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Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Canon PowerShot A510 (3 MP, 4x zoom)
  • Canon PowerShot A520 (4 MP, 4x zoom)
  • Konica Minolta DiMAGE X31 (3 MP, 3x zoom)
  • Nikon Coolpix 3100 (3 MP, 3x zoom)

Shots here are of the PIMA/ISO 12233 standard resolution test chart (more of which are available in our comparison database). This resolution chart allows us to measure the actual performance of the lens and sensor system. It measures the ability of the camera to resolve lines at gradually higher resolutions and enables us to provide a definitive value for comparison purposes. Values on the chart are 1/100th lines per picture height. Thus a value of 15 equates to 1500 lines per picture height.

Studio light, cameras set to auto, settings all factory default. If possible aperture was selected for optimum sharpness. Exposure compensation +0.7 EV to +1.3 EV.

Canon PowerShot A510
(1,078 KB; 4 MP)
Canon PowerShot A520
(1,386 KB; 4 MP)
Konica Minolta DiMAGE X31
(1,050 KB; 3 MP)
Nikon Coolpix 3100
(815 KB; 3 MP)

Resolution chart crops

Canon PowerShot A510 Canon PowerShot A520
Konica Minolta DiMAGE X31 Nikon Coolpix 3100
Canon PowerShot A510 Canon PowerShot A520
Konica Minolta DiMAGE X31 Nikon Coolpix 3100

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Canon PowerShot A510 Horizontal LPH 1100 * 1300
Vertical LPH * 1100 *1400
5° Diagonal LPH # 1000 n/a
Canon PowerShot A520 Horizontal LPH 1250 * 1450
Vertical LPH 1300 *1500
5° Diagonal LPH * + 1000 n/a
Nikon Coolpix 3100 Horizontal LPH 1000 * 1300
Vertical LPH * 1300 *1500
5° Diagonal LPH # 900 n/a
Konica Minolta DiMAGE X31 Horizontal LPH 1000 * 1300
Vertical LPH * 1000 * 1350
5° Diagonal LPH # 900 n/a

* Moiré is visible
+ Chart maximum
# Jagged diagonals
LPH Lines per Picture Height (to allow for different aspect ratios the measurement is the same for horizontal and vertical)
5° Diagonal Lines set at 5° diagonal
Absolute res. Point at which all lines of a resolution bar are still visible and defined, beyond this resolution loss of detail occurs (below Nyquist frequency).
Extinction res. Detail beyond camera's definition (becomes aliased)
n/a Not Available (above the capability of the test chart)
n/v Not Visible (not visible on test results)

The A510 has Canon squeezing the maximum resolution out of a budget, 3.2MP model, and it's certainly not a bad job at all, only around 10% less than the more expensive 4.0MP A520. There is a little moiré at the higher frequencies, and it gets quite messy towards extinction resolution, but all-in-all a pretty impressive result for a camera with a street price as low as $149/£125.

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