Is 4/3 the ideal format?

ac12

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I would say "it depends."

For me at this point in life, yes m4/3 is my ideal format.

When I was younger, the weight of a 35mm camera and lenses was not a problem to carry, ALL DAY.
That is sadly no longer the case. If I can't carry it, I can't shoot it.
I will trade off the functionality of a FF/FX camera/kit for the smaller size and lower weight of a m4/3 camera/kit.

However, there are exceptions.
One is low light sports (field under lights and in the gym), which call for a 20MP FF/FX sensor, for the extra low light capability.
If the EM1-mk4 can raise the high ISO a couple of stops, I might retire the Nikon.
 

John King

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Yes, IMHO.

Square format (e.g. my 6x6 Rolleiflex, 4x5" cameras) are harder to get composition right.

4:3 allows some latitude and breathing space from those, but does not look as unnatural for many types of shots as 3:2 does (to me ... ).
 

speedy

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Yes, IMHO.

Square format (e.g. my 6x6 Rolleiflex, 4x5" cameras) are harder to get composition right.

4:3 allows some latitude and breathing space from those, but does not look as unnatural for many types of shots as 3:2 does (to me ... ).
I had great difficulty composing in 4:3 at the start, after shooting 3:2 forever. Waaaay to much grass or other boring lack of details in the bottom 1/3 of the frame for me. Until I learned to shoot a wider focal length, and step further into the scene. Now I rather like it.
 

Dinobe

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When I shot with my Canon APSC cameras, I found 3:2 normal and 4:3 very weird. Now that I shoot Olympus M43 I find 4:3 normal and 3:2 difficult to compose or crop....
 

ac12

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Yes, IMHO.

Square format (e.g. my 6x6 Rolleiflex, 4x5" cameras) are harder to get composition right.

4:3 allows some latitude and breathing space from those, but does not look as unnatural for many types of shots as 3:2 does (to me ... ).

I dunno about that.
My eye had been conditioned to see in 35mm film / 36x24 / FF format.
But after I got my first 6x6, I started to see more and more square compositions, and I liked shooting for a square format.
Then I got used to composing for the format that I wanted, and ignoring the rest of the frame.

Just as you said, except for square, when shooting 35mm film (or FF), you HAD TO crop when printing 5x7 or 8x10. Or you printed to a non-standard size, and had problems with the picture frame (if you did not mat mount the print). The standard paper and frame sizes were 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, 11x14.

But shooting many different stuff, I run into the WIDE, not so wide, TALL, not so tall, and SQUARE scenes. So for me, there isn't an "ideal" film/sensor format.
 

Paul C

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The www article that this topic refers to seems to focus on the size issues of M4/3 and its crop factor impact -
  • but very sensibly, the readership here has terned this into the ideal "picture format"
  • rather than another chance to rerun the "why we hate FF and APS"
The big step for M4/3 was the electronic viewfinder - suddenly we had interchangeable lens cameras that could be set up in-camera to visualise the composition in "frame sizes" from 6x6 to 16x9.

Learning to compose effectively requires a different approach in each ratio - so perhaps readers can point to online resources that help us span the formats?

Can I suggest the often excellent OAWS website post to You Tube on square compositions as a place to start?

followed by some lessons from the wonderful Michael Kenna - who seems to change picture formats with ease:

best wishes to you all - Paul C



Screen Shot 2021-11-26 at 17.40.46.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

https://monovisions.com/michael-kenna/
 
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So basically he is a click bait photographer. Why do people even read such trash from these people?
Actually, I don't think he is. He has thoughtful posts on his blog, and in the posting where he said that M43 was a lame duck, that was not the lead-in, but embedded in the text. Now, DPreview. That's clickbait. I find his stuff to be interesting and wide ranging.
 
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Actually, I don't think he is. He has thoughtful posts on his blog, and in the posting where he said that M43 was a lame duck, that was not the lead-in, but embedded in the text. Now, DPreview. That's clickbait. I find his stuff to be interesting and wide ranging.
I’m sorry but to me, someone who does a post about a format being a lame duck and then do a post saying the format is the ideal format is the very definition of a click bait blogger. Granted I didn’t read either one and won’t, not giving him the clicks.
 
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I’m sorry but to me, someone who does a post about a format being a lame duck and then do a post saying the format is the ideal format is the very definition of a click bait blogger. Granted I didn’t read either one and won’t, not giving him the clicks.
Hey Ron, you're entitled to your opinion. That's cool. I've read almost all of his posts over the last couple of years, and will keep on doing so because I find them interesting, even if I don't always agree. To each his own. :)
 
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I was used to shooting 3:2 when I used 35mm film SLRs. My Canon APS-C DSLRs were still 3:2. Going to M43's 4:3 was a bit of a jump, but I've gotten used to it and now feel that it's a very natural ratio. Trying to shoot in 3:2 would feel like it's too wide, although it's well suited to landscape photography.
 

