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Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Canon PowerShot S2 IS (5MP, 12x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ5 (5 MP, 12x zoom)
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1 (5 MP, 12x zoom)
  • Kodak EasyShare DX7590 (5 MP, 10x zoom)
  • Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 (5 MP, 12x zoom)
  • Canon PowerShot S1 IS (3MP, 10x zoom)

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. Thus a value of 15 equates to 1500 lines per picture height.

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

Canon S2 IS (1,896 KB; 5 MP) Sony DSC-H1 (2,029 KB; 5 MP)
Konica Minolta Z5 (1,858 KB; 5 MP) Kodak DX7590 (1,418 KB; 5 MP)
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 (1,802 KB; 5 MP) Canon S1 IS (1,273 KB; 3 MP)

Resolution Chart Crops

Canon S2 IS Sony DSC-H1
Canon S1 IS Kodak DX7590
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 Konica Minolta Z5
Canon S2 IS Sony DSC-H1
Canon S1 IS Kodak DX7590
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 Konica Minolta Z5

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Canon PowerShot S2 IS Horizontal LPH 1350 ‡ * 1550 ‡
Vertical LPH * 1500 ‡ * 1650 ‡
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 ‡ n/a
Sony Cyber-shot H1 Horizontal LPH 1350 1600
Vertical LPH 1450 1650
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Kodak DX7590 Horizontal LPH 1100 *1400
Vertical LPH 1200 *1450
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Konica Minolta
DiMAGE Z5
Horizontal LPH *1300 *1500
Vertical LPH *1250 *1500
5° Diagonal LPH *1000 n/a
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 Horizontal LPH 1350 1650
Vertical LPH 1300 1600
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Canon PowerShot S1 IS Horizontal LPH 1050 *1300
Vertical LPH 1050 *1300
5° Diagonal LPH 900 n/a

* Moiré is visible
+ Chart maximum
Jagged diagonals
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 S2 IS is certainly capable of pulling plenty of detail out of our test chart - it's one of the best in its class in terms of pure resolution, though they're not the cleanest results we've ever seen, with visible moiré at fairly low frequencies and a tendency for jagged diagonals (not something we really spotted in real-world shots). We also found that diffraction effects mean resolution starts to drop off fairly quickly at apertures of F7.1 and smaller.

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