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Ideal Aspect Ratio for Digital Cameras?

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February 4, 2005 9:15:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

So what is the ideal aspect ratio?

Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?

What do you think?

Evad
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 1:31:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Evad" <evad@dodgeit.com> writes:

> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>
> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>
> What do you think?

I like 2:3 pretty well. I don't like the funny numbers, 16:9 or
2.35:1. Square would have its uses for some things; but I'm so used
to turning the camera for verticals that it doesn't discourage me that
often, and I get more pictures per memory card with a rectangular
format.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
February 5, 2005 4:18:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Evad wrote:

> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>
> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>
> What do you think?
>

I like the look of 8X10 and 11X14 ratios so the 4:3 made more sense to me.
Less thrown away pixels.

--

Stacey
Related resources
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 5:46:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Evad" <evad@dodgeit.com> wrote in message
news:36iohiF50bhqnU1@individual.net...
> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>
> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>
> What do you think?
>
> Evad
>
>
>
A sensor 1m in diameter with a billigazillion pixels, then crop to any shape
u want depending on your photo.
--
Hugh Jorgan
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 6:32:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Evad <evad@dodgeit.com> wrote:
> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>
> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>
> What do you think?

The sensor should be circular. This makes the most efficient use
of the image circle projected by the lens.

Peter.
--
pirwin@ktb.net
February 5, 2005 6:32:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Peter Irwin" <pirwin@ktb.net> wrote in message
news:cu1eod$rfd$1@dns.ktb.net...
> Evad <evad@dodgeit.com> wrote:
>> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>>
>> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>>
>> What do you think?
>
> The sensor should be circular. This makes the most efficient use
> of the image circle projected by the lens.
>

Should it be curved like the retina of the eye?

Evad
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 7:08:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Evad <evad@dodgeit.com> wrote:
>
> "Peter Irwin" <pirwin@ktb.net> wrote in message
> news:cu1eod$rfd$1@dns.ktb.net...
>> Evad <evad@dodgeit.com> wrote:
>>> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>>>
>>> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>>>
>>> What do you think?
>>
>> The sensor should be circular. This makes the most efficient use
>> of the image circle projected by the lens.
>>
>
> Should it be curved like the retina of the eye?
>
> Evad
>
Not unless you want to be limited to a non-interchangeable lens
of fixed focal length. This is true of older Minoxes where the
lens has some uncorrected field curvature and the film plane
is curved to compensate, but if you want to have a variety
of different lenses or a zoom lens then standardizing on a
flat field is a lot simpler.

Peter.
--
pirwin@ktb.net
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 10:09:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

For landscape, I like 8:5 (or anything near the golden ratio of
1:1.618). 4:3 looks too square so I immediately crop at least to 3:2
or higher. - For portraits, 4:3 is probably best, but I've never given
it much thought
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 10:25:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <36iohiF50bhqnU1@individual.net>, evad@dodgeit.com says...
> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>
> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>
> What do you think?
>

The ideal aspect ratio is the one that works for you.

----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups
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Anonymous
February 5, 2005 10:34:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Evad" <evad@dodgeit.com> writes:
>So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>What do you think?

To some extent, it depends on how expensive the sensors are.

If sensors become really cheap, the sensor should be round (or square
with a round active area) and of a size that matches the designed lens
image circle. This captures all that the lens can deliver. The camera
should give you a choice of storing the whole round image (probably
padded with zeros to make it square), or a horizontal 4:3, or 3:2, or
16:9, or whatever other aspect ratio you want, plus the matching
vertical formats. These choices reduce image size by discarding some of
the sensor output.

Dave
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 10:34:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

a round sensor makes the best use of the lens and Dave is right if
sensors are cheap enough this is what you
would want. A hexagon is close to a circle but would pack better on the
wafer, more sensors per wafer that way.

Otherwise I would go with a square sensor.

Scott
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 12:15:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>I like the look of 8X10 and 11X14 ratios so the 4:3 made more sense to me.
>Less thrown away pixels.

HUH? there is not less thrown away pixels in a 8x10 or 11x14 with 4:3 than
there is 3:2. Either way 3:2 has 4:3 beat by a couple few pixels.

