Aspect ratio (image)

Last updated
Common image aspect ratios
1:1
Square. Used in some social networks, and in few devices.
1.2:1 (6:5)
Fox Movietone aspect ratio
1.25:1 (5:4)
Early television & large-format computer monitors
1.3:1 (4:3)
Traditional television & computer monitor standard
1.375:1 (11:8)
Academy standard film aspect ratio
1.43:1
IMAX motion picture film format
1.5:1 (3:2)
Classic 35 mm still photographic film
1.56:1 (14:9)
Used to create an acceptable picture on both 4:3 and 16:9 televisions
1.6:1 (16:10)
A common computer screen ratio
1.6180:1 (:1)
The golden ratio
1.6:1 (5:3)
A common European widescreen standard; Paramount format; [1] native Super 16 mm film
1.7:1 (16:9)
HD video standard; US & UK digital broadcast TV standard
1.9:1
DCI standard for 4K & 2K; Digital IMAX
2.2:1
Standard 70mm film
2.35:1, 2.39:1 or 2.4:1
A current widescreen cinema standard
2.414:1 (δS:1)
The silver ratio
3.5:1 or 3.6:1 (32:9 or 18:5)
Super Ultrawide, Ultra-WideScreen 3.6
4:1
Used only in Napoléon (1927)

The aspect ratio of an image describes the proportional relationship between its width and its height. It is commonly expressed as two numbers separated by a colon, as in 16:9. For an x:y aspect ratio, no matter how big or small the image is, if the width is divided into x units of equal length and the height is measured using this same length unit, the height will be measured to be y units.

Contents

For example, in a group of images that all have an aspect ratio of 16:9, one image might be 16 inches wide and 9 inches high, another 16 centimeters wide and 9 centimeters high, and a third might be 8 yards wide and 4.5 yards high. Thus, aspect ratio concerns the relationship of the width to the height, not an image's actual size.

16:9 aspect ratio aspect ratio with a width of 16 units and height of 9 units

16:9 (1.77:1 = 42:32) is an aspect ratio with a width of 16 units and height of 9.

Some common examples

The most common aspect ratios used today in the presentation of films in cinemas are 1.85:1 and 2.39:1. [2] Two common videographic aspect ratios are 4:3 (1.3:1), [lower-alpha 1] the universal video format of the 20th century, and 16:9 (1.7:1), universal for high-definition television and European digital television. Other cinema and video aspect ratios exist, but are used infrequently.

Film Sequence of images that give the impression of movement

Film, also called movie or motion picture, is a visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty or atmosphere by the means of recorded or programmed moving images along with other sensory stimulations. The word "cinema", short for cinematography, is often used to refer to filmmaking and the film industry, and to the art form that is the result of it.

Videography process of capturing moving images on electronic media

Videography refers to the process of capturing moving images on electronic media and even streaming media. The term includes methods of video production and post-production. It could be considered the video equivalent of cinematography. The advent of digital video recording in the late 20th century blurred the distinction between videography and cinematography, as in both methods the intermittent mechanism became the same. Nowadays, any video work outside commercial motion picture production could be called videography. A videographer is a person who works in the field of videography and/or video production. News broadcasting relies heavily on live television where videographers engage in electronic news gathering (ENG) of local news stories.

High-definition television (HDTV) is a television system providing an image resolution that is of substantially higher resolution than that of standard-definition television. This can be either analog or digital. HDTV is the current standard video format used in most broadcasts: terrestrial broadcast television, cable television, satellite television, Blu-rays, and streaming video.

In still camera photography, the most common aspect ratios are 4:3, 3:2, and more recently found in consumer cameras, 16:9. [3] Other aspect ratios, such as 5:3, 5:4, and 1:1 (square format), are used in photography as well, particularly in medium format and large format.

Medium format photographic cameras with an aspect ratio in the range of about four to ten centimeters edge length

Medium format has traditionally referred to a film format in still photography and the related cameras and equipment that use film. Nowadays, the term applies to film and digital cameras that record images on media larger than 24 mm × 36 mm (full-frame), but smaller than 4 in × 5 in.

Large format imaging format of 4×5 inches or larger

Large format refers to any imaging format of 4×5 inches (102×127 mm) or larger. Large format is larger than "medium format", the 6×6 cm or 6×9 cm size of Hasselblad, Mamiya, Rollei, Kowa, and Pentax cameras, and much larger than the 24×36 mm (0.95×1.42 inch) frame of 35 mm format.

