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Which aspect ratio

parrotcam's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 12/28/2010 - 2:57am

I understand that films are nearly always at the 16:9 aspect ratio, however when should I use aspect ratios such 2.20:1 or 1.85:1? Do i really have to concern myself with other aspect ratios besides 16:i9, and if so when do i have to one of them?


Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

All depends on the video camera you have but more than likely unless you paid big bucks for your camera, I don't think you have those capabilities.


parrotcam's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 12/28/2010 - 2:57am

I am only using a Canon Vixia HFR200, but I can get fairly decent 16:9 videos with it. Which camera would you recomend for the other widescreen aspect ratios, would the Canon G10 do the job? Thanks for your help.


Rick Crampton's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 days ago
Joined: 08/20/2009 - 1:08pm

" I can get fairly decent 16:9 videos with it. Which camera would you recomend for the other widescreen aspect ratios "

You trying to shoot Cinemascope? Do you like the black bands on the top and bottom of your 16:9 TV viewing image?

If I were determined to wind up with an aspec ratio wider than 16:9, I believe I'd try to frame my shot in16:9, " protecting " for the portions of the image I would lose when chopping off the bottom and top of the image in post. Don't forget that the imager(s) in your camera have only so many pixels. If you wantonly throw away a percentage of those pixels you can't get them back. Blowing up the viewed image to fill a screen will result in decreased detail.

There may be anamorphic lense adapters which will achieve what your after . . . but I spect they'd be a bit pricey.

Rick Crampton


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 10 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

"Which camera would you recomend for the other widescreen aspect ratios, would the Canon G10 do the job?"

No. Most cameras shoot 16:9. Cameras that shoot wider images are high-end, such as the Sony F65. The RED and Alexa might shoot wider than 16:9, but I'm not sure.

Why are you interested in shooting wider than 16:9?


parrotcam's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 12/28/2010 - 2:57am

First of all, thanks for your answers. I don't really life the black bars, or need an aspect ratio wider than 16:9, I was just sort of curious when/if wider aspect ratios are necessary.


Rick Crampton's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 days ago
Joined: 08/20/2009 - 1:08pm

" I was just sort of curious when/if wider aspect ratios are necessary. "

Necessary? Wider aspect ratios are " desirable "on a big screen in a theater, but that would be a creative decision, in part related to content. For instance, a film noir piece might be preferable in 4:3, heavy contrast black and white . . .

Rick Crampton


parrotcam's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 12/28/2010 - 2:57am

Ok, thanks for your answer. Than I guess really standard 16:9 is good enough for a theater screen.


artsmith's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 03/02/2011 - 9:06pm

I have scarcely used anything other than 'widescreen' formats since the mid 1970's, beginning with a 'Vista-Vision' equivalent, then later, moving on to 'Cinemascope'. I still vividly recall the excitement of my first-ever roll of (standard-eight movie), film, projected back through the 'taking' anamorphic. Although it made me a social-leper for several decades in movie/video groups, I now have the satisfaction of having seen history finally overtake the 'doubters' and 'those of little faith'. Cannot quite see why you would want to go wider than 16:9, though.

Ian Smith

Dunedin, New Zealand.