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 (when talking about line pairs 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, in this case 100%, Radius 0.6, Threshold 0
- Save as a TIFF (for cropping) and as a JPEG quality 11 for download
|JPEG (3648 x 2736) 2.9MB||RAW (3648 x 2736) 3.2MB|
As usual, there is a clear difference between RAW and JPEG output from the K-5, and as we'd expect, a lot more detail can be coaxed from the RAW files. The K-5's default JPEG sharpening is conservative, but all nine lines of our test chart can be discerned up to around 2600LPH both horizontally and vertically. A lot more detail is apparent from our RAW samples, however, and vertical and horizontal detail is accurately described up to around 2800LPH, with some line detail surviving up to, and even slightly beyond Nyquist.
Pentax K-5 Digital SLR Camera - Body Only
Pentax K-5 DSLR
+ SMC DA 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 AL WR Lens
Pentax K-5 II DSLR Camera
with 18-55mm WR Lens Kit
Pentax K-5 II DSLR Camera (Body Only)
Pentax 12049 K-5 IIs DSLR Camera Body Only - Black (16MP, CMOS Sensor) 3 inch...
Pentax 12037 K-5 II SLR Camera
with 18-135mm Lens Kit - Black (16MP, CMOS Sensor) 3 inch LCD
Pentax K-5 II DSLR Camera
with 18-55mm WR and 50-200mm WR Lens Kit
Pentax K-r DSLR
and DAL 18-55mm/DAL 50-200mm Twin Lens Kit - Black
Pentax K-5 Digital SLR Camera
with DA 18-55 WR - DA 50-200 WR Lens Kit
Pentax K-30 DSLR Camera Body Only - Black (16MP, CMOS APSC Sensor) 3 inch LCD