The 4:3 ratio brought down for a 8x10 crop would be 12"x9" Lossing 2 inches in
height and 1 inch in width. 3:2 on the other hand is 12"x8" so there is only
a loss of 2 inces in height
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 1:32:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Evad wrote:
> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>
> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>
> What do you think?
>
> Evad

1:1

Eliminates the need to turn the camera for vertical vs horizontal. It
is also likely to be a good economic use of manufacturing limitations and it
makes the best use of the Lens's imaging capabilities out side of a circle.
It also eliminates the issues of paper sizes both NA and European.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 2:01:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Joseph Meehan wrote:
> Evad wrote:
>> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>>
>> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>>
>> What do you think?
>>
>> Evad
>
> 1:1
>
> Eliminates the need to turn the camera for vertical vs horizontal.
> It is also likely to be a good economic use of manufacturing
> limitations and it makes the best use of the Lens's imaging
> capabilities out side of a circle. It also eliminates the issues of
> paper sizes both NA and European.

Sounds good to me!
Would need a few more pixels to allow for cropping, though.

Cheers,
David
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 2:43:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

David J Taylor wrote:
> Joseph Meehan wrote:
>> Evad wrote:
>>> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>>>
>>> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>>>
>>> What do you think?
>>>
>>> Evad
>>
>> 1:1
>>
>> Eliminates the need to turn the camera for vertical vs horizontal.
>> It is also likely to be a good economic use of manufacturing
>> limitations and it makes the best use of the Lens's imaging
>> capabilities out side of a circle. It also eliminates the issues of
>> paper sizes both NA and European.
>
> Sounds good to me!
> Would need a few more pixels to allow for cropping, though.

Not if you print square as do many 2¼ users.

>
> Cheers,
> David

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 4:29:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Joseph Meehan wrote:
[]
> Not if you print square as do many 2¼ users.

That sounds an interesting discipline - force your images to fit the
frame. Probably what I do most of the time, though! LOL! I mostly use
4:3, but occasionally select the 3:2 for more panoramic shots.

Cheers,
David
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 4:51:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sat, 5 Feb 2005 13:29:48 -0000, "David J Taylor"
<david-taylor@invalid.com> wrote:

>Joseph Meehan wrote:
>[]
>> Not if you print square as do many 2¼ users.
>
>That sounds an interesting discipline - force your images to fit the
>frame. Probably what I do most of the time, though! LOL! I mostly use
>4:3, but occasionally select the 3:2 for more panoramic shots.

"interesting discipline'"? That's how classic photography has been
practiced for many years. The whole point of large format (8x10)
sheet film is to never crop but contact print the negative.


*****************************************************

"High up, Santa Ana, we're killin' your soldiers below
So the rest of Texas will know
And remember the Alamo."

"Remember the Alamo"
by Jane Bowers
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 5:52:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

David J Taylor wrote:
> Joseph Meehan wrote:
> []
>> Not if you print square as do many 2¼ users.
>
> That sounds an interesting discipline - force your images to fit the
> frame. Probably what I do most of the time, though! LOL! I mostly
> use 4:3, but occasionally select the 3:2 for more panoramic shots.
>
> Cheers,
> David

While I agree it is an interesting discipline and can be interesting as
a tool to help you develop your ability to see an image. However that was
not my intention which I believe was clear from the context. I assume you
clipped the original message in order to save space and to emprise your take
on the subject and was not in any way attempting to comment or edit my
thoughts on the subject.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
February 5, 2005 9:24:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Savidge4 wrote:

>>I like the look of 8X10 and 11X14 ratios so the 4:3 made more sense to me.
>>Less thrown away pixels.
>
> HUH? there is not less thrown away pixels in a 8x10 or 11x14 with 4:3
> than
> there is 3:2.

Do the math (correctly?), 3:2 has a 17% loss over 4:3 in an 8X10 print.


>
> The 4:3 ratio brought down for a 8x10 crop would be 12"x9" Lossing 2
> inches in
> height and 1 inch in width.

Huh? :-) 4:3 is 8X10.6 straight from the camera, you only lose .6" on the
side cropping.

