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Resolution Chart Comparison (JPEG and Raw)

Images on this page are of our standard 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 we use the relevant prime lens (the same one we use for all the other tests in a particular review). 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 in the white areas.

What we want to show here is how well the camera is able to resolve the detail in our standard test chart compared to the theoretical maximum resolution of the sensor, which for the charts we shoot is easy to work out - it's simply the number of vertical pixels (the chart shows the number of single lines per picture height, the theoretical limit is 1 line per pixel). Beyond this limit (which when talking about line pairs is usually referred to as the Nyquist frequency) the sensor cannot faithfully record image detail and aliasing occurs.

This limit is rarely attained, because the majority of sensors are fitted with anti-aliasing filters. Anti-aliasing filters are designed to reduce unpleasant moiré effects, but in doing so, they also reduce resolution (the relative strength and quality of these filters varies from camera to camera). In theory though, a sensor without an AA filter, when coupled with a 'perfect' lens, will deliver resolution equal to its Nyquist limit. Therefore, even though it may be effectively unattainable with normal equipment in normal shooting situations, an understanding of a sensor's theoretical limit provides a useful benchmark for best possible performance. Nyquist is indicated in these crops with a red line.

On this page we're looking at both JPEG and Raw resolution. For a (more) level playing field we convert the latter using Adobe Camera Raw. Because Adobe Camera Raw applies different levels of sharpening to different cameras (this confirmed) we use the following workflow for these conversions:

  • Load Raw file into Adobe Camera Raw (Auto mode disabled)
  • Set Sharpness to 0 (all other settings default)
  • Open file to Photoshop
  • Apply a Unsharp mask tuned to the camera, here 180%, Radius 0.4, Threshold 0
  • Make 100% crops and save the original file at JPEG quality 11 for download
JPEG (3648 x 2736) 3.9MB Raw (3648 x 2736) 3.5MB

Vertical resolution

JPEG
Raw

Horizontal resolution

JPEG Raw

The LX7 gives decent resolution for its pixel count, and our testing shows that it can accurately resolve the nine lines of our test target up to around 2000LPH. This is about what we'd expect. Switching to Raw mode doesn't result in much more potential for extra resolution, but careful sharpening can increase the perception of detail pretty close to the Nyquist limit. That said, even when sharpened pretty aggressively, the LX7's Raw files are barely more detailed than the JPEGs -the benefit to shooting Raw is almost solely the extra dynamic range and white balance/exposure control.

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Comments

Total comments: 13
BobFoster

Have this and other real slr's and this is fantastic camera bar none! 10 megapixel is fine to me. I can crop and always resize smaller anyway. Exceptional detail from that magic summicron leica lens. Really a great camera is all about the lens not the pixel count.

No regrets at all....

1 upvote
kpaddler

This was a great line of cameras for light travel for serious people.
I have a feeling they will to the same with GX series. If so, I jump panasonic ship.
I don't have time for goofy cameras. Olympus has shown some convictions so far.

Panasonic should go back to make just microwave oven and kitchen appliances.

0 upvotes
wgerhartz

The LX7 offers a lot of camera for its money! I liked it from the very beginning.

However, my comment emphasizes its robustness. I was careless enough to let it drop from about 7 m unto a stone floor. It survived! It fell on the left upper edge (where the flash pops out).There is a dent, and the cover warps out by less than a mm. The flash needs fingernail assistance to pop out. Apart from that, there is not the slightest flaw in the optical quality of the photographs. I am amazed!

3 upvotes
johnhb1

My LX5 survived several bad incidents. I am sure my LX7 will do what it can to keep on ticking.

0 upvotes
disraeli demon

Just upgraded to this from an LX3 and I'm loving it. Snappier all round, better noise control, faster burst rate and the combination of step zoom plus lens resume (resets the lens to the focal length it was at when the camera powered down) means I'm shooting much more in the middle of the range instead of slamming from full wide to full tele all the time.

(Plus, high-speed video at 720p!!!)

I did quite a bit of research before this upgrade, and while I was tempted by the rangefinder-style layout of the Fuji X20 (but too big for my taste and limited video) and the flip-out touch-screen of the Olympus XZ-2 (but there are stories of focussing issues and it lacks that high-speed video option) in the end, this was the one for me.

1 upvote
RP McMurphy

The door on my LX3 is long snapped off
v annoying

1 upvote
Ikay

Dear Jeff Keller,
I really enjoy reading your reviews. BUT why do you keep harping on the allegedly 'flimsy' door of the battery/card compartment? I've been with the LX series since the LX3 and this door is totally adequate. Ok,when it's open it wobbles a bit,but it's normally closed and then it's perfectly ok.
Just treat it as you would treat the rest of the camera.
Of course,if you let your 5-year-old 'use' it,it will soon become flimsy...

2 upvotes
Death89

I have to agree on this point. I've never had any issues with the door on my Panasonic cameras.

I guess it could be down to the fact I'm pretty regimented in how I change batteries/cards (I open the door, pop out the battery/card and close it again - makes sense to me not to leave a door open no matter how solidly built it is) but really as long as you don't travel round with it open I can't see how it could be a problem

2 upvotes
johnhb1

Neither can I , but they have to BS about a lot of nits to have much to say.

0 upvotes
Joseph Broz

The photo software that ships with the Lumix LX7 will not work with Windows 8. Does anyone know when Panasonic will fix this?

0 upvotes
Midwest

Unfortunately, Panasonic cannot fix the nightmare that is Windows 8.

4 upvotes
Victor Stan

Windows 7 works good, why do people rush so early to new OS? It's common sense that it takes a minimum of 6 months for any OS to be polished. Well in the case of Microsoft it takes forever since they only make a new OS because they aren't able to fix their current one. But always wait at least half a year to jump the bandwagon man!

2 upvotes
timlturner

The only way to tolerate Windows 8 is to use the free app Classic Shell. Makes windows 8 work like windows 7 but better.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 13