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Resolution Chart Comparison (RAW)

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.

For a (more) level playing field we also convert our resolution tests using Adobe Camera RAW. Because Adobe Camera RAW applies different levels of sharpening to different cameras (this confirmed) we had to use the following workflow for these conversions:

  • Load RAW file into Adobe Camera RAW (Auto mode disabled)
  • Set Sharpness to 0 (all other settings default)
  • Open file to Photoshop
  • Apply a Unsharp mask: 80%, Radius 1.0, Threshold 0
  • Save as a TIFF (for cropping) and as a JPEG quality 11 for download

Please note that we have not included the Olympus E-620 on this page because ACR 5.4 Beta currently does not produce the detail we would expect with the E-620 RAW-files and it would therefore be very unfair to the E-620 to use it for pixel-level comparisons. We will update this page as soon as this issue gets fixed.

Canon EOS 500D (3.3 MB, 15.1 MP) Nikon D5000 (2.6 MB; 12.3 MP)
 
Canon EOS 450D (2.7 MB, 12.2 MP)  

Canon EOS 500D Nikon D5000
 
Canon EOS 450D  

Canon EOS 500D Nikon D5000
 
Canon EOS 450D  

Canon EOS 500D Nikon D5000
 
Canon EOS 450D  

Measurable results

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Canon EOS 500D Horizontal LPH 2400  * 3300 
Vertical LPH 2350  * 3200 
Nikon D5000 Horizontal LPH 2400  * 3200 
Vertical LPH 2350  * 3200 
Canon EOS 450D Horizontal LPH 2400  * 3300 
Vertical LPH 2350  * 3200 

* 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 resolution figures of all camera increase when shooting RAW but some gain more than others. The Nikon improves significantly and almost catches up with the Canons. All cameras show quite significant moire and artifacts, but this will almost certainly be a non-issue if you photograph scenes other than resolution charts.

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Comments

golfmike304

Haven't had it for long but am impressed with my initial pictures. I also own a canon SX50HS. I owned a canon eos rebel slr and am glad for the digital age.

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