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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.

Sony DSLR-A700 (2.6 MB, 12 MP) Canon EOS 40D (2.6 MB, 10 MP)
Nikon D300 (3.3 KB; 12 MP) Olympus E-3 (3.3 MB; 10 MP)

Sony DSLR-A700 Canon EOS 40D
Nikon D300 Olympus E-3

Sony DSLR-A700 Canon EOS 40D
Nikon D300 Olympus E-3

Sony DSLR-A700 Canon EOS 40D
Nikon D300 Olympus E-3

Measurable results

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Sony DSLR-A700 Horizontal LPH * 2200  2900 
Vertical LPH 2100  2800 
Canon EOS 40D Horizontal LPH 2100  2300 
Vertical LPH 1800  2300 
Nikon D300 Horizontal LPH 2200  2600 
Vertical LPH 2100  2600 
Olympus E-3 Horizontal LPH * 2100  2400 
Vertical LPH * 1800  2200 

* 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)

Interesting results that essentially echo the fact that there's only a very slight difference in resolution from going from ten to twelve megapixels, bigger differences are realized by the imaging pipeline / strength of the anti-alias filter. The A700 delivered the best extinction resolution (continued detail beyond absolute resolution, the D300 the cleanest least processed looking image. Both the DSLR-A700 and E-3 suffered from some moire near the limits of resolution.

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