With television, DVD and Blu-ray Disc, converting formats of unequal ratios is achieved by enlarging the original image to fill the receiving format's display area and cutting off any excess picture information (zooming and cropping), by adding horizontal mattes (letterboxing) or vertical mattes (pillarboxing) to retain the original format's aspect ratio, by stretching (hence distorting) the image to fill the receiving format's ratio, or by scaling by different factors in both directions, possibly scaling by a different factor in the center and at the edges (as in Wide Zoom mode).

DVD Optical disc

DVD is a digital optical disc storage format invented and developed in 1995. The medium can store any kind of digital data and is widely used for software and other computer files as well as video programs watched using DVD players. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs while having the same dimensions.

Digital zoom

Digital zoom is a method of decreasing the apparent angle of view of a digital photographic or video image. Digital zoom is accomplished by cropping an image down to a centered area with the same aspect ratio as the original, and usually also interpolating the result back up to the pixel dimensions of the original. It is accomplished electronically, with no adjustment of the camera's optics, and no optical resolution is gained in the process.

Pillarbox Video formatting effect

The pillarbox effect occurs in widescreen video displays when black bars are placed on the sides of the image. It becomes necessary when film or video that was not originally designed for widescreen is shown on a widescreen display, or a narrower widescreen image is displayed within a wider aspect ratio, such as a 16:9 image in a 2.39:1 frame. The original material is shrunk and placed in the middle of the widescreen frame.

Practical limitations

In motion picture formats, the physical size of the film area between the sprocket perforations determines the image's size. The universal standard (established by William Dickson and Thomas Edison in 1892) is a frame that is four perforations high. The film itself is 35 mm wide (1.38 in), but the area between the perforations is 24.89 mm × 18.67 mm (0.980 in × 0.735 in), leaving the de facto ratio of 4:3, or 1.3:1. [4]

Sprocket

A sprocket or sprocket-wheel is a profiled wheel with teeth, or cogs, that mesh with a chain, track or other perforated or indented material. The name 'sprocket' applies generally to any wheel upon which radial projections engage a chain passing over it. It is distinguished from a gear in that sprockets are never meshed together directly, and differs from a pulley in that sprockets have teeth and pulleys are smooth.

William Kennedy Dickson Scottish photographer and inventor of motion picture cameras

William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson was a Scottish inventor who devised an early motion picture camera under the employment of Thomas Edison.

Thomas Edison American inventor and businessman

Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, have had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of organized science and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He established the first industrial research laboratory.

With a space designated for the standard optical soundtrack, and the frame size reduced to maintain an image that is wider than tall, this resulted in the Academy aperture of 22 mm × 16 mm (0.866 in × 0.630 in) or 1.375:1 aspect ratio.

Sound-on-film Class of sound film processes

Sound-on-film is a class of sound film processes where the sound accompanying a picture is recorded onto photographic film, usually, but not always, the same strip of film carrying the picture. Sound-on-film processes can either record an analog sound track or digital sound track, and may record the signal either optically or magnetically. Earlier technologies were sound-on-disc, meaning the film's soundtrack would be on a separate phonograph record.

Academy ratio Aspect ratio with a width of 1.37 units and height of 1

The Academy ratio of 1.375:1 is an aspect ratio of a frame of 35mm film when used with 4-perf pulldown. It was standardized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the standard film aspect ratio in 1932, although similar-sized ratios were used as early as 1928.

Cinema terminology

The motion picture industry convention assigns a value of 1.0 to the image's height; an anamorphic frame (since 1970, 2.39:1) is often incorrectly described (rounded) as 2.40:1 or 2.40 ("two-four-oh"). After 1952, a number of aspect ratios were experimented with for anamorphic productions, including 2.66:1 and 2.55:1. [5] A SMPTE specification for anamorphic projection from 1957 (PH22.106-1957) finally standardized the aperture to 2.35:1. [5] An update in 1970 (PH22.106-1971) changed the aspect ratio to 2.39:1 in order to make splices less noticeable. [5] This aspect ratio of 2.39:1 was confirmed by the most recent revision from August 1993 (SMPTE 195-1993). [5]

