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ASPECT RATIO: 16.9 instead of 3.2 under certain conditions

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by roundball, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    ( Wasn't sure where to post this question.....please relocate if needed )

    I’ve gotten into the mindset of playing with / learning about more features on the camera lately and today is "Aspect Ratio Day".
    The Nex-7 default setting is 3.2…..optional choice is 16.9.

    After a little reading I gather that the central area of the image is larger / cropped up so to speak with the 16.9 option...at the sacrifice of losing some perimeter.

    Since I shoot a lot of smaller objects (wildlife, flowers vs. landscapes) I usually end up cropping a lot off around the edges anyway…which of course enlarges the central area of the image as we know. And we also know that a lot of cropping / central area enlargement can sometimes result in degrading IQ a little.

    I’m wondering if switching to the 16.9 aspect ratio…(when shooting ‘objects’ in the center of the frame anyway)…might be of any IQ benefit by not having to do so much cropping after-the-fact.

    Anyone have any knowledge / experience using 16.9 on a 1.5 crop factor camera ?
     
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I'm not sure what you mean by this:

    "After a little reading I gather that the central area of the image is larger / cropped up so to speak with the 16.9 option...at the sacrifice of losing some perimeter."

    You don't gain anything by shooting 16:9. Nothing is "larger." All you're doing by shooting that ratio (as opposed to 3:2) is cropping off some of the top and bottom of the image in camera.

    That ratio is available because that's the standard "letterbox" ratio for HD video. That's fine if the image you're after fits that format. But I've never used it because I don't shoot video, and I want to keep as much of the image circle as I can get. Cropping, if desired, takes almost no time at all.
     
  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    The NEX-7, like almost any other camera, is cropping the sensor output to get to a 16:9 image of 6000 x 3376 px, while the 3:2 image measures 6000 x 4000 px. So the 16:9 setting doesn't give you anything extra in terms of image quality, you might just as well shoot in 3:2 and crop in post. I had the Panasonic GH2, which is one of the very few cameras that has an oversized sensor to avoid resolution loss when changing aspect ratios.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB TalkEmount Regular

    145
    Feb 9, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    Bob
    I made the mistake a few yrs ago of shooting some 16:9 on a trip. The error of my ways became clear when I wanted to make some 16x20 crops for printing and could not get the width of the scene that I desired (you loose ~1/3 of the width of the 16:9 image). Never again...and if I'm looking at a scene that may become a 16x20 print, I try to remember to zoom out a bit even in 3:4.

    I am a fan of 16:9 crops for computer viewing.

    .
     
  5. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Thanks for the replies...here are 2 test shots that should explain what I'm seeing better than my words.
    Just simple test shots shooting a small cluster of 4-5 leaves way out in the edge of the woods behind the house, about centered, just to the left of that big tree.

    AR16.9 then AR3.2.....SOOC, the 16.9 image is larger, sort of cropped up...bottom of the big tree trunk is cut off, top of green branches at top left are cut off, width looks the same.

    IMAGE SHOT AT 16.9
    071516 Aspect Ratio 16.9 DSC00003.

    IMAGE SHOT AT 3.2

    071516 Aspect Ratio 3.2 DSC00004.
     
  6. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    The difference is even more noticeable with a 200mm tele...width is still identical.

    IMAGE SHOT AT 16.9
    DSC00016.JPG
    IMAGE SHOT AT 3.2
    DSC00017.JPG

     
  7. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Well, I suppose we can debate what the word "larger" means, but the objects that appear to be larger within your 16:9 image only "seem" larger. You're not getting any more resolution on those leaves, you're getting exactly the same as in the 3:2 image. If things within the 16:9 frame appear to be larger, it's only because you've lopped off the top and bottom of your image.

    You could crop the image so that only the leaves in the center are visible, and then they'd be REALLY BIG. But they're still only displaying the same number of pixels as in the original 3:2 image. In other words: You don't "gain" anything. Blow both images up to 100% on your screen and you'll be able to see that for yourself.
     
