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Resolution Chart Comparison

Comparison cameras:

  • Panasonic DMC-FX9 (6MP, 3x zoom)
  • Fujifilm FinePix F10 (6 MP, 3x zoom)
  • Canon PowerShot SD500 (7 MP, 3x zoom)
  • Nikon Coolpix 7900 (7 MP, 3x zoom)

Shots here are of the PIMA/ISO 12233 standard resolution test chart (more of which are available in our comparison database). This resolution 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. Thus a value of 15 equates to 1500 lines per picture height.

Studio light, cameras set to auto, settings all factory default. If possible aperture was selected for optimum sharpness. Exposure compensation +0.7 EV to +1.3 EV.

Panasonic DMC-FX9 (2,764 KB; 6 MP) Canon PowerShot SD500 (2,415 KB; 7 MP)
Nikon Coolpix 7900 (2,348 KB; 7 MP) Fujifilm FinePix F10 (2,938 KB; 6 MP)

Resolution Chart crops

Panasonic DMC-FX9 Canon PowerShot SD500
Nikon Coolpix 7900 Fujifilm FinePix F10 Zoom
Panasonic DMC-FX9 Canon PowerShot SD500
Nikon Coolpix 7900 Fujifilm FinePix F10 Zoom

Measurable findings

Camera Measurement
Absolute
resolution
Extinction
resolution
Panasonic DMC-FX9 Horiz LPH 1500 *1900
Vert LPH 1600 *1950
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a 
Canon PowerShot SD500 Horiz LPH 1550 1850
Vert LPH * 1700 +* 2000
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a 
Nikon Coolpix 7900 Horizontal LPH 1500 + 1750
Vertical LPH 1500 1750
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a 
Fujifilm FinePix F10 Horiz LPH 1650 +2000
Vert LPH 1750 +2000
5° Diagonal LPH + 1000 n/a 

* Moiré 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)

As you might expect the FX9's resolution is very good, thanks mainly to the excellent Leica-designed optic. The extra megapixel over the FX7 / FX8 gives you around 10% more resolution, which is to be expected. The results are fairly clean, though there is some moiré visible at the highest frequencies. For a point and shoot 6MP camera this is about as good as it gets.

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