In American cinemas, the common projection ratios are 1.85:1 and 2.39:1. Some European countries have 1.6:1 as the wide screen standard. The "Academy ratio" of 1.375:1 was used for all cinema films in the sound era until 1953 (with the release of George Stevens' Shane in 1.6:1). During that time, television, which had a similar aspect ratio of 1.3:1, became a perceived threat to movie studios. Hollywood responded by creating a large number of wide-screen formats: CinemaScope (up to 2.6:1), Todd-AO (2.20:1), and VistaVision (initially 1.50:1, now 1.6:1 to 2.00:1) to name just a few. The "flat" 1.85:1 aspect ratio was introduced in May 1953, and became one of the most common cinema projection standards in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The goal of these various lenses and aspect ratios was to capture as much of the frame as possible, onto as large an area of the film as possible, in order to fully utilize the film being used. Some of the aspect ratios were chosen to utilize smaller film sizes in order to save film costs while other aspect ratios were chosen to use larger film sizes in order to produce a wider higher resolution image. In either case the image was squeezed horizontally to fit the film's frame size and avoid any unused film area. [6]

Movie camera systems

Development of various film camera systems must ultimately cater to the placement of the frame in relation to the lateral constraints of the perforations and the optical soundtrack area. One clever wide screen alternative, VistaVision, used standard 35 mm film running sideways through the camera gate, so that the sprocket holes were above and below frame, allowing a larger horizontal negative size per frame as only the vertical size was now restricted by the perforations. There were even a limited number of projectors constructed to also run the print-film horizontally. Generally, however, the 1.50:1 ratio of the initial VistaVision image was optically converted to a vertical print (on standard four-perforation 35 mm film) to show with the standard projectors available at theaters, and was then masked in the projector to the US standard of 1.85:1. The format was briefly revived by Lucasfilm in the late 1970s for special effects work that required larger negative size (due to image degradation from the optical printing steps necessary to make multi-layer composites). It went into obsolescence largely due to better cameras, lenses, and film stocks available to standard four-perforation formats, in addition to increased lab costs of making prints in comparison to more standard vertical processes. (The horizontal process was also adapted to 70 mm film by IMAX, which was first shown at the Osaka '70 Worlds Fair.)

Super 16 mm film was frequently used for television production due to its lower cost, lack of need for soundtrack space on the film itself (as it is not projected but rather transferred to video), and aspect ratio similar to 16:9 (the native ratio of Super 16 mm is 15:9). It also can be blown up to 35 mm for theatrical release and therefore is sometimes used for feature films.

Current video standards

1:1 (Square)

Square displays are rarely used in devices [7] [8] and monitors. [9] Nonetheless, video consumption on social apps has grown rapidly and led to the emergence of new video formats more suited to mobile devices that can be held in horizontal and vertical orientations. In that sense, square video was popularized by mobile apps such as Instagram and has since been supported by other major social platforms including Facebook and Twitter. It can fill nearly twice as much screen space compared to 16:9 format (when the device is held differently while viewing from how video was recorded).

4:3 standard

4:3 (1.3:1) (generally read as "Four-Three", "Four-by-Three", or "Four-to-Three") for standard television has been in use since the invention of moving picture cameras and many computer monitors used to employ the same aspect ratio. 4:3 was the aspect ratio used for 35 mm films in the silent era. It is also very close to the 1.375:1 Academy ratio, defined by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a standard after the advent of optical sound-on-film. By having TV match this aspect ratio, movies originally photographed on 35 mm film could be satisfactorily viewed on TV in the early days of the medium (i.e. the 1940s and the 1950s).

With the adoption of high definition television, the majority of modern televisions are now produced with 16:9 displays instead. Apple's iPad series of tablets, however, continue to use 4:3 displays (despite other Apple products typically using widescreen aspect ratios) to better suit use as an e-reader. [10]

16:9 standard

16:9 (1.7:1) (generally named as "Sixteen-by-Nine", "Sixteen-Nine", and "Sixteen-to-Nine") is the international standard format of HDTV, non-HD digital television and analog widescreen television PALplus. Japan's Hi-Vision originally started with a 5:3 (= 15:9) ratio but converted when the international standards group introduced a wider ratio of 5⅓ to 3 (= 16:9). Many digital video cameras have the capability to record in 16:9 (= 42:32), and 16:9 is the only widescreen aspect ratio natively supported by the DVD standard. DVD producers can also choose to show even wider ratios such as 1.85:1 and 2.39:1 [2] within the 16:9 DVD frame by hard matting or adding black bars within the image itself. However, it was used often in British TVs in the United Kingdom in the 1990s.

