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A question about cropping m 4/3
Old 02-26-2017   #1
robert blu
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A question about cropping m 4/3

I do not own an m 4/3 camera but I have a question from a friend of mine owning Olympus.

Because she likes to shoot both digital and film (OM D something and OM1) she likes to have the same aspect ratio 2:3.

On the digital it is possible to select the 2:3 ratio but this only applies to the jpg file, the raw has the native 4:3 aspect.

My thinking, according to my logic which could be wrong not owning the camera is that it is a normal behavior because the raw should keep all the infos of the sensor and anyway needs to be worked in postproduction, this eventually including cropping to 2:3.

Is this correct or is not? Just interested to know what mores experienced m 4/3 photographer think about.

Thanks in advance, robert
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Old 02-26-2017   #2
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Interesting, I have a Pen EPL2 but never cropped in camera Jpeg so I don't actually know. I would say your rationale is correct, just like for example "art filters" shouldn't be on a RAW (something I also didn't try).

Now, there are a few Panasonic cameras (LX100, GH) which actually use an oversized sensor and select the crop separately which could very well give a RAW of the selected aspect ratio.
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Old 02-26-2017   #3
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Yes, that is normal. Depending upon the camera and post processing software it may automatically respect the crop choice in post but the file itself will have the full resolution in it.

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Old 02-26-2017   #4
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I have never cropped in the camera so far, so I don't know.
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Old 02-26-2017   #5
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Absolutely normal.

For 2 X 3 aspect ratio cameras, the converse is true as well.

With in-camera JPEG or raw, you throw away pixels.
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Old 02-26-2017   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
...
My thinking, according to my logic which could be wrong not owning the camera is that it is a normal behavior because the raw should keep all the infos of the sensor and anyway needs to be worked in postproduction, this eventually including cropping to 2:3.

Is this correct or is not? Just interested to know what mores experienced m 4/3 photographer think about.
...
This is not an m4/3 specific issue, but in general you are correct.

Digital cameras always shoot RAW and only RAW, period. There are not camera settings that ever alter this. The RAW file will contain all of the sensor's "pixels" (actually, data from its "photosites").

When you select JPEG as your in-camera save format you are simply telling the camera to post process the RAW according to the camera settings (cropping, sharpness, contrast, ...) and save a compressed JPEG file. Unless you've opted for RAEW+JPEG, the camera simply throws away the RAW.

All modern digital cameras will save the camera settings in the RAW file's metadata. These can be read and applied by some software. Most software can only apply some very basic standardized settings (e.g. ISO, white balance, ...), but most settings require software developed in tandem with the camera using a clone of the camera's proprietary RAW processing software. You might find some software that supports the crop instructions when processing the RAW, but that would be a rare thing.
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Old 02-26-2017   #7
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Thanks you all for answering, I'm glad you confirm my logic gave the correct answer to my friend

I was (still am) on the fence to enter m 4/3 as companion to my film bodies but I do not like so much the 4/3 ratio. Of course cropping is an option but with an already small sensor cut away a part of it seems me not the best option!

robert
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Old 02-26-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
Digital cameras always shoot RAW and only RAW, period. There are not camera settings that ever alter this. The RAW file will contain all of the sensor's "pixels" (actually, data from its "photosites").
Not absolutely true. There are cameras that apply changes before writing the raw file. Corner correction depending on the lens in Leica M is an example.
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Old 02-27-2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
Thanks you all for answering, I'm glad you confirm my logic gave the correct answer to my friend

I was (still am) on the fence to enter m 4/3 as companion to my film bodies but I do not like so much the 4/3 ratio. Of course cropping is an option but with an already small sensor cut away a part of it seems me not the best option!

robert
I felt the same for a long time... with my history of 35mm film and 6x9 MF... but then I realized my bias against the aspect ratio was because I subconsciously equated it with crappy P&S digitals, but then I realized there were plenty of film formats that were of nearly the same aspect ratio... and now I have come to actually prefer it!

I once had a Canon P&S that had the option of adding grayed out bars to serve as 3:2 guides... I liked that feature when I was mixing my digital with film (b&w)... don't know if any of the newer m43 cameras have this feature, but it was nice.
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Old 02-28-2017   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mh2000 View Post
... I liked that feature when I was mixing my digital with film (b&w)... don't know if any of the newer m43 cameras have this feature, but it was nice.
You are correct, there are many no 2:3 ratios in photography of course and they are not bad or worse, my friend's (and my) point is when we mix film with digital !

robert
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Old 02-28-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
You might find some software that supports the crop instructions when processing the RAW, but that would be a rare thing.
Lightroom does for some cameras. It will respect camera cropping for the Olympus E5 OMD for example. From a quick search it does the same for Canon and others as well. It all depends upon if the camera writes the crop to the EXIF data. All the data is in the RAW, LR just crops that when it opens the file.

