Olympus selectable 1:1.5 and 16:9 aspect ratios?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by fast_primes, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. I initially had a mild qualm about going micro 4/3rds because the 4:3 aspect ration isn't my favorite, but I've just learned that Olympus (and I presume Panny, Fuji and others do also) has the ability to select other aspect ratios:

    So how does this work in practice--particularly the 1:1.5 and 16:9 choices? What does one see in the viewfinder to delineate the selected aspect ratio?

    How does crop factor change?

    How does the available megapixel count change?

    Is there sufficient resolution to generate stills or video to fit a 4K TV display?
  2. lwg


    So how does this work in practice--particularly the 1:1.5 and 16:9 choices? What does one see in the viewfinder to delineate the selected aspect ratio?​
    Using an electronic view finder you see the image with the selected aspect ratio in the viewfinder, and none of the area that is cropped off. I'm not sure how the hybrid finder cameras like the Fuji XPro 1 handles this.
    How does crop factor change?​
    It changes a little, but it really depends on how you consider it. For example going from 4x3 to 16x9 will crop the top and bottom off the image. So the image is just as wide, but not as tall. Going to 1:1 the image is as tall, but not as wide. The exceptions are the Panasonic cameras that don't use the full sensor and generally keep the pixel count the same. In that case there is less of a "crop factor" change. Don't get concerned about it is my advice.
    How does the available megapixel count change?​
    It goes down since you are cropping (throwing away) pixels away. Again the Panasonic cameras are slightly different in that they always crop, so there isn't as much difference when the aspect ratio is switched.
    Is there sufficient resolution to generate stills or video to fit a 4K TV display?​
    4K is only an 8MP image, so there should be plenty of resolution for a nice image on a 4K TV.
  3. I thought I'd like those cropping modes when I went to ยต43, but I prefer to crop after the fact. And if you're printing to 5 x 7, 4 x 6, 8 x 10, 4 x 3 is NOT a bad place to start anyway. In fact, I like shooting at 4 x 3 better than I thought I would.
  4. 16:9 is for HD video. I see no advantage to using it for still shots, unless you are making video slide shows. The image itself is cropped, not just the viewfinder. When you switch to video, the aspect ratio is automatically adjusted to 16:9 for HD and 4:3 for SD.
  5. I used an Olympus EPL-1 MFT camera on my trip last year to Hawaii. I shot stills in 4:3 but used 16:9 HD video for short clips.
    I then created a DVD show for my HDTV that combined the stills with the video clips. Since the formats changed, I re-cropped all the photos to 16:9 so it wouldn't look weird when I showed it with both video and stills. Everything matched; the whole HDTV screen was filled up. Of course, cropping after the fact made some of the pictures not look right aesthetically. When you shoot to a crop of 4:3 and then crop in the computer to 16:9, you may lose parts of people or scenes that make the final not look as good as the original 4:3. If you want the final to be 16:9, then shoot the camera set for 16:9.
    Regarding 8K UHDTV, while stills can easily meet the 8MB UHDTV 4K display, unless the camera's video is a true UHDTV 8K, you'll only get the 1080 HDTV 2MB.
  6. If you absolutely dislike the 4:3 aspect ratio, I advise you not to consider a micro 4/3 camera. Changing the format from its native format is not the way to go from a practical point of view....why bother I am thinking. It become a compromise no matter how you look at it, right?

    Sounds, if I read your taste in aspect ratio fully, like you would really be happier and more productive in long run with the APS-C size that you have become familiar with, (which has fine cameras to offer in mirrorless styles).
    Unless there is some compelling reason you wish to go to micro 4/3 that lead you to this forum. For movies, we shoot in what looks right on a TV. For all else I stick to 4:3 and then crop to what looks right later on. I get all the pixels the sensor can provide without needing to make changes depending on subject. I can visualize a wide landscape without lines or change in the finder...that is me, no the whole world, because you can have lines in the finder as well.

    I obviously like that format from the get go, coming from square format medium size camera and 35mm which I always cropped down from the long frame anyway. I find 4:3 just great from the get go. And it has become instinctive to crop from it so smaller sensor is fine with me for what I do. Lots of options in " not 4:3" to make your day. Think about it.

    PS: Cameras with 4K resolution obviously meet that standard. For my micro four thirds the HD TV resolution is fine. Video uses less pixels per frame from what I know of frame rates and sizes per frame. And 4K upscales anyway I am told. Bottom line is I think that part is not going to be a serious issue. If video is OTOH a main concern, you would be looking at a Panasonic model like the GH4 and its brand competition coming on line. I expect Sony has come up as well with video frame per second rates,resoluton, and the like that are aimed to serious video shooters for 4K evolving standard. Or hybrid shooters in fact.

    So many cameras and they are all competing with tweaks and features. Some of which matter and some are to get a jump on competitors. But all do the job. I am sure to satisfy all things being equal meaning other issues like lens choices.

    I trust some who shoot 4K and non 4K video and show them on new UHD TVs (not all I have read are that evolved per Consumer Reports if you believe them) will report their experience....I have none in that realm. Yet. I am happy with my 7 year old Viera HD TV which is great.
  7. FYI Panasonic GH2 which I have is...
    4:3 4608x3456
    3:2 4752x3168
    16:9 4978x2800
    1:1 3456x3456
    Over the years I have used most formats and as I change cameras I have composed to utilize as much of the negative as possible but with the GH2 she remains in 4:3 with absolutely no thoughts of changing ... cropping being done to suit the subject in editing when the camera format didn't suit :) When I want a panorama it usually comes from two or more overlapping frames compiled in my editor, but that is rare these days.
  8. Fuji X-Pro1
    Olympus E-p3 and E-P1
    Canon G15
    Canon G11
    Canon G5

    For still shots, I use the aspect ratio that does not involve in-camera cropping.
    For the Olympus and Canon, that is the 4:3 ratio.
    For the X-Pro1, that is the 3:2 ratio.
    For video, I use whatever is available.

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