Art and Photography

Digital picture frame - 16:9 or 4:3

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 11th, 2009 10:24 am
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[OP]
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May 11, 2003
2441 posts
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Digital picture frame - 16:9 or 4:3

Wanted to get a digital picture frame but noticed that there are some with 16:9 and 4:3.

What is the purpose of the 16:9? I was under the impression that most cameras only support 4:3?
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3 replies
Deal Guru
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Jun 12, 2003
14651 posts
1048 upvotes
Markham
i guess the term "widescreen" sells now...
ShadowVlican
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Apr 9, 2006
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e-man wrote:
Dec 5th, 2009 11:48 pm
Wanted to get a digital picture frame but noticed that there are some with 16:9 and 4:3.

What is the purpose of the 16:9? I was under the impression that most cameras only support 4:3?
I don't know why anybody prefers that over 4:3 other than there will be less black borders on 16:9 with 3:2 ratio pictures or perhaps watch movies on frames that can run them. But more likely one would have a TV than a picture frame. :cheesygri
Deal Fanatic
Feb 21, 2006
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For photographs you definitely want 4:3. There are a few cameras now that offer 16:9 still shots, but often this is only through sensor masking (like the old film cameras that offered "wide" shots by masking off part of the frame). In any case, you probably have a vast library of existing 4:3 shots to display.

The reason for the widespread use of 16:9 aspect ratio has nothing to do with photography. The Asian factories which make LCD screens have invested in very expensive equipment which makes the screens in the form of large panels which are then cut up into smaller screens. The largest size available is a full-size perfect panel (which might become a 55-inch TV screen, for example). Where there are defects in the panel (as there often are), they cut it into smaller screens which avoid the defect so as to maximize the use of the panel. Unfortunately for photographers, if the full-size panel is 16:9, the most efficient division into smaller panels is also 16:9. So the inevitable consequence of building equipment to produce 16:9 TV panels is that every use of LCD screens is forced to adopt 16:9 as well.

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