Square Format

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by frankz, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. This could be either a complaint, a simple whine (with no cheese) or a poor attempt at humor, but ...
    I wanted a Hassy for many years and when the used price started getting reasonable I picked up a 500cm off of FleaBay (and numerous other goodies and gadgets for it). After fiddling and diddling it for a number of years, I found I actually like the square format, finding it simpler re: composition once I finally had some practice.
    Since I really don't care for a camera that thinks for me, I began neglecting my 5D MkII and using the Hassy almost exclusively after I purchased a used Imacon back for it - so well, in fact, I sold the original 500cm back to KEH for $7 less than I gave for it and purchased from them a 501cm - I detest anything automatic with a passion - that's probably why I still use, on occasion, a Sinar "P" 8X10 also - just for grins and giggles.
    When looking for the digital back, I noticed everything available for the "V" Hassy had a rectangular sensor rather than square - WHY?? It's nice not having the temptation to turn the camera sideways for a vertical shot - just take care of the square format in Photoshop and make it whatever you want. Finally found a digital back (the I-Express 96C) with a square format and 16 megapixels. It bothered me at first until I saw the 16 MP back did a better and higher quality job than the 21.2 MP Canon 5D with "L" lenses - obviously a product of Mr. Zeiss's glass. My intent is to sell the Canon eventually as it just doesn't cut the mustard anymore.
    Back to the original whine - why in the world would a company make a digital back with a rectangular format as are the "V" series Hassies when most of the "V" users have fallen in love with the square format over the years? I like not turning a camera sideways - if nothing else, it drives the other people crazy to watch!
    Whine over - move along - nothing to see here, folks.
    00blQ1-540928384.jpg
     
  2. For the most part (historically, Kodak being the notable exception), medium format digital back makers did not make their own sensors and had to buy what was available. So if there was no suitable square sensor on the market, there was no digital back with a square sensor. Even today, there's no widely-available 6x6-size sensor; the largest sensors are about 54x40mm (a slight crop relative to even 645 film).
    As you discovered, there were (more than a few) digital backs with square sensors--it's just that the sensors were only 36 or 37mm on a side, and therefore produced a 1.53x crop factor relative to 6x6 film, just like "APS-C"-sensor DSLR's compared to 35mm film. Most people would prefer, say, a 49x37mm sensor over a 37x37mm sensor, even if they usually crop to square. Anyway, the DSLR's got "DX", "EF-S", "DT", etc. lenses (mostly zooms) to restore real wide angles, but the options for Hasselblads were fewer and in some ways less satisfactory. If you liked the 50mm on your 500 or 501 with 6x6 film, now you needed a 33mm (30mm); and if you liked a 38 or 40mm, you were basically out of luck.
    Also, I suspect that part of the reason may be cultural / market-driven: the people who (at least / especially early on) embraced digital backs were not the people who whose artistic sensibilities loved the square format, and the people who really loved the square format were not too interested in digital backs.
     
  3. Frank,
    The reason is only economical. In order to use your lenses like they were intended to be used (specially the wide lenses), most would agree that a croping factor of 1.1 is acceptable but 1.2 or higher becomes a problem.
    With a crop factor of 1.1, a square sensor would have to be about 49mm x 49mm = 2,401 square mm.
    This is huge as far as today's technology is concerned. For example, the sensor of a 60Mpx is 53x40mm= 2120 and any digital back using one costs more than $35K and it is smaller.
    The sensor manufacturers simply thought that the market for square format images could not justify the cost.
    Would you pay $35K for a square sensor on your 501CM?
    Another reason is that the manufacturers can "cheat" with rectangle format. When they say the crop factor is 1.1 (for example), they forget to say that this is in one direction only as the crop factor in the other direction is something like 1.5
    What counts is the area available and it is not possible to "cheat" with the area of a square but it is easy with a rectangle (make it wide and very narrow).
    Cost of manufacturing sensors grows very quickly with the area of the sensor.
    Like you, square is my favorite format, however I am not sure I would pay $35K for a square digital back. The P45 and CFV-50 are expensive enough!
    Finally, remember that the digital backs over 30Mpx are so good that unless you want a wall size enlargement you can use your rectangle sensor and crop the image square, still keeping a very high quality and resolution. Use a simple square mask on your focusing screen for composing.
     
