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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.

Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 12 mp (4,501 KB; 12 MP) Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 6 mp (3,000 KB; 6 MP)
Canon EOS 20D (2,537 KB; 8 MP) Nikon D70 (2,370 KB; 6 MP)

Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 12 mp Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 6 mp
Canon EOS 20D Nikon D70

Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 12 mp Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 6 mp
Canon EOS 20D Nikon D70

Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 12 mp Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 6 mp
Canon EOS 20D Nikon D70

Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 12 mp Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 6 mp
Canon EOS 20D Nikon D70

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 12 mp Horiz LPH 1900  + 2000 
Vert LPH 1600  1950 
Fujifilm S3 Pro @ 6 mp Horiz LPH * 1600  1800 
Vert LPH * 1450  1700 
Konica Minolta 7D Horiz LPH 1600  1750 
Vert LPH 1400  1700 
Canon EOS 20D Horiz LPH 1850  + 2000 
Vert LPH 1650  + 2000 
Nikon D70 Horiz LPH 1600  * 1850 
Vert LPH 1450  * 1850 

* 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)
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)

You have to take your hat off to Fujifilm's engineers, the S3 Pro's image processing algorithms are very impressive and deliver good results on our resolution chart, however I feel that the above (especially horizontal resolution) is a result of processing rather than an absolute resolution capability. Nothing in our test images, comparisons or gallery shots suggest that the S3 Pro has as much resolution as say the eight megapixel Canon EOS 20D. Having said that I'd be quite comfortable stating the S3 Pro's actual resolution as somewhere between the best six megapixel digital SLR's and the eight megapixel Canon EOS 20D.

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