The 4:3 aspect ratio is often referred to as “full-frame” because it matches the full frame of 35mm films used in motion pictures and television before it was changed in the 1950s.

Because of this heritage, many video editors today still use a slightly wider 16:9 aspect ratio.

Also known as “widescreen,” this ratio has become more popular because it matches how widescreen HDTVs are displayed on television and how newer movies are filmed and presented on Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and video streaming services like YouTube.

4:3 aspect ratio

What Is 4:3 aspect ratio?

A 4:3 aspect ratio means that for every 4 inches of width in an image, you will have 3 inches of height.

It’s a simple enough concept, but it can be a little confusing when you are trying to figure out what size an image should be.

For example, the most common size for computer monitors is 1024×768 pixels.

To find the aspect ratio, simply divide the width by the height and you get 1.33. This is usually simplified down to 4:3.



What Is “Aspect Ratio”?

Many people simply refer to aspect ratio as the shape or proportion of a video screen. The shape is important when it comes to standardizing screen sizes no matter what the image format. Here’s a little more in-depth explanation of aspect ratio.

Aspect Ratio is defined as the relationship between an object’s width and its height. In relation to digital video, it refers to how wide and how tall the pixel dimensions are on a camera, display monitor, or projector.

These dimensions are measured diagonally and expressed in terms of a ratio. For example, if you have a 4:3 aspect ratio, then that means your display is 4 units wide by 3 units high; you can also say that it has a dimension of 4 x 3 = 12.

The two most common aspect ratios used today are 16:9 (which is widescreen) and 4:3 (which is standard, broadcast television).

This aspect ratio concept is one of the most basic elements in digital photography, but it can be confusing.

Everyone has heard the terms 4×3 and 16×9, but what do they mean? The aspect ratio is derived by dividing both sides by the same number. 

In this case, if you divide both sides by 9, you get 1.11 (or 1:1.11). The final number (in this case 1.11) is called the multiplier. So if you want to know the multiplier of your photograph, divide both sides by 9 and multiply that number by 100.

What Is a 4:3 Aspect Ratio?

Most digital cameras use the 4:3 aspect ratio, where the width is four units and the height is three units. The 4:3 aspect ratio is also used by most televisions, computer monitors, and projectors. The vertical resolution of a digital camera or video camera equals 480 active lines, which are displayed on a TV in 480p format. The horizontal resolution is 640 pixels.

Until now, we have seen different types of aspect ratios used for photography, but today the most commonly used aspect ratio is the 4:3 aspect ratio.


The 4:3 aspect ratio means that the width of the image is 4 units and the height of the image is 3 units.

Aspect ratios are important because they can affect how your photos look. For example, if you are taking pictures at a concert or play, it may be better to use a wider lens so that you can capture more of what’s happening around you. If you have a wide-angle lens (or you’re standing close to the stage), it might be better to use the 4:3 aspect ratio.

The History Of the 4:3 Ratio

The history of the 4:3 ratio dates back to the early days of television. 4:3 is the aspect ratio standard for 35mm film, so it’s no surprise that TV adopted it as well. The aspect ratio was originally defined by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a resolution passed in 1932 and updated in 1939. The movie industry adopted this new standard, having already been using it for many years.

As digital technology evolved, 4:3 remained the aspect ratio standard for TVs and computers because it fit nicely into a 640×480 pixel screen. However, more recently this has changed when video game systems adopted widescreen 16:9 displays.

This was due to the fact that films are now commonly shown in 16:9 and thus, it became necessary for games to follow suit so that films could be properly displayed on these newer televisions.

The most recent gaming consoles from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all use 16:9 as their standard display format, with resolutions ranging from 720p up to 1080p. While there are still some people who would rather play their games on older consoles with 4:3 ratios, most have moved onto widescreen displays and have embraced 16:9 as their new way of gaming.

Nostalgia Surrounding the 4:3 Aspect Ratio

The common aspect ratios used in digital cameras and TV sets are 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9​, but the 4:3 aspect ratio is the most common aspect ratio for traditional analog TV sets and computer monitors.

This aspect ratio was first used for TVs in the 1940s. The 4:3 aspect ratio has been used for decades because it provides a good balance between screen size, and resolution so that the image on a screen would remain sharp when magnified or reduced in size.

This was particularly important when TVs were broadcast over analog airwaves, which had a lower resolution than today’s digital airwaves.

The 4:3 aspect ratio also works well with traditional TV programming, where shows are filmed in a 1:1 aspect ratio, then cropped to fit into a 16:9 frame for a television broadcast.

Features Of 4:3 Ratio

A lot of people have been around TV sets and a lot of them have seen the most common ratios used. 16:9 is the widescreen format that is used in most recent TV sets. The other ones are the 4:3 formats, which could have different shapes like rectangular or oval.

TV set manufacturers use a 4:3 ratio because it is the oldest one among all of the existing television formats. A standard definition television has a 4:3 ratio and was developed in 1953 by CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System). It was first called a “compatible color” until it became standardized with its current name.

This format only has a slight change from its original development up to now; it was just modified in order to fit with modern technology and for aesthetic purposes. However, despite these changes, it remains popular among consumers because of its simplicity and great quality image display.

The name “4:3 ratio” comes from the dimensions used while creating a display screen; which are 4 units wide and 3 units high. This makes a total of 4 by 3 units, which is 9 square units altogether.


Its popularity remained until now because of its simplicity, but some disadvantages were also present in this format, such as a lower video resolution.

