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Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Nikon Coolpix P5000 (10MP, 3.5x zoom)
  • Canon PowerShot A640 (10MP, 4x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-LX2 (10MP, 4x zoom)
  • Canon PowerShot G7 (10MP, 6x zoom)

Shots here are of our standard resolution chart (version one or two). This 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 15 equates to 1500 lines per picture height. (Note that on version two of our chart the vertical resolution 1000 - 2000 lines have been horizontally flipped but are otherwise identical). 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 auto, settings all factory default. If possible aperture was selected for optimum sharpness. Exposure compensation +0.3 EV to +1.3 EV.

Nikon P5000 (2,305 KB; 10 MP) Canon PowerShot A640 (3,425 KB; 10 MP)
Panasonic DMC-LX2 (4,821 KB; 10 MP) Canon PowerShot G7 (3,330 KB; 10 MP)

Resolution chart crops

Nikon Coolpix P5000 Canon PowerShot A640
Panasonic DMC-LX2 Canon PowerShot G7
Nikon Coolpix P5000 Canon PowerShot A640
Panasonic DMC-LX2 Canon PowerShot G7

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Nikon Coolpix P5000 Horiz LPH 1750 2050
Vert LPH 1800 2100*
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Canon PowerShot A640 Horiz LPH 1775 2250
Vert LPH 1850 2400*
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Panasonic DMC-LX2 Horiz LPH 1600 2050*
Vert LPH 1700 2100*
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a 
Canon PowerShot G7 Horiz LPH 1775 2225*
Vert LPH 1850 2350*
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a 

* Moiré is visible
# Jagged diagonals
+ 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 noted in the studio comparisons the P5000 doesn't quite manage to match the best 10MP cameras in its class (both the Canons tail off a lot more slowly as you approach extinction), and the output does look a little soft. But it's clean (aside from a little moiré at the very highest frequencies) and ripe for a little post-processing.

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