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Understand the aspect ratio of your digital images

Added on Wednesday 26th of May 2010 02:32 am EST



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I recently made the long awaited switch from film to digital and purchased a digital camera. Now I’m frustrated with the picture sizes. I have web templates set up to fit my film print scans but now my digital prints don’t fit.


Welcome to the digital world! As any convert can attest, the biggest surprise for a photographer switching from film to digital is that the size of the image is different. A 35 mm frame has an aspect ratio of 3:2, while one from a digital camera is typically 4:3. This means that an image from a 35 mm frame is longer than a digital camera shot. Though this is easy to get used to, you should keep it in mind when composing your shots.

The bad news is that you might have to crop out some image information, as shown in Figure A, if you want to print to a standard photo size such as 4 x 6 or 5 x 7, which works out to 4.5 x 6 and 5.25 x 7, respectively. The good news is that there are places that will print true digital size prin...


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