1.85:1

When cinema attendance dropped, Hollywood created widescreen aspect ratios in order to differentiate the film industry from TV, with one of the most common being the 1.85:1 ratio. [11]

2:1

The 2:1 aspect ratio was first used in the 1950s for the RKO Superscope format. [12] [13]

Since 1998, cinematographer Vittorio Storaro has advocated for a format named "Univisium" that uses a 2:1 format. [14] It is designed to be a compromise between the cinema 2.39:1 aspect ratio and the HD-TV broadcast 16:9 ratio. Univisium has gained little traction in the theatrical film market, but has recently been used by Netflix and Amazon Video for productions such as House of Cards and Transparent , respectively. This aspect ratio is standard on the acquisition formats mandated by these content platforms and is not necessarily a creative choice. [15]

Moreover, some mobile devices, such as the LG G6, LG V30, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Google Pixel 2 XL, OnePlus 5T and Sony Xperia XZ3, are embracing the 2:1 format (advertised as 18:9), as well as the Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with a slightly similar 18.5:9 format. [16] [17] The Apple iPhone X also has a similar screen ratio of 19.5:9 (2.16:1).

2.35:1 and 2.39:1

Anamorphic format is the cinematography technique of shooting a widescreen picture on standard 35 mm film or other visual recording media with a non-widescreen native aspect ratio. When projected, image have an approximated 2.35:1 or 2.39:1 (often rounded to 2.4:1) aspect ratio. "21:9 aspect ratio" is actually 64:27 (= 43:33), or approximately 2.37:1, and is a near both cinematic movie aspect ratios.

Mobile devices are now starting to use the 21:9 format, such as the Sony Xperia 1.

Vertical video

Another trend arising from the massive use of smartphones is Vertical video (9:16), that is intended for viewing in portrait mode. It was popularized by Snapchat and is also now being adopted by Twitter and Facebook. Instagram stories are based on this aspect ratio as well.

Obtaining height, width, and area of the screen

Often, screen specifications are given by their diagonal length. The following formulae can be used to find the height (h), width (w) and area (A), where r stands for ratio, written as a fraction, and d for diagonal length.

Distinctions

This article primarily addresses the aspect ratio of images as displayed, which is more formally referred to as the display aspect ratio (DAR). In digital images, there is a distinction with the storage aspect ratio (SAR), which is the ratio of pixel dimensions. If an image is displayed with square pixels, then these ratios agree; if not, then non-square, "rectangular" pixels are used, and these ratios disagree. The aspect ratio of the pixels themselves is known as the pixel aspect ratio (PAR) – for square pixels this is 1:1 – and these are related by the identity:

SAR × PAR = DAR.

Rearranging (solving for PAR) yields:

PAR = DAR/SAR.

For example, a 640 × 480 VGA image has a SAR of 640/480 = 4:3, and if displayed on a 4:3 display (DAR = 4:3), has square pixels, hence a PAR of 1:1. By contrast, a 720 × 576 D-1 PAL image has a SAR of 720/576 = 5:4, but is displayed on a 4:3 display (DAR = 4:3), so by this formula it would have a PAR of (4:3)/(5:4) = 16:15.

However, because standard definition digital video was originally based on digitally sampling analog television, the 720 horizontal pixels actually capture a slightly wider image to avoid loss of the original analog picture. In actual images, these extra pixels are often partly or entirely black, as only the center 704 horizontal pixels carry actual 4:3 or 16:9 image. Hence, the actual pixel aspect ratio for PAL video is a little different from that given by the formula, specifically 12:11 for PAL and 10:11 for NTSC. For consistency, the same effective pixel aspect ratios are used even for standard definition digital video originated in digital form rather than converted from analog. For more details refer to the main article.

In analog images such as film there is no notion of pixel, nor notion of SAR or PAR, and "aspect ratio" refers unambiguously to DAR. Actual displays do not generally have non-square pixels, though digital sensors might; they are rather a mathematical abstraction used in resampling images to convert between resolutions.

Non-square pixels arise often in early digital TV standards, related to digitalization of analog TV signals – whose horizontal and vertical resolutions differ and are thus best described by non-square pixels – and also in some digital videocameras and computer display modes, such as Color Graphics Adapter (CGA). Today they arise particularly in transcoding between resolutions with different SARs.

DAR is also known as image aspect ratio and picture aspect ratio, though the latter can be confused with pixel aspect ratio.

Visual comparisons

Comparing two different aspect ratios poses some subtleties – when comparing two aspect ratios, one may compare images with equal height, equal width, equal diagonal, or equal area. More amorphous questions include whether particular subject matter has a natural aspect ratio (panoramas being wide, full-length images of people being tall), or whether a particular ratio is more or less aesthetically pleasing, for example the golden ratio (~1.618).

