4/3 versus 3/2
May be some stupid questions, but I find it difficult to find the answers....

What is the advantage from 4/3 over 3/2? The aspect ration is 1.33 versus 1.5..

I have a video camera which record 16:9, precisely the size of television screens. If, aside on having prints of photos, I would like to make a dvd of a series of photos, would not a 3/2 aspect ration be better?.

Will there ever be a 16/9 chip?..

Comments (6)

Eavanderzeeuw wrote:.

May be some stupid questions, but I find it difficult to find theanswers....

What is the advantage from 4/3 over 3/2? The aspect ration is 1.33versus 1.5.I have a video camera which record 16:9, precisely the size oftelevision screens. If, aside on having prints of photos, I wouldlike to make a dvd of a series of photos, would not a 3/2 aspectration be better?.

Will there ever be a 16/9 chip?.

I do believe there is a Panasonic and/or Leica point and shoot with a native 16/9 sensor..

I'll assume the discussion is limited to SLR cameras..

The 4/3 system (Olympus, Leica, others?) have a slightly smaller sensor area than the 3/2 sensors. Theoretically the 4/3 bodies and lenses can be physically smaller than their 3/2 counterparts. In reality, some are, some aren't. I suggest you consider other aspects of the various camera models such as ergonomics, features, price, and lens quality..

16/9 HDTV display's have much less resolution than any current SLR. You can choose to crop or put borders on your photo's. Since any SLR with a good lens will have more resolution than the HDTV you use for display moderate cropping will not affect the quality of the final result...

Comment #1

For exactly the same reason of 16x9 display screens, I have started to shoot my photos at 3x2. they look better imho. 16x9 photos are a little bit wide and short for portraits, so I plan to stick with 3x2 for virtually everything...

Comment #2

A 4/3 is a smaller and lighter camera, with lens more precisely matched to the size of sensor. The Olympus E-510 would be an example of it. A 3 by 2 is the same dimensions as traditional 35mm film. In terms of actual proportions, neither 3/2 nor 4/3 is inherently superior beyond your taste and how how you take advantage of the frame..

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Comment #3

3:2 is the ratio of old 35mm negs and transparencies. 4:3 is the same ratio as older PCs and TVs. 16:9 best fits wide screen PCs and TVs. Probably does not matter much which you use for display purposeswhatever fits your application best. BUTthere is a trade off with resolution as you go from 3/2 to 4/3 to 16/9. The resolution goes down a bit, though in most applications it would not be noticeable..


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Comment #4


All of them have advantages and all have disadvantages..

I'd look at what you use most for display and chose the aspect ratio that suits that. So a 4:3 monitor (probably what most of us are using) might be best if you don't print many. A 3:2 might be best if you want to print mostly at 6" x 4" and 16:9 suits the low resolution of a so called HD TV but wastes a lot of pixels..

OTOH, print bigger than 4" x 6" from 3:2 and you'll find paper is wasted (until you get o A3+) or else the picture needs to be cropped and pixels are wasted. Same applies to 4:3 and 16:9 (and 5:4 which you seldom see these days although old DSLR's and P&S's used it)..

Whatever you do you'll not be able to view _and_ print effectively and efficiently..

Nor will each aspect ratio suit every subject. 16:9 is useless for portraits but great for landscapes and so on..

Sorry it's not a clear cut answer..

Regards, David..

Comment #5

I think they ought to be round so everyone but lens designers can complain!.

Aspect ratio is width divided by height..

4x3 or 3x4, (1.33 or .75 depending on orientation) which aside from square, does use more of the image circle than the others and was used as the aspect ratio of movies and later television up until the late 50's when movie houses began to explore various wide screen options due to fear of competition from television. 3wx4h is also a very pleasing ratio for portraits, and most objects I photograph fit well in a 4x3 frame so I find this format suits me best. (They do make a 6R 6x8 photo paper though it isn't easy to find, but I like 5x7 prints and 3x4 images fit 5x7 with less cropping or wasted paper than 3x2 images).

3x2 is the standard 135 film aspect ratio and is great for landscapes, group shots of people or astrophotography of stars and nebulae (4x6 inkjet paper, desk frames and albums are ubiquitous too). For most of the things that I photograph, I find that 3x2 gives me a lot of nothing special on the sides that I still have to try to tastefullly blend into a composition. Can't think of a good use for 2wx3h unless you like to photograph radio towers..

16x9 or 1.78 is just a television compromise between the 1.33 television & old movie standard and the different 1.66 European 35mm widescreen, 1.85 Acadamy Flat, 2.2 70mm and 2.35 Panavision aspect ratios of movies (none of which fit the 1.78 16x9 aspect ratio so also appear letterboxed on a 16x9 TV though larger than on a standard TV), and some of those were designed for movie houses with those big curved, surround cineorama screens (IMAX is about 1.44) The old 16mm movie film is probably closest to 16x9.

4x5 and 8x10 view cameras have a ratio of 1.25 or 0.80, then there the the 1.16/.86 ratio of the 6x7 medium format cameras like the Mamiya RB67 etc., and other ratios ( ) that are used in a lot of magazine and fashion photography. They are close to square so make good use of the lenses and are great for product photography and head shots..

A 16x9 sensor would be great for a new video camera, though it would make lenses larger unless the sensor was kept small. For still cameras I think a more squarish sensor is more efficient at using the image provided by the lens and more useful in terms of photographic composition (unelss you shoot panoramas or large groups of people)...

Comment #6

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