Silly question about aspect ratio - do you shoot 4:3 or 3:2?

Started Mar 17, 2014 | Discussions
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jennajenna
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Silly question about aspect ratio - do you shoot 4:3 or 3:2?
Mar 17, 2014

I have no idea why my gh3 was set on 3:2 (I normally shoot with the 7-14mm lens); but I was adjusting the settings and noticed that 4:3 files were 16mb and 3:2 were 14mb.

Is there any loss to shooting 4:3 over 3:2; it seems like a no brainer to shoot 4:3 and then crop..but I recall reading that shooting 3:2 actually gives you a "longer" horizontal image vs a 4:3...so you actually do miss some of the subject when shooting in 4:3...true?

http://digital-photography-school.com/aspect-ratio-what-it-is-and-why-it-matters

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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markintosh13
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Re: Silly question about aspect ratio - do you shoot 4:3 or 3:2?
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 17, 2014

That image assumes you retain the vertical resolution - i.e. you're using a DSLR sensor in 4:3 crop mode.

With a 4:3 sensor - you'd end up chopping the top and the bottom off to maintain width.

This link shows the result of cropping a 4:3 shot various ways, as well as what gets cropped with photos taken with a 3:2 sensor:

http://tracy-larsen.com/blog/photo-tips-aspect-ratios-cropping/

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ApertureAcolyte
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Re: Silly question about aspect ratio - do you shoot 4:3 or 3:2?
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 17, 2014

jennajenna wrote:

I have no idea why my gh3 was set on 3:2 (I normally shoot with the 7-14mm lens); but I was adjusting the settings and noticed that 4:3 files were 16mb and 3:2 were 14mb.

Is there any loss to shooting 4:3 over 3:2; it seems like a no brainer to shoot 4:3 and then crop..but I recall reading that shooting 3:2 actually gives you a "longer" horizontal image vs a 4:3...so you actually do miss some of the subject when shooting in 4:3...true?

http://digital-photography-school.com/aspect-ratio-what-it-is-and-why-it-matters

No you don't lose anything with the native aspect ratio.

The diagram you posted is deliberately misleading.

If you crop to 3:2 on a 4:3 camera, you lose resolution.

4:3 is more efficient in using more of a lens' image circle

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Guy Parsons
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Silly answer, I shoot 16:9
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 18, 2014

jennajenna wrote:

I have no idea why my gh3 was set on 3:2 (I normally shoot with the 7-14mm lens); but I was adjusting the settings and noticed that 4:3 files were 16mb and 3:2 were 14mb.

Is there any loss to shooting 4:3 over 3:2; it seems like a no brainer to shoot 4:3 and then crop..but I recall reading that shooting 3:2 actually gives you a "longer" horizontal image vs a 4:3...so you actually do miss some of the subject when shooting in 4:3...true?

[image badly misleading in our context... deleted it]

Check out the pixel dimensions of your results at variously 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 and see how on some Panasonic cameras the image gets wider as the tops and bottoms get cropped. My LX3 does that and probably your GH3?

Olympus and most other Panasonic just progressively crop the top and bottom to get the different aspect ratios and the width stays the same.

As the image is cropped there is a "loss" of megapixels but if the subject is the same size in the frame then there's no loss of resolution. Same "pixels per duck" so to speak.

In Olympus's case no matter what aspect ratio you shoot (or use 2x digital tele converter) then you always get the full 4:3 image in RAW. I take advantage of that on my E-PL5 by shooting 16:9 to get the biggest possible image on my LCD and then later use the 4:3 RAW to extract whatever I want from the image.

Regards..... Guy

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Desert Rose
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4:3 v. 3:2
In reply to Guy Parsons, Mar 18, 2014

The only problem I've encountered with 4:3 aspect ratio is printing 4x6's; especially if you don't have time to crop each one, something's gonna get lost.  That doesn't usually matter unless in the original image you've filled the entire frame with essential elements. You usually do lose something no matter which aspect ratio and print size you use. However, other than 4x6's the 4:3 ratio is closer to that of  most standard print sizes, e.g. 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, 16x20.

