:

3:2 while good for landscapes is anachronistic. My monitor at work is square and closer to 4/3rds and my home one is 16/9. Crop as needed.

Your monitor at work is 4:3, how old is that? The world is 3:2 and 16:9 and going wider. m43 refers to the mount and with the GH2 camera you dont crop at all, you have a real 16:9 ratio for video, a real 3:2 15mp ratio for stills and a real 4:3 ratio for square people?

If you want 3/2 then buy a 3:2 camera.
--

If you want 3:2 in m43 buy a GH2, its native 3:2, ignore these people.

I'm not a professional, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn express last night.

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Adventsam
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Re: gh2 has a 3:2 sensor.
In reply to Great Bustard, May 11, 2012

Great Bustard wrote:

sdh wrote:

Just curious. Does anyone else think new cameras should be 3:2 instead of 4:3? I speculate most image viewing these days is done on computer & TV screens, not prints. I don't remember the last time I saw a new laptop or large-desktop monitor, or new TV that was 4:3. IMO, 3:2 images "fill" 16:9 screens pretty well, but 4:3 images waste too much space on the sides. Sure, 4:3 cameras can be set to create 3:2 images, but most do so by cropping, at which point you're wasting the lens' angle of view and (more trivially) losing pixel count.

Im curious what others think.

...a square sensor that circumscribes the image circle would be the best solution, and is very feasible for smaller sensor mirrorless. In fact, just using an APS-C sized sensor in mFT bodies comes close enough that I'm surprised it has not been done.

It has pretty much, the GH2 has a 3:2 ratio sensor, you select what ratio you want with no loss of resolution for the FOV.

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azazel1024
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Re: Aspect Ratio
In reply to efontu, May 11, 2012

efontu wrote:

Can somebody please tell me what is the "natural" aspect ratio of a MFT camera? By that I mean what is the aspect ratio that best takes advantage of the available pixels. I guess that would be the one that has the same proportions of the sensor in the camera. Please explain.

The natural aspect ratio of the Olympus 4/3 and m4/3 sensors is 4:3.

I am not sure about all of the Panasonic sensors, but some are true multiaspect. That said, I THINK that their sensors are natively 4:3 sensors sized, but when they do the pixel read out for something like 3:2, they aren't cropping pixels, they are using pixels further out on the sensor that are NOT readout when in 4:3 mode to the best of my knowledge. So with the Oly cameras if you shoot in say 3:2 mode with a 12MP sensor, you might only be getting 10MP out of it because it is cropping. On the Panasonic multi aspect sensors if you shoot in 4:3 mode with a 12MP sensor you get 12MP, if you shoot in 3:2 mode, you still get (I think basically) 12MP of resolution, it is just using somewhat different pixels for the different formats...but approximately as many in both shooting modes.

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twonker
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In reply to Great Bustard, May 11, 2012

sorry should have read more carefully.

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Adventsam
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Re: Aspect Ratio of m43 is 3:2
In reply to azazel1024, May 11, 2012

on the GH2

What are you smoking, the GH series have always had a 3:2 native sensor and allows a stretched native 16:9 and a 4:3 ratio if you want it.

azazel1024 wrote:

efontu wrote:

Can somebody please tell me what is the "natural" aspect ratio of a MFT camera? By that I mean what is the aspect ratio that best takes advantage of the available pixels. I guess that would be the one that has the same proportions of the sensor in the camera. Please explain.

The natural aspect ratio of the Olympus 4/3 and m4/3 sensors is 4:3.

I am not sure about all of the Panasonic sensors, but some are true multiaspect. That said, I THINK that their sensors are natively 4:3 sensors sized, but when they do the pixel read out for something like 3:2, they aren't cropping pixels, they are using pixels further out on the sensor that are NOT readout when in 4:3 mode to the best of my knowledge. So with the Oly cameras if you shoot in say 3:2 mode with a 12MP sensor, you might only be getting 10MP out of it because it is cropping. On the Panasonic multi aspect sensors if you shoot in 4:3 mode with a 12MP sensor you get 12MP, if you shoot in 3:2 mode, you still get (I think basically) 12MP of resolution, it is just using somewhat different pixels for the different formats...but approximately as many in both shooting modes.

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