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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Square sensors - © silkstone...From time to time I rant on about battery/portrait grips (aka bricks) and how it's dead easy to turn the ...
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:17   #1 (permalink)
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Square sensors - © silkstone

From time to time I rant on about battery/portrait grips (aka bricks) and how it's dead easy to turn the camera through 90 degrees without one, but really we shouldn't need to.

Lenses create a circular image, a lot of which is wasted by conventional rectangular sensors (and 35mm film).

Not so long ago the standard format for professional film photography was 2.25 inches square - generally known as 'medium format'. I'm not suggesting a digital sensor this large, but a sensor that was, say, about 30mm square would be interesting in a useful kind of way.

You wouldn't need to turn the camera on its side. Just take the full (square) frame and crop to whatever you want later. Or... have a little dial/button on the camera to choose between Square, Portrait and Landscape.

I'm offering this bit of genius to Canon and Nikon for only 1% commission on sales, so if anyone has a nice little place in the Bahamas they want to sell, please let me know.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:01   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Square sensors - © silkstone

My idea has already been taken up at Canon.
I suggested they made rectangular optics!
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:17   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Square sensors - © silkstone

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Originally Posted by silkstone View Post
You wouldn't need to turn the camera on its side. Just take the full (square) frame and crop to whatever you want later. Or... have a little dial/button on the camera to choose between Square, Portrait and Landscape.
So we pay for a larger sensor and then dump 25% resultant pixels most of the time? Don't think I'll be investing in Silkstone Censored Sensors!
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Old 01-05-2008, 16:25   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Square sensors - © silkstone

No no no no and no....

You don't have to dump any - just choose square format as you would with medium format.

If you want rectangular, you can have it. And sensors are getting cheaper, so wasting part of the image isn't that, er, wasteful.

At the moment we're paying £££ for lenses and wasting much of the image by having a 1:1.5 format. A square sensor would make maximum use of what the lens sees.

You know it makes sensor.
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Old 01-05-2008, 18:18   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Square sensors - © silkstone

The D3 has a 5:4 mode...similar...sort of...
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Old 02-05-2008, 16:50   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Square sensors - © silkstone

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just choose square format as you would with medium format.
If I wanted square pictures I would've gone Medium format long ago... as you can see I havn't so I think your reasoning is useless. Get a (battery) grip man!



...And I think I deserve 1% commission on sales just for telling you so.
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Old 02-05-2008, 17:06   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Square sensors - © silkstone

Square is the new black.

Circular would be even better. The Moon, fruit (except bananas), flowers, the Oval (from an angle).

Photo frames could be more of a problem....
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:19   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Square sensors - © silkstone

I think Silkstone has rightly identified what is wrong with the world. Projecting images at a camera club used to be a doddle with slides as the format of the projector was square. Now we have to use a digital projector which is the same 4:3 ratio as the current sensors. Sure this is fine for your landscape shot but what about us portrait workers; we only get to use the area in the middle of the projector. I know what you are all thinking; why not turn the projector through 90 degrees. Apparently they are only designed to be used one way and that is landscape format.

So Silkstone, please ask the manufacturers to produce square projectors as well then those with the new square sensors will gain maximum benefit and at least landscape and portrait workers will be treated equally.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:32   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Square sensors - © silkstone

One of my favourite photography books is 'The Making of Landscape Photographs' by Charlie Waite, in which all the photos are (square) medium format and uncropped. We have this idea that landscapes should be long and thin, but that isn't so.

Also the latest widescreen monitors don't go well with portrait format, unless you can rotate them through 90 degrees.
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