Little Fish

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From what I've seen happen from 1990 to now, there was a huge shift from medium format to FF DSLR starting in 2002. There were other FF Digital SLRs during the early era 2002-2005. And FF DSLR like the Fuji S1 cost over $10K By 2008 FF or 35mm DSLR cost came down as competition and demand increased. And Lumix developed the first mirrorless in 2008. In 2002 when Canon marketed the EOS Digital Rebble many pros still shot film SLR. By 2012 or 13 the FF Digital SLR outperformed the Medium-format in efficency (not resolution), and was more cost effective vs Medium Format digital/color/film processing. Also, video became huge in 2008 with YouTube and other online marketing social media sites. And by the end of 2015 4K video was in the GoPro, and becomming a huge game changer for the DSLR market which drew a lot of DSLR video enthusiest to experience 4K video. One of the turning points was the online video image comparison of the Canon 5D III vs a $600 MFT camera. The results convinced many that the smaller sensor has some major benefits over the FF for video.

Also, consider what other mirrorless companies are doing in 2021? They are using What MFT has already done with the mirrorless camera. A.I. Stabilization and Auto focus, high frame rates for 4K video, internal 4K60p, high res mode, live composite, high frame bursting with electronic shutter, live broadcasting, high end video recording formats, etc... And everyone puts down the contrast based AF of DfD. When in reality it does work as good as other systems, but not the best (if you avoid using 24p frame rates, and slower shutter speeds than 1/120 to record video). And for burst, the AF is fast and accurate as good as and better than some other brands of cameras, even when using tracking or animal detect.

Thus, IMO MFT shoud be the future, because it is more efficient. And it's innovations are out front. But, most photographers today are not like those of the past. In the past most photographers got into photography because they were willing to put up the cash and learn to develope skills of photography, which was something that was uncommon in the 1980s and 90s when there was limited internet for the masses and limited camera stores. Today, cameras are abundant as the internet. Cameras come part of everyones phone, tablet, lap/note, and can also be purchased seperately. They have them for sport, action, trail cams, baby monitor cams, doorbell cams, action cams etc... Today, people get into camera gear for many different reasons. Some get camera gear just to get camera gear. Many get cameras for specific uses, etc... Nevertheless, I suspect this trend will continue, and photo and it's techniques will continue to be canceled out, as new camera technology makes cameras more idiot proof. And marketing giants in the USA to bolster the Bigger is better theology.

But, I could be wrong, and efficent gear that is more portable like the MFT will continue to innovate ahead of others gear designed for the past.
 
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ac12

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Unless I'm carrying a 6x6, I don't deliberately go out looking for and composing for a square format.
Usually what happens is when I look at a scene and think about how to shoot it, and the image is what drives the format. Sometimes I look at a scene, and it screams SQUARE.

But I had to have my eyes opened to the square.
Until I got a 6x6, I did not recognize a square image, even if it hit me on the head. My brain was conditioned to viewing a scene and thinking, 24x36 (full frame 35mm film), or standard size paper (5x7, 8x10).
 
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Unless I'm carrying a 6x6, I don't deliberately go out looking for and composing for a square format.
Usually what happens is when I look at a scene and think about how to shoot it, and the image is what drives the format. Sometimes I look at a scene, and it screams SQUARE.

But I had to have my eyes opened to the square.
Until I got a 6x6, I did not recognize a square image, even if it hit me on the head. My brain was conditioned to viewing a scene and thinking, 24x36 (full frame 35mm film), or standard size paper (5x7, 8x10).
The 4:3 (1.33:1) is a lot closer to the 8x10 print ratio (1.25:1) than the 35mm format (1.5:1). The latter is closer to the 5x7 ratio (1.4:1). 16x20 is the same ratio as 8x10, of course. 20x24 is pretty close (1.2:1). So, yeah, at least in terms of most "standard" print sizes, 4/3 is a great ratio! :)
 

doady

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Not sure what exactly was the point the blogger was trying to make - there was nothing really of substance, I will not bother to reread it - but I will just say that I thought moving on from 3:2 to 4:3 aspect ratio was a big step forward. But it's still a fixed aspect ratio, which is still a trapping of the film era, in an era when multi-aspect ratio sensors are possible and should have become a standard feature by now.

You can see also how they finally went mirrorless but there is still a fake pentaprism hump on my E-M1 II. They showed the focus distance precisely and accurately electronically on the LCD of my C-7070WZ, but then they resort back to MF clutch for my 12-100mm F4. Not yet fully taken the leap forward and fully embraced digital. Maybe too much form over function.

Smaller is a step forward, but the camera industry and camera users still stuck with full frame, but in some ways Micro Four Thirds still stuck in the past also. Maybe that is the real reason I waited 15 years to buy a new camera, and only bought one because I truly needed one. I never used a film camera, so I never cared about full frame, mirrors, pentaprism humps, 3:2 aspect ratio (or any fixed aspect ratio), MF clutch. Maybe I wanted a true digital camera and system, and maybe even Micro Four Thirds is not yet "ideal".
 

PakkyT

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but I will just say that I thought moving on from 3:2 to 4:3 aspect ratio was a big step forward. But it's still a fixed aspect ratio, which is still a trapping of the film era, in an era when multi-aspect ratio sensors are possible and should have become a standard feature by now.
Not sure what you mean here. Any "multi-aspect" sensor would still be a fixed ratio sensor and you are still doing nothing more that selecting crops out of a larger fixed sensor, which is no different than 35mm film, FF digital, or 4/3 digital.
 

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