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leafinsectman
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Re: Silly question about aspect ratio - do you shoot 4:3 or 3:2?
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 18, 2014

Mostly 3:2 on my E-P3 to match the LCD aspect ratio but I switch to 4:3 when shooting raw or when shooting with an UWA lens.

3:2 or 16:9 on my GH1. I love the multi aspect ratio and I wish newer cameras would have it.

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tomnorth
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It's actually a good question
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 18, 2014

I've gone back and forth on this. I shoot both a D800 and a GH3. For that reason I started out with my GH3 at 3:2 to match my D800. Later I changed the GH3 to 4:3 to gain the extra resolution. I have just decided to back to 3:2 though. What drove this decision has to do with making large prints for a showing. Most of my shots were from my D800. I wanted the lone GH3 image in the group to look the same, so I had to crop it at a 3:2 aspect ratio. I use every bit of the viewfinder when composing an image. In this case what I lost at the top wasn't crucial, but it did make me realize that I'm better off composing in 3:2 if that's where the prints will end up. One side benefit of using the 3:2 aspect ratio on my GH3 is that the entire surface of the LCD and EVF is used.

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Elemental Photography
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I shoot the native ratio of the sensor
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 18, 2014

Which is 4:3 for most current m4/3 bodies. If needed, I crop to the final ratio in post.

The GH1&2 had multi aspect ratio sensors so there was an advantage to choosing the appropriate ratio in camera. Aside from that, all you get is a cropped version anyway, so I capture what the sensor is capable of.
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Gregm61
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Re: Silly question about aspect ratio - do you shoot 4:3 or 3:2?
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 18, 2014

4:3, 100% of the time. I rarely print, and when I do it's never using a 3:2 format size.

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Klarno
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Re: Silly question about aspect ratio - do you shoot 4:3 or 3:2?
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 18, 2014

I shoot the native aspect ratio of the sensor. If I need another aspect ratio, I crop in post. And I very rarely crop, except to do a square crop.

If the sensor has more than one native aspect ratio (the case in this system with only the Panasonic GH1 and GH2), then I choose the native aspect ratio that best fits the shot. Unless I'm using a two-camera setup. Then I'll choose whatever they have in common for the sake of visual consistency.

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Vlad S
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Shoot closest to display AR
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 18, 2014

jennajenna wrote:

Is there any loss to shooting 4:3 over 3:2; it seems like a no brainer to shoot 4:3 and then crop..

Like tomnorth said, composing for one aspect ratio, and displaying at another can result in problems when cropping. I suggest you shoot in the ratio at which you are most likely to display the image. I print most of mine at 8x10, so 4:3 works for me better than 3:2, but if you print at 8x12, then 3:2 would be better.

Cropping in post only sounds like an easy solution, but in my experience if you like to frame tightly, it's too easy to loose important parts of the image.

Vlad

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Banger
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I shoot both.....
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 18, 2014

I have my EP-3 & E-M1 set to 3:2 and to record jpeg & raw and therefore I frame the shot as 3:2 which is good for landscapes but useless for portraits where you want 3:4.

When PPing  with LR5.3  you can keep the 3.2 frame in raw or adjust it to better suit the composition or reset it to get all the 4:3 image data. This way I get to use the full lcd & evf screen to frame the shot.

Rgds, Rob

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jalywol
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Re: Silly question about aspect ratio - do you shoot 4:3 or 3:2?
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 18, 2014

I shoot only at 4:3.  I found, when I started using DSLRs, that I really disliked the 3:2 ratio, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got my first M43 camera that it seemed to see the way I did with its 4:3 sensor.

Once in a while I will play with a 1:1 crop in camera, but that's rare, and usually only when I am doing macro work with flowers, if at all.  Mostly I will crop later if necessary to get to a different aspect ratio if the image requires it.