  4. I too appreciate the beauty of a square image. My three cameras in use all are rectangular. As far as a finished crop goes, it all depends on all of the elements properly fitting into the frame so I like it. I do try for a square crop but sometimes have to go for the 4x5 proportions. Admittedly, it would be nice to have a square digital camera sensor so those set dimensions force an in-camera framing choice before the shutter clicks. But at least the wider image, either horizontal or vertical, offers the flexibility of cropping to a standard size that gives the best composition.
    CHEERS...Mathew
     
  5. "why in the world would a company make a digital back with a rectangular format as are the "V" series Hassies when most of the "V" users have fallen in love with the square format over the years?"
    Simply because the V is a 645 format camera.
     
  6. The worst thing is that it screws up your sense of composition, no small thing! If you're like most of us, you worked w/ a 35mm format for many years before going to square. Square is not for everyone, and most people need time to adjust to it, and learn to see in that format. Your brain needs time to stop associating your shots w/ a rectangular image, and more time to see square shots intuitively before you take them. In my case, I finally had to sell my 35mm gear because it was messing me up when I would shoot square. Going back and forth to different formats was not good for my photography. If you put an effective mask in your viewfinder as Paul suggested, that will do the trick I would think.
     
  7. I don't think "it screws up your sense of composition" at all. If anything, it does the contrary!
    If you really are stuck in your compositional skills to what the one frame you're used to imposes on you, you couldn't do anything better than move away from that and start using different formats, with different aspect ratios, to learn how to allow you (not that frame you are used to) to decide how to compose (and what frame to use).
    Being able to go from one format to another allows you to improve your compositional skills, frees them up, and is very good for your photography.

    Learn to think about the subject and how it relates to the space around it, how to use that relation to present it the way that you think suits it, and your purpose, best. Not get stuck with that single frame of reference, that imposes itself on all subjects and the way you can deal with them, and dictates what your photograpy can be.

    If "Your brain needs time to stop associating your shots w/ a rectangular image, and more time to see square shots intuitively before you take them", you need practice. Put away your camera for a while and start looking at things around you (the things themselves, not how they would fit inside a given frame). Do that until you feel comfortable deciding (intuitively) what frame would suit the subject, and not (!) how that subject would fit inside a given format.

    Remember that the aspect ratios cameras produce (and the confection size paper comes in) are arbitrary, and fixed, choices. Choices made completely blind to what subject you could record using them, and what that subject needs, what demands the subject puts on the frame it is going to be put in to be represented effectively.

    When you have learned to take control over composition, it's easy to compose inside a given frame too. Easy to see how a subject could be best 'confined' inside any frame.
     
  8. "Simply because the V is a 645 format camera".
    Well, that's news to me!
    Have to agree with Steve though - constantly changing between formats doesn't help your compositional skills (at least for me) which is the reason I ditched 35mm years ago and concentrated on the square format.
     
  9. @David Smith - There is a back and mask available for the Hassy (the A16 and associated mask) that makes a 645-type format camera out of a "V" series picture-box. I thought I needed one of those some years ago, then wondered to myself "why" the first time I tried to use it - I didn't even run the whole roll of film through it.
    Someone will occasionally have one for sale on FleaBay.
    Byhaps Mr. Watson is thinking of the "H" series camera - no matter - the "V" Hassies were always 2 1/4 inch square format from their inception.
     
  10. Good whine Frank, as whine should be - utterly pointless. The portrait of Alexa that you have attached could be done square, rectangular, round or a cross - doesn't matter- it's the model, light, makeup, hair artists and artistic director that are far more important for success of this type of image.
     
  11. There are people who consider it a 6x4.5 only because that is all of the frame that they use. They either don't know how,
    can't be bothered, don't need to or don't want to use the square. I have been using 6x6 since 1986 and is my absolute
    favorite format, no question. When considering the rectangle, I ask, where's the rest of the frame? To each their own.
     
  12. ?
    Last time I looked I could crop any image to any size or ratio I wanted to. I could even do circular or odd shapes when I felt in the mood.
    'Square' shooters frequently crop(ped) to more rectangular formats anyhow, so this really strikes me as a bogus issue. Unless, that is, you are some kind of purist (I ONLY compose in the camera....).
     
  13. I take transparencies for projection, and rarely crop an image, and so tend to compose to the best of my ability in the camera. So not really a bogus issue for me as I hate cropping slides at the mounting stage.
     
