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How to change aspect ratio

Just obtained our first digital camera recently, uploaded pictures to computer, cropped them to the way we wanted them to look as a finished product, and had them printed at Costco. Well, the printed photo's had the top of people's heads cut off lol. The helpful person there indicated that since we were printing 4x6 prints, there should be a setting on the camera itself to change the aspect ratio to 3:2 which would make the printed product look like the edited photo. I found in the menu setting, "picture size", and if I change the megapixels to 4.4 instead of 5.0, there is a [3:2] indication by it. Is this changing the aspect ratio as well as lowering the megapixels? Thanks for any help.

Posted by Anonymous on


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That sounds like the setting. You would be using less pixels with the 3:2 aspect ratio. Since you said you had cropped the photos prior to sending them to the printer, you could have cropped them to a 3x2 ratio. I do that often. I use Adobe Photoshop Elements and when you use the selection tool, you have the option of setting the aspect ratio to 3:2 or anything. Then every selection rectangle will be 3:2 and you only have to decide how large to make the rectangle and where to put it. Then when you do the crop, you get a perfect 3:2 ratio photo. When you select the rectangular marquee tool (selection box) the Options line will appear just below the row of shorcut icons. If it does-not, click on the "Windows" button at the top of the page and make sure that "Options" has a check-mark beside it. On the Options line you will find a box that says "Normal". Click the "V" to the right of "Normal" and select "Fixed Aspect Ratio". Then in the two boxes to the right enter the numbers Width 3 and Height 2.

Posted on Aug 30, 2005


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I have a Photosmart D7360. Recently when printing straight from the memory card, the images are too dark. I have to adjust the brightness to maximum for an acceptable print. Why should this have suddenly...


The purpose of this document is to provide background information on the cause of photo cropping or the cutting off of images when they are printed. Photo cropping occurs as a result of disproportional horizontal and vertical dimensions, or Aspect Ratio.
Understanding Aspect Ratio
Each image size has a different Aspect Ratio that is determined by the digital camera or other device used to capture the image. If the Aspect Ratio of the print size is equal to the Aspect Ratio of the image, no cropping of the image occurs. However, if the Aspect Ratio of the print size is not equal to the Aspect Ratio of the image, the image will be cropped until the Aspect Ratios are equal.
Examples of photo cropping caused by disproportionate Aspect Ratios
A digital image of 1280 x 960 DPI (resolution - dots per inch) has an Aspect Ratio of 4:3, which, unless cropped, will result in two sides having white borders on the printed 4 x 6-inch picture. Instead of leaving the white border, the printer will increase the size the the image, center it on the paper, and finally crop the image so that the image ratio is 3:2, the Aspect Ration of a 4 x 6-inch photos (see Figures 1-4).
Adjusting Aspect Ratio
When using a digital imaging program to eliminate unwanted sections of images, the Aspect Ratio will change. Many newer digital cameras offer a 3:2 resolution setting that creates a borderless 4 x 6-inch picture. Check the digital camera user's manual to see if this feature is supported. When using a digital imaging program such as Adobe Photoshop Elements software, images can be cropped to the desired size as long as the Aspect Ratio is correct. The software should provide pixel size information to better determine the appearance of the printed picture.
To convert an image to a 3:2 ratio, divide the smallest pixel number by two, multiply that number by three, and replace the larger pixel number, the width of the image, with this new number. This will determine the correct Aspect Ratio for a 4 x 6-inch picture.
For an image with a ratio of 100:50, divide 50 by 2. The resulting number is 25. Multiply 25 by 3. The resulting number is 75. Replace 100 with the 75. The new desired Aspect Ratio for an uncropped 4 x 6-inch picture is 75:50. The image settings can now be modified to a ratio of 75:50 with a digital imaging program.

hope this may help,



How do you change the stills function from 4.3 to 16.9 its really not very clear?

Having looked at the full manual - downloaded from here and savable:
I think you will find that you cannot actually change from 4:3 to 16:9 aspect ratio for a particular pixel sized picture. When you set the pixels for the picture you want, the aspect ratio is set automatically.
For example:
16Megapixels 4608x3456 4:3
12Megapixels 4608x2592 16:9
See page 96 of the manual mentioned above for a full table of Megapixels, size, ratio etc
Therefore changing the picture size from the simple menu changes the aspect ratio but you do not have control of the aspect ratio for each size, in other words you cannot take a 16Megapixel picture at 16:9, it has to be 4:3.
Hope this has been helpful


I need to get a picture 600X600 pixel. Is it posible?

The camera won't take a picture with that aspect ratio, but if you load the pictures into your computer, you can crop or resize them in a photo editing program to any size or shape you want.

How doyou get a 600 by 600 resolution picture on any digital camera

I doubt that there is any camera that would take a picture in that format, as it would have a square aspect ratio. However, once you have taken picture in a larger format (800x600 perhaps) you can crop it on a computer using image editing software, to any shape you want. There are many programs available to do this and other things with image files. You may have gotten such a program with your camera, or you can download various free programs from the internet.

How do i resize picture to square aspect ratio ? that is to resize 640x480 pixel to 600x600 pixel without stretching the photo or changing the aspect ratio

Well, you can't. The best you can do in a photo-editing program such as Photoshop Elements, is to crop the picture to square dimensions.

Help me

Most digital SLR cameras take pictures with an aspect ratio of 2 to 3. (This is based on the size of 35 mm film, where the images were 24 x 36 mm, a 2 to 3 ratio.) That is a different ratio than 8 x 10 inches, which is 4 to 5. There is no way to change the aspect ratio in the camera, so you will have to make sure when you're taking pictures that will be printed on 8 x 10 paper, you leave the processor extra area to crop the portion that won't fit in the 8 x 10 frame.

For information, the 8 x 10 picture became popular when many portrait photographers used 4 x 5 large format film cameras, which obviously will fit perfectly in an 8 x 10 frame without cropping.

Help me

The sensor in most digital SLR cameras has an aspect ratio of 2 to 3. This is based on the aspect ratio of the film used in 35mm film SLRs, which was 24 x 36 mm. This works fine when you print on 4 x 6 paper (a 2 to 3 ratio), but not on 8 x 10 (which is a 4 to 5 ratio). Something has to be cropped in order to fit. You can't change the physical size of the sensor in the camera, so you will have to allow for some cropping if you are going to have your images printed on 8 x 10 paper.
For information, the 8 x 10 size became popular when many portrait photographers used large format 4 x 5 cameras. This obviously can fit perfectly on 8 x 10 paper without cropping.

Process Cropping

Most digital cameras have an aspect ratio of 4x3. 35mm cameras have an aspect ratio of 3x2. 6x4 photopaper also has an aspect ratio of 3x2. Therefore you don't get cropping when printing from 35mm film. To make the picture fill out the 6 inches, the digital footprint has to be 6" by 4.5". So .5 inches is removed in the process. If you can find a processor that will print 5.333 x 4 on the 6 x 4 paper, there would be no clipping necessary. Since you have Photoshop, you can crop the photo to a 3 x 2 ratio. That way you control what is cut. I use Photoshop Elements and when I use the Rectangular Marquee Tool, I set Style to "Fixed Aspect Ratio" and Width to 3, and Height to 2.
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