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I was using a Zenmuse Z3 (https://www.dji.com/zenmuse-z3) camera mounted on a drone to record HD video (1280x720). However, when I opened it up and verified with the sensor specs (available here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_sensor_format#Table_of_sensor_formats_and_sizes), I found that the Sony 1/2.3" sensor being used has physical dimensions with a 4:3 ratio.

My confusion is how is data of a 16:9 aspect ratio recorded on a 4:3 sensor? Are only a portion of the pixels from the sensor, that can constitute a 16:9 ratio used?

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The image is just cropped from 4:3 to 16:9. So yes, only a part of pixels is used.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So, say for example the sensor I'm using is 8.8mm x 6.6mm in physical dimensions, is it possible to gauge the dimensions of the area being used (mm x mm) on the sensor with a 16:9 ratio? \$\endgroup\$
    – fwx
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 3:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ And is the 16:9 crop centred on the same point as the original 4:3 image? \$\endgroup\$
    – fwx
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 12:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user1649740 Of course it's possible. Cuting off parts of an image you can get any ratio you want. As for the second - there is no rule or standard I am aware of. Try it yourself. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zenit
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 14:45

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