Does the 4:3 Aspect Ratio Bother You?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by elduderino, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. elduderino

    elduderino Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 22, 2011
    New M4/3 user here. I like the output so far, quality wise, but the 4:3 ration seems odd to me. When I print my work, which to be fair isn't too often, I always prefer 8x10s or larger. I never really print 4x6. But having used the 3:2 format for years in my DSLR, it's weird.

    Maybe I just need to get used to it. I'm a big fill the frame kinda guy, and I guess I need to start realizing where those 8x10 borders will be when shooting in 4:3. I know you can set the crop to 3:2 but I think you just loose part of the sensor doing that, don't you?

    Wondering what others thought.
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    I do landscapes mostly. Wider is generally preferred. Even though, like you, I typically print 8x10 or 16x20.

    One nice thing about having an EVF is that if you want to compose in 3:2 or 16:9, you can. The only downside is you're cropping, so a bit of resolution is lost, and the lenses aren't quite so wide.

    With the Panasonic GH1 and GH2, you can even change the native aspect ratio. One of the killed features of those cameras, IMO.

  3. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    I love 4:3, it's a wonderful aspect ratio for most things. iPads are 4:3, one of the few devices left in this world that still are. All my UltraSharps are 16:9 or 16:10, which I find annoying. The laptops are also ultra-wide nowadays. 4:3 also involves far less cropping to fit an 8x10, which means for the occasions I do print, I don't have to completely mangle the image framing.

    On my GH2, I nearly always shoot at 16:9 (screen display or things that feel nice in wide format) or 4:3 (most things). 3:2 is a middle ground that doesn't usually quite work for me.
  4. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    The 43 format more closely approximates many common print formats. Though no hard generalizations are intended I think it often works well for portraits while wider formats often work well for landscapes. Really subject specific.
  5. Panut

    Panut Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 25, 2011
    Mu43 is my first system, so no legacy in 3:2, but still I find myself cropping almost all my shots to something less-square than 4:3. Often close to 16:9 or something.
    So I firmly agree.

    Actually, I might consider setting the camera to 3:2 mode, even if it means losing part of the sensor area. This would be purely to train myself to frame the shots better. Now I find myself having hard time framing the shots in vertical direction (if shooting landscape orientation) because it's not easy for me to visualise how the cropped version looks like.

  6. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    You'll get used to it. After awhile you start appreciating it. In fact the 4:3 format makes more sense in practical terms. If FF/FX cameras shot in 4:3, they'd utilize more of the image circle of a lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I generally prefer 3:2 for the landscape orientation and 4:3 for portrait (3:2 often looks too narrow when displayed vertically). You also don't need to constrained by standard print sizes. I just had a bunch of photos printed at 8x12. I also agree that the multi-aspect GH sensors are a super feature of those cameras, especially for wide-angle. You pay good money for a wide-angle lens and then most of the m4/3 sensors discard the extra width by shooting at 4:3.

    The difference in the usage of the image circle is negligible between 4:3 and 3:2 - less than 5% difference in surface area.
  8. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2010
    It bothers me not nearly as much as I expected it to (coming from 3:2 SLR). Sometimes when I decide to print, especially 4x6 family photos, I feel silly, but 4:3 is as nice as 3:2 imho...
  9. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    I always shoot 3:2 and then sometimes crop to 16:9. I like the wider aspect ratios more because they make my ultrawide shots feel wider.
  10. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    I do the same. I've started in ยต4/3 with using 4:3 but I didn't get used to it. I just love that I get a lot of pixels out of the GH2 with 3:2 aspect ratio.
  11. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Real Name:
    Brian Ronald
    I shoot 3:2 because all of those instant print kiosks dish out on 3:2 paper. My favourite aspect ratio would be 1:root2 (1:1.414) because that would let me print on A4 on a regular colour printer. (-:
  12. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    3:2 is nice because you can use the entire screen on a iPhone. When reviewing images. Ideally I would want 4:3 raw and a 3:2 option for jpegs.
  13. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Real Name:
    I love 4:3; it feels very balanced to me.

    Unfortunately, I find that I compose for 4:3, but when I have to print, I can't crop to 8x10 or 4x6 (3:2) without destroying the composition. :frown:
  14. elduderino

    elduderino Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 22, 2011
    Yeah, I'm getting that too. I almost, ok I do wish, I could overlay the screen with crop markings to show me where 3:2 and 5:4 would land. I guess it's getting used to it.

    Portraits are my thing, so I guess I should learn to love 4:3.
  15. ripleys baby

    ripleys baby Straw clutcher

    Aug 10, 2011
    I always shoot 4:3, then crop in post to my liking.:smile:
  16. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I like 4:3 just fine, but it is annoying when you print. Rather than crop, I've usually exported my images into a template that puts black (or white) space around the image in a new 8x10 file (basically a border around the uncropped 4:3 image where the side borders are thicker than the top/bottom).
    • Like Like x 1
  17. eltictac

    eltictac Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2012
    Am I right thinking 8x6 prints would work for the 4:3 ratio without cropping anything out? 8x6 is just double 4:3 right? Or am I not understanding how these things work!
  18. stuntman

    stuntman M43 FOR THIRDS 4 EVER

    Jul 6, 2011
    Real Name:
    I shoot 4:3 all the time and when I crop, I use 5:4 because it fits pre-cut mattes for framing perfectly. It just works great for me and gives a lot of latitude.

  19. Stubb

    Stubb Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 23, 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    Real Name:
    I've photographed with both 4:3 and 2:3 cameras. It seems like 4:3 works slightly better for photographing people or switching orientation after the fact. It also crops down to 1:1 without throwing away too many pixels. With landscapes, I often prefer 2:3 or cropping down to 16:9. My LX-5 is really nice in how it tailors the original raw file to the native resolution by adjusting the capture area on the sensor.
  20. Pim

    Pim Mu-43 Regular

    Another vote for 3:2. It is my default setting on my Pen, much prefer that over the native 4:3. Any prints I make are usually 60 x 40 cm, just works better for me I feel.