Easily selectable aspect ratios of maximum pixel count in digital cameras raises some questions about higher-end camera design. I've been mulling this over for a while and concluded that some fundamental changes to camera design would be enormously beneficial.
First a few statements of the obvious:
- Sensors are rectangular with width greater than height.
- One always has to turn a camera through 90 degrees to take a portrait orientated image.
- All cameras are designed to handle most easily in landscape format orientation.
- Some alternative image aspect ratios may be available via menu options but they are limited and clumsy to select.
- All lenses throw a circular image around a rectangular sensor.
- Utilising the full image circle means that the maximum possible image size (pixels) would always be available for every selected aspect ratio within the image circle.
- Portrait oriented images could be made whilst the camera remains in the comfortable 'horizontal' position.
Additionally, the in-camera software should offer the photographer the option to save the full circular image raw data along with the crop decision made at the time of capture. This would allow an alternative crop decision to be made later. Amendments to processing software to accommodate this would be required. No doubt, Adobe and the like would oblige!
An innovation such as this would be a huge step forward which, for some (probably many) serious photographers, would be irresistible.