Saturday, August 02, 2003

John's Digital Photography Page - things to add

John's Digital Photography Page

- G2 maxes out at F8 and 1/1000. But the CCD is smaller than a 35 mm film. Not sure what correct depth of field is, but F8 may be similar to F11 on a 35mm film.

- Printing is the curse of digital photography. Viewing has its own problems (gamma and color profiles), but printing has all the problems of viewing PLUS aspect ratio problems.

Digital sensors follow the convention of monitors: 640:480 = 4:3. 35 mm film has a ratio of 3:2. Not quite the same. Argh.

So a digital image fills a 1024x768 display (4:3). It is consistent with Apple's photo-book printing. However, it does not fill a 6"x4" print; the most common printed photo format and the format supported by most photo albums.

If one orders conventional 4x6" (ht x width) prints, then the printing service has two options. One is to the print the whole image, but leave enlarged margins (letterbox, as with videos). The other option is to fill the print but crop arbitrarily. The latter is probably more common, but often quite undesirable.

If one crops a digital image for 35 mm printing, it is no longer optimal for display or photo book printing.

What can be done?

1. High end cameras already mimic 35mm film aspect ratios. This is a good solution but longer term.

2. iPhoto should do intelligent cropping. Auto-display a maximal 6x4 crop window oriented by photo orientation. This would speed the cropping process.

3. When shooting, leave lots of margins.

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