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Aspect Ratio

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by syilim, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. syilim

    syilim Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2011
    I hope I'm posting this in the right section, although ideally I believe there should be a "noob" section for majority of my questions. lol.

    So while doing my photo restoration project, I realised the some of the photos that I scanned in won't let me print at 4x6 without some cropping. This brings back certain memories when I look at my newly developed photos and thinking to myself "hmmm, why is part of the picture missing??!!". Obviously I didn't care enough back then to look into it. But now, the older and wise (yeah right!) me realised something called aspect ratio!!! lol. So embarrassed :redface:

    So the aspect ratio on my e-pl2 is set at 4:3 (I know, I'm on a roll here!!), and since I mostly print 6 x 4s, I figured its best to set my aspect ratio to 3:2. Question is, is there any other affect when changing the aspect ratio? Like to quality or any other sort.

  2. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    You are effectively cropping the sensor image in-camera, deleting a narrow horizontal band from the upper and lower part. It's the same as if you were doing that afterwards in postprocessing by cropping, but doing it in camera you have the advantage that you can judge the composition in the desired aspect ratio.

    Setting the aspect ratio to 3:2 means you're throwing away some pixels. Some people will argue that you don't use the maximum resolution possible that way, you throw away 11 % of the pixels available in the 4:3 image. In your case, printing to 6x4", this is completely irrelevant. I also set my G1 and GH2 to a 3:2 aspect ratio because I like that best when viewing pictures on a screen; cropping later is not always possible because I didn't compose for it.

    Won't be relevant for you, but to be complete: setting a Panasonic GH1 or GH2 to 3:2 won't be losing too many pixels because these cameras have a multi-aspect sensor. IMHO in practice it doesn't matter much.
  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I use 3:2 most of the time because my film cameras were that aspect ratio....
    Old habits hard to break.
  4. After years of using SLRs I would habitually set my compact camera/s to 3:2, but since I started using my E-P1 as my main camera I've gotten over the aspect ratio thing and just shoot it and my Ricoh compact at 4:3. If you're printing a lot of 6x4 shots then it would help to set your aspect ratio to 3:2 so you see and shoot your images the same as they print. If you shoot in RAW as well as jpeg the top and bottom of the photo that have been cropped out in the jpeg will still be available in the RAW file should you want it.
  5. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I use 3:2 mostly because it's a pleasing ratio to me. At times I use other aspect ratios if the composition demands it.
  6. syilim

    syilim Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2011
    Ah great info on the RAW. So if I shoot RAW and jpegs in 3:2 ratio, then I can process the OOC jpegs just as they are, but if I happen to find a picture that I really like and maybe want to print larger, I can use the RAW file which is in the native 4:3 ratio, which I believe is better for the bigger print sizes as they'll be less cropping than if enlarging 3:2.

    Thanks all for help.
  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    On my GF1 I use raw only. The files come thru LR in the aspect I choose.
    3:2 is 3:2.... dunno
  8. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    I back up Streetshooter, my experience of both the G1 and GF1 shooting in raw the raw file is in the chosen aspect ratio and certainly is no different from the jpeg file in aspect ratio, assuming you are shooting in raw + jpeg.

  9. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    When it comes to printing the native 4:3 aspect ratio on a µ43 has a number of advantages over the 3:2 ratio.

    First when you select 3:2 you are using about 89% of your chip’s area therefore you are starting out with an 11% deficit.

    Next if you print large say 8 x 10, 16 x 20 you have to crop both these aspect ratios to meet the new real estate requirements. The 4:3 loses 6% on a 8 x 10, 16 x 20 where as the 3:2 loses 13.5% . Keeping in mind if you have already choked your µ43 down to 3:2 this is compounded by another 11%.

    The same can be said about a 5 x 7, 8.5 x 11, 11 x 14 and 20 x 30 although the percentage are different.

    Finally if you really prefer one ratio over the other, you are wiser to use the larger native ratio and crop in post as it gives you a second chance to make a mistake.

    I know we all like to hang on to what we are comfortable with and I tip my hat to you if you elect go that route as that is your decision. Just be away you are crippling your very good camera by choosing this route.
  10. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Grant, As Pres Reagen stated...
    "There is no deficit".
    I use 3:2 because I see that way.
    I print an 8 x 12 image on an 11 x 14 paper.
    Museum standard of minimum 1" border around the image.

    I use 4:3 sometimes cause my TV taught me that aspect for all my life but truth be told...
    If I'm loosing 11% in sensor...I don't give a hoot..the final image means more than anything else.
  11. If you choose a non-4:3 ratio for jpegs on an Oly body and bring the RAW file into Master 2 the entire 12MP image is there with framelines around the area of the aspect you have chose. When you process the RAW file to a jpeg it will by default choose the aspect ratio you have selected but you can change it at this time.
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