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Resolution Chart Comparison

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 D700 (3.2 KB; 12 MP) Sony DSLR-A900 (5.3 MB, 24.6 MP)
Canon EOS 5D (3.5 MB; 12.8 MP) Nikon D300 (3.3 MB; 12 MP)

Nikon D700

Sony DSLR-A900
Canon EOS 5D Nikon D300

Nikon D700 Sony DSLR-A900
Canon EOS 5D Nikon D300

Nikon D700 Sony DSLR-A900
Canon EOS 5D Nikon D300

Measurable results

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Nikon D700 Horizontal LPH 2200  2600 
Vertical LPH 2200  2650 
Sony DSLR-A900 Horizontal LPH 2700  3700 
Vertical LPH 2700  3700 
Canon EOS 5D Horizontal LPH 2300  2500 
Vertical LPH 2000  2500 
Nikon D300 Horizontal LPH 2200  2600 
Vertical LPH 2100  2600 

* Moire 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)

The measured resolutions of all 12 megapixel cameras in this comparison are unsurprisingly in the same ballpark. The main differences are down to sensor design (anti-aliasing filter) and JPEG processing. The D700's rather conservative sharpening means the Canon EOS 5D's output looks a little sharper but the difference in measured resolution is marginal.

Naturally the 24 MP Sony DSLR-A900 stands out in this test, offering considerably more resolution than its 12 megapixel competitors. The resolved detail is quite simply staggering.

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Comments

Total comments: 7
driftnomore
By driftnomore (9 months ago)

@ zakk9:

what is it with telephoto long lenses,btw.

@chrisippus:

i guess that would be a good buy,with only under 1700 shutter count,lens and the battery grip. had it been here in my place,i'm gonna get it.

0 upvotes
driftnomore
By driftnomore (9 months ago)

does anyone here know the shutter actuation of the d700? i'm considering buying a used one with 39,000 shutter count for 900 euros.is it a good buy for a 39k count?

1 upvote
MusaOmar
By MusaOmar (8 months ago)

I think they are rated for 150,000.. So 39k is not that bad. Just bought one with 38K for $1300

1 upvote
Jamesbond6668
By Jamesbond6668 (10 months ago)

I've used this camera for many photo shoots for over 2 years and still have it as my backup camera. (My main one is the D4). If you don't care about video, this is the camera for you! Much better than the D600 and probably very similar to the D800 (though the D800 has way too large image files for most shooters.). The images from the D700 with the right Nikkor lenses will keep you very happy for many years! (I only switched to the D4 for it's low light ability and faster shooting speed.)

1 upvote
Chrysippus
By Chrysippus (9 months ago)

I have been looking for a replacement camera for my D40 and in my research discovered the D700. I can now get a used one in perfect condition with less than 1700 shots taken plus grip and lens (waiting to hear which lens) for 890 Euros. Would you say this is a better option than a Fuji X-E1 or Olympus OM-D E-M5 in terms of usability and image quality? I am looking for a camera to take stock photos with.

0 upvotes
zakk9
By zakk9 (9 months ago)

The D700 is an excellent camera if you don't need video or long telephoto lenses. It's particularly ideal if you want to use wide aperture primes and play with shallow depth of field. When it comes to image quality, it's a 5 year old camera, and many of the smaller sensors approach the once unique qualities of the D700 (I use a Panasonic GH3 in addition to the D700 myself). There are no obvious choices, and it mostly boils down to the user experience. Do you prefer an OVF or an EVF? Are you ok with a camera that is twice as heavy? The rational choices nowadays are probably a mirrorless camera, but the D700 is a classic. They are all good :)

2 upvotes
Son Of Waldo
By Son Of Waldo (11 months ago)

Excellent review!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 7