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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. For each camera the relevant 50 mm prime lens was used. The chart is shot at a full range of apertures and the sharpest image selected.

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 20D (2,537 KB; 8 MP) Canon EOS-1D Mark II (1,935 KB; 8 MP)
Canon EOS 10D (1,904 KB; 6 MP) Olympus C-8080 WZ (3,089 KB; 8 MP)

Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS-1D Mark II
Canon EOS 10D Olympus C-8080 WZ

Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS-1D Mark II
Canon EOS 10D Olympus C-8080 WZ

Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS-1D Mark II
Canon EOS 10D Olympus C-8080 WZ

Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS-1D Mark II
Canon EOS 10D Olympus C-8080 WZ

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Canon EOS 20D Horiz LPH 1850  + 2000 
Vert LPH 1650  + 2000 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 
Canon EOS-1D Mark II Horiz LPH 1850  + 2000 
Vert LPH 1650  + 2000 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 
Canon EOS 10D Horiz LPH 1600  1900 
Vert LPH 1450  1850 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 
Olympus C-8080 WZ Horiz LPH 1700  + * 2000 
Vert LPH 1650  * 1950 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 

* 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)
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 EOS 20D produced as-good-as identical resolution to the EOS-1D Mark II, the only noticeable differences were the lighter EOS 20D image and more noticeable sharpening halos. We can of course see a clear resolution increase over the camera it replaces, the six megapixel EOS 10D. Once more the 'prosumer' Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom doesn't put in a bad performance.

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