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Old 02-28-2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
Not absolutely true. There are cameras that apply changes before writing the raw file. Corner correction depending on the lens in Leica M is an example.
I agree... not true.

Practically all camera brands modify the data in between its digitization and when it's written to the raw file.

There are in camera modifications and post-production rendering parameters that operate on the raw data. These are different.

One example of many would be Nikon discards all data below zero (there shouldn't be any information, DNs, with negative values). Other brands linearly shift the 0 EV point. Most brands apply mathematical filters to average noise at very high ISOs. These changes occur in-camera and are beyond our control.

Rendering changes to minimize artifacts (vignetting, barrel.pin cushion distortion corrections, chromatic aberration and color shifts) are reversible. That is they are applied in post-production. Rendering software is/could be designed to optionally ignore all the OEM supplied rendering parameters. So in principle we can/could apply our own rendering changes to the original data.
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Old 02-28-2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
I agree... not true.

Practically all camera brands modify the data in between its digitization and when it's written to the raw file.

There are in camera modifications and post-production rendering parameters that operate on the raw data. These are different.

One example of many would be Nikon discards all data below zero (there shouldn't be any information, DNs, with negative values). Other brands linearly shift the 0 EV point. Most brands apply mathematical filters to average noise at very high ISOs. These changes occur in-camera and are beyond our control.

Rendering changes to minimize artifacts (vignetting, barrel.pin cushion distortion corrections, chromatic aberration and color shifts) are reversible. That is they are applied in post-production. Rendering software is/could be designed to optionally ignore all the OEM supplied rendering parameters. So in principle we can/could apply our own rendering changes to the original data.
One of the things that I don't like about digital cameras is that I don't understand how it all works. I am not a technician, engineer or computer savvy person.

What is the "data" that undergoes "digitisation"? I suppose that the digitalised data are strings of 0s and 1s?

If in theory you could change the "rendering software" for raw files, could you alter the software that controls the jpg "engine"? For example when I go to alter parameters on jpg shots (Olympus cameras), why can't I alter contrast or saturation more radically than the existing menu permits?
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Old 02-28-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
Lightroom does for some cameras. It will respect camera cropping for the Olympus E5 OMD for example. From a quick search it does the same for Canon and others as well. It all depends upon if the camera writes the crop to the EXIF data. All the data is in the RAW, LR just crops that when it opens the file.

Shawn
The problem with LR is, that it respects the camera settings strictly. If I set the ratio to 3:2 in my LX100 (with multi aspect sensor where 3:2 does not use the full width of the sensor), then I don't have access to the full sensor information.
Capture One shows the 3:2 frame but I can change to another crop and have access to more of the image data.
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Old 02-28-2017   #15
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Changing the cropping in post processing is not perfect all the time. If I have a 4:3 frame in the viewfinder and take a picture, then it's not guaranteed that in postprocessing I can crop to 3:2 and the composition still works.
The best thing is to use the correct format (3:2, 4:3, 16:9, ..) while taking the photo.
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Old 02-28-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
The problem with LR is, that it respects the camera settings strictly. If I set the ratio to 3:2 in my LX100 (with multi aspect sensor where 3:2 does not use the full width of the sensor), then I don't have access to the full sensor information.
Capture One shows the 3:2 frame but I can change to another crop and have access to more of the image data.
Adobe has a Plugin for Lightroom that changes this.

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroomplugins/

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Old 02-28-2017   #17
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I was using Microsoft camera phone recently. Raw file follows the aspect ratio chosen by user setting, in that model options were 16:9 and 4:3. So raw file is not always the same regardless the user settings.
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Old 05-20-2017   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
Thanks you all for answering, I'm glad you confirm my logic gave the correct answer to my friend

I was (still am) on the fence to enter m 4/3 as companion to my film bodies but I do not like so much the 4/3 ratio. Of course cropping is an option but with an already small sensor cut away a part of it seems me not the best option!

robert
I really struggled with this as well... for a long time... but once i realized that the bias came from primarily shooting 35mm and also realized that i didn't have the bias when shooting MF or LF film cameras that had an aspect ratio closer to 4/3 than to 3/2 I realized it was mostly coming from my initial bias against digital and not so much against an aspect ratio that was not the same as my 35mm film cameras... now I actually have grown to like the 4/3 aspect ratio! Best!
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Old 05-21-2017   #19
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I find the 4:3 aspect ratio more normal for general photography. It seems closer to one's natural field of vision (which isn't rectangular anyway, but that's another issue...)

