Is it better to always shoot GH1 in 16:9 mode?

Started May 28, 2010 | Discussions thread
Tom K.
Tom K. Senior Member • Posts: 1,609
Adventsam, you are incorrect

Adventsam wrote:

No, its 1.8x in 16:9, the sensor is larger the diagonal is larger [it's not] , think about it? we now have a sensor 19.05mm wide in 16:9 and the vertical to the lense hasnt changed [it has] , there are less pixels recorded but the height is still 13.08mm, [it's not] therefore we have a much larger sensor and 1.8x crop [no] .

The Canon's, Sony's also are 3:2, so dont have native 16:9, but are cropped, when you do this to the Sony, Canon doesnt seem to have a 16:9 option at all and may not be 1080 video either, see below, then the GH1 is a whisker behind the APSC, and in video the 7d-550 may well be 1.7x, its difficult to calculate.

For the GH1 and some other recent Panasonic cameras, the sensor is made slightly oversize so that whether the aspect ratio is 4/3 or 16/9, the diagonal is constant. You seem to think that for a 16/9 crop, you're getting more real estate on the sides and losing nothing top and bottom. However in fact, the vertical dimension is less. You don't get something for nothing, and the crop of the image circle is 2x regardless of aspect ratio. Take a look at the right hand side of this illustration - it's for the LX3 but the principle is still the same as used in the GH1.

The gray rectangle is the sensor. The colored rectangles within represent crops of 4/3, 3/2 and 16/9, all with the same diagonal . And it's the diagonal of the image that determines crop factor, not just the horizontal. It's always 2x for the GH1.

So, regarding your original question of whether you should shoot 16/9 with the GH1 all the time - well, only if you want all your pictures to be 16/9. But you won't gain anything special from that. Your pictures will be wider than if shot in 4/3, but shorter as well. Your call.

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