Why are Apple still using 4:3 aspect ratio for the camera?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sjdigital, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. sjdigital macrumors regular

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    #1
    I'm surprised to find that the camera in the iPhone 4 still uses a sensor with the out dated 4:3 aspect ratio that dates back to when computer monitors were 800 x 600, even though the screen is actually a 3:2 aspect ratio. So what you see isn't actually what you get and when the pictures are viewed on a modern computer monitor or TV they look very different to what you see on the screen of the phone. Surely in this day and age it would have made more sense to have gone for a 3:2 aspect sensor (the same as DLSRs) which would produce pictures that would look much better on a monitor or TV. And making prints would be so much easier as well since every photo lab in the world can print 6" x 4" or 15cm x 10cm.
     
  2. hcho3 macrumors 68030

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    #2
    It's probably because apple has another objective. Apple Ipad will include camera. Ipad is 4:3 ratio.
     
  3. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

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    #3
    If you want to get technical, then digital photos should be square because the image that camera lenses project onto the sensor are spheres. The reason that they aren't square is a holdover from film days and the fact that monitors are not square.

    Cropping photos is nothing new. It has always been done for newspapers and magazines since the film era.
     
  4. eng42ine macrumors 68000

    eng42ine

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    #4
    .....wut

    Relevance anyone?
     
  5. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    It's funny you say that, because in the world of digital photography, it's the 3:2 aspect ratio used in 35 mm film that's the outdated format. (And was in turn an adaptation of the even older 70mm format.) Several companies have built new, from-the-ground-up-for-digital DSLRs using a 4:3 ratio.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Thirds_system

    Seems like most of the computer monitors these days use a 16:10 ratio, TV's use 16:9, and I would NOT want my camera sensor to be limited to those.

    Personally, I'd like a sensor with 1:1 aspect ratio to get the largest coverage of my lenses' image, and then I'd be able to crop it down to anything I'd like. No worrying about tilting the camera sideways, either.
     
  6. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Lots of interesting comments, guys. Thanks. Just goes to show how we all have a different take on these things. Interesting idea to have a square format - just like the old 2 1/4 square format of Rolleicords and Hassleblads. Much to be said for it indeed.
     
  7. err404 macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Just crop it an to 16:9 and move on.

    I love the idea of being 1:1 internally since a device like the iPhone is often used in both landscape and portrait orientations.
     
  8. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    It's not a matter of 'move on'. It's simply that it makes no sense to have an image size that doesn't fit well with monitor, TV or printing. If I want to start cropping images, etc., then I'll use a proper camera. But I use my iPhone camera for fun or for casual pictures that I'll view on a screen of one sort or another and none of them, including the iPhone itself, actually match the aspect ratio of the image. That seems weird to me. Of course YMMV!
     
  9. NikeTalk macrumors 6502a

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  10. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #10

    Screens can be 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, 16:10 - although the widescreen is more common, the 4:3 is still pretty common in digital picture frames.

    Typical Print ratios are 3:2, 7:5, and 5:4 - these are important since they're the sizes of the usual picture frames and precut mats.


    That's six different ratios, all in common use. Any one you pick will force cropping or sidebars on the others. It's pretty easy to remember to allow a bit of cropping room when taking photos anyway, so I personally don't see it as a big deal whether the aspect ratio is 3:2 or 4:3.
     
  11. err404 macrumors 68020

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    #11
    As you get further away from square 1:1 you forgo more quality from your optics. Assuming you are maintaining the same megapixels, you get less light to each pixel on your sensor and require more precision to properly focus. This may not be a big deal for larger format camera, but on a sensor sized for a phone you will get a less focused image with worse low light performance by using wide-screen formats.
    Think of it this way; you get the extra lines from the 4/3 format for essential no extra cost, why not use them?
     
  12. vizkiz macrumors 6502a

    vizkiz

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    #12
    The grey bar with the shutter and other stuff in it takes up 106 pixels on the screen, making the camera image screen 854x640. 4:3 would be 854x640.5 or 640x853.333. It's actually close enough to 4:3 that when you're taking a picture, what you see is what you get in the image. And if you're talking about after taking a picture, in the camera roll, then you still see just about the whole image and can pinch to see the full image (with black bars).
    And I've never had a problem with the pictures on my phone looking different on my computer, other than black bars on the sides because of the different aspect ratio.
     

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