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Compared to...

Here we will use our standard color and resolution charts to compare the Minolta DiMAGE A!, Canon PowerShot G5, Fujifilm FinePix S7000 Zoom and Sony DSC-F717.

Color Chart Comparison

Color charts are shot in daylight, Auto White Balance, +0.3 EV exposure compensation (except the DiMAGE A1 which required +0.7 EV exposure compensation to achieve the same tone balance). All cameras are given 20 seconds for their white balance systems to settle before the shot is taken (often we will take up to eight shots and select the 'average' AWB result).

Minolta DiMAGE A1 Canon PowerShot G5
Fujifilm FinePix S7000 Sony DSC-F717

In the table below we're only measuring color. The RGB values were measured from a VGA reduced image (to average colors, remove noise and eliminate JPEG artifacts) using the Eyedropper tool in Photoshop with a 5 by 5 Average Sample Size.

Patch Minolta
DiMAGE A1
Canon
PowerShot G5
Fujifilm
FinePix S7000
Sony
DSC-F717
Black 29,32,33 32,32,32 23,26,24 23,22,24
Middle Gray 89,96,96 94,95,95 101,106,109 92,92,94
White 217,221,217 211,211,207 223,223,223 195,193,192
Magenta 195,17,101 206,41,114 239,49,141 180,26,96
Red 191,11,45 199,35,42 233,42,40 170,19,21
Yellow 213,205,40 203,186,17 222,207,36 190,184,45
Green 8,129,68 7,131,61 0,148,45 34,137,76
Cyan 4,146,200 0,142,205 0,178,182 38,160,192
Blue 40,37,96 29,38,99 29,37,105 53,34,106

As you can see the DiMAGE A1 produced a color response quite similar to the Canon PowerShot G5. It's worth remembering that you do have a wide degree of control over both color and tonal response with the DiMAGE A1, as well as the choice to shoot in the Adobe RGB color space.

Resolution 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 8 equates to 800 lines per picture height.

Studio light, cameras set to auto, all settings factory default. Exposure compensation +0.7 EV for all cameras (to compensate for the white background). Click on the camera name below the crops to download the full resolution chart (large JPEG's).

Horizontal resolution Vertical resolution 5 degree diagonal res.
Minolta DiMAGE A1 (2,489 KB)
Canon PowerShot G5 (1,985 KB)
Fujifilm FinePix S7000 @ 6mp (1,656 KB)
Sony DSC-F717 (2,040 KB)

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera)

Camera Measurement Absolute Res. Extinction Res.
Minolta DiMAGE A1 Horizontal LPH * 1300  * 1450 
Vertical LPH * 1150  * 1450 
5° Diagonal LPH 900  n/a 
Canon PowerShot G5 Horizontal LPH 1450  * 1650 
Vertical LPH 1350  * 1700 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 
Fujifilm FinePix S7000
(@ 6 mp output size)
Horizontal LPH 1450  * 1700 
Vertical LPH 1400  * 1700 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 
Fujifilm FinePix S7000
(@ 12 mp output size)
Horizontal LPH 1650  * 1900 
Vertical LPH 1600  * 1900 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 
Sony DSC-F717 Horizontal LPH 1450  * 1800 
Vertical LPH 1300  * 1800 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 

* Moiré is visible, + Chart maximum, # Jagged diagonals

Definition of terms

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 Resolution Still defined detail (below Nyquist frequency*)
Extinction Resolution Detail beyond camera's definition (becomes a solid gray alias)
n/a Not Available (above the capability of the test chart)
n/v Not Visible (not visible on test results)

* Nyquist frequency defined as the highest spatial frequency where the CCD can still faithfully record
image detail. Beyond the Nyquist frequency aliasing occurs.

The DiMAGE A1 loses out to the two other five megapixel digital cameras here for the same reason the DiMAGE 7Hi did, lower than expected resolution performance combined with strong moire at the limit. It's a pity that Minolta didn't spend more time on the DiMAGE A1's Bayer interpolation and image processing algorithms in order to deliver clean images with the higher resolution I am sure the lens is delivering to the sensor.

Also available for download

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