Not into the 4:3 aspect ratio.

One thing I’ve learned since shooting micro four thirds… I really don’t like the 4:3 aspect ratio at all. It may have some uses… perhaps for people shots or certain portrait orientated shots, but for landscapes, cityscapes and most street shooting I just can’t work with it. I’ve grown to hate its boxy, dull, motionless character. I have no long 35mm film history that ties me to 3:2 either; I just prefer it.

I think I’m going to switch the GX7 to permanently operate at 3:2 even though it reduces the active pixels to just over 14M. I simply don’t ever use the extra height and would rather compose in the viewfinder than crop during post processing.

I was a little worried about the aspect ratio before moving to M4/3 and it seems my concerns were justified. It’s no big deal, quite a few photographers shoot m4/3 cameras in 3:2 ratio and at least I’ve learned what I do and don’t like.

Maybe at some point in the future I’ll come to appreciate the 4:3 aspect ratio, and in theory a photographer should use whichever aspect ratio is appropriate for the shot… but right now it simply isn’t for me.

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3 thoughts on “Not into the 4:3 aspect ratio.

  1. As a long standing photographer (45 years and counting), I grew up in the darkroom and with Kodachrome, so 3:2 was the ratio I was familiar with. But as I’ve got longer in the tooth I’ve started to completely disregard the size or shape of the image that gets captured. I crop to suit the content and assist the composition. I wonder who dreamed up 3:2, and don’t forget all those images shot on two-and-a-quarter-square or 6:7 or 4×5 plates etc. And few of those formats match up to standard paper sizes. It’s all a bit of a mess really.

    • You’re right of course. My post was a spontaneous rant after cropping yet another image down to 3/2.
      I like to compose in the viewfinder so aspect ratio matters to me. Funnily enough I don’t mind 1:1, the square shape I can work with and compose within. 16:9 is fun too… not easy to get right but can be very cinematic.
      …but I really don’t like the shape of 4/3 at all.

      • Nothing wrong with a spontaneous rant at all! I certainly do square shaped too. I wonder who comes up with these new formats and whether it is purely driven by the requirements of the technology or whether any photographer is consulted on their preferences.

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