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Resolution Chart Comparison (JPEG)

Shots here are of our 'version two' resolution chart which provides for measurement of resolution up to 4000 LPH (Lines Per Picture Height). A value of 20 equates to 2000 lines per picture height. For each camera the relevant prime lens was used. The chart is shot at a full range of apertures and the sharpest image selected. Studio light, cameras set to aperture priority (optimum aperture selected), image parameters default. Exposure compensation set to deliver approximately 80% luminance of white area.

Nikon D3000 (2.8MB, 10.2 MP) Canon EOS 1000D (2.2 MB, 10.1 MP)
Sony Alpha 230 (2.4 MB; 10.2 MP) Pentax K2000 (2.7 MB, 10.2 MP)

Nikon D3000 Canon EOS 1000D
Sony Alpha 230 Pentax K2000

Nikon D3000 Canon EOS 1000D
Sony Alpha 230 Pentax K2000

Nikon D3000 Canon EOS 1000D
Sony Alpha 230 Pentax K2000

Measurable results

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Nikon D3000 Horizontal LPH 1900  2400 
Vertical LPH 1700  *2100 
Canon EOS 1000D Horizontal LPH *2150  2450 
Vertical LPH 1950  2150 
Sony Alpha 230 Horizontal LPH *2200  *2750 
Vertical LPH *1950  *2500 
Pentax K2000 Horizontal LPH *1950  * 2200 
Vertical LPH *2050  * 2300 

* Moiré is visible
+ Chart maximum
LPH Lines per Picture Height (to allow for different aspect ratios the measurement is the same for horizontal and vertical)
Absolute resolution 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 resolution Detail beyond camera's definition (becomes aliased)

There are few surprises here - the Nikon D3000 and Canon EOS 1000D are close in terms of detail resolution although the EOS 1000D just has the edge in terms of absolute resolutino and images are slightly sharper at default settings. The Sony Alpha 230 gives the softest images of all four cameras here, but its vertical resolution is (or appears to be) quite good given the generally soft output. In fact, it is possible to count nine vertical lines at frequencies as high as 2600LPH, which is beyond the theoretical Nyquist frequency of the sensor. However, as we'll see from the raw comparisons over the page, all is not necessarily what it seems to be...

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