  14. David, I'm presuming, then, that you are not concerned about the lack of square digital sensors, which is what this discussion was about.
    I shot my last roll of Ektachrome in 6x6 on a Rolleiflex in 1976 (just posted scan of one of the slides on the recent No Words thread). You must have an heirloom projector?
     
  15. The 16 MP digital backs for Hasselblad "V" cameras have an image quality equal to small format DSLRs for two reasons: (1) A larger format puts less demands on the optics for resolution, and (2) MF digital backs do not have an anti-aliasing filter. The last is highly significant, because the anti-aliasing filter cuts the resolution approximately in half. That said, subjects with repetitive patterns comparable to the pixel dimensions can produce moire patterns which are difficult or impossible to remove.
    The square format is a feature to accommodate roll film cameras which cannot be easily used turned on one side. Twin lens reflex cameras (e.g., Rolleiflex) and the top-viewing "V" cameras are prime examples. Most people find a rectangular format more pleasing, and square images are nearly always cropped in that manner for printing. Cut film cameras of the same (and earlier) vintage are rectangular, often with a 4:5 aspect ratio. The only place you are likely to see square prints are at Hampton Inns, and perhaps a few art galleries.
    645 cameras quickly dominated the medium format scene, because they are designed to be held vertically or horizontally with equal facility. Viewing is in line, rather than from the top, and the controls are conveniently located. You also get 16 frames per roll, rather than 12. By the time MF digital sensors were built, 645 cameras were more common than square. Hence, that's where the development dollars went. A square digital sensor is a cropped 645 sensor, rather than the other way around. If you want more pixels, it makes sense to put them on a rectangular format, and let "V" camera operators deal with that as best as possible.
     
  16. The only place you are likely to see square prints are at Hampton Inns, and perhaps a few art galleries.​
    Biased much?
    Most people find a rectangular format more pleasing, and square images are nearly always cropped in that manner for printing.​
    I don't think most people are exposed to square prints. I've never heard anyone complain about them. A lot of stuff is printed cropped simply because that's the paper available. Also frames are mostly rectangular. The only square format I am really know that was wide spread was 6x6. Medium format cameras of any kind are pretty rare these days as far as pro stuff is concerned so I doubt a sub culture within medium format is going to find a lot of outlets catering to it. I don't think that says anything about it's aesthetics.
     
  17. Responding strictly to your point in title, and what a great point it is pertaining to why not the square in sensors? When I initially saw, Square in your post, my first response was the working method, taste, preference, way of seeing issue between the square, and the rectangle, as I abandoned the square for the rectangle, with film, because of my obsession to pack a frame, yet the square sensor brings a whole to light to the issue, because of the obvious post processing issue of control, via the D- Capture forward. I vote for a square sensor for Hasselblad...+1 !
     
  18. JDM, You are correct - I wasn't particularly concerned about the lack of square sensors, only about format choice, which was the subject of your previous post - hence my reply.
    I own a second hand projector which was not an heirloom, but purchased from a shop many years ago.
     
  19. People consume an incredible amount of images each day. We are exposed to lots and lots more than prints on a galery wall. With respect, but suggesting that what format prints people might encounter hanging on a gallery wall might be a measure for what people are used to is rather unrealistic (and i chose that word carefully).<br><br>Editors (to use a generic term for whoever it is who decides the format of all those millions of images that are let loose on us each day) apparently do not have that preoccupation with camera formats some photographers have. Just flick through a couple of magazines, advertising brochures etc. and you'll notice that though most images are rectangular (i.e. not round, triangular, skewed etc.) there is a mix of aspect ratios, from the very oblong to square. Yes, the oblong rectangles outnumber the square ones (but not by as much as you might think). But of all those oblongs, there are enough that do not have the aspect ratio that corresponds with one of the few camera formats to see that those 'editors' don't care very much (if at all) about what the cameras produce, but look at the images and their layouts instead. As they should, of course.<br><br>So do not believe that camera formats are what they are because the people who use the images they produce want or need them to be what they are. Even the specialist formats, designed with the format itself as primary concern and goal (panorama and such), will, more often than not, have to be cropped in some way to make the image work (best).<br>Do not think that a camera's format obliges us to make every subject we want to record, or every intended use for the image we are going to produce, conform to it. A camera's format is not in the lead. We (!) are. (And here i would repeat what i wrote earlier. But since i wrote all that earlier... ;-) )<br>Many people, who view and use the images we, and they, produce, know that. It would appear that many people who handle the machines used to produce those images - who are in charge (oh irony...) of the primary decision re best composition and framing - do not.
     