Televisions and other displays typically list their size by their diagonal. Given the same diagonal, a 4:3 screen has more area compared to 16:9. For CRT-based technology, an aspect ratio that is closer to square is cheaper to manufacture. The same is true for projectors, and other optical devices such as cameras, camcorders, etc. For LCD and plasma displays, however, the cost is more related to the area. Producing wider and shorter screens can yield the same advertised diagonal, but with less area.

The following compares crops of an image at 4:3 and 16:9 ratios, with different dimensions set equal. Note that either image (or both) can be cropped; one aspect doesn't necessarily show more detail than the other.

4:3 (1.3:1) Aspect ratio 4 3 example.jpg
4:3 (1.3:1)
16:9 (1.7:1) Aspect ratio 16 9 example3.jpg
16:9 (1.7:1)
4:3 (1.3:1) Aspect ratio 4 3 example4.jpg
4:3 (1.3:1)
16:9 (1.7:1) Aspect ratio 16 9 example4.jpg
16:9 (1.7:1)
4:3 (1.3:1) Aspect ratio 4 3 example.jpg
4:3 (1.3:1)
16:9 (1.7:1) Aspect ratio 16 9 example.jpg
16:9 (1.7:1)
4:3 (1.3:1) Aspect ratio 4 3 example.jpg
4:3 (1.3:1)
16:9 (1.7:1) Aspect ratio 16 9 example2.jpg
16:9 (1.7:1)

Previous and currently used aspect ratios

See list of common resolutions for a listing of computer resolutions and aspect ratios.
See list of film formats for a full listing of film formats, including their aspect ratios.
Comparison of several film aspect ratios with the heights forced to be equal. Filmaspectratios.svg
Comparison of several film aspect ratios with the heights forced to be equal.

Aspect ratio releases

Original aspect ratio (OAR)

Original Aspect Ratio (OAR) is a home cinema term for the aspect ratio or dimensions in which a film or visual production was produced – as envisioned by the people involved in the creation of the work. As an example, the film Gladiator was released to theaters in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. It was filmed in Super 35 and, in addition to being presented in cinemas and television in the Original Aspect Ratio of 2.39:1, it was also broadcast without the matte, altering the aspect ratio to the television standard of 1.3:1. Because of the varied ways in which films are shot, IAR (Intended Aspect Ratio) is a more appropriate term, but is rarely used.

Modified aspect ratio (MAR)

Modified Aspect Ratio is a home cinema term for the aspect ratio or dimensions in which a film was modified to fit a specific type of screen, as opposed to original aspect ratio. Modified aspect ratios are usually either 1.3:1 (historically), or (with the advent of widescreen television sets) 1.7:1 aspect ratio. 1.3:1 is the modified aspect ratio used historically in VHS format. A modified aspect ratio transfer is achieved by means of pan and scan or open matte, the latter meaning removing the cinematic matte from a 1.85:1 film to open up the full 1.3:1 frame. Another name for it is "prescaled" aspect ratio".

Problems in film and television

A windowboxed image Windowboxed.jpg
A windowboxed image

Multiple aspect ratios create additional burdens on directors and the public, and confusion among TV broadcasters. It is common for a widescreen film to be presented in an altered format (cropped, letterboxed or expanded beyond the original aspect ratio). It is also not uncommon for windowboxing to occur (when letterbox and pillarbox happen simultaneously). For instance, a 16:9 broadcast could embed a 4:3 commercial within the 16:9 image area. A viewer watching on a standard 4:3 (non-widescreen) television would see a 4:3 image of the commercial with 2 sets of black stripes, vertical and horizontal (windowboxing or the postage stamp effect). A similar scenario may also occur for a widescreen set owner when viewing 16:9 material embedded in a 4:3 frame, and then watching that in 16:9. Active Format Description is a mechanism used in digital broadcasting to avoid this problem. It is also common that a 4:3 image is stretched horizontally to fit a 16:9 screen to avoid pillar boxing but distorts the image so subjects appear short and fat.

Both PAL and NTSC have provision for some data pulses contained within the video signal used to signal the aspect ratio (See ITU-R BT.1119-1 – Widescreen signaling for broadcasting). These pulses are detected by television sets that have widescreen displays and cause the television to automatically switch to 16:9 display mode. When 4:3 material is included (such as the aforementioned commercial), the television switches to a 4:3 display mode to correctly display the material. Where a video signal is transmitted via a European SCART connection, one of the status lines is used to signal 16:9 material as well.

Still photography

Common aspect ratios in still photography include:

Many digital still cameras offer user options for selecting multiple image aspect ratios. Some achieve this through the use of multi-aspect sensors (notably Panasonic), while others simply crop their native image format to have the output match the desired image aspect ratio.

