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Resolution Chart Comparison

Shots here are of our '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 set to deliver approximately 80% luminance of white area.

Nikon D3X (3.2 KB; 24.5 MP) Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III (4.3 MB, 21 MP)
Sony DSLR-A900 (5.3 MB, 24.5 MP)) Nikon D3 (3.2 KB; 12 MP)

Nikon D3X

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
Sony DSLR-A900 Nikon D3

Nikon D3X Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
Sony DSLR-A900 Nikon D3

Nikon D3X Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
Sony DSLR-A900 Nikon D3

Measurable results

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Nikon D3X Horizontal LPH 2700  3650 
Vertical LPH 2600  3600 
Canon EOS-1Ds
Mark III
Horizontal LPH 2700  3300 
Vertical LPH 2700  3300 
Sony DSLR-A900 Horizontal LPH 2700  3700 
Vertical LPH 2700  3700 
Nikon D3 Horizontal LPH 2200  2600 
Vertical LPH 2200  2600 

* 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)
Absolute resolution 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 resolution Detail beyond camera's definition (becomes aliased)

The D3X offers, unsurprisingly, very similar resolution to the other 20+ megapixel cameras in this comparison. The main differences here are down to sensor design (anti-aliasing filter) and JPEG processing. The notable exception here is of course the 12MP Nikon D3, which naturally offers considerably less resolution. The D3X not only delivers resolution by the lorry-load, but also does so producing remarkably little artifacts or moire.

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