> 3:2 on the other hand is 12"x8" so there is
> only a loss of 2 inces in height

Again you did the math wrong, you lose a full 2 inches in width that doesn't
get printed. This makes a 6MP camera really less than a 5MP one as far as
useable pixels for 8X10 prints.

--

Stacey
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 10:10:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Joseph Meehan wrote:
> David J Taylor wrote:
>> Joseph Meehan wrote:
>> []
>>> Not if you print square as do many 2¼ users.
>>
>> That sounds an interesting discipline - force your images to fit the
>> frame. Probably what I do most of the time, though! LOL! I mostly
>> use 4:3, but occasionally select the 3:2 for more panoramic shots.
>>
>> Cheers,
>> David
>
> While I agree it is an interesting discipline and can be
> interesting as a tool to help you develop your ability to see an
> image. However that was not my intention which I believe was clear
> from the context. I assume you clipped the original message in order
> to save space and to emprise your take on the subject and was not in
> any way attempting to comment or edit my thoughts on the subject.

I assumed you were simply pointing out that some people used a square
aspect ratio, and also used that uncropped for their prints.

With that as a starting point, having originally thought that it would be
an interesting effect on one's artistic judgement, I then realised that I
am forced into taking at the aspect ratio my equipment offers.

I hope I didn't take anything of yours out of context - certainly not my
intention.

Cheers,
David
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 7:56:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Evad <evad@dodgeit.com> wrote:
>So what is the ideal aspect ratio?

>Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?

>What do you think?

>Evad

There is of course no answer to this question.
For many it is decided by legacy equipment they
may have. For others it is decided by past
experience.

For instance those brought up on 35mm slides might
like 3:2. Others, used to printing 8x10s might like
4x5. And so on.

But the vast majority of us are, I think, more
practical. We adopt to what cameras are available
with the features we want and the pricing we can
afford.

----- Paul J. Gans

PS: If I had my way I'd opt for 1x400 and get some
really neat multicolored lines that way.
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 8:04:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Dave Martindale <davem@cs.ubc.ca> wrote:
>"Evad" <evad@dodgeit.com> writes:
>>So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>>Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>>What do you think?

>To some extent, it depends on how expensive the sensors are.

>If sensors become really cheap, the sensor should be round (or square
>with a round active area) and of a size that matches the designed lens
>image circle. This captures all that the lens can deliver. The camera
>should give you a choice of storing the whole round image (probably
>padded with zeros to make it square), or a horizontal 4:3, or 3:2, or
>16:9, or whatever other aspect ratio you want, plus the matching
>vertical formats. These choices reduce image size by discarding some of
>the sensor output.

Yeah, but you can already do that by cropping the picture.

Esthetically one might argue for the "golden mean", 1.618 to 1.
But that's close enough to 1.5 to 1 (the 35mm size). But that's
just an argument from authority.

However, in truth there is no one choice that would satisfy
everyone.

---- Paul J. Gans
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 9:38:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Paul J Gans <gans@panix.com> writes:

>>These choices reduce image size by discarding some of
>>the sensor output.

>Yeah, but you can already do that by cropping the picture.

The difference between cropping in camera and later is the number of
images you can store in a given size CF card. I don't always shoot RAW
even when the camera is capable of it, and I wouldn't always shoot
full-sensor either.

Dave
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 9:18:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 10:32:09 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"
<sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Evad wrote:
>> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>>
>> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>>
>> What do you think?
>>
>> Evad
>
> 1:1
>
> Eliminates the need to turn the camera for vertical vs horizontal. It
>is also likely to be a good economic use of manufacturing limitations and it
>makes the best use of the Lens's imaging capabilities out side of a circle.
>It also eliminates the issues of paper sizes both NA and European.