1:1

Is the classic Kodak image, and is available as a choice in some digital still cameras, and hearkens back to the days of film cameras when the square image was popular with photographers using twin lens reflex cameras. These medium format cameras used 120 film rolled onto spools. The 6 × 6 cm image size was the classic 1:1 format in the recent past. 120 film can still be found and used today. Many Polaroid instant films were designed as square formats. Furthermore, up until August 2015, photo-sharing site Instagram only allowed users to upload images in 1:1 format. In 2017, Fujifilm added the 1:1 Instax Square format to their lineup of instant film cameras.

5:4

Common in large and medium format photography, and still in common use for prints from digital cameras in the 8"×10" size.

4:3

Is used by most digital point-and-shoot cameras, Four Thirds system, Micro Four Thirds system cameras and medium format 645 cameras. The 4:3 digital format popularity was developed to match the then prevailing digital displays of the time, 4:3 computer monitors.

The next several formats have their roots in classic film photography image sizes, both the classic 35 mm film camera, and the multiple format Advanced Photo System (APS) film camera. The APS camera was capable of selecting any of three image formats, APS-H ("High Definition" mode), APS-C ("Classic" mode) and APS-P ("Panoramic" mode).

3:2

is used by classic 35 mm film cameras using a 24 mm × 36 mm image size, and their digital derivatives represented by DSLRs. Typical DSLRs come in two flavors, the so-called professional "full frame" (24 mm × 36 mm) sensors and variations of smaller, so called "APS-C" sensors. The term "APS" is derived from another film format known as the APS and the "-C" refers to "Classic" mode, which exposed images over a smaller area (25.1 mm × 16.7 mm) but retaining the same "classic" 3:2 proportions as full frame 35 mm film cameras.

When discussing DSLR's and their non-SLR derivatives, the term APS-C has become an almost generic term. The two major camera manufacturers Canon and Nikon each developed and established sensor standards for their own versions of APS-C sized and proportioned sensors. Canon actually developed two standards, APS-C and a slightly larger area APS-H (not to be confused with the APS-H film format), while Nikon developed its own APS-C standard, which it calls DX. Regardless of the different flavors of sensors, and their varying sizes, they are close enough to the original APS-C image size, and maintain the classic 3:2 image proportions that these sensors are generally known as an "APS-C" sized sensor.

The reason for DSLR's image sensors being the flatter 3:2 versus the taller point-and-shoot 4:3 is that DSLRs were designed to match the legacy 35 mm SLR film, whereas the majority of digital cameras were designed to match the predominant computer displays of the time, with VGA, SVGA, XGA and UXGA all being 4:3. Widescreen computer monitors did not become popular until the advent of HDTV, which uses a 16:9 image aspect ratio.

16:9

16:9 is another format that has its roots in the APS film camera.[ citation needed ] Known as APS-H (30.2 mm × 16.7 mm), with the "-H" denoting "High Definition", the 16:9 format is also the standard image aspect ratio for HDTV. 16:9 is gaining popularity as a format in all classes of consumer still cameras which also shoot High Definition (HD) video. When still cameras have an HD video capability, some can also record stills in the 16:9 format, ideal for display on HD televisions and widescreen computer displays.

3:1

is another format that can find its roots in the APS film camera. Known as APS-P (30.2 × 9.5 mm), with the -P" denoting "Panorama", the 3:1 format was used for panorama photography. The APS-P panorama standard is the least adhered to any APS standard, and panoramic implementation varies with by manufacturer on different cameras, with the only commonality being that the image is much longer than it is tall, in the classic "panorama" style.

Common print sizes in the U.S. (in inches) include 4×6 (1.5), 5×7 (1.4), 4×5 and 8×10 (1.25), and 11×14 (1.27); large format cameras typically use one of these aspect ratios. Medium-format cameras typically have format designated by nominal sizes in centimeters (6×6, 6×7, 6×9, 6×4.5), but these numbers should not be interpreted as exact in computing aspect ratios. For example, the usable height of 120-format roll film is 56mm, so a width of 70mm (as in 6×7) yields an aspect ratio of 4:5 — ideal for enlarging to make an 8×10" portrait. Print sizes are usually defined by their portrait dimensions (tall) while equipment aspect ratios are defined by their landscape dimensions (wide, flipped sideways). A good example of this a 4×6 print (6 inch wide by 4 inch tall landscape) perfectly matches the 3:2 aspect ratio of a DSLR/35 mm, since 6/2=3 and 4/2=2.