  20. "Simply because the V is a 645 format camera".
    Well, that's news to me!
    Amazing proof there's still some life left here! Thanks, David. Amazing how this slipped by unnoticed.
     
  21. As Q.G. says, most final images are not square. Big digital sensors are expensive, and wasting more of them than necessary is not cost-
    effective. Sometimes you'll want to crop a rectangular image to be squarer or more oblate than the sensor, but by being rectangular already,
    the sensor reduces the waste. The price is having to rotate the camera to frame the short edge where you want it.

    In 6x6, it's usually the lenses that are expensive, especially for a 'blad. Exposing the most film area and getting the best from the lens makes
    sense (though if cropping were as easy as it is now, maybe all lenses would cover less that the whole film and all images would start like a
    circular fish-eye). And I'm not going to argue against some ergonomic and creative benefits of square format (though the only medium
    format camera I own, as opposed to borrowed, is a Pentax 645). But in digital, sensor price is king.

    It's also easier to fit rectangular sensors onto a circular wafer, which helps the cost a bit...
     
  22. While I've seen many beautiful square photographs, I don't especially like that format for my own work. Nevertheless, I love working with 6 X 6 cameras, I usually know when I take a photograph if it will be vertical or horizontal (and have overlays on the focussing screens of my TLR and SLR to mark both formats, so I can compose on the screen) but I really appreciate the possibility of being able to change my mind in the darkroom.
     
  23. Simply because the V is a 645 format camera.
    Remove the back (film or digital) from a V series and take a look at the rear of the camera. You'll see a square opening sealed by the rear shutter. They are a natively square camera, that is also able to accommodate certain other formats. Describing them as a 645 format camera is not technically correct even though they can record 6x45 images with the appropriate film magazine. It is akin to saying the Mamiya RB/RZ series is a 6x6 format camera, simply because a 6x6 back was available for them.
     
  24. Simply because the V is a 645 format camera.
    Brett, for sure C Watson knows that the V are square format cameras. Maybe you need to use them to know what it means... ;)
    At the opposite, the RB/RZ are 6x7 cameras, despite of the film magazine you were using. :)
     
  25. Jose, I've owned a 500C/M for years, and last used it yesterday, don't be so presumptuous. Maybe C Watson needs to avoid making posts that are, by any intelligent interpretation, patently incorrect, and perhaps you need to go back and actually read what I wrote because it is not ambiguous. Nowhere did I say the Mamiyas are a "native" 6x6 format; quite the opposite, in fact.
     
  26. No pun intended... :) This phrase is something like a classic funny tag that has been always said by wedding photographers... "everybody knows the Hasselblads are the best 6x4,5 cameras".
    Maybe because many (if not most!) used to crop their wedding portraits to a classic portrait aspect ratio. Or because their work is finished into vertical magazine sized photo-albums, or maybe because they save on film using the 645 chassis... it could be that the compact size in comparison to 6x7 cameras, they really feel&handle closer to a 645. And 6x6 is the same as 645... with a little crop.
    I understand it is a compliment too, because they prefer to use this 6x6 camera instead of dedicated 645 cameras. There was a time where the Hasselblads were considered the best cameras out there (and they still are for many).
    Anyway, it`s just a trited comment that I have heard -many- times, from wedding photographers that have made a living working with Hasselblad.
     
