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Compared to... five 8mp's and a D-SLR

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).

Nikon Coolpix 8700 (2,179 KB; 8 MP) Canon PowerShot Pro1 (2,801 KB; 8 MP)
Sony DSC-F828 (3,116 KB; 8 MP) Olympus C-8080 WZ (3,089 KB; 8 MP)
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 (2,595 KB; 8 MP) Canon EOS-300D (2,241 KB; 6 MP)

Nikon Coolpix 8700 Canon PowerShot Pro1
Sony DSC-F828 Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Canon EOS-300D

Nikon Coolpix 8700 Canon PowerShot Pro1
Sony DSC-F828 Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Canon EOS-300D

Nikon Coolpix 8700 Canon PowerShot Pro1
Sony DSC-F828 Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Canon EOS-300D

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera)

Camera Measurement Absolute Res. Extinction Res.
Nikon Coolpix 8700 Horizontal LPH 1600  * 1900 
Vertical LPH 1500  1850 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 
Canon PowerShot Pro1 Horizontal LPH 1700  1950 
Vertical LPH 1650  * 1950 
5° Diagonal LPH #+ 1000  n/a 
Sony DSC-F828 Horizontal LPH 1650  * 1950 
Vertical LPH 1550  1950 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 
Olympus C-8080 WZ Horizontal LPH 1750  * 2000 
Vertical LPH 1650  * 1950 
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000  n/a 
Konica Minolta A2 Horizontal LPH 1600  * 1850 
Vertical LPH * 1400  * 1800 
5° Diagonal LPH #+ 1000  n/a 
Canon EOS-300D Horizontal LPH 1600  1900 
Vertical LPH 1450  1850 
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.

In joint first place come the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom and Canon PowerShot Pro1 delivering a mighty impressive 1700 - 1750 LPH (almost in both directions), visually the C-8080 may just have the edge over the Pro1 (the Olympus has the best lens here). In second place the Sony DSC-F828 which although measuring slightly lower resolution in all practicality would be just as sharp and detailed as the Canon and Olympus. In third place the Nikon Coolpix 8700, it's older lens clearly not capable of delivering quite enough resolution back to the sensor to achieve the best result here. In last place and as we had expected the Konica Minolta A2 whose lens and image processing let it down, especially for vertical resolution where the resolution chart picked up a lot of moire artifacts and limited resolution.

What is interesting from this comparison is that only the Canon, Olympus and Sony showed any resolution advantage over the six megapixel Canon EOS 300D. That said the EOS 300D's image has that less processed, cleaner appearance we associate with large sensor digital SLR's.

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