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Resolution Chart Comparison

Shots here are of our new '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 +0.7 EV to +1.3 EV.

Leica M8 (2,810 KB; 10.3 MP) Canon EOS 5D (3,552 KB; 12.8 MP)
Nikon D200 (2,728 KB; 10.0 MP) Panasonic DMC-L1 (2,958 KB; 7.4 MP)

Leica M8 Canon EOS 5D
Nikon D200 Panasonic DMC-L1

Leica M8 Canon EOS 5D
Nikon D200 Panasonic DMC-L1

Leica M8 Canon EOS 5D
Nikon D200 Panasonic DMC-L1

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Leica M8 Horizontal LPH 1900  * 2100 
Vertical LPH 1700  2200 
Canon EOS 5D Horizontal LPH 2300  2500 
Vertical LPH 2000  2500 
Nikon D200 Horizontal LPH 2100  2250 
Vertical LPH 1700  2200 
Panasonic DMC-L1 Horizontal LPH 1750  2100 
Vertical LPH 1600  2000 

* 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)

As you can see from the figures above the M8's built-in software anti-alias (moire-reduction) algorithm begins blurring the image fairly early and limits horizontal resolution to around 1900 LPH (compared to between 2400 and 2600 LPH from RAW). This puts the M8's JPEG resolution in the same ball park as the best eight megapixel digital SLRs (which is a pity considering the amazing resolution, thanks to not having an anti-alias filter, available from RAW).

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