When camera manufacturers moved from film to digital, they adopted a
new standard image size. The dimensions of this new image size are in the
ratio of 4:3 and do not fit evenly into many of the conventional size
the print areas are either a bit too wide on one side or too long
on the other.
This is no different than watching an old movie on
your widescreen TV!
You have the black bars at both ends of the
widescreen TV when watching an old movie because the movie was formatted
for a standard TV. In the normal version, the entire picture area is
visible. If we zoom in to fill the entire screen, we lose some of the
picture in the vertical direction.
A similar situation exists in photography, but we
use different terms.
Normal (on TV) is
called Crop to Fit in photography. This means that 100 percent of your
image is on the print, but there may be white space that is not used
because the image is a different shape.
Zoom (on TV) is called Crop to Fill in photography and
means that your image has been enlarged to fill the entire print, so some
of it may be off the edge of the print and not visible just like zoom
mode on TV.
When snapping a photo, make certain that important subject
matter is not close to the bottom, top, or sides of your
Look for a print size that conforms exactly to
your captured image size. Examples: 4 x 5 1/3, 4.5 x 6, or 6 x 8.
Understand your camera and what print format best fits
your cameras output.
Check to see if your camera offers
the capture of an image in a conventional print size
If seeing 100 percent of your image is crucial,
make a larger Crop to Fit print and trim it to suit. Remember that the
trimmed print will not fit a standard frame.
If you are
in a retail store, ask to see a chart of the print sizes.
If you are submitting images for printing on the web,
pay close attention to messages on the site. Most websites do an excellent
job of alerting and explaining this problem.