What image aspect ratio should I have my OM-D set at?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by LowriderS10, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Hi guys,

    I know this is probably a dumb question, but I've never had a camera that had a user selectable image aspect ratio...

    The manual refers to the 4:3 as being "standard," but I thought the *INDUSTRY* standard was 3:2 (ie: 36x24mm film/full frame), and if I recall correctly, all full-frame, APS-C, etc cameras are 3:2. I know in RAW you get the 4:3 anyways, but I shoot 90% JPEG.

    So what should I set it on and why?
  2. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Oh and I know that 4:3 will allow me to crop to a 3:2, but I like to frame my shots in camera as much as possible...I'm more thinking for web display and printing...

    On the one hand, I want to stick with 3:2, because that's what I've been shooting for 20+ years. On the other hand, I feel like that would be "wasting" some of the sensor...also, since I shoot UWA 90% of the time, the larger area of the 4:3 would effectively mean that I would be able to fit more into the frame...
  3. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    It all depends how you like to crop for printing and posting ... Simply choose 4:3 or 3:2 or whatever matches the best.
  4. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    First off, 3:2 was unique to 35mm film. No standard print size was 3:2 except for 4x6, and that was only because 35mm P&S cameras became popular in the early 80's. CRT TV's & computer screens were 4:3. Unitl wides screen movies were introduced, they were 4:3. 8 1/2 x 11 paper is almost exactly 4:3. Standard print sizes like 5x7, 8x10 & 11x14 are much closer to 4:3. This is one of the big advantages of 4/3 for me. I think a finished picture is a print.

    For web display the aspect ratio doesn't matter.
  5. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Wicked, thanks...this is pretty much what I was thinking...but change is scary, man...SCARY!!!
  6. TetonTom

    TetonTom Mu-43 Regular

    I guess I always use the sensor-filling 4:3...
    EXCEPT when I know that the photo is bound for Facebook. In that case, a square 1:1 image tends to display better on the full range of devices; I think that's a big part of the Instagram logic. My wife and I post a lot of food photography to her FB company page, so we shoot most of that in 1:1.

  7. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    There are plenty of pixels to go around. Shoot what feels natural to you. Or step out of that comfort zone and do something crazy!
  8. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    I have on OM-D and GH-2, the latter actually uses the most it can of the sensor in each aspect ration, so that in 16-9 on the GH-2 you get almost 40 pixels more in width than on the OM-D, which maintains a width max of 4608 pixesl. So I use mostly the OM-D, then crop to 16-9 or 2-3 aspect ratio in processing, which allows for some reframing. When I want the max pixel width in 16-9, I use the P 14/25mm in 16-9.
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    You're all mad!! - just shoot raw and crop later to suit subject or print mount!
  10. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    What does RAW have to do with cropping?

    Some of us, who aren't shooting for web posts, know what we want, work to get the image capture right in the camera and shoot full frame for highest IQ.
  11. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    I use 3:2 as my default, is that a sin? :dash2:
  12. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    It is only a sin if you blindly follow some made up rule. Especially if you are a creative person.

    If you like to post-crop to suit the subject, then shoot at the sensor ratio. So on average you will lose fewer pixels.

    I used to shoot 6x6 medium format, where, with the exception of those occasional true square compositions, you always throw stuff away. So set it closest to your final compositions.

    Is there a way to scan all of your cropped pictures and get an average ratio? That would be cool!
  13. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Usually if you shoot RAW, the 'crop' applied in camera is non-destructive, i.e. all the information you would've got from shooting in 4:3 is still there. So you should be able to frame your shots in camera, and then if you want to make changes later you can do.

    b_rubenstein, it's fine to have your own opinion but please try not to be condescending about it.
  14. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    If you set it to 3:2 and the final image happens to suit 4:3 best, you will have wasted more pixels than the difference between MFT and APS-C.


    You will get reduced bokeh too!
  15. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    I set one of my function buttons to toggle between aspect ratios. :biggrin:
  16. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Press the "sin" button!
  17. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    3:2 will make the image larger on the back of the camera screen an also larger on a computer screen or TV if set to "fit image to screen vertically." That's a plus. You can never get back the lost data, however.

    My old P&S had 3:2 and I never used it. I used an APS-C camera for a while and got used to 3:2. So on my M4/3 I've been doing about half and half 4:3 and 3:2.

    Then there's the option for 3:4. Why in god's name would you ever use 3:4?
  18. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Right...if you set it on 4:3, then you're using the full sensor, getting the widest possible wide out of your lenses and the most bokeh, correct? :)
  19. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    I leave my camera set to record the full sensor image (4:3) and then crop the image as it requires.
    There is no definite right answer (that's why they give you a choice) different aspects suit different images but if I change it I'll forget to change back... :redface:
  20. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    I vary the aspect ratio depending on the shot at any particular moment, I'll even try different aspect ratios for the same shot and see what works best although generally I have a good idea what I want before shooting and choose that ratio. I use all 4 ratios (1x1, 4x3, 3x2, 16x9)
    I shoot raw and jpg but prefer to get the framing right in camera, I usually know what I want so frame it accordingly, I really do prefer to get it right in camera, that's just me, it gives me a sense of satisfaction knowing I captured the shot how I want it with no post cropping.