1024 by 768 does not a pretty 4 x 6 make


in Internet matters, Photography

Partly because of concerns about archiving digital files in the long term, I am hoping to make prints from some of my digital files. Unfortunately, there is an issue of aspect ratios. My digital photos all have an aspect ratio of 4:3 – different from those used for 4 x 6″, 5 x 7″, and 8 x 10″ photographic prints. I don’t especially want black bands on two sides of each image, and I definitely don’t want them arbitrarily cropped.

Is there anywhere online where I can order digital prints on photographic paper in native digital resolution? Albums capable of holding prints with that aspect ratio would also be required. The alternative – manually cropping hundreds of photos to minimize the unwanted aesthetic effects of switching to the 4 x 6″ format – is something I only want to do as a last resort.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

tlaing January 10, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Costco produced prints for me in the correct aspect ratio after I asked politely.

Milan January 10, 2008 at 7:47 pm


Was the actual paper 4:3, or were there bars on two edges?

. January 11, 2008 at 10:08 am

PhotoAccess reveals 4:3 ratio prints
Tuesday, 11 July 2000 04:00 GMT

What’s this? A smell of coffee? Computer monitors are 4:3 ratio, old CCD’s always had a 4:3 ratio, and thus digital cameras inherited this aspect ratio. Some consumer digital camera manufacturers have started to include 3:2 ratio image sizes (just cropping you understand) to match photo finishing prints. PhotoAccess takes the initiative by offering 4:3 ratio prints at 3.75″ x 5″ ($0.39), 4.5″ x 6″ ($0.49), 6″ x 8″ ($1.49), 7.5″ x 10″ ($2.49) and 9″ x 12″ ($4.95). I’m sure it wasn’t all that difficult… Guillotine?

. January 11, 2008 at 10:09 am

What is a 4XD paper?

In light of the popularity of digital cameras and digital prints many printing services are introducing paper sizes that are designed for digital prints. This means that the aspect ratio of the paper they offer is 4:3 and thus photos taken with digital cameras perfectly fit the paper.
The new digital compatible paper sizes have an aspect ratio of 4:3 (the digital sensor aspect ratio) and are as close as possible to their traditional film paper sizes. So – in the digital world a 4X6 paper size will actually become a 4X5 1/3 (a 4:3 aspect ratio paper size that is as close as possible to a 4X6 size).

As a marketing gimmick and instead of writing exact paper sizes many use the “digital” abbreviation of 4XD – which means 4XDigital or in other words “as close as we could make it to 4X6 that is digital camera aspect ratio compatible”.

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