4:3 ratio???

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by rmh159, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    I was wondering if anyone can tell me what the origin of the 4:3 ratio is why digital cams use them when traditional film is 2:3. I'm 90% sure I know the answer but I want to verify.
     
  2. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones TPF Noob!

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    Television screens.
     
  3. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    So you're saying they designed the cam to take pics that would only be displayed on a TV screen? You're on the right path...

    If what I'm thinking is correct the 4:3 wasn't done by choice as a benefit to consumers.

    I don't want to dangle the carrot but if I just say the reason I'm thinking of I don't want people to just agree cuz it sounds good. Not that I don't trust you :greenpbl:

     
  4. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Most of us can only guess, but I would say that manufacturers figured that people would want to display the images somehow without downloading them, and the TV is perfect for that. It's a selling point, and they wouldn't get support calls asking why there were black bars on the top and bottom.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you go back before 35mm film was the norm...there were several different aspect ratios that were prevalent.

    The weird thing to me, is that the current "standard" 2:3 ratio does not match standard picture frame sizes like 5x7 and 8x10.
     
  6. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    True. 8x10s used to be made as contact prints from glass plate negatives. 4x5 uses the same ratio. Medium format has 6x6, 6x7, and 6x9 (which matches 4x6). It used to annoy me that frame and matte availability never caught up with the intro of 35mm, but then I started getting my stuff made to the print.
     
  7. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    in the very early days of digital, shock I actually looked at it early on, almost all cameras came with a tv cord to show them right on the tv maybe that had something to do with it.

    Most likely there is no logical reason for it at all. It was probably the size the chip maker decided on. For no good reason other than he had a lot of blanks laying about.

    And marc in the very early days of 35mm vs med format struggle nobody took a 35mm photographers serious enough to think him worthy of making precut anything for. We all had to just shoot for 8x10 which always irritated everyone I know.
     
  8. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    'Traditional' film is also 6x6cm and a whole host of Kodak dimensions tied to 620 and 127 roll film.

    Once you start cutting your own mattes [It's easy!], you can kick the sides out of the box and compose to whatever ratio strikes your fancy.
     
  9. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I have some cameras that originally shot 4x5 roll film and a lot more that shot 3.5 by 5 inch. Kodak has always made and discontinued film to sell cameras. More early Kodaks were obsoleted than worn out. My favorite is the 2.5 by 4.25 odd sized little devil but the lens is perfect for 3x4 cut film adaptations
     
  10. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Alright I'll kill the suspense (haha assuming anyone even cares at this point).

    What I had heard was that the sensors used to make the first digital cameras were so expensive (Wikipedia.com says the first digital cam was around $20,000 and I beleive around 75% of the cost of the camera is the sensor) that companies pulled the sensors from video cameras since original digitals were basically video cameras that could capture still images. Video was shot at 4:3 to fit on standard size screens.

    I would assume if that's correct that the logic would still hold true because it would be too costly (and unnecessary) for a company to produce sensors that capture different ratios.
     
  11. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    makes perfect sense, and I had a sony mavarica (sp) or whatever that was a still video camera .

    Note this quote from above lol

    Most likely there is no logical reason for it at all. It was probably the size the chip maker decided on. For no good reason other than he had a lot of blanks laying about.

    a pretty close guess....

     
  12. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Hahaha true true. I read as well that the cost of sensors is dropping a bit so companies can start to make dSLR's with an electronic viewfinder (like the P&S cams) by using a high MP for the sensor that takes the pic and a low MP sensor that the mirror reflects onto that would be tied to the LCD. Interesting stuff.
     

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