Why I’m Shooting in 16:9 Aspect Ratio

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

One thing I like about mirrorless cameras is the ability to set different aspect ratios and see them in the viewfinder and the LCD screen. Out of habit I shoot mostly in the 3:2 aspect ratio. Except for a few rare film cameras most 35mm cameras I’ve used shot in the 3:2 ratio. Working in the photo printing business for 25 years reinforced this since we had to explain why the 3:2 ratio 35mm negative had to be cropped to make most enlargements sizes.


When I started shooting with the first digital SLR cameras they adopted the same 3:2 ratio that we were used to. When I switched to mirrorless cameras I tried out the 4:3, 16:9 and even 1:1 ratio, but I kept coming back to 3:2. As I started to shoot more video in the 16:9 format I wanted my still photos to match for Hybrid projects that I was making. Now I have all of my cameras set to shoot stills and video in the 16:9 format. I feel like it better matches what I see before I look through the viewfinder.

Keep in mind that if you make a lot of prints there will not be many print sizes or frames to fit the 16:9 aspect ratio. My solution is to use an image editing program to make the canvas around the image fit a common print size like 16×20.