Why hate portrait-oriented video? Perhaps because of the human field of view


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The biggest problems I have with portrait-mode video are that most computers have landscape-mode screens, so you have to shrink the video a lot with portrait, and bad software often makes it worse, whether by doing the black-bar thing twice or rendering the video badly or whatever.


Of course, it has nothing to do with our penchant for holding dear to what ever came under our gaze first. That would be silly and humans are not silly.


why don’t they just design the phones so that they always record in landscape mode? I am sure it is not beyond their capability.


Because the sensor is rectangular.

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Because we evolved on a horizontally flat plane?


It would be awesome if they could somehow figure out a way to rotate the sensor, or just use a square sensor, but all that sounds really impractical. Just showing a “rotate your phone” icon before video recording would probably help a bunch.


Yes. It’s the portrait format on a landscape screen.
If I was watching a (good) video shot in portrait and played full screen on my portrait oriented phone, I wouldn’t think twice about it. It would look nice, for example in a video call.

My eye has less of a problem with portrait oriented pictures on a landscape screen. Not sure why that is… unlimited time to look up and down compared to “missing” things on video? Odd

It has plenty of resolution for video either way. And I doubt that those people would care about subotimal sensor use.

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I don’t see why the ad is clever. The boy’s experience of Christmas has been mediated through a tiny screen and he physically separated himself from others. I think it’s just sad. He had an ephemeral moment to be with his family and he blew it.

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I keep my larger screen in portrait orientation, but I don’t recall ever watching a video on it in a way that used that orientation. I do like using it for pictures — even ones that are horizontal seem new when they’re the middle slice, blown up to fill that screen — but watching portrait videos is something I do for as long as it takes to see something where there’s no choice (like the rat on the escalator), and when it’s over, I go back to the landscape-oriented world.

I’m largely out of the habit of recording video on my Android anymore. Holding it sideways one-handed and starting and stopping video via a touchscreen “button” (as opposed to an actual mechanical button) is just too goddamned hard. Honestly, there are too many compromises in a smartphone: it’s a suboptimal camera, a suboptimal e-reader, a suboptimal computer, and a profoundly suboptimal telephone.

Fairly efficient leash, habit-monitor, contact-snooper, and rat-fink, however.


But it cheats a little: though the movie is widescreen, the young videographer is only shown using the phone upright, lest the viewer be tipped-off to his noble purpose.

I would point out that the camera resolution on the iPhone 5S is 3264 × 2448. It is entirely possible to take “landscape” 1920x1080 (1080i/p) with that sensor regardless of the orientation of the phone since the resulting image is cropped and scaled anyway.

I’m not saying that’s what they did (I don’t have a 5S so I don’t know if the video recording camera app lets you crop landscape while holding it in portrait mode), but it is technically possible.

This video sums up the problem as well as any I’ve seen:


[quote=“timquinn, post:3, topic:16886”]
Of course, it has nothing to do with our penchant for holding dear to what ever came under our gaze first.[/quote]

Actually many of the first TV screens had square aspect ratios. A fine design if you only have one eye, not so much if you have two.

as a trained photographer who advocates using the appropriate framing as dictated by the subject, my feeling is that the playback options on horizontal screens is the root problem (which the puppets briefly address,) but this video is hilarious. these are the Greg the Bunny puppeteers? I want to say that the voices are the same.

I’m just gonna come here to say what has likely already been said:

  1. 2 eyes, horizontally arranged, with more movement left and right than up and down.

  2. Horizon

  3. idiotic youtube “fullscreen” has no idea what device you’re watching on. It presumes landscape orientation and so if you tilt your phone to vertical (which would match the shape of badly shot video) it letterboxes the sides so you get a relative screen size of 20mm x 40mm. Bad programming.

  4. lazy motherfuckers who’ve never shot anything on a proper camera and who are much more comfortable with, and should probably stick to, sending texts complaining about autocorrect.


What it shows is that, from the perspective of someone watching (that’s you), it seems as if the kid would rather be anywhere but there. The clever part is the reveal where, against the oft-repeated technophobic trope that says if you’re playing with a thing then you’re not engaged, it becomes obvious that the kid loves Christmas so much that he wants to immortalise his experiences in a way that he and his whole family can enjoy for years to come. Thanks to the video his drunk uncle might even be able to remember something from this year’s Christmas.

He’s in a snowball fight, he is sledding, he is giving gifts and sharing in every moment documented… hardly “physically separating himself from others”.


‘‘oh, and did I mention get off my lawn?’’


Sorry bud, nope… it shoots 1080p at 30 fps. You’re thinking of still resolution. You could do that with a RED, but hey… if you’ve got a RED and you’re holding it the wrong way you’re probably beyond help :smile:

You may be right-ish though… the video includes slow-mo clips (which are shot at 720p) so if the whole project was output to 720p you could probably stretch a portrait-shot 1080p video and it would look reasonable enough… though you’d be stretching 1080px to 1280px so any video nerds in the crowd might notice (and judge).