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

Started Jan 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP Sgt_Strider Senior Member • Posts: 2,315
Re: Picking the ideal aspect ratios and other questions related to aspect ratios

ajscullard wrote:

As noted above, the aspect ratio of the sensor is fixed. By cropping your picture to a different aspect ratio you are effectively "throwing away" some of the data from the sensor. But then, this is not a big deal with most current cameras since they usually have more pixels than you really need for prints.

Back in the film days I used both 3:2 (35mm) and 1:1 (6x6 120mm) cameras. I found that the framing and composition and even lens focal length choices for a given scene were often different because the aspect ratio was different. The point being that if you are using the same camera with the same viewfinder or LCD image to frame your shot for different, non-native aspect ratios, you may not get the composition or framing right.

Now with digital, I'll take multiple shots to create a panoramic or square image and stitch them together in PP. I always allow enough overlap to give me flexibility in cropping to a final image.

If you are sticking to using a single image, what you need to ensure is that your camera has some sort of masking or guidelines in the viewfinder/LCD that shows you the exact aspect ratio that you intend for your final image. That way you avoid guessing how your final image might look.

Again, why is that even an issue? If you're going to crop an image for print later, you're throwing away some of the data anyways. When you say data, I'm getting the impression that you're implying that I'm degrading the image quality when in fact I'm just cropping away the image and this doesn't affect image quality (sharpness and dynamic range) whatsoever.

Right, I agree with you on the last statement. Assuming that the camera does have the proper guidelines or show how the image will look like in that aspect ratio, why would anyone in 2013 still tell someone to shoot at native aspect ratio and crop later? Even camera phones have plenty of pixels to begin with and now we're seeing 13MP camera phones on the market. I feel like I'm missing something here because I see that advice being given all the time. Of course if you don't intend to print, then none of this is really ever an issue.

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