  27. When looking for the digital back, I noticed everything available for the "V" Hassy had a rectangular sensor rather than square - WHY??​
    Until the past few years, digital back makers rode on the tails of the military/aerospace/medical sensor market. Fairchild, Kodak and Philips/Dalsa made large CCD sensors according to the requirements of those customers, and the medium format companies made do with them. Evidently, not many of those sensor-specifiers wanted large square sensors. The 37x37 mm Kodak KAF-16802 is the largest that made it into a digital back (your Imacon, my Kodak DCS645M, and many others).
    Nowadays, we are told that Dalsa works closely with Phase One to make sensors to their requirements, so a square sensor could in theory be requested. But Phase One have thrown their weight mainly behind 645 platforms (Mamiya which is now part of their group, Hasselblad H1/H2/H4X, and Contax), so that is not at all likely to happen, even though they do still support the Hasselblad V platform too.
    Digital tech-cam users appear to be an increasing portion of the MFD market too, and if they came from the 4x5/5x7/8x10 sheet film area, they too have a preference for a squat rectangular image.
    By the time MF digital sensors were built, 645 cameras were more common than square. Hence, that's where the development dollars went.​
    I'm not sure if 645 cameras (with interchangeable backs) really were more common than 6x6 cameras (with interchangeable backs) at that time. But in terms of dealing with the heavy cropping of digital back sensors wrt the film gate, they were more suited, due to the availability of shorter lens focal lengths, and less viewfinder area cropping. And with AE, AF, focus confirmation, winders, and electronic communication contacts to their film backs, they were certainly more suited to the quick-fire automation that digital backs enabled.
    Here's something I've sometimes pondered. I don't know whether it was good planning or good luck, but moving the film winding motor into the film backs, while retaining the shutter cocking motor in the body, was an ideal preparation for digital backs. The Mamiya 645AF, Contax 645 and Hasselblad H1 all did this. Meanwhile, the Rollei 6008 Integral II and AF, and the Hasselblad ELD, were stuck with a film-winding motor integral to the body even when used with a digital back.
    Again, whether good planning or good luck, adding electronic contacts for passing metadata from the body to the film backs of the modern 645s, so that it could be burnt onto the film rebate or the gap between frames, turned out to be the ideal preparation for relaying EXIF information and control data between the body and a digital back. One can of course still use mechanical cameras with digital backs, but it makes for a less integrated experience. Who'd have thought that a film "databack" facility would be a great digital enabler?
     
  28. For many people displaying square photos, the square is somewhat of a schtick. In fact, I'd almost say that many (not all!) go to very great lengths to prove to the world that they shoot a Hasselblad by including the those two little notches. Maybe Bronica would still be alive if they had a their own little recognizable doodad on the frame....?
    Anyway, including extra area on an image that will ultimately be cropped by the vast majority does have cost in terms of processing speed (the files are that much bigger) and storage capacity.

    What's ironic is that exactly the same argument goes for the modern 3:2 ratio of every DSLR: I'll be the vast majority end up cropping something off the end, so why are they so stubborn about retaining that ratio? The files are bigger, and more processing power and storage space is needed.
     
  29. It can't hurt to remember that maybe not very many have such a strong preoccupation with aspect ratios.<br>;-)
     
  30. Here's something I've sometimes pondered. I don't know whether it was good planning or good luck, but moving the film winding motor into the film backs, while retaining the shutter cocking motor in the body, was an ideal preparation for digital backs. The Mamiya 645AF, Contax 645 and Hasselblad H1 all did this. Meanwhile, the Rollei 6008 Integral II and AF, and the Hasselblad ELD, were stuck with a film-winding motor integral to the body even when used with a digital back.​
    I doubt most Rollei 6008s are used with digital backs. By the way the 6008 does have a rotating motorized 645 back. I own one. It ain't cheap. It is very clear to me why motors are not integrated in other 6008 backs.
    Found a motorized 6x6 magazine for the "new" Rollei Hy6 camera... 1680 Euro including VAT. My initial Rollei 60008 setup didn't cost that much.
    http://photoalps.at/shop/Hy6-Rolleiflex-Leica-Wide-Rollei-Tele-Rollei-28FX-28FX-40-FT-40-FW-Super-Angulon-Biogon-Zeiss-Rollei-Rolleiflex_19
     
  31. I don't know what the advantage would be of moving part of the 'drive' into the magazine.<br>It indeed makes backs more expensive. And what problem does it solve, what's wrong with the mechanical drive from body to back that would make it less suitable for digital backs?
     
  32. I follow the "logic" involved.
    Occasionally I will prefer to crop a 35mm image to a 1:1 ratio. On that basis, I suppose I'd better refer to them as square format cameras from now on.
     
