Aspect Ratio and Photography

In this post we are going to talk about aspect ratios. You have probably seen numbers like 5×7,  8×10, and  4×6.  Aspect ratio is the proportion of an image’s height to its width.  Most cameras have the ability to produce images in only one aspect ratio. If you are using a DSLR that ratio is 2:3. This means that the height of the camera’s images is 2/3s of the width.

All consumer DSLR sensors are in the shape of a rectangle. Just remember when people talk about the aspect ratio of a particular camera, they are talking about the dimensions of the DSLR sensor. Newer cameras made by Olympus and Panasonic have an aspect ratio of 4:3.

Most problems with aspect ratio come with large prints. When you start printing sizes of 5×7, 8×10, and 11×17 then the 3:2 aspect ratio becomes a problem. This is because the 3:2 aspect ratio is not equal to any large scale print. These larger images will have a tendency to be cropped.  Here are some common aspect ratios and print sizes.

  • 2:3 – 2×3, 4×6, 8×12, 16×24
  • 4:5 – 4×5, 8×10, 16×20, 24×30

To avoid being cropped when you want to make a bigger print don’t get to close when shooting your photo.  Simply leave the subject some room in the photo.

We hope this helps you to understand aspect ratio, thanks for stopping by.


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