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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 8 equates to 800 lines per picture height.

Studio light, cameras set to auto, all settings factory default. Aperture selected for optimum sharpness. Exposure compensation +0.7 EV or +1.0 EV.

Nikon D100 Canon EOS-D60
Nikon D1x Canon EOS-1D

Nikon D100 Canon EOS-D60
Nikon D1x Canon EOS-1D

Nikon D100 Canon EOS-D60
Nikon D1x Canon EOS-1D

Nikon D100 Canon EOS-D60
Nikon D1x Canon EOS-1D

Nikon D100 Canon EOS-D60
Nikon D1x Canon EOS-1D

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement Absolute Res. Extinction Res.
Nikon D100 Horiz LPH 1600  * 1850 
Vert LPH 1300  * 1700 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Canon EOS-D60 Horiz LPH 1600  * 1800 
Vert LPH 1400  1800 
5° Diagonal LPH 1000  n/a 
Nikon D1x Horiz LPH 1600  >2000 
Vert LPH * 1150  1250 
5° Diagonal LPH 900  n/a 
Canon EOS-1D Horiz LPH 1400  * 1700 
Vert LPH  1200  * 1700 
5° Diagonal LPH n/a  n/a 

* Visible moiré artifacts

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

As we've seen from our previous side-by-side comparison there is very little difference in absolute resolution between the D100 and the EOS-D60. Both produce excellent resolution (considering their price point), the D100 being very slightly better in the horizontal direction, the D60 slightly better in the vertical direction. As mentioned previously the D60's better internal sharpening does give its images a more crisp, detailed look. Note that the D60 does suffer from 'strange dot' pixels in resolution chart tests, this appears to be related to the CMOS sensor.

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