  8. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB TalkEmount Regular

    145
    Feb 9, 2016
    Cincinnati, OH
    Bob
    It seems larger because the 16:9 fills your screen edge to edge in your computer photo viewer. I've noticed this too and is why I often crop.
     
  9. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Right...and with the top & bottom of the 16.9 cut off, the resultant image on my PC seems to expand and still fills up the same amount of screen space as the full scene does at 3.2.
    And when I toggle back and forth between any two test shots, the flip flop of sizes is very noticeable, with the 16.9 appearing to visibly loom up larger / the 3.2 appearing to recede away smaller, etc.

    Without getting into 'pixel-peeping', there doesn't appear to be any IQ loss between test shots at the different ratios...so I was wondering if I have to crop a photo anyway...seems like I'd be having to crop less from a 16.9 (than a 3.2) which might result in a better overall IQ final result...less amount cropped, less possible distortion, etc....dunno.
     
  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    That's the thing: There is NO IQ improvement. Seriously! None whatsoever! All you've done is crop the image in camera as opposed to on your computer. But you're not getting any more resolution (or any other enhancement) on your subject.

    By all means shoot 16:9 if you want to, roundball. But as Ad has already explained, that will not do anything other than crop the image from a 6000 x 4000 image to a 6000 x 3376 image.
     
  11. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    OK, thanks all for the verification
     
  12. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Bill, there is no other operation than the camera cuts off the top and bottom of the image to achieve the 16:9 ratio. This is useful to those who will eventually crop the image to support 16:9, as you'll be able to view and compose at 16:9. That's all, no enhancements. The perceived 'improvement' is simply a slightly larger view due the the viewer's auto-resize operation to show the entire image on screen. Most screens today for better or worst, is standardized at 16:9. So the entire real estate of the screen gets used and the zoom effect of a full screen appears enhanced. If you zoom in at 1:1 you'll see the same pixels for 3:2 and 16:9.
    With Faststone 5.5, in full-screen mode, you can set it up so that left clicking on the image brings up the actual pixels 100% for pixel peeping. Hitting the UP arrow on the keyboard will also display actual pixels (full-sized).

    If you desire a 16:9 image, you can crop with the ratio set to 16:9 and it'll present a guide line box. I prefer to shoot 3:2 to get all the pixels, and selectively crop later my 16:9 image to my liking.
     
  13. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Thanks for that...still poking along the overall learning curve...have read several more articles as well and have seen a number of references to using 16.9 for landscapes and for video
     
  14. rdfisch

    rdfisch TalkEmount Regular

    180
    Nov 13, 2013
    Northern NJ
    Rick
    Cropped yes, larger no. As others have pointed out, using the same lens from the same position will give you identical subject-to-pixel mapping, just a different crop of the subject. There's no such thing as a free lunch.


    Sent from my iPad using TalkEmount mobile app
     
  15. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Apparently that's what I've been seeing.
    Two shots of the same subject...AR3.2 followed by the same shot at AR16.9.
    On my PC, the subject (fencepost bird feeder) seems smaller / more distant in the AR3.2.
    Then appears larger / closer with the top & bottom cropped off in AR16.9.
    The smaller 3.2 fencepost subject actually measures 3.25" on the laptop.
    The larger 16.9 actually measures a full 4".
    But that doesn't appear to be the case when posted here...both measure 3".
    ASPECT RATIO 3.2
    071616 TEST 02_AR3.2.
    ASPECT RATIO 16.9
    071616 TEST 01_AR16.9.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  16. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    That's because the forum software auto-resizes it to suit its optimal size on a browser. It basically starts at the center, and crops away the edges, so you would end up with the same size.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Ahhh...OK, thanks

    Anyway, next sunset or landscape I'm shooting, I'll also shoot some shots in AR/16.9 and see what's what