Got a question on my iPhone Camera review from viewer Huber, who writes:
What’s up with the black bars when taking a picture with the iPhone?There are two black bars making the picture small, kind of like a square. All of the other phones the image takes up the whole screen.
That’s called “pillar boxing”. You know how some movies are SUPER wide screen and you see thin horizontal black strips on the top and bottom of your TV? That’s called “letter boxing”. Pillar boxing happens when the aspect ratio of a photo or video isn’t wide enough to completely fill the format it’s being displayed in.
In this case, the video window is 16×9, which is a pretty wide rectangle, but the iPhone shoots photos in 4×3, which is a really squarish rectangle. As that chunky pic can’t fill the whole video window, the software showing the photo adds the pillar boxing. If it didn’t do that, you would either have to crop and zoom in (which would defeat the purpose of me showing the pics in this video) or you would have to warp and stretch the photo to fill the widescreen view.
Cameras like those found on Samsung phones use natively 16×9 image sensors, so both photos and videos are automagically wide screen. Most other phones use an almost square sensor, so any widescreen photos or videos are the result of a crop.