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Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Olympus SP-560UZ (8 MP, 18 x zoom)
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ18 (8 MP, 18 x zoom)
  • Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd (8 MP, 18 x zoom)
  • Olympus SP-550UZ (8 MP, 18 x zoom)

Shots here are of our standard resolution chart (version 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 zoom was set just in from wide angle, where it is likely to perform at its best. 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 +1.0 EV to +1.7 EV.

Olympus SP-560UZ (1,995 KB; 8 MP) Panasonic DMC-FZ18 (2,856 KB; 8 MP)
Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd (2,643 KB; 8 MP) Olympus SP-550UZ (3,287 KB; 7 MP)

Resolution Chart Crops

Olympus SP-560UZ Panasonic DMC-FZ18
Fujifilm S8000fd Olympus SP-550UZ
Olympus SP-560UZ Panasonic DMC-FZ18
Fujifilm S8000fd Olympus SP-550UZ

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Olympus SP-560UZ Horiz LPH * 1500 * 1900
Vert LPH * 1600 * 2000
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a
Panasonic DMC-FZ18 Horizontal LPH 1600 2100
Vertical LPH 1650 *2150
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a
Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd Horizontal LPH * 1450 * 1600
Vertical LPH * 1400 * 1650
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 ‡ n/a
Olympus SP-550UZ Horizontal LPH * 1350 * 1750
Vertical LPH * 1400 * 1850
5° Diagonal LPH +1000 n/a

* Moiré is visible
+ Chart maximum
Jagged diagonals
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 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)

While not quite on the level of the Panasonic, the Olympus is pretty competitive when it comes to resolution and the differences are unlikely to ever be perceptible in images you might take. Whilst none of these 18x zoom cameras produces particularly inspiring resolution chart results, all are capable of capturing a good enough level of detail for the typical user (as long as you don't look into the corners of the frame). It's also worth mentioning the rather excessive and unpleasant moiré exhibited by both the S8000fd and the Olympus SP560UZ, which starts at a remarkably low frequency.

The resolution these cameras are capable of capturing is lower than most 8MP short-zoom compacts we've tested but not unbearably so. However, these tests are conducted at the range of the lens we'd expect to produce the best performance, so the results at the long end of the zoom are unlikely to be as convincing.

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