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Resolution Chart Comparison

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 aperture priority (optimum aperture selected), image parameters default. Exposure compensation +0.7 EV to +1.3 EV.

Olympus E-500 (4,958 KB; 8 MP) Canon EOS 350D (2,537 KB; 8 MP)
Olympus E-300 (4,560 KB; 8 MP) Nikon D50 (2,204 KB; 6 MP)

Olympus E-500 Canon EOS 350D
Olympus E-300 Nikon D50

Olympus E-500 Canon EOS 350D
Olympus E-300 Nikon D50

Olympus E-500 Canon EOS 350D
Olympus E-300 Nikon D50

Olympus E-500 Canon EOS 350D
Olympus E-300 Nikon D50

Measurable findings (three measurements taken for each camera):

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Olympus E-500 Horiz LPH * 1800  * 1950 
Vert LPH * 1650  * 1950 
Canon EOS 350D Horiz LPH 1850  + 2000 
Vert LPH 1650  + 2000 
Olympus E-300 Horiz LPH * 1800  * 1950 
Vert LPH * 1650  * 1950 
Nikon D50 Horiz LPH 1600  * 1850 
Vert LPH 1400  * 1850 

* 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)
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)

Not a huge shock I'm sure but the E-500 delivered exactly the same resolution performance as the E-300. As noted in our E-300 review the eight megapixel Canon CMOS sensor appears to be able to deliver a little more resolution-per-pixel than the Kodak CCD used in the Olympus, this could be down to a lighter strenth low-pass filter or better image processing. The other main difference here is the visibility of moire in the E-500 and E-300 images from about 1500 LPH onwards.

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