  33. I don't know what the advantage would be of moving part of the 'drive' into the magazine. It indeed makes backs more expensive. And what problem does it solve, what's wrong with the mechanical drive from body to back that would make it less suitable for digital backs?​
    All we know is that all manufacturers developing new interchangeable-back SLRs did it - Contax, Mamiya, Hasselblad, and even Rollei ultimately (with the Hy6).
    The other, older designs are not 'less suitable' for digital backs; they'll work but they are carrying a little extraneous bulk and weight in the form of film transport mechanisms. Actually, the same applies when they have a Polaroid back mounted!
    We can speculate on other reasons why the manufacturers wanted self-contained film backs. One other advantage, perhaps, is that you no longer have exposed gearing at the rear of the body, waiting to mesh with non-existent gearing on the digital back.
    It doesn't seem to me that the inclusion of a motor in a film back jacks up its price by an enormous amount. Jeff gives the Hy6 example, but all new MF gear is shockingly expensive these days. OTOH, used backs with inclusive motors are quite cheap. On KEH, a motorized 120/220 Mamiya 645AFD back costs ~$150 while an older, non-motorized, non-data imprinting, 120-only 645 Pro back costs ~$60. There is a similar ratio between the costs of the corresponding cameras themselves.
     
  34. Hello Ray,<br>Makes sense.<br>Though i never thought of a wind mechanism (needed to cock the camera also, so it's just a cogwheel or two) as a bit of extra bulk and weight (and i'm still not sure whether i should ;-) ).
     
  35. It doesn't seem to me that the inclusion of a motor in a film back jacks up its price by an enormous amount. Jeff gives the Hy6 example, but all new MF gear is shockingly expensive these days.​
    I also gave the example of the older Rollei 456 magazine which I own. I own several magazines and none of them is anywhere near as expensive as the motorized 456 magazine. I got mine as part of a sweet package deal. Someone was asleep when that thing came up for sale. Usually the 456 magazine costs double the price of the non motorized magazine. Even you admit the motorized Mamiya backs cost over 100% more on the used market. You can extrapolate from that what the new price is. The used price is meaningless to manufactures. They have to sell things at the new price to collect the money and cover their costs. They are not interested in taking a loss to subsidies a burgeoning used parts market.
    And it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Hy6 is primarily used for medium format digital and some film mostly. The target market is completely different. I'm sure there are plenty of Hy6s out there that will never see a roll of film. From what I recall the 6x6 back for the Hy6 wasn't even introduced until some time after the camera was on the market. So I guess that tells you what you need to know.
     
  36. Scott Frindel Cole , Jun 24, 2013; 09:55 a.m.
    For many people displaying square photos, the square is somewhat of a schtick. In fact, I'd almost say that many (not all!) go to very great lengths to prove to the world that they shoot a Hasselblad by including the those two little notches. Maybe Bronica would still be alive if they had a their own little recognizable doodad on the frame....?
    Anyway, including extra area on an image that will ultimately be cropped by the vast majority does have cost in terms of processing speed (the files are that much bigger) and storage capacity.

    What's ironic is that exactly the same argument goes for the modern 3:2 ratio of every DSLR: I'll be the vast majority end up cropping something off the end, so why are they so stubborn about retaining that ratio? The files are bigger, and more processing power and storage space is needed.
    + 1 ! !
     
  37. Scott Frindel Cole , Jun 24, 2013; 09:55 a.m.
    For many people displaying square photos, the square is somewhat of a schtick. In fact, I'd almost say that many (not all!) go to very great lengths to prove to the world that they shoot a Hasselblad by including the those two little notches. Maybe Bronica would still be alive if they had a their own little recognizable doodad on the frame....?
    Anyway, including extra area on an image that will ultimately be cropped by the vast majority does have cost in terms of processing speed (the files are that much bigger) and storage capacity.

    What's ironic is that exactly the same argument goes for the modern 3:2 ratio of every DSLR: I'll be the vast majority end up cropping something off the end, so why are they so stubborn about retaining that ratio? The files are bigger, and more processing power and storage space is needed.
    + 1 ! !
     
  38. another vote for square format, both in terms of what i see in the viewfinder and the image that is recorded
    by the sensor.
     
  39. for a couple years i was bicycling around taking environmental and street shots with three cameras: a 35 mm rangefinder [3x2]; rollei and/or yashica 124G [6x6] and a pansonic lumix set on 16x9. for some reason [lack of experience, let's say] i was loathe to crop anything ever, and i was actually seeking out shots based on how the subjects would fit into one of the three aspect ratios.
    you guys probably won't want to talk about it -- but square format made a huge comeback in the last three years because of instagram. like the brownie, a photo sharing innovation of historic importance. and it must have people getting used to the potential of a non-rectangular frame.
     
  40. Since we will probably not be seeing a square format back introduced anytime soon, I bought a Sony RX100 because I still like shooting square, and wanted to do it conveniently.
    No it is not medium format, but it is very good. I would call it Stellar, but Sony is close enough.
     

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