I would love it if the camera had a 1:1 aspect sensor, and in the
viewfinder one could program an overlay for various common print sizes
in landscape or portrait orientations. I would also love it if one
could select for the viewfinder to show some area *outside* the sensor
area, so that I could more easily capture fast moving items when they
are in the sensor area (being able to more easily track their movement
as they approach the sensor view area).

jc
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 11:20:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <hmnc0118hnvv57mkqteli73cca0bninemv@4ax.com>, JC Dill says...
> On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 10:32:09 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"
> <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >Evad wrote:
> >> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
> >>
> >> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
> >>
> >> What do you think?
> >>
> >> Evad
> >
> > 1:1
> >
> > Eliminates the need to turn the camera for vertical vs horizontal. It
> >is also likely to be a good economic use of manufacturing limitations and it
> >makes the best use of the Lens's imaging capabilities out side of a circle.
> >It also eliminates the issues of paper sizes both NA and European.
>
> I would love it if the camera had a 1:1 aspect sensor, and in the
> viewfinder one could program an overlay for various common print sizes
> in landscape or portrait orientations. I would also love it if one
> could select for the viewfinder to show some area *outside* the sensor
> area, so that I could more easily capture fast moving items when they
> are in the sensor area (being able to more easily track their movement
> as they approach the sensor view area).

Actually the aspect ratio is not so important, because you can always
shoot two or more images and combine them with panorama software, and
thus get any aspect ratio you need. Cropping in this case becomes a non-
issue, because you have more resolution than you need anyway.
--

Alfred Molon
------------------------------
Olympus 4040, 5050, 5060, 7070, 8080, E300 forum at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
Olympus 8080 resource - http://myolympus.org/8080/
Anonymous
February 7, 2005 12:07:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

JC Dill wrote:
> On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 10:32:09 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"
> <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Evad wrote:
>>> So what is the ideal aspect ratio?
>>>
>>> Square? 4:3? 16:9? 2.35:1?
>>>
>>> What do you think?
>>>
>>> Evad
>>
>> 1:1
>>
>> Eliminates the need to turn the camera for vertical vs
>> horizontal. It is also likely to be a good economic use of
>> manufacturing limitations and it makes the best use of the Lens's
>> imaging capabilities out side of a circle. It also eliminates the
>> issues of paper sizes both NA and European.
>
> I would love it if the camera had a 1:1 aspect sensor, and in the
> viewfinder one could program an overlay for various common print sizes
> in landscape or portrait orientations. I would also love it if one
> could select for the viewfinder to show some area *outside* the sensor
> area, so that I could more easily capture fast moving items when they
> are in the sensor area (being able to more easily track their movement
> as they approach the sensor view area).
>
> jc

I'll second that idea.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
February 7, 2005 12:26:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Dave Martindale <davem@cs.ubc.ca> wrote:
>Paul J Gans <gans@panix.com> writes:

>>>These choices reduce image size by discarding some of
>>>the sensor output.

>>Yeah, but you can already do that by cropping the picture.

>The difference between cropping in camera and later is the number of
>images you can store in a given size CF card. I don't always shoot RAW
>even when the camera is capable of it, and I wouldn't always shoot
>full-sensor either.

Sure. But again, these are all personal preferences.
There is no "ideal aspect ratio".

And never was, even with film.

---- Paul J. Gans
Anonymous
February 7, 2005 4:30:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Alfred Molon <alfred_molonREMOVE@yahoo.com> writes:

>Actually the aspect ratio is not so important, because you can always
>shoot two or more images and combine them with panorama software, and
>thus get any aspect ratio you need. Cropping in this case becomes a non-
>issue, because you have more resolution than you need anyway.

This only works with stationary subjects. A large number of
photographic subjects require capturing the whole image at once, not as
a mosaic.

Dave
Anonymous
February 7, 2005 11:51:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

JC Dill wrote:
>
> I would love it if the camera had a 1:1 aspect sensor, and in the
> viewfinder one could program an overlay for various common print sizes
> in landscape or portrait orientations. I would also love it if one
> could select for the viewfinder to show some area *outside* the sensor
> area, so that I could more easily capture fast moving items when they
> are in the sensor area (being able to more easily track their movement
> as they approach the sensor view area).
>
> jc
>
>
I agree. The 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 film is nice this way (120 film). There is
also something in this aperture ratio discussion applying to the 'how
many pixels is enough' discussion. Cropping needs some extra pixels. I
would maintain that the ideal aspect ratio depends a lot on the scene
you are shooting. If you only shoot one well defined type of scene, then
maybe you can pre-determine ideal aspect ratio and build it into camera.
Since I shoot a lot of types of pictures, I find I crop a lot, and by
differing aspect ratio.

