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Resolution Chart Comparison

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. So a value of 15 equates to 1500 lines per picture height. Lenses used: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 / Nikkor 50 mm F1.4, stopped down to F9.0.

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

Canon EOS-10D Canon EOS-D60
Nikon D100 Fujifilm S2 Pro (6 mp size)

Canon EOS-10D Canon EOS-D60
Nikon D100 Fujifilm S2 Pro (6 mp size)

Canon EOS-10D Canon EOS-D60
Nikon D100 Fujifilm S2 Pro (6 mp size)

Canon EOS-10D Canon EOS-D60
Nikon D100 Fujifilm S2 Pro (6 mp size)

Canon EOS-10D Canon EOS-D60
Nikon D100 Fujifilm S2 Pro (6 mp size)

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement Absolute Res. Extinction Res.
Canon EOS-10D Horiz LPH 1600  1900 
Vert LPH 1450  1850 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Canon EOS-D60 Horiz LPH 1600  * 1800 
Vert LPH 1400  1800 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Nikon D100 Horiz LPH 1600  * 1850 
Vert LPH 1300  * 1700 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Fujifilm S2 Pro
(6.1 mp)
Horiz LPH 1650  1900 
Vert LPH 1400  1850 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 


* Visible moiré pattern

Definition of terms:

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 Resolution Still defined detail (below Nyquist frequency*)
Extinction Resolution Detail beyond camera's definition (becomes a solid gray alias)
n/a Not Available (above the capability of the test chart)
n/v Not Visible (not visible on test results)

* Nyquist frequency defined as the highest spatial frequency where the sensor can
still faithfully record image detail. Beyond the Nyquist frequency aliasing occurs

The EOS-10D managed to squeeze a little more resolution out of its six megapixel sensor than we'd seen from the EOS-D60. It's also worth noting that Canon's improved image processing algorithm has completely eliminated moiré which was clearly visible in the EOS-D60 resolution chart.

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Barney Britton
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