For analog projection of photographic slides, projector and screen use a 1:1 aspect ratio, supporting horizontal and vertical orientation equally well. In contrast, digital projection technology typically supports vertically oriented images only at a fraction of the resolution of landscape-oriented images. For example, projecting a digital still image having a 3:2 aspect ratio on a 16:9 projector employs 84.3% of available resolution in horizontal orientation, but only 37.5% in vertical orientation.

See also

Notes

Citations

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  10. McElhearn, Kirk (2010-02-01). "Why Apple chose the iPad's screen format". Macworld. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  11. Berger, John L. (2019). "Aspect Ratios and Camera Formats". www.widescreen.org. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  12. "Widescreen Museum – CinemaScope Derivatives – Superscope 1". www.widescreenmuseum.com. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  13. "The Aspect Ratio of 2.00 : 1 is Everywhere | VashiVisuals". vashivisuals.com. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  14. Eelvee (4 March 2007). ". . : : VITTORIO STORARO : : . .: What is UNIVISIUM?".
  15. O'Falt, Chris (2017-04-04). "What Amazon and Netflix's Demand for 4K Means for Documentaries". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  16. Petrov, Daniel. "So, what is this 2:1 Univisium display ratio on the LG G6 and likely the S8?". Phone Arena.
  17. The official Honor website displays that it has an 18:9 ratio (visit the gaming tab).
  18. Scott Eyman, The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution, 1926–1930, New York, Simon & Schuster (1997), p. 222.
  19. "'The Lighthouse,' 'The Witch' and the Horror of Robert Eggers". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  20. Arne Nowak (October 2010). "Digital Cinema Technologies from the Archive's Perspective" (PDF). p. 4. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  21. Goddard, Louis. Philips discontinuing super-wide Cinema 21:9 TVs due to lack of demand. The Verge. 2012-08-28. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  22. "Voyage of Time: The IMAX® Experience in Ultra-Widescreen". IMAX.com. Dec 7, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  23. Kristopher Tapley (Dec 5, 2016). "'Ultra Widescreen' Version of Terrence Malick's 'Voyage of Time' Set for Release". variety.com. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  24. Aftab, Kaleem. "Introducing Screen X, Cinema in 270 Degrees | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2018-10-12.

Sources

On Aspect Ratios

Calculators

Related Research Articles

The aspect ratio of a geometric shape is the ratio of its sizes in different dimensions. For example, the aspect ratio of a rectangle is the ratio of its longer side to its shorter side – the ratio of width to height, when the rectangle is oriented as a "landscape".

Letterboxing (filming) Video formatting effect

Letterboxing is the practice of transferring film shot in a widescreen aspect ratio to standard-width video formats while preserving the film's original aspect ratio. The resulting videographic image has mattes above and below it; these mattes are part of the image. LBX or LTBX are the identifying abbreviations for films and images so formatted.

Pan and scan

Pan and scan is a method of adjusting widescreen film images so that they can be shown in fullscreen proportions of a standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio television screen, often cropping off the sides of the original widescreen image to focus on the composition's most important aspects.

Standard-definition television Original analog television systems

Standard-definition television is a television system which uses a resolution that is not considered to be either high or enhanced definition. SDTV and high-definition television (HDTV) are the two categories of display formats for digital television (DTV) transmissions. "Standard" refers to the fact that it was the prevailing specification for broadcast television in the mid- to late-20th century.

Widescreen aspect ratio with a width of 1.85 units and height of 1 unit

Widescreen images are images that are displayed within a set of aspect ratios used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35 mm film.

35 mm movie film Motion picture film gauge

35 mm film is the film gauge most commonly used for motion pictures and chemical still photography. The name of the gauge refers to the width of the photographic film, which consists of strips 34.98 ± 0.03 millimetres (1.3772 ± 0.0012 in) wide. The standard negative pulldown for movies is four perforations per frame along both edges, which results in 16 frames per foot of film. For still photography, the standard frame has eight perforations on each side.

VistaVision Motion picture camera film format

VistaVision is a higher resolution, widescreen variant of the 35 mm motion picture film format which was created by engineers at Paramount Pictures in 1954.

16 mm film film gauge

16 mm film is a historically popular and economical gauge of film. 16 mm refers to the width of the film; other common film gauges include 8 and 35 mm. It is generally used for non-theatrical film-making, or for low-budget motion pictures. It also existed as a popular amateur or home movie-making format for several decades, alongside 8 mm film and later Super 8 film. Eastman Kodak released the first 16 mm "outfit" in 1923, consisting of a camera, projector, tripod, screen and splicer, for $335. RCA-Victor introduced a 16 mm sound movie projector in 1932, and developed an optical sound-on-film 16 mm camera, released in 1935.

