Picking the ideal aspect ratios and other questions related to aspect ratios

Started Jan 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP Sgt_Strider Senior Member • Posts: 2,275
Re: Picking the ideal aspect ratios and other questions related to aspect ratios

Tom Axford wrote:

It's a very interesting topic that you raise.

My views are more-or-less in line with your own. I generally stick to the camera's native aspect ratio and crop later when necessary.

However, I often use a Panasonic LX5 when I don't want to carry anything larger and one of the things I really like about that camera is the switch on the lens housing to change the aspect ratio (and the fact that its sensor has both 4:3 and 16:9 as native). With that camera I do change the aspect ratio to suit the subject, largely because it is so easy to do.

However, even so, I only occasionally use the non-native aspect ratios that the LX5 offers, which are 1:1 and 3:2. This is because I'm rarely totally sure what the best aspect ratio will be before taking the shot, so I play safe and use the nearest native aspect ratio. I often don't spend enough time thinking about the shot before taking it and simply hedge my bets!

My feeling is that good composition is really quite difficult and can take a long time to get right.

You're right and that it can be quite difficult to pick the "best" aspect ratio. I probably wouldn't be able to pick. My growing fascination with square means that I'm more likely to shoot 1:1 going forward. 1:1 images can be viewed online and printed without any cropping (unless I'm looking to enhance or fix the composition). I really do like the whole notion of a "balance image" with 1:1, but regardless, 3:2 is another nice option just because I can print without any modification.

I really do wish that all m4/3 cameras will have a multi-aspect ratio sensors going forward. I hope everyone will do the same or someone should start a new system and use a square sensor as the basis of it.

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