I was recently reviewing some old Bronica ETRS negatives and suddenly realized these were also 4:3 aspect ratio. So now in my mind I equate 4:3 with medium format quality; a mind game, yes.

When I go back to 3:2 it seems so restricted vertically, like a pseudo panorama - it often feels unnatural, like a kludge, trying to fit the scene into this odd rectangle.

My experience with shooting micro-4/3 is I like to shoot in 4:3 and if necessary crop in post. This is especially important if cropping to 1:1 (another favorite aspect ratio, one that pretty much erases the distinction between micro-4/3 and APSC), because I can be much more meditative on where to place the borders - composition being very important to square format images.

The pleasure of shooting in 4:3 and cropping later is that there are times when I can "save" an image with the appropriate crop. And letting the image marinate over time, then revisiting later in post, is something you can't do in-camera.

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Old 05-21-2017   #20
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Both 4:3 and 2:3 are good and interesting format, the desire to crop comes when there is the need to combine images shot with film (and or full frame) and m4/3 desiring an uniform output.
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Old 05-21-2017   #21
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I have always loved the dimensions and view of the true 35mm format.
I hate the square and the formats that are close or exact to the old paper formats. Boxy and boring. 35mm Format is ideal.
The feel is dynamic esp. in the horizontal view.
Perhaps a tad to narrow in vertical..
Each his own! I love the double frame!
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Old 05-21-2017   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
Both 4:3 and 2:3 are good and interesting format, the desire to crop comes when there is the need to combine images shot with film (and or full frame) and m4/3 desiring an uniform output.
robert
Yeah, when I was primarily shooting 35mm and mixed my early digital images, I always cropped to 3:2...

Found my first self-published b&w photography book on Google Books now (and some bootleg site for free download!):

https://books.google.com/books?id=Zp...iverse&f=false

I can shoot either format as long as I'm consistent and then I shoot for the format.

Regarding the original question, one of my Canon Elph P&S's (or was it a Sony?) had a feature where you could set a display frame to 3:2 and it would gray out the top and bottom of the display so you could visualize the 3:2 crop while still shooting a full 4:3 frame. I wish that other camera makers would have adapted this! Especially M43 where you have to have many serious shooters wanting to match crops... anyway, since all I have shot is M43 for years now, it's not an issue for me.
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Old 05-21-2017   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
I have always loved the dimensions and view of the true 35mm format.
I hate the square and the formats that are close or exact to the old paper formats. Boxy and boring. 35mm Format is ideal.
The feel is dynamic esp. in the horizontal view.
Perhaps a tad to narrow in vertical..
Each his own! I love the double frame!
well... me too seeing I grew up on film and 35mm was kind of the "optimum" for film at the time in terms of quality and equipment portability. Had I been born earlier, I'm sure I would have been fine working with the available plate cameras etc. etc.

At this point, I'm kind of interested in getting a Panasonic M43 body for the multi aspect ratio sensor... from playing with my phone, I'd like to be able to shoot 4:3 and 16:9 (which seems more useful than 3:2 when you want that more sweeping view!)... I guess what I'm saying is that there will never be a perfect *compromise* and 35mm was a compromise all the way around and also the system most of us learned to work with.

Regarding print size and aspect ratios, I never really liked 8x10's, but 11x14" was quite nice for a standard print size! It's still my go-to for making prints because it sits really nicely in a cheap museum rag pre-cut mat inside a bargain black 16x20" frame!
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Old 05-21-2017   #24
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I must be blissfully ignorant because almost none of these replies make any sense to me.

I determine the aspect ratio of my photos, not the camera. It is with the easel in the wet darkroom and using the cropping tool in LR or PS. It does not seem like rocket science to me.
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Old 05-21-2017   #25
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I must be blissfully ignorant because almost none of these replies make any sense to me.

I determine the aspect ratio of my photos, not the camera. It is with the easel in the wet darkroom and using the cropping tool in LR or PS. It does not seem like rocket science to me.
That's cool! When I started out in b&w film photography, I would crop my prints to any random aspect ratio I thought suited them! Just did it on the paper cutter and then hot mounted them centered on a piece of mat board... now I stick with on aspect ratio and just work with that... just makes it easier for me... but nothing wrong with going the other way!

Best!
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