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Old 02-17-2010, 10:37 AM   #1
kjk
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Neven Mrgan on Aspect Ratios

http://mrgan.tumblr.com/post/393140797/16-9
Neven is a developer for Panic, makers of some of the best indy Mac software around.

Quote:
There’s nothing magical about the 16:9 aspect ratio. It is suitable for one thing and one thing only: video. And even there, it’s not the Holy Grail. Some of the greatest movies of all time were shot in 4:3. Your theater most likely shows movies in 2.39:1. You want epic? Try Ultra-Panavision 70 at 2.75:1 or Polyvision at 4:1. None of these show “more” or “less” than each other; that depends on the screen size, not the aspect ratio.

In landscape orientation, anything between 4:3 and 2.39:1 feels natural to humans. Now switch to portrait - 16:9 feels pretty weird. Legal-sized paper and certain issues of the ACME Novelty Library fit oddly in your hands, and so would a skinny screen.

Every aspect ratio is a compromise. If a device is ever to be used in portrait mode - and my guess is that people will use the iPad in this book-like mode most of the time - that compromise must result in something closer to 4:3.
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