CinemaScope is an anamorphic lens series used, from 1953 to 1967, and less often later, for shooting widescreen movies that, crucially, could be screened in theatres using existing equipment, albeit with a lens adapter. Its creation in 1953 by Spyros P. Skouras, the president of 20th Century Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.

Anamorphic widescreen is a process by which a comparatively wide widescreen image is horizontally compressed to fit into a storage medium with a narrower aspect ratio, reducing the horizontal resolution of the image while keeping its full original vertical resolution. Compatible play-back equipment can then expand the horizontal dimension to show the original widescreen image. This is typically used to allow one to store widescreen images on a medium that was originally intended for a narrower ratio, while using as much of the frame – and therefore recording as much detail – as possible.

Negative pulldown is the manner in which an image is exposed on a film stock, described in the number of film perforations spanned by an individual frame. It can also describe the orientation of the image on the negative, whether it is captured horizontally or vertically. Changing the number of exposed perforations allows a cinematographer to change both the aspect ratio of the image and the size of the area on the film stock that the image occupies.

Techniscope Motion picture camera film format

Techniscope or 2-perf is a 35 mm motion picture camera film format introduced by Technicolor Italia in 1960. The Techniscope format uses a two film-perforation negative pulldown per frame, instead of the standard four-perforation frame usually exposed in 35 mm film photography. Techniscope's 2.33:1 aspect ratio is easily cropped to the 2.39:1 widescreen ratio, because it uses half the amount of 35 mm film stock and standard spherical lenses. Thus, Techniscope release prints are made by anamorphosizing and enlarging each frame by a factor of two.

Univisium

Univisium is a proposed universal film format created by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, ASC, AIC and his son, Fabrizio, to unify all future theatrical and television movies into one respective aspect ratio of 2:1. The proposed format also includes new standards for projection to maximize the efficiencies of the Univisium format.

Image sensor format shape and size of a digital cameras image sensor

Note: For a quick understanding of numbers like 1/2.3, skip to table of sensor formats and sizes. For a simplified discussion of image sensors see image sensor.

Anamorphic format cinematography technique

Anamorphic format is the cinematography technique of shooting a widescreen picture on standard 35 mm film or other visual recording media with a non-widescreen native aspect ratio. It also refers to the projection format in which a distorted image is "stretched" by an anamorphic projection lens to recreate the original aspect ratio on the viewing screen. The word anamorphic and its derivatives stem from the Greek words meaning "formed again". In the late 1990s and 2000s, anamorphic lost popularity in comparison to "flat" formats such as Super 35 with the advent of digital intermediates; however in the years since digital cinema cameras and projectors have become commonplace, anamorphic has experienced a considerable resurgence of popularity, due in large part to the higher base ISO sensitivity of digital sensors, which facilitates shooting at smaller apertures.

The technology of television has evolved since its early days using a mechanical system invented by Paul Gottlieb Nipkow in 1884. Every television system works on the scanning principle first implemented in the rotating disk scanner of Nipkow. This turns a two-dimensional image into a time series of signals that represent the brightness and color of each resolvable element of the picture. By repeating a two-dimensional image quickly enough, the impression of motion can be transmitted as well. For the receiving apparatus to reconstruct the image, synchronization information is included in the signal to allow proper placement of each line within the image and to identify when a complete image has been transmitted and a new image is to follow.

21:9 is a consumer electronics (CE) marketing term to describe the ultra-widescreen aspect ratio of 64:27, designed to show films recorded in CinemaScope and equivalent modern anamorphic formats. The main benefit of this screen aspect ratio, compared to the more common 16:9, is the absence of the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen when viewing content in this format, and a constant display height when displaying other content with a lesser aspect ratio.

Graphics display resolution type of image resolution

The graphics display resolution is the width and height dimension of an electronic visual display device, such as a computer monitor, in pixels. Certain combinations of width and height are standardized and typically given a name and an initialism that is descriptive of its dimensions. A higher display resolution in a display of the same size means that displayed photo or video content appears sharper, and pixel art appears smaller.

Ultrawide formats

Ultra-wide or Ultrawide formats refers to photos, videos, and displays, with aspect ratios significantly wider than 2:1. There were multiple moves in history, towards a wider display aspect ratio, including one by Disney. Some moves were successful, while others saw limited success.