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Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Canon PowerShot G11 (10MP, 5x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-LX3 (10MP, 2.5x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-GF1 (12.1MP, interchangeable lens)
  • Canon PowerShot G10 (14.7MP, 5x zoom)

Shots here are of our standard resolution chart (version one or two). This 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. (Note that on version two of our chart the vertical resolution 1000 - 2000 lines have been horizontally flipped but are otherwise identical). The chart is shot at a full range of apertures and the sharpest image selected.

Studio light, cameras set to auto, settings all factory default. If possible aperture was selected for optimum sharpness. Exposure compensation +0.3 EV to +1.3 EV.

Canon PowerShot G11 (1.6 MB; 10 MP) Panasonic DMC-LX3 (3.4 KB; 10 MP)
Panasonic DMC-GF1 (4.3 KB; 12 MP) Canon PowerShot G10 (4.5 MB; 14.7 MP)

Resolution chart crops

Canon PowerShot G11 Panasonic DMC-LX3
Panasonic DMC-GF1 Canon PowerShot G10
Canon PowerShot G11 Panasonic DMC-LX3
Panasonic DMC-GF1 Canon PowerShot G10

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Canon PowerShot G11 Horiz LPH 2000 2250
Vert LPH 2050 2400
Panasonic LX3 Horiz LPH 2150 2400
Vert LPH 2150 2500
Panasonic DMC-GF1 Horiz LPH 2250 2600
Vert LPH 2200 2550
Canon PowerShot G10 Horiz LPH 2450 * 2750
Vert LPH 2500 * 2750

* Moiré is visible
# Jagged diagonals
+ Chart maximum
LPH Lines per Picture Height (to allow for different aspect ratios the measurement is the same for horizontal and vertical)
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)

Unlike its predecessor, the G11 is not going to surprise anyone with its resolution - it's very much what you'd expect for a 10MP compact. If anything it's a little behind the LX3. Whether this difference is down to the two cameras' JPEG rendering or anti-aliasing filter should become clearer when we process from RAW. Because the G11 shares its lens with the G10 and these shots were taken at the same aperture, we know it's not the lens or diffraction that's holding back the G11.

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