The 4:3 Aspect Ratio Pixels

This ratio was used by film cameras when they were first introduced, and it is still used by many photographers. The 4:3 aspect ratio is also used on the computer screen. However, the 4:3 aspect ratio is no longer the standard in the photo industry. 

Most images are now created in a 16:9 aspect ratio. When you upload your photos to social networking sites like Facebook, they will be automatically cropped to this new format.

The 4:3 aspect ratio was an ideal one for displaying images on standard computer monitors and television screens. Because it is a squarer shape, it displays pictures with less white space than the 16:9 ratio does. 

In addition, the 4:3 ratio better accommodates business cards that are 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches (the standard size). These cards look odd when their shape is changed to fit on a 16:9 screen.

However, for today’s high-definition TVs and computer screens, the benefits of using a 4:3 ratio have been outweighed by newer technology.

Today’s digital cameras create images in a 16:9 format, and most people view these images on large television screens or smaller computers that can display a widescreen format without zooming in.

What Is 4k Resolution In a 4:3 Aspect Ratio?

4k resolution is the new standard for HDTVs. It offers four times the resolution of a conventional 1080p high definition display, for sharper images and more detailed video – in other words, it’s VERY crisp. But what does that mean for your viewing experience?


A pixel (or picture element) is the smallest unit of information in any image or picture. In a conventional 4:3 image, with 720p or 1080p resolution, there are 1920 pixels horizontally, and 1080 vertically. With a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio (the most common in theaters) there are 2304 pixels horizontally and only 1080 vertically – however, this is still “full HD”.

So what gives 4k its advantage? The extra pixels!

A 4k display has 4096 pixels horizontally and 2160 vertically – that’s 880 more pixels in total! This translates to clearer pictures and videos, which is particularly helpful when you’re watching movies or playing games on your TV.

What’s more, because the pixels are smaller, you get to enjoy a much better viewing experience; reduced pixelation is one of the benefits of 4k technology.


Importance Of Whether an Aspect Ratio Match?

Aspect ratio is the relationship between the width and height of an image. It is among the fundamental concepts you should understand when you are handling photos in Photoshop.

By default, photos have a 3:2 aspect ratio, which means that for every three units of height, there are two units of width. Although there’s another concept we should keep in mind: Screen size.

Aspect ratio and screen size, both of which are used to measure the size of an image, are closely related. They are not the same thing, but they overlap a good deal. When you change the aspect ratio, you are changing the ratio of height to width. When you change the screen size, you are changing the size of the viewable area.

Getting these two things mixed up can have unintended consequences for your images.

Aspect ratio and screen size relate because they both have to do with viewing images. As aspect ratio refers to the proportionate relationship between an image’s width and its height, the screen size, on the other hand, refers to the display’s width and height.

In other words, aspect ratio is concerned with how an image is presented; screen size is concerned with how much of it appears on a display or paper.

The Difference Between 4:3 And 16:9 Aspect Ratios

TVs, movies, and other forms of entertainment are broadcast in a 4:3 aspect ratio; this is also called full-frame.

A 4:3 aspect ratio has a width that is four units wide, and a height that is three units high. This makes it taller than it is wide. For example, imagine a piece of paper measuring 4 inches by 3 inches. That’s how tall and narrow a 4:3 aspect ratio would be.

A 16:9 aspect ratio, on the other hand, is what you see on widescreen televisions, cameras, and computer monitors today.

It has twice as much width as it does height, making this an ideal format for HDTVs with high definition resolutions up to 1920 x 1080 pixels. 

The 16:9 aspect ratio is most commonly used for viewing HDTV programs, online videos, and playing computer games; while a standard 4:3 TV set will display images in a 4:3 aspect ratio perfectly fine because the image fills up the entire screen.

How Is the 4:3 Aspect Ratio Used Today?

In the past, the 4:3 aspect ratio was used almost universally. Today, it is still widely used but has been replaced by variations of 16:9 in terms of popularity. The video below will help you better understand the 16:9 aspect ratio and the 4:3 aspect ratio.

The 4:3 aspect ratio has been used in many different fields for quite some time. It is useful when a document requires both text and images to be displayed on the same page. This was also commonly used in television shows and film projects because it allowed for a natural viewing experience without having to worry about black bars.

TV Shows:

Many shows shot in the past were shot using this aspect ratio (4:3). Examples of such shows include I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, Happy Days, Bewitched, etc. These shows would be filmed with appropriate camera angles that would work with the given format. Also, because of the limited color palette at that time, black bars were never a problem because they could simply be painted out of the picture during post-production.

Film Projects:

Films made before 16:9 became popular tended to use this format as well. Because most projectors were compatible with this format, movies could be screened anywhere.

Wrapping Up the 4:3 Aspect Ratio

OK, so when do you use the 4:3 aspect ratio? Simple! You use it when you want your image to have a classic look. It’s perfect for portraits, large format prints, and even small to medium format advertising.

A more narrow version of the HDTV standard 1080p, 720p is used for high-definition for traditional televisions. Though 720p does not have as many pixels as the full HD 1080p resolution, the trade-off is that 720p displays can be larger than HDTVs without losing quality.

The closest 720p display size is 40 inches diagonally, while the closest 1080p display size is around 37 inches diagonally.

The 720p display has 1,280 horizontal pixels and 720 vertical pixels (1,080 total). This means that each pixel on the screen is doubled in width compared to a standard TV. For example, if a picture of a person on a full-HD television has 5 pixels by 5 pixels (25 total), the same picture will appear with 10 pixels by 10 pixels on a 720p TV.

The result is that images on these screens look sharper when they are close up or displayed in large sizes. The only drawback is that there are fewer pixels overall in 720p.