I have two still photo cameras: a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ35 DSLR and a Sony DSC-T99 digital pocket camera. Both shoot 4:3 as well as 16:9 photos. If you don't know the difference, basically the 4:3 is nearly square and the type of photos that have been around for decades. They make 4x6 and 8x10 prints (and a variety of other related sizes). 16:9 is the rectangle ratio used on HD TV's and in movies. Think of it like this: 4:3 is what your standard definition television is, and 16:9 is what your HD television is. One is more square-ish, the other a rectangle.
Both cameras also shoot HD video at 16:9. I also have two pocket video cameras (a Kodak Playsport and a Sony Bloggie Duo).
I've decided this week its time to start shooting photos in 16:9. I think it'll be beneficial for a couple of reasons. I don't print photos I take, I put them on the internet. So having the photos in standard photo sizes isn't really important. The other is that I want to create video regularly for YouTube and if the photo size matches the video size for HD I can use them without wasting editing time in the videos.
I've been developing a content strategy for the videos and being able to use still photos will be an important part in their creation. And, we're moving into an HD world.
I wanted to share all of that so if you notice that the photos look a little different on this blog its because I made the switch. And, if I didn't tell you I'd worry that you wouldn't be sleeping well.
Here are two photos that show the difference: (Note: if you click on the photos, you'll really be able to see the difference between the two... because they'll show full screen).