Digital Cameras: What Is an Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio is the ratio of the width to the height of a photograph. It is expressed as two numbers, which are separated by a colon. Consider an image that is 16 inches wide and 8 inches high. This has a 16:8 ratio, which can be broken down to 2:1 ratio. It also works for centimeters, feet, etc.

Digital Cameras

Digital cameras tend to have an aspect ratio of 3:2. This usually provides the best ratio without letting the photo get distorted. Any higher and the picture may appear distorted.

Where Is It Found?

Aspect ratios appear on anything with a screen. This can be on a blu ray player, dvd player, film screen or a digital camera. Aspects regarding these items vary greatly. When watching something, you may want a wide screen, therefore changing the aspect ratio greatly. Although this wide screen provides for a more panoramic shot, it may cut off some of the things above or below that would be viewable on a normal screen.


Comparing two aspects can be difficult. There are positive and negatives to all aspect ratios. While one aspect ratio may make the photo appear taller, it may cut off the sides of the image, leaving out several details in the picture that are necessary to fully appreciate the picture.

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