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Jaze

D-lux 4 Advice Needed: Aspect Ratios

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Hi. Pretty amateur user here with a question about the D-Lux 4.

 

I live in NYC, but am currently in France, taking this camera on its maiden voyage. So far, I've loved the images I've been getting, but I've also been really struck by the lens distortion. Reading around here, I see that the Capture (?) software that came with the camera is able to correct that readily, but I only installed that on my iMac, and am only traveling with my Macbook Air. I have a 16GB memory card (oh, btw - is that too big?), so I've got enough room to keep all my images until I get home and can upload them to my iMac.

 

Obviously, there's less distortion at the center of the image. I'm wondering if I should be shooting in one of the narrower aspect ratios, 3:2 or 4:3. Then again, my understanding is that choosing those aspect ratios just chops the picture off at the edges; if, when I get home, I can use the Capture (blanking on the name now, sorry!) software, and it'll smooth out the distortion, is there any point to moving away from 16:9?

 

To tell the truth, I don't understand the point of the different aspect ratio settings, since you're basically just eliminating information for each shot - it seems an odd and artificial constraint.

 

Anyway, sorry for gassing on like that, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. And there's a very strong possibility I'm wrong about the just cutting down on information by using smaller aspect ratios thing.

 

Thanks,

 

J.

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I assume you are shooting in RAW format? The lens distortion should only be visible for unprocessed RAW files, as JPEGs are corrected in camera. When you get home load them up into C1 and that should fix the problem, or else just shoot JPEGs.

 

I don't think a 16GB card is "too big." If you frequently shoot video with that camera you can eat up 16GB pretty fast.

 

I find the various aspect ratios help with composition and framing. Also, I prefer 3:2 for stills and 16:9 for video.

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Hi. Pretty amateur user here with a question about the D-Lux 4.

 

I live in NYC, but am currently in France, taking this camera on its maiden voyage. So far, I've loved the images I've been getting, but I've also been really struck by the lens distortion. Reading around here, I see that the Capture (?) software that came with the camera is able to correct that readily, but I only installed that on my iMac, and am only traveling with my Macbook Air. I have a 16GB memory card (oh, btw - is that too big?), so I've got enough room to keep all my images until I get home and can upload them to my iMac.

 

Obviously, there's less distortion at the center of the image. I'm wondering if I should be shooting in one of the narrower aspect ratios, 3:2 or 4:3. Then again, my understanding is that choosing those aspect ratios just chops the picture off at the edges; if, when I get home, I can use the Capture (blanking on the name now, sorry!) software, and it'll smooth out the distortion, is there any point to moving away from 16:9?

 

To tell the truth, I don't understand the point of the different aspect ratio settings, since you're basically just eliminating information for each shot - it seems an odd and artificial constraint.

 

Anyway, sorry for gassing on like that, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. And there's a very strong possibility I'm wrong about the just cutting down on information by using smaller aspect ratios thing.

 

Thanks,

 

J.

 

Thats actually not quite right. The Dlux4 uses an oversized sensor to alter aspect ratios with minimal change in total megapixel dimensions. Note the MP indicator on the screen when you change ratios. It only changes slightly. It would be much greater if this was simply a croping of the sensor from 4/3 to 3/2.

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Thanks, guys.

 

I don't think I'm shooting raw - I've defaulted to Automatic mode, the 9M setting, when I've been shooting quick snapshots, and used the Manual mode for the rest, but I don't see much difference in the ultimate file size. When I load the images into iPhoto as jpegs (I believe), there's a pretty clear spherical distortion, where things at the both sides of the image lean into the center.

 

Good to know about the megapixel/cropping issue! I'll default to 3:2; video on the D-Lux 4 is always 16:9, I think.

 

I'm going to go check my RAW setting.

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Go into your menu settings and make sure you are shooting high quality JPEG. You can set it to shoot RAW + JPEG simultaneously, but you'll use up your memory card a lot faster doing that, and it sounds like you are trying to conserve as much as possible. If it were me I'd just shoot high quality JPEGs.

 

Oh and you can shoot video in either 16:9 or 4:3, but not 3:2. When I had my D-Lux 4 I don't think I ever used the 4:3 ratio for anything. For some reason I have come to associate it with cheap point & shoot cameras, plus most picture frames are made for 3:2 ratio prints and most HDTVs these days are 16:9 format.

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Back home now - trip was successful, although I've really only scratched the surface of this camera.

 

Thanks for the advice. I'll reset it for high quality jpegs once I figure out how to do it - I'm switching to the Panasonic manual, because the Leica one isn't doing it for me...

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... there's a pretty clear spherical distortion, where things at the both sides of the image lean into the center. ...

Welcome to the forum, Jaze!

 

Are you sure you're not mistaking this for normal wide-angle perspective distortion? If you point any suitably wide-angle lens lens downwards then the tops of the verticals at the edges of the picture will fall inwards and, correspondingly, if you point the lens upwards then the bottoms of the verticals at the edges of the picture will fall inwards.

 

Pete.

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OK, OK! A bit wary of posting a photo - don't really know the etiquette of the board yet - but I think Pete may be right. This is the jpeg (I was shooting, apparently, 9 MP jpegs - I've just switched to RAW + jpeg; I had no idea how big a 16GB card was), so whatever internal software correction processing has already occurred. And I think it's the wide angle nature that's giving this effect.

 

Here's a shot of the main drag in Lille - you can see how people and buildings are canted in at the side. I think this is a lens effect - and I can make up for it somewhat by fiddling around in Photoshop. And I think I'd be better off shooting 3:2 for stills, as recommended above.

 

J.

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That's not lens distortion. That's what's called convergence. It will happen with any camera that is pointed slightly up at some buildings. The only way to avoid this effect would be to use a large format view camera where you can adjust the lens and film plane separately (have the lens pointed up, yet keep the film plane parallel to the building).

 

This is probably correctable in Photoshop (hey, what isn't!). Otherwise, I don't think it looks that bad in this example.

 

-Mike

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That makes sense: i suppose that as you tilt the camera up, everything converges to a distant focal point. I'm going to switch to 3:2 exclusively for almost all still photos, I think, since the distortion is exaggerated at the periphery of the image.

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I've been glancing over the various menu options on the camera, and realizing that I've barely scratched the wrapping on the outside of the top of the surface of what this camera can do.

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