One of the extreme cases is lakers, the bulk carrier ships on the great
lakes. These are very long, and when shooting from anywhere near the
side need an extreme aspect ratio. However, when getting them head on,
or stern on, something near 1:1 is about right. So I like to have
enough resolution that I feel free to crop a lot.
Anonymous
February 7, 2005 4:40:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 05 Feb 2005 09:15:45 GMT, savidge4@aol.com (Savidge4) wrote:

>>I like the look of 8X10 and 11X14 ratios so the 4:3 made more sense to me.
>>Less thrown away pixels.
>
>HUH? there is not less thrown away pixels in a 8x10 or 11x14 with 4:3 than
>there is 3:2. Either way 3:2 has 4:3 beat by a couple few pixels.
>
>The 4:3 ratio brought down for a 8x10 crop would be 12"x9" Lossing 2 inches in
>height and 1 inch in width.

4:3 would be 10.666" x 8" losing a 0.666" x 8" strip.

>3:2 on the other hand is 12"x8" so there is only a loss of 2 inces in height

3:2 would be 12" x 8" losing a 2" x 8" strip.


For 11x14 (or 14x11):

4:3 would give 14.666" x 11" losing 0.666" x 11" strip.

3:2 would give 16.5" x 11" losing 1.5" x 11" strip.

In both cases, the 4:3 ration would need less cropping.


Regards,
Graham Holden (g-holden AT dircon DOT co DOT uk)
--
There are 10 types of people in the world;
those that understand binary and those that don't.
Anonymous
February 7, 2005 9:44:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <cu6gcj$7pk$1@mughi.cs.ubc.ca>, Dave Martindale says...
> Alfred Molon <alfred_molonREMOVE@yahoo.com> writes:
>
> >Actually the aspect ratio is not so important, because you can always
> >shoot two or more images and combine them with panorama software, and
> >thus get any aspect ratio you need. Cropping in this case becomes a non-
> >issue, because you have more resolution than you need anyway.
>
> This only works with stationary subjects. A large number of
> photographic subjects require capturing the whole image at once, not as
> a mosaic.

You can also take a panorama of a scene containing moving objects. You
just have to make sure when you assemble the panorama that no moving
subject is cut in half between frames and avoid when possible to have it
appearing multiple times in the panorama (although this can be a desired
effect).
--

Alfred Molon
------------------------------
Olympus 4040, 5050, 5060, 7070, 8080, E300 forum at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
Olympus 8080 resource - http://myolympus.org/8080/
Anonymous
February 8, 2005 7:17:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Don Stauffer in Minneapolis <stauffer@usfamily.net> wrote:
>JC Dill wrote:
>>
>> I would love it if the camera had a 1:1 aspect sensor, and in the
>> viewfinder one could program an overlay for various common print sizes
>> in landscape or portrait orientations. I would also love it if one
>> could select for the viewfinder to show some area *outside* the sensor
>> area, so that I could more easily capture fast moving items when they
>> are in the sensor area (being able to more easily track their movement
>> as they approach the sensor view area).
>>
>> jc
>>
>>
>I agree. The 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 film is nice this way (120 film). There is
>also something in this aperture ratio discussion applying to the 'how
>many pixels is enough' discussion. Cropping needs some extra pixels. I
>would maintain that the ideal aspect ratio depends a lot on the scene
>you are shooting. If you only shoot one well defined type of scene, then
>maybe you can pre-determine ideal aspect ratio and build it into camera.
> Since I shoot a lot of types of pictures, I find I crop a lot, and by
>differing aspect ratio.

>One of the extreme cases is lakers, the bulk carrier ships on the great
>lakes. These are very long, and when shooting from anywhere near the
>side need an extreme aspect ratio. However, when getting them head on,
>or stern on, something near 1:1 is about right. So I like to have
>enough resolution that I feel free to crop a lot.

You raise an interesting question. I agree that we need
different aspect ratios for different scenes. But we have
only one sensor.

Now, should that sensor be square and the photographer rely on
cropping, or should it be rectangular (and again rely on some
cropping.)

For me, in terms of what I photograph, a rectangle is best. I
rarely need a square aspect ratio, but I do need verticals and
horizontals. So for me a square sensor would be wasteful.

---- Paul J. Gans
!