-J

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tanniewu
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Re: 4:3 v. 3:2
In reply to Desert Rose, Mar 18, 2014

nowadays printing shops can print 4D instead of 4R, which is 4" but in 4:3 format, which looks a lot larger than 4R and very satisfying

And ya I shoot 4:3 coz it makes use of the full resolution of the sensor, and I kinda feel that shooting 3:2, some of the image produced by the lens is "wasted"

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Sergey_Green
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Re: 4:3 v. 3:2
In reply to tanniewu, Mar 18, 2014

tanniewu wrote:

..

And ya I shoot 4:3 coz it makes use of the full resolution of the sensor, and I kinda feel that shooting 3:2, some of the image produced by the lens is "wasted"

Resolution has no meaning if your framing is not what it should be. Most larger sensors have more pixels anyway, and cropping to a different formats is hardly a downside. It is the ratio or framing that one often feels more comfortable with (for a certain subject at least) than with what it would be (look like) if it were different.

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Martin.au
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Re: Silly question about aspect ratio - do you shoot 4:3 or 3:2?
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 18, 2014

I shoot 4:3.

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Paul De Bra
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With your camera it's best to shoot 4:3 and then crop.
In reply to jennajenna, Mar 18, 2014

With the GH1 & 2 or any other camera with a multi-aspect-ratio sensor it makes sense to shoot 3:2 as it will use a larger horizontal part of the sensor (and a bit smaller vertical part) than when shooting 4:3. But on the GH3 and many other cameras the sensor really only does 4:3 and other aspect ratios mean cropping from that image. So on your camera you do not gain width by shooting 3:2 but you do lose height.

There is also a difference in what cameras save in a RAW image file. The cropping done by setting the aspect ratio may delete the unused pixels from the RAW file or may leave them in. When the unused data is left in the image (as with Olympus cameras) you could uncrop the image in post-processing if your RAW convertor allows it. (ACR and Lightroom for instance can do that with cameras introduced after the E-M5 (not including the E-M5 itself despite the data being in the files).

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bluevellet
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Re: Silly question about aspect ratio - do you shoot 4:3 or 3:2?
In reply to leafinsectman, Mar 18, 2014

leafinsectman wrote:

Mostly 3:2 on my E-P3 to match the LCD aspect ratio

Same with me, though I also do prints and the stores in my area print in 3:2. I don't like letting them crop my pics so it's better to shoot them "right" to avoid me the hassle of cropping them afterwards.

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Isabel Cutler
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Re: Guy?
In reply to Guy Parsons, Mar 18, 2014

In Olympus's case no matter what aspect ratio you shoot (or use 2x digital tele converter) then you always get the full 4:3 image in RAW. I take advantage of that on my E-PL5 by shooting 16:9 to get the biggest possible image on my LCD and then later use the 4:3 RAW to extract whatever I want from the image.

Regards..... Guy

I wondered about this so I set my e-pl5 for 3:2 and I definitely do not have a 4:3 raw - it is 3:2.

What am I missing?

Isabel

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Guy Parsons
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Re: Guy?
In reply to Isabel Cutler, Mar 18, 2014

Isabel Cutler wrote:

In Olympus's case no matter what aspect ratio you shoot (or use 2x digital tele converter) then you always get the full 4:3 image in RAW. I take advantage of that on my E-PL5 by shooting 16:9 to get the biggest possible image on my LCD and then later use the 4:3 RAW to extract whatever I want from the image.

Regards..... Guy

I wondered about this so I set my e-pl5 for 3:2 and I definitely do not have a 4:3 raw - it is 3:2.

What am I missing?

Isabel

The RAW is always 4:3 but some RAW converters are not smart enough to know that, they default to the jpeg settings. Usually there's a way to get to the full image.

Olympus Viewer 3 does 4:3 when asked, Silkypix does 4:3 by default, also AfterShot Pro does